Ameya DalviMar 31, 2023 20:12:08 IST
Value: Rs 25,990
The mere point out of a Sony Walkman brings again so many nice recollections (assuming you might be sufficiently old to know what an audio cassette is). What Xerox was to photocopiers and Google to look, Walkman was synonymous with transportable audio cassette gamers again within the 80s and 90s.
Aside from a trend assertion for a lot of, it was additionally a de facto gadget to make your music private. From a cassette participant, the Walkman metamorphosed into a transportable CD participant and ultimately an ‘MP3 participant’.
Over time, with smartphones assuming all leisure duties and driving a number of devices like point-and-shoot cameras and media gamers into obsolescence, the Walkman misplaced its significance. To be sincere, I don’t bear in mind searching for one over the previous decade or so.
However when Sony unexpectedly launched their new Walkman earlier this month, the outdated recollections got here flooding again. I needed to know what it appeared like, the way it carried out, and the way it deliberate to remain related within the smartphone period. We bought our arms on one for a short interval, and I’ll reply all these questions and a few extra for you right now.
What precisely is the brand new Sony Walkman NW-A306?
The brand new Sony Walkman is a multi-format media participant that may play most audio file codecs and in addition movies, courtesy of an LCD display screen. It runs Android 12 and one can obtain in style streaming companies like YouTube or Spotify and stream content material to this gadget over WiFi. Having mentioned that, its speciality is crunching high-quality and near-lossless audio recordsdata for one of the best outcomes.
Does it feel and look like a basic Walkman of the 90s?
No, it doesn’t, nor was I anticipating it to. However you do get the well-known Walkman brand in the back of the gadget and an audio cassette participant pores and skin/wallpaper as a neat little throwback. Past that, nothing about it makes you nostalgic. In truth, this gadget appears extra like an preliminary technology Sony Ericsson Android telephone, in all probability due to its 3.6-inch 720p touchscreen show, and it does run Android too. The display screen is sort of sharp and responsive, however fairly reflective.
The Sony Walkman NW-A306 is a compact gadget that matches properly into your palm. The standard of supplies used is sort of good, and the construct is sturdy and polished whereas holding the load down to simply 113 grams. The rippled again is a pleasant design component and retains smudge marks at bay. Along with the touchscreen, you additionally get six bodily buttons to regulate all of the playback features, and quantity and to show the display screen or the gadget on and off.
You additionally get a maintain slider to lock the keys in case you might be frightened about them getting pressed by accident; not one thing it’s best to fear about given that you simply want a good quantity of power to press the keys. There aren’t any audio system on this gadget and you’ll have to use both wired or wi-fi earphones, headphones or audio system to hearken to the content material. You get a 3.5 mm headphone jack right here together with the help of Bluetooth 5.0 to pair a tool of your selection.
What are its key options?
As I discussed at first, whereas it could actually completely stream content material or playback most media recordsdata, its main objective is to crunch near-lossless audio recordsdata like FLAC. If in case you have a set of lossless FLAC recordsdata, the Sony Walkman NW-A306 is a superb choice to get one of the best out of them.
This participant comes with 32 GB of inside storage out of which 18 GB is obtainable to your recordsdata and putting in extra apps. If that’s not ample, there’s a MicroSD card slot to increase it additional or to easily pop in your reminiscence card loaded with ‘authorized’ content material.
Google Play retailer is obtainable to present you entry to just about any app of relevance on the platform. Wi-fi connectivity is nice right here with choices like dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0. The codec help is even higher with compliance with LDAC, aptX HD, AAC and SBC requirements; with the primary two being extra related on account of their increased bandwidth.
Being a Sony product, you get help for 360 Actuality Audio for an immersive expertise in suitable content material, and there’s DSEE Final too to upscale and make compressed digital audio sound higher. Then you’ve got the S-Grasp HX digital amplifier and different high-end elements to ship high-quality output at 24-bit/96 kHz sampling fee and past.
How good is its battery backup?
That is the tough half. Your mileage will drastically fluctuate relying on how you employ this participant and what you pair it with. Sony states a determine of 36 hours of audio playback for this Walkman, however when taking part in 128-bit mp3 recordsdata utilizing wired earphones.
You definitely aren’t going to purchase this gadget to play such low-bitrate content material. So let’s get actual. The quantity drastically varies if you play superior audio recordsdata like lossless FLAC or watch movies.
The battery figures drop additional to lower than half the theoretical most when listening to these FLAC recordsdata on wi-fi earphones. Throughout our check course of, we used wi-fi headphones and earphones with primarily LDAC codec and one with aptX codec briefly.
We bought near 16 hours of playtime out of it, which although not on the strains of the marketed determine, is fairly respectable for a tool like this given the quantity of knowledge it has to crunch whereas taking part in these high-quality audio recordsdata.
Does the music sound higher than it does on my Android telephone?
Sure, completely! However provided that you employ some high-quality earphones or headphones with it. It’s possible you’ll not see a lot of a variance in entry-level wi-fi earphones. Should you intend to make use of wi-fi earphones or headphones, select one that’s compliant with both LDAC or aptX HD codecs.
We used the Sony WH-1000XM5 for the higher a part of the check course of and the outcomes had been glorious. Whereas the XM5 sounds nice even with the fine quality Spotify Premium stream on smartphones, this Walkman elevated the expertise to a brand new excessive.
By the way, I had just a few outdated lossless FLAC recordsdata at hand too to try to get one of the best out of this participant. The sound high quality was topnotch with the three main frequency ranges properly represented.
The element within the audio was clearly a notch or two above what I’ve been experiencing on sure high-end Android telephones. The readability in mids was superb, the bass had thump with out overstepping its boundaries and the highs had simply the correct quantity of edge.
We additionally tried utilizing sure midrange Soundcore TWS earbuds with aptX codecs. Whereas I wasn’t anticipating a lot of a bounce in sound high quality compared to smartphones, the audio truly sounded crisper than typical, which is fairly good. I attempted pushing my luck additional with some in style finances earphones just like the OnePlus Buds Z2 however to no avail. There was hardly any discernible distinction in audio when utilizing earphones with AAC codecs.
Who should purchase the Sony Walkman NW-A306?
It is a essential query. After all, in case you have the cash, you should buy no matter you need, however that’s not the purpose. This participant is ideally suited for individuals who have a big assortment of lossless audio recordsdata or entry to a streaming service like Tidal that provides high-fidelity audio. Along with that, you additionally have to have a high-quality listening gear, be it wired or wi-fi. Not like the great outdated Walkmans from three a long time in the past, this doesn’t precisely have a mass attraction.
Value and verdict:
The Sony Walkman NW-A306 could be bought for Rs 25,990 in India with a one-year guarantee. We wouldn’t name it inexpensive, however it’s a area of interest product that addresses particular necessities. If a smartphone hasn’t been doing justice to your audio wants regardless of pairing it with high quality earphones/headphones, by all means, you possibly can contemplate shopping for this Walkman.
Should you should not have the appropriate headphones/earphones, nor are you eager on investing in a single, it could be greatest to let your smartphone be the one-stop leisure resolution relatively than carrying an additional gadget round.