The original – is it still the best?
Given the iPod’s dominance it’s hard to believe that Sony created the market with the original Walkman.
Once we’d extracted the NWZ-A815 from it’s tightly packed box that included no less than 20 booklets, leaflets and a CD, we connected it to a PC using Sony’s proprietary cable. It was detected almost instantly and copying tracks over with Media Player was simple.
The user interface was easy to navigate and logically arranged — Sony’s experience in simplifying complex tasks for the mobile phone market shows. There’s a four-way control around the play/pause button with the volume control somewhat camouflaged on the right edge of the device.
Audio playback was the best of the bunch we’ve recently seen using the standard headphones — better than with our Sennheisers. The EX082 earbuds sat snugly in our ears and blocked out most of the ambient noise in the test lab. There are different sized ear-pieces that can be easily switched so most people should be able to customise the headphones to suit their own ears.
Video was crisp although the 2in screen was too small for much more than music videos or TV shows without grand landscapes.