This has to be the best workout-partner / mp3 I’ve ever used since I started working out for the past decade… end of review. Kidding aside here’s the gist of what I like and dislike about it in order:
- It’s waterproof. You can use it when doing your laps in the pool, it also doubles as ear plugs as the unit acts as a water-tight seal when worn. Just don’t expect to use it for snorkeling though.
- compact / no-wires design. This is a big deal for me who runs a lot. No need for straps around your arm or pockets, or running your earphones under your shirt.
- good performance. The earphones deliver enough clarity and volume to get you merrily on your way. It also has decent battery life of 8 hours on a full charge and ample storage space at 4GB.
- ease of use. You can either use iTunes or Sony’s proprietary music library to manage your songs or you can simply use it as a mass storage USB drive and just sort your songs by folder, which is what I personally do.
- You need the cradle to charge / manage your device. Similar to the IPod Shuffle.
- cradle / dock issues. The are times that the device doesn’t charge or isn’t recognized due the the pins bending over time. Though I found a DIY solution for it. See the next paragraph below.
- no inter-changeable earphones. this isn’t really too bad for me, since decent earphones set you back almost the same as the price of the Walkman NWZ-W273 anyway, so it’s just like buying a new mp3 player all together. But if you’re particular about your earphones/buds then this isn’t for you.
With regards to the cradle / dock issue I mentioned above, it is basically caused by the pins on the dock that connect with the Walkman unit sinking into the dock over time. A simple way to remedy this is to put a spacer between the pins PCB to push them up. I used a folded a piece of post-it, wrapped it in electrical tape and sandwiched it in.
When you encounter that device isn’t recognized, maybe due to some USB fault, you can simply soft-reset the device and you should be good to go. This is by using a paperclip to click the reset button hole found in the left hand side ear bud.