These new Sony MP3 players are simply wonderful. They are attractive, well-built, lightweight, stylish, and most importantly, have superb sound quality. Further, Sony did not follow its habitual trend of pricing their units out of the market: this one at 16Gb is retailing at $129, and you can get them less expensively, as well.
The interface is almost identical to last year's Sony MP3 players (although Sony inexplicably removed the ability to view all albums without titles, which means you are forced to scroll down albums in list style), and learning the menu system is quick and easy. Throw away the supplied headphones, which are for comic use only, and pair the unit with a set of Klipsch S4's, and you have a system that will easily beat out your home system. The unit has generally quick power up and power down, and the controls operate well and intuitively. The unit is a real head turner - pop out one of these in red (or the 8gb in blue or pink), and watch it get attention right away.
Sony's specialty is miniaturized electronics, and it shows in this unit. The sound output is simple outstanding. Wide dynamic range, low noise, good volume power, little heat production. If you listen to one of these with the right headphones, you're ruined.
The screen is bright and clear, although not any better than last year's models. But that's not to knock it - the display is extremely good.
The speakers? They actually work quite well, if you use them for their intended purpose. These are for personal use only in quiet settings. They produce surprisingly clear sound, but. of course, there is no bass, and their function is simply to use when you want to listen to recorded lectures or audio books. (There are optimization controls for the speakers that can be found in the menu system, as well.) And speaking of lectures, did you make note that you can also RECORD with this unit? Yes, it has a built-in microphone, and you can use the unit to record lectures, class discussions, etc. into mp3 format. Nice touch.
In sum, this is a great little player with a lot going for it at a reasonable price. They are selling like mad in Japan. And with good reason. Five stars, Sony, and its about time.
1. Superb sound quality
2. Good price, considering it is a Sony and finally comes with 16Gb RAM
3. Beautiful physical design (this is the type of device that screams "SONY" when people see it)
4. Light and generally small
5. Color selections (red or back for 16Gb version, pink, blue, red, and black for 8Gb version)
-- CONs --
1. Supplied stand is a joke - you'll loose it in a day
2. Supplied headphones are a joke
3. No 32Gb version available (why??)