Audio

Sony Walkman W202 Review

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After around 3 weeks of good use of W202 player, I think it is time that I share some insights, likes and dislikes of this interesting wearable Walkman. Also check out the pictorial and the video below!

My main reason of owning this piece of technology was the simplicity it offers for an active life style, namely when I work out in a gym, I prefer to have no cords dangling around. I tried the bluetooth way on my Sony Walkman S710 and A820 series, however I had to keep up with charging both headphones and the player and sometimes I would get weird interferences, etc. The idea of having one unit, all in one set turned out to work perfectly for me.

After putting W202 through a few weeks of use under different conditions (doing cardio on an eliptical machine, running on a treadmill, lifting weights), the player certainly withstood all the tests and never slipped off. My concern was that when things get sweaty, I’d have to re-adjust it constantly, however that was not an issue at all – W202 stayed on and kept pumping my music as intended. And amazingly enough, the player never felt heavy on my ears after a prolonged use as it only weighs 35 g or 1.3 oz.

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The controls are situated so that it is easy to turn up the volume or skip to the next track with the help of jog dial. Jog dials have always had a thing with Sony products from being embedded within its VAIOs (like GRX series and other models) to its use in cell phones. There is a shuffle switch if you wish to utlize that function.

Let’s talk a lil about its Zapping feature that is exclusively available on this walkman. I found it pretty cool to tell you the truth, there is nothing like zapping through a few seconds of the track than clicking next on an ordinary player. Zapping function sort of  takes a snap shot of the track so that you are able to recognize it right away instead of listening from the very beginning of the track and wonder if it is the song you want to continue to enjoy. The player plays back song clips for about 4 seconds each (you may also switch to “Zapping Long” feature which will playback the song clip for 15 seconds). If the most recognizable passage of the song cannot be found, the song is played back from the 45 sec point from the beginning.  The sound effects when you activate zapping feature are pretty awesome (check it out in the video below to see what I mean), and by the way, activating is as easy as holding down the jog dial. So kudos to Sony for introducing this neat feature!

The build quality remains great, there is a magnet that holds two sides together when not in use and a white LED strip that serves as a status lamp and an OPR lamp indicator to let you know when your player needs to be charged. The neckband holds the left and right sides together of course and I do not ever see it being broken.

Sound quality is pretty good something I am used to expect from any Sony Walkman, so I won’t dwell too much on it here.

The charging stand is a nice addition and I am glad Sony decided to bundle it instead of selling it separately. If you ever misplace it, you can always use any USB cable to charge and transfer songs. Charging is quick and 3 mins of it will give you 90 mins of juice. You may transfer your music via Windows Media Player 11 or Content Transfer software that is also bundled which I found to use more frequently: drag and drop your WMA, MP3, AAC-LC or Linear PCM files and you are good to go. Within Content Transfer software there is a setting that allows you to activate the 12 Tone Analysis, a feature that is familiar to VAIO users.

Improvements that I would like to see are the following:

  • More storage space (currently you are limited by 2 Gigs)
  • Integrate Noise Canceling function (though EX headphones are still nice to have)
  • Bluetooth feature availability in case you want to pair it with your other BT gear

Check out this awesome overview video of Walkman W202:

Video is courtesy of Sony Canada. Thanks guys for great promo stuff!

CNET has published their review and they liked it! Check it out here.

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