Sony NW-A55/B Walkman NW-A55 Hi-Res 16GB MP3 Player, Grayish Black
|Price:||+ $8.97 Delivery|
- Precision engineered for improved sound quality
- Truly authentic sound with Hi-Res Audio
- S-Master HX digital amplifier for pure sound quality
- DSEE HX upscaling restores quality to compressed files
- In the box: Walkman, USB cable, Startup Guide, Instruction Manual
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Step up your sound with the incredible audio fidelity of the NW-A55. Hear all of your favorite music in authentic Hi-Res audio, through the S-Master HX upscaling. Keep listening for up to 45 hours on a single charge and expand your on-the-go music collection with the SD card slot.
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Top international reviews
The problem is that if you want/need to switch between (internal) music and FM radio while connected to a bluetooth device (earphones or speakers), you cannot. FM does not play over the bluetooth connection.
In my case, this was a show stopper.
Note that the device volume control does not (either) work on/with the bluetooth connection.
You have to ensure that your bluetooth earbuds or speaker has a volume control.
-Long battery life, always a staple of the Walkmans, and they nail it every time.
-Decent UI, although some slight issues like not having bookmarks on the main page, and the touchscreen feeling a bit rough (I REALLY prefer buttons).
-Decent playback, it sounds great, but I am definitely not an audio expert, so I can't say for sure that this device sounds perfect, but I haven't noticed any issues with sound quality.
-The ability to make Playlists on the device, a MUCH NEEDED feature on Walkman MP3 players, one of my big complaints about my previous Walkman, the NWZ-E354.
-Build quality is fantastic, feels a bit heftier, but much stronger with a metal frame.
-Bluetooth NFC chip is really nice, pairs easily with my Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones.
-Headphone jack is present, already a step ahead of most phones with just that feature alone.
-Screen brightness, typically I use dimmer light settings on all my devices, and this one is fantastic in how dim it can go, but is still able to be much brighter for people who plan on using this device outside more.
-Settings are decent, provide some necessary customization, although I'm a bit disappointed at the lack of wallpapers, like on the older non-touchscreen Walkmans.
-Touchscreen, I am not a touchscreen guy, and I never have been. I always found buttons much more comfortable and convenient, as I didn't have to look at the screen for certain actions, and the touchscreen gives me less control over how fast i can move through the user interface. I found the scroll bar to also be obnoxious when I am trying to add music to bookmarks or playlists, as I have to wait for the scroll bar to disappear as I move down the song list or I have to position the song to be out of the way of the scroll bar. I also dislike touchscreens as I hate getting screens dirty, and with touchscreen I have no choice but to use my greasy fingers for most user interface navigation. Typically, I would say this is my fault for buying a touch screen model, but the only current Walkman MP3 player that has buttons is the NWE-394, which lacks many of the features I wanted in the NW-A55. If Sony would make a higher-end Walkman model with buttons that is able to make playlists, bookmarks, have SensMe Channels, and bluetooth, I would definitely prefer that one!
-There is a lack of photos and videos on the NW-A55, which I definitely missed from my older NWZ-E354, along with wallpapers.
-SensMe Channels now require you to run all of your music through Sony's proprietary Music Manager software, which I hate doing as I am a drag-and-drop kinda guy who just puts my music in the MUSIC folder on the device. I did not know that the music player was not able to analyze my music library for SensMe, so I had to delete all my music off of the player and run it through Sony's software to make sure it was analyzed for SensMe. Definitely a disappointment, as the NWZ-E354 was able to analyze songs for SensMe, and it came out so long ago!
I know this review seems a little ranty (I REALLY miss my NWZ-E354 :( ), but I thoroughly do enjoy this device, I am just sad to see a lot of staple features from my old NWZ-E354 gone in the newer models. And I also really miss the front buttons as the main interface. A lot. It saddens me to see that only the low-end models have front button interfaces anymore, I would happily spend a lot of money for a device that comes with all the features of the NW-A55, but used buttons instead of a touchscreen. However, I am still very happy that Sony delivers these amazing high-quality products to such a niche market! Thank you Sony! Walkmans are definitely underappreciated little guys, and any time I need a new one, I've always been very happy with my purchase!
Yes, I am that person that needs buttons on their electronics. I have a Blackberry Key2 as a phone, and before that, I had a Nokia E90... I refused for so long to get a smartphone because none of them had any buttons. I need buttons! So when the Blackberry Key2 came out, I grabbed it ASAP, and I just deal with the touch screen feature. With this said, my review will be pretty one-sided.
I'm coming from the Sony Walkman predecessor, the NWZ-E380. This is the one with buttons and no touchscreen. I loved it so much but with over-use, my headphone jack somehow got damaged. I couldn't use headphones with it because I'd only hear through one ear, so I opted for wireless headphones. Since the old MP3 player didn't have bluetooth capabilities, I bought a transmitter for the device. Despite everyone making fun of me, I was still having the problem of hearing only through one ear. So I went out and bought the bluetooth capable Sony Walkman NW-A55. An expensive buy, might I add.
After using it for awhile I found a lot of pro's and con's.
The device takes FOREVER to turn on. I'm not used to such lag. (I'm from NYC where I'm used to everything in a quick pace, just to give you reference). But every time you turn on your device it "creates the database". Why? Why every time? I don't get it.
The font is too tiny, and there's no way to change it. I have pictures up so you can see. I need reading glasses, and my poor eye sight will get worse just trying to read this tiny font.
I can connect via bluetooth with my headphones no problem. No need to sync every time, if you keep the bluetooth finder on, it'll automatically find it again. I was able to successfully connect with my car (Toyota Corolla), and it plays crisp. I'm happy with that. I have yet to drive through a tunnel and underwater, but I have driven on highways and crowded streets (being from Brooklyn/Bronx) and I have not had interference from other bluetooth users. Walking down the street, a did get a little static (not every time though), but it was probably how I was holding the MP3 player. I did not disconnect at any point. I have no need to use the "bluetooth receiver" function, so I didn't get to try that out.
The volume can get loud! No external speakers noted.
Now... when it comes to driving... I'm the type to always wear my seat belt, signal before switching lanes, etc. I'm super careful. I do not text and drive, and I do not like to scan through my MP3 player to find an artist to listen to as I drive. With my old MP3 player, because I had buttons, I was able to drive and hit buttons at the same time without having to look at the screen. I already knew how to navigate my MP3 player blindly. This is one reason why I miss having buttons. I could have multi-tasked. That's not the case with this newer MP3 player. If you're skilled and dangerous where you don't mind eyeballing the road and your MP3 player at the same time, be my guest... But if you like to be safe and keep everyone else safe as you drive, you'd be upset with the touch screen. You cannot scroll through your artists via car, like you could with your phone's contacts/messages. At least, not in my type of car. It would have made the touchscreen more tolerable if I were able to control the MP3 players using the screen in my car. But no. You can only scroll through via MP3 player... And I hate that; that's dangerous for me. Even when I walk, with my old one, I was hitting the buttons, changing artists without looking. And I walk fast. Now I can't, I have to slow down or stop to look down and change the artist. All because there are no button to do this. And I've tried using the side buttons. It doesn't switch artists.
Mind you, I upload my music via external microSD. Maybe it'd be different if I uploaded my music straight to the internal storage? I don't know, you try it and come back to me.
That's another thing, I love how you can play music from a microSD. I can store all my audiobooks on there.
Yes, you can have the screen shut off with the MP3 player still playing, so you don't risk accidentally changing anything.
No, you cannot have bluetooth headphones connected with wired headphones at the same time (I tried).
Oh one more thing; when switching to the next song, there is a bit of delay. It's not an immediate switch. Again, I listen to music via external microSD, so that could be it...? But I doubt it. It's just annoying. I'm coming from such a fast pace old MP3 player living my fast pace life, navigating my devices without looking... and all that changed with this MP3 player. Everything is a lot slower.
So ergo my 2/5 stars for no buttons and causing me to change my life... but because I knew this is a touchscreen and it is what it is... with some minor flaws, I give this a final score of 4/5 stars.
I'll update this review if I find something new.
I spent hours trying to manage my music on the Walkman and I finally have a workflow that makes it bearable, but I need to search forums to do so. The only reason I bought this player was I needed something without WiFi enabled for work. It meets this criteria. One thing I was not expecting is how much I love the sound. I only took the time to get music with all the meta data on it via a Mac computer because the sound is simply amazing.
I wish Sony made music management software that is Mac compatible. When you plug the Walkman into your Mac it shows up in the Finder like a hard drive and that is it.
So this Sony mp3 player looked really nice, has lots of support for all kinds of audio and enhancements built in.
Let's start with why it's 4/5 and not 5, the interface is clumsy. If you use smart phones., they are intuitive. Sony is trying to give touch interface but with basic controls so not to confuse the user. However there are things it needs like sorting, and not forgetting the last spot, and easily going to the artist on the current playing song. You need to go manually each time to get to the artist/album. And randomly it forgets where you were so if you hit back it goes home instead. Swiping up and down on the main screen brings easy accessible options, but they dont seem to mention that, so you just figure it out yourself. Bookmarks are worthless. It's slow processing, even internal storage, like deleting stuff. The database creation can take a little while. But that being said, it's not android or ios, so it's pure sony OS, so i hope they optimize it in the future. I think most of the issues can be fixed with software updates.
That being said, hardware and feature wise, this thing is awesome! I would easily buy it again if i were to get a mp3 player again, but im going to keep this for a looooong time. The feel of it is great, it's a perfect form factor. The aux would have been nice to be on top but that's alright. It feels like a premium device (like the old ipod color small ones in the day but better). Screen looks nice. The sound is great. It has Bluetooth and NFC for easy pairing. But you can also become a receiver for a bluetooth device so a phone paired with it can have it's audio enhanced by the sony mp3 player (it being plugged into AUX speakers). Same with the usb, it can become a DAC and make the PC audio better, even on linux. So it's almost like an amplifier/enhancer too! FM radio as well, but i dont listen to that much anymore. Can play the highest quality audio (FLAC and WAV).
I think the device itself is really cool. The software needs to be improved but for what it can do, and what it does, it fits my needs. It's a 2020 mp3 player, and i like it a lot.