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  #1  
Old 08-13-2011, 03:56 PM
TimYoung TimYoung is offline
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Default Sony NWZA845B short review

Absolutely loving my Sony atm. Only had it for two days so can only give an initial impression.

First of all when I got the box, the packaging looks well cheap. Like some Toy R Us box for some cheap toy. Obviously tho I didn't get it for the packaging and when I took the player out... it looks gorgeous! Super thin, sleek, gorgeous screen and v v well made. Looks every bit as its price.

All the buttons are in the right place and easy to use with lots of plugs and adaptors things came with it.

The menu system seems like ipod's and everything is easy to navigate. It was only after one day of full use then I realise how important it was to have a good menu system after my Clip+ and Cowon C2 experience where it was a mission and a half to navigate through the menu whereas with the Sony I didn't even realise I was using a menu and can pick to play what song I like without it being a chore. It is very responsive and I was sliding through the menu system like knife through butter. Pretty much instantaneous.

The software that came with it is also first rate. You install it on your computer and there is a little Sony box on your desktop that you can just drag and drop your music and video files and it will automatically put it in your player. The transfer is pretty quick and there is auto synch which I have still to use where you can set up a folder on your computer to organise everything and when you plug in your player it automatically synch your files to the file on the computer.

The most important thing tho of course is the SQ. I cant' compare directly with Clip+ and Cowon C2 since I don't have them any more but off the top of my head I would say I easily prefer the Sony to both. I was looking specifically for a warmer sound since my headphone is a bit cold and this player sorted it out whilst the Cowon made it worse. I would say I prefer Sony > Clip+ > C2 in that order tho I might have been biased by the fact that I had low expectation of the Clip+ due to its price and high expectation of the Cowon due to its reputation.

The only problem I had in the beginning was that the music sound further back and the soundstage sounds way smaller. Then I just now I turned off DSEE sound enhance and the music was normal again. The DSEE sound enhance I think boost the bass and instruments and my headphone is already bassy so it overpowered everything making the mids sounds further back. And when I turned off its noise cancellation function, the cramp soundstage was gone. The soundstage still don't sound expansive but just the lush rich sound makes up for it and tickles my emotions in all the right places.

The other problems I have had with it is that it doesn't play FLAC which is what most of my music files are in but I have now nearly converted them all with foobar 2000 and it doesn't play avi which is what most of my vids are in. I have still yet to find a video converter to do it and will make a comment on the vid quality once I done it.

One other thing is that it has skip/cut out music when I am walking around. I am not sure whether it is because my headphone jack is knocked loose or something. I didn't happen often like a few times yesterday and I hope it doesn't develop into a problem. It is kinda a clean skip for a 1/8 of a sec and I'll have to find out what is wrong. I have dropped it a few times already and hope I didn't damage it like my C2.

All in all really happy with this purchase and will buy a case for it soon due to my propensity to drop my players. It was lucky that I am finally happy with this mp3 player or I might have to splash out on the Colorfly C4 then I would not hear the end of it with the abi's anti high end Dap brigade out to get me. lmao.

oh last thing. I had no problem with the volume limiter. I thought I might have to buy a portable amp for it. But I can turn off the AVLS volume limit settings on my player and I bought it from Dixons in UK. Did Sony change their policy after all the complaints? I don't hear music loud anyway so even with the AVLS volume limit on where it caps my volume limit to 19, I listen with 18 indoors. I might have a problem using it outdoors though if it wasn't able to switch it off.
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2011, 06:12 PM
Just Some Guy Just Some Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimYoung View Post
All the buttons are in the right place and easy to use with lots of plugs and adaptors things came with it.
I also find the button easy to use. Some people swear that they are the worst thing since Hitler invented rabies, but I have no complaints about them on mine.

Quote:
The menu system seems like ipod's and everything is easy to navigate. It was only after one day of full use then I realise how important it was to have a good menu system after my Clip+ and Cowon C2 experience where it was a mission and a half to navigate through the menu whereas with the Sony I didn't even realise I was using a menu and can pick to play what song I like without it being a chore. It is very responsive and I was sliding through the menu system like knife through butter. Pretty much instantaneous.
Agreed. It's very straight-forward. On a family roadtrip, I used mine, plugged into the van stereo, while my mother was in the passenger seat. She is not technically minded in the least (I love her, but she really isn't good with electronics). She had no problem figuring it out on her own.

Quote:
The software that came with it is also first rate. You install it on your computer and there is a little Sony box on your desktop that you can just drag and drop your music and video files and it will automatically put it in your player. The transfer is pretty quick and there is auto synch which I have still to use where you can set up a folder on your computer to organise everything and when you plug in your player it automatically synch your files to the file on the computer.
That software is shit. Avoid it. You can do everything it does faster by just drag-and-drop on your computer.

The only reason to even use it is if you want to convert video to play on its tiny little screen. It's fine for music, but for video, it's not worth it.

Uninstall that crapware and stick to watching videos on something with some actual screen real estate.

Quote:
The most important thing tho of course is the SQ. I cant' compare directly with Clip+ and Cowon C2 since I don't have them any more but off the top of my head I would say I easily prefer the Sony to both. I was looking specifically for a warmer sound since my headphone is a bit cold and this player sorted it out whilst the Cowon made it worse. I would say I prefer Sony > Clip+ > C2 in that order tho I might have been biased by the fact that I had low expectation of the Clip+ due to its price and high expectation of the Cowon due to its reputation.
No, they will put out about the same quality overall, but it's the sound enhancements that the player has, like EQ and bass boost or whatever else, that separates them. I own two Clip+s, and between them and my A847, I really can't make out that strong of a difference.

Quote:
The only problem I had in the beginning was that the music sound further back and the soundstage sounds way smaller. Then I just now I turned off DSEE sound enhance and the music was normal again. The DSEE sound enhance I think boost the bass and instruments and my headphone is already bassy so it overpowered everything making the mids sounds further back. And when I turned off its noise cancellation function, the cramp soundstage was gone. The soundstage still don't sound expansive but just the lush rich sound makes up for it and tickles my emotions in all the right places.
Turning all that stuff off also saves battery power, so you get longer use per charge. Also, the noise-canceling earphones aren't that good to begin with. You'll find that a decent pair of headphone/earphones/in-ears will do better than the stock ones.

Quote:
The other problems I have had with it is that it doesn't play FLAC which is what most of my music files are in but I have now nearly converted them all with foobar 2000 and it doesn't play avi which is what most of my vids are in. I have still yet to find a video converter to do it and will make a comment on the vid quality once I done it.
Again, video isn't worth it on that size screen. It's just a bit too small, and the built-in zooming feature is average and isn't that great at handling different sizes or formats. Audio is really where the device shines.

Quote:
One other thing is that it has skip/cut out music when I am walking around. I am not sure whether it is because my headphone jack is knocked loose or something. I didn't happen often like a few times yesterday and I hope it doesn't develop into a problem. It is kinda a clean skip for a 1/8 of a sec and I'll have to find out what is wrong. I have dropped it a few times already and hope I didn't damage it like my C2.
I had that happen too, and it turned out that I was slightly pulling the plug on my headphones to one side. I solved that by not bending or straining the jack, by not placing the player in a pocket with the cord on the bottom.

Quote:
All in all really happy with this purchase and will buy a case for it soon due to my propensity to drop my players. It was lucky that I am finally happy with this mp3 player or I might have to splash out on the Colorfly C4 then I would not hear the end of it with the abi's anti high end Dap brigade out to get me. lmao.
It's not that it's "anti-high end", so much as it is "anti-marketing to self-confirmed audiophiles that like to think they known more than actual audiophiles and audio technicians with solid lab tests on accepted testing equipment that can prove with cold hard data that it isn't as good as people think it is" with some "you can get the exact same results on a device that cost half or even a quarter as much, so why pay so much more" and some "why support a company that is marketing old hardware with shoddy design and construction as high-end" thrown in.

What I find funny is that a lot of these self-professed audiophiles will happily spend thousands of dollars on players and portable amps and headphones, and they play compressed music.

The lack of support for those players isn't unfounded. I believe there was in fact several reviews done here, with not only frequency charts but also a tear-down of one of the players, with detailed photos of the poor soldering and faulty construction. One would tend to think that if you're paying upwards of $800 for any device, it would be relatively well-made, not something that looks like a high-school student on his first week of Shop class had put it together.

Quote:
oh last thing. I had no problem with the volume limiter. I thought I might have to buy a portable amp for it. But I can turn off the AVLS volume limit settings on my player and I bought it from Dixons in UK. Did Sony change their policy after all the complaints? I don't hear music loud anyway so even with the AVLS volume limit on where it caps my volume limit to 19, I listen with 18 indoors. I might have a problem using it outdoors though if it wasn't able to switch it off.
Agreed. I have on from the UK as well, and I haven't had to deal with any kind of volume problems since I got it. Most people seem to have more of a social-political reason than an audio reason for hating the volume limit. The majority of complainers say things like "I don't want any government telling me what I can play music at" than "it prevents proper listening of music".

But that's enough of that. The A840 series is a damn fine player, with a very sleek design and reliable firmware and function. Enjoy your A845, man. It's a good overall player and should serve you well for some time.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2011, 04:10 PM
TimYoung TimYoung is offline
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Okay, done a few more days of testing on it.

Yeah, I found the buttons just right. Use my left hand and first two fingers control the volume and thumb for the control pad. Perfect.

I still haven't gotten to use synch folder feature. It is deffo seem to transfer faster than the other two players. The only thing slow is vid. When I first try to upload a vid, it said 1 hour! Then I was surfing the web for a while and it was transferred. Don't know how long it took... maybe 15 minutes? Still like way too long and don't know whether I can be bovered to transfer another vid again.

I also watched a film at work. Quality is good. Better than the budget screen on Cowon C2. Like DVD vs normal TV quality. Although I can watch films at work on a netbook, I prefer to use something smaller to be more discreet about it. Think I might use it for travelling as well and don't need to carry my netbook with me.

My eyes were squinting a bit tho after so don't think I'll be using it frequently.

ah. I haven' had much problem with the jack any more. Not sure why it happened that day. However, there has been skips due to quality of my tracks which was noticeable on my Sony but wasn't on my other players. Really not sure why that is the case. It is not a big enough problem for me to find out. Only quick skips happen on my recorded State of Trace radio sets and not my other music. Didn't notice it when I was using my other players tho.

I was only having a little laugh about the Colorfly. Not that I am anywhere close to be able to afford it and actually seems too big as portable. Not sure the beef with the same issues that keep appearing in numerous threads, high end dap, amps, head-fi, placebo... People just seem to get ... really really worked up about it. :P

I mean if someone can afford a Colorfly, pretty sure money is least of his worries. No need to help him save money.

Okay, the volume thing.. well I have switched off all the Sony stuff like Dynamic Normaliser, Clear Stereo and DSEE whatever since they seem to distort my music and I prefer it more natural. However, it has made the volume lower, particularly Dynamic normaliser thing when I switched it off it was like a volume difference of 6. Also, the volume level depends on the quality of my tracks. So I do have to jack up my volume a lot more without the Sony thing and especially on some tracks.

Indoors it is still comfortable with only a few tracks where I need to jack it up to full volume but outdoors, I can deffo do with more volume. It is not so quiet that I can't enjoy my music but think I can enjoy it more at higher level.

Think I'll be buying a portable amp now. Though not in a hurry since I don't use it much outdoors apart from walking that short bit to and from the tube station when I go to work.

Also, got this case with two socks for the player for 5 from iDelta:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crystal-Cove...3960743&sr=8-1

I wanted a leather case but since my player look so gorgeous thought it would be a shame to hide is looks and got the crystal case. Fit perfectly and everything is all good apart from... some two small air bubble thing on my screen. Cant' seem to get rid of it and can't open the case back up to get rid either since once you close it you have to break the case to open it again.

It is not that noticeable when I use the menu since the light from the screen made you can't see the bubbles but might be a problem if I was watching a vid. And it spoilt the look of my player. Kinda annoying.
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