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  #21  
Old 03-25-2008, 10:07 AM
zedicus zedicus is offline
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Originally Posted by Aevum View Post
the thing is, isnt it $320 bundled with the bluetooth headset ?
Nope, the 8Gb version has a bt headset with it, but not the 16GB
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  #22  
Old 03-28-2008, 10:08 PM
djp952 djp952 is offline
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I just got my nwz-a829 today from J&R, and OH MY GOD ... I've been having a complete gadget-gasm for more than an hour now.

I'll be the first to admit that I have limited player experience, only owning a Sansa e280R up until today, but this a820 series KILLS it, kicks dirt in it's face, pees on it, and then buries it 50 feet under the ground.

I've borrowed and used iPods, too, and they don't hold a candle to this device. I'm completely enamored with it (I did say gadget-gasm already, right?). It's the first thing that's been able to properly drive the oft-hated Bose earbuds I have, too. With a little EQ/Customization applied I've NEVER heard anything that sounds like this. The buds that come with it are no slouch, either, and my wife will really appreciate them when I donate them to her cause.

There is a lot to love about this device. A whole lot. To me, it was well worth the $279.99 (from J&R, SonyStyle is still @ 319.99). It's even flashing me a really slick date/time clock every 8 seconds or so. The attention to detail is amazing.

Yeah, it's a little pricy, and it's not up to the 'coolness' factor of something like the P2 or the iPod Touch, but ... it's PERFECT for me. In just about every single aspect. I even swung by Best Buy and grabbed the black silcone sleeve for it ($20), and it fits PERFECTLY.

I'll say it again, there is a LOT to love about this player. I'm a Sony "fanboi" and have been for decades, but I can post a full, as unbiased as I can be, amateur review over the weekend if it would add value for you guys, let me know. If not, I give this unit a solid 9/10 if your needs are similar to my own (not looking for groovy touch screens or a spiffy click/scroll wheel, and care mostly about audio)

THANK YOU SONY, YOU MADE ME EXTREMELY HAPPY
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2008, 02:48 PM
kbadone kbadone is offline
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Originally Posted by djp952 View Post
I just got my nwz-a829 today from J&R, and OH MY GOD ... I've been having a complete gadget-gasm for more than an hour now.

I'll be the first to admit that I have limited player experience, only owning a Sansa e280R up until today, but this a820 series KILLS it, kicks dirt in it's face, pees on it, and then buries it 50 feet under the ground.

I've borrowed and used iPods, too, and they don't hold a candle to this device. I'm completely enamored with it (I did say gadget-gasm already, right?). It's the first thing that's been able to properly drive the oft-hated Bose earbuds I have, too. With a little EQ/Customization applied I've NEVER heard anything that sounds like this. The buds that come with it are no slouch, either, and my wife will really appreciate them when I donate them to her cause.

There is a lot to love about this device. A whole lot. To me, it was well worth the $279.99 (from J&R, SonyStyle is still @ 319.99). It's even flashing me a really slick date/time clock every 8 seconds or so. The attention to detail is amazing.

Yeah, it's a little pricy, and it's not up to the 'coolness' factor of something like the P2 or the iPod Touch, but ... it's PERFECT for me. In just about every single aspect. I even swung by Best Buy and grabbed the black silcone sleeve for it ($20), and it fits PERFECTLY.

I'll say it again, there is a LOT to love about this player. I'm a Sony "fanboi" and have been for decades, but I can post a full, as unbiased as I can be, amateur review over the weekend if it would add value for you guys, let me know. If not, I give this unit a solid 9/10 if your needs are similar to my own (not looking for groovy touch screens or a spiffy click/scroll wheel, and care mostly about audio)

THANK YOU SONY, YOU MADE ME EXTREMELY HAPPY
I am glad you likes it man, I'm getting my A829 from J&R this Monday, ill post my impression on it. I think it will have positive affect on me since I am upgrading from A1200 walkman
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  #24  
Old 03-29-2008, 04:54 PM
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I cant wait to get my hands on one of these - ENJOY!!! And heres the link to J&R: no blue tooth headset w/16gb - you guys were Definitely on point!!! http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.proc...ductTabDetails
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  #25  
Old 03-29-2008, 06:27 PM
zedicus zedicus is offline
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Darn, I new I should have bought it earlier - was just waiting for this review. J&R's price went up. So, how well does the bluetooth work, and is it worth it
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  #26  
Old 03-29-2008, 09:47 PM
djp952 djp952 is offline
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Originally Posted by zedicus View Post
Darn, I new I should have bought it earlier - was just waiting for this review. J&R's price went up. So, how well does the bluetooth work, and is it worth it
Can't help on the bluetooth I'm afraid, I've got nothing that can receive it. I am in the market for a BT cassette adapter (which appear to be quite rare) for my car, though

Some more impressions for you guys/gals:

- Getting video on the device is HARD. It only seems to support H.264 in "Media Stick" mode, whatever that is, so you can't play PSP H.264 videos without conversion. I was able to use "5G iPod" mode on MCEBuddy to get my Media Center DVR-MS TV shows to work, but I need to work on that profile to make it as good as it can be for this device. I always have problems with video conversion - lol

- I'm already used to life without a scroll wheel, and I'll be honest - I think like it better this way. Navigation is easy and fast. Even with 1000+ tracks on it already from about 750 artists, I can get to any specific song very quickly. I believe faster than I could with a wheel, but it's probably something best left to interpretation.

- COOL FEATURE: Not sure how many players have this, but the e200s sure as heck didn't. When a track is playing, you can down-arrow into the details and drill into them. So let's say you hit an artist you're really in the mood for, 3-4 clicks and you're all about that. You can do this with Artist, Album, Genre and Year. Very nice.

- The "VPT(Surround)" music option feature is neat at first, but after a few hours you do grow a little tired of it. Each VPT profile has it's place, and I think "Club" is the best general-use one, but if you have a wide variety of music you may want to consider not turning this on. Older tracks that haven't been ruined with DRC (personal example: "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane), sound more than a little weird.

- ClearBass is amazing. I've actually turned down the bass in the equalizer (first time for everything) and ticked this up a bit, and it's very satisfying. Caution - it gets overpowering quickly - I suggest turning it up until you like it and then back down one notch. The last time I had a bass enhancement feature like this was probably 15-20 years ago on a Panasonic cassette deck, and it wasn't nearly as good.

- The sound quality is still blowing me away. It's actually disappointing to turn this off and fire up the big PC speakers. The real sound system upstairs is still better, though, but a lot of that is probably the fact that I don't have plastic shoved in my ears and can enjoy the acoustics of the entire room. Before I formatted my Sansa for donation to the Mrs., I fired it up one last time and it was ... extremely unsatisfying. I thought it sounded fine until now

I know there are a couple knocks up there, but I'm still rating at 9/10 for audio-heavy needs. I think video support may be disappointing for those looking for that set of features, but I'm no expert there by any means.

One question I have for you guys when you get yours is .. how well does the Dynamic Equalizer work? I ReplayGain all my tracks in advance, so I really don't get a heck of a lot of difference here.
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  #27  
Old 03-30-2008, 05:55 PM
woof woof is offline
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Great reviews guys but I have one burning question that still hasn't been answered anywhere:

Does the manual equalizer/preset EQs, the "audio F/X modes" or the volume control work through bluetooth?

On the Samsung P2 the equalizers & effects do not but the volume control does and on the Insignia Pilot the equalizer does but the volume control doesn't

Woof
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  #28  
Old 04-01-2008, 03:51 PM
djp952 djp952 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woof View Post
Great reviews guys but I have one burning question that still hasn't been answered anywhere:

Does the manual equalizer/preset EQs, the "audio F/X modes" or the volume control work through bluetooth?

On the Samsung P2 the equalizers & effects do not but the volume control does and on the Insignia Pilot the equalizer does but the volume control doesn't

Woof
If you believe the Operation Guide (PDF on the included CD, page 92), yes. The following features are claimed to work over bluetooth:

- Equalizer
- VPT (Surround)
- Dynamic Normalizer

You can either use all three of those settings, or none of them. You cannot pick and choose. Any other audio options, like "ClearStereo" or "AVLS (VolumeLimit)", are not passed over bluetooth.

There is also a "High Quality" BT mode that I haven't seen reviewed. They warn it could cause an unstable connection to the device, probably taking away bandwidth from some handshake protocol for better audio. They don't elaborate.
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  #29  
Old 04-02-2008, 08:59 AM
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Nice review of features and the SQ - I'm really interested in this baby but why oh why can't Sony go 32gb?? I can bring mostly all my faves and be done with it (barring the occasional addition).
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  #30  
Old 04-02-2008, 09:21 AM
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That's a great postwith some great info!
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  #31  
Old 04-02-2008, 10:23 AM
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I just picked one up. $300 is pretty steep, while i think it is an excellent player, i think it is a bit over priced- typical to sony.

And i question the usefulness of bluetooth where as it is strictly audio as apposed to the P2 doing audio, phone, transfer, ect

Also to mention that the available space on the 16GB version is 14.7GB i know that this happens alot but compared to the View's 15.1GB its almost a half gig short
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  #32  
Old 04-02-2008, 02:21 PM
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is the audio quality identical to that of the a81x ?
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  #33  
Old 04-06-2008, 09:47 AM
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8 gig on sale at Best Buy for $189 in Sunday paper.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1200702543108
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  #34  
Old 04-06-2008, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuki View Post
is the audio quality identical to that of the a81x ?
No, it sound like the sound is overprocessed and while it sound very good at moderate volumes, it seems to distort at louder volumes particularly in the upper mids. Now this is not so true when using the supplied headphones... it sounds fantastic like the a810 out of the box with stock buds.

I tested it with the shure 530s which i find to be very reveling, so the A820 did work better with cheaper headphones like the Atrios m5s.

But all in all... still has similar characteristics to the a810 but is a small step down in sound quality. I much prefer the clip or fuze over the a820. The a820 sound too processed and synthetic to me.
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  #35  
Old 04-08-2008, 06:09 PM
Astraeus Astraeus is offline
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Nooooo, this post made me want the A729 even more (don't want Bluetooth) but it's not coming out in the UK! J&R don't ship abroad so it looks like I'll have to pay $330 to get it shipped here.
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  #36  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:07 PM
Rob S Rob S is offline
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Just seen the UK prices at Advancedmp3.co.uk....209 for 16GB, 169 for 8GB!!!
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  #37  
Old 04-10-2008, 04:36 PM
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I'm wondering if the A72X series would sound a little better. Could it be that the over processed sound is caused by the BT functionality? Is Sony trying to make the sound better through the BT headphones at the (possible?) expense of wired sound?
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  #38  
Old 04-10-2008, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoTen View Post
No, it sound like the sound is overprocessed and while it sound very good at moderate volumes, it seems to distort at louder volumes particularly in the upper mids. Now this is not so true when using the supplied headphones... it sounds fantastic like the a810 out of the box with stock buds.



I tested it with the shure 530s which i find to be very reveling, so the A820 did work better with cheaper headphones like the Atrios m5s.



But all in all... still has similar characteristics to the a810 but is a small step down in sound quality. I much prefer the clip or fuze over the a820. The a820 sound too processed and synthetic to me.
can you tell me how it (the 820) worked with the Q-jays. probably the same as the atrios, but it doesn't hurt to be careful
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  #39  
Old 04-10-2008, 09:53 PM
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can you tell me how it (the 820) worked with the Q-jays. probably the same as the atrios, but it doesn't hurt to be careful
The 820 will work great with the q-jays or Atrios (i only test with atrios). The issue with the 530s is that they are very reveilign when it comes to the source. You really need a great near flat sounding player with them. But the 820 preforms excellent with mid to lower grade phones.
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  #40  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:46 AM
djp952 djp952 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoTen View Post
The 820 will work great with the q-jays or Atrios (i only test with atrios). The issue with the 530s is that they are very reveilign when it comes to the source. You really need a great near flat sounding player with them. But the 820 preforms excellent with mid to lower grade phones.
I can totally validate this, for those that care. The 829 sounds amazing to me with the (again, much maligned) Bose Earbuds, but falls more than a bit short with my real high-end headphones when compared to a full stereo system.

<SIDE>
I know nobody's a huge fan of the Bose earbuds (updated design), but it's almost like this player was designed exactly for them. The 829 with some wacky EQ settings and the Bose 'buds are simply stunning to me still after all this time, and sound better than my 'Studio' headphones do on my big stereo to me. I can't explain why this is, but here are my EQ settings for the Bose earbuds, in case anyone happens to care:

Clear Bass: +2
0.4: Flat
1.0: Flat
2.5: +1
6.3 + 2
16: + 3

The Bose earbuds are sorely lacking in Treble response, hence the crescendo in treble with the EQ, but the bass response can be great IMO, and the Walkman ClearBass just ... well ... you need to hear it to understand what I'm talking about here. If you can get a money-back-guarantee I recommend giving them a try. No matter what people are saying about them.
</SIDE>
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