Sony in the last year or so have started paying attention towards the audiophile section of the consumer market. They have so far released a host of different types of walkman devices and headphones to suit the audiophiles around the world. The technology called Hi Res Audio was specifically introduced by Sony to improve the listening experience for the audiophiles.
We at Techplugged.com got the Headset and the NW-A25 walkman to take on a test run and see how much it suits the audiophile contingent.
The walkman on its own is a sleek brick unibody design that is metal at the front half and has a plastic part to cover the internals behind the screen. There are 5 buttons in the front bottom half that are used for scrolling in 4 directions plus a 5th button to pause and play music. Just above that diamond are 2 more buttons that do 4 things. 1 button takes care of going back a page or selection along with a home redirection on long press and hold. The right button leads to the option menu and long press-hold switches the device off.
On the right side are the Micro-SD slot that allows for memory expansion along with volume and button lock switch. The top and left side are left without any ports or buttons. The bottom has the port to charge which has to be Sony only. Also a headphone connector which is 3.5mm standard size. On the back there is a small restart button incase the device hangs or becomes unresponsive.
The headset is made out of also a combination of plastic and metal. The speaker housing is metal and rest all is plastic with a soft padding for the bar that sits on your head. It has a thick wire and the aux cable is gold plated which means the quality of the connector is pretty good. Its also foldable to store in the pouch while travelling.
The downside in design of walkman is that screen is small for video playback. Also that the buttons are all hardware and could have had touchscreen feature too.
The features that come with the walkman are that the walkman can be paired via NFC. Also has bluetooth. Its Hi Res audio technology which is specially for the audiophiles. Also comes is the DSEE HX upscaling technology which basically repairs the music to create the feel of lossless music. It will compensate and try to make lossy music sound as close to Hi Res as possible.
Headset has only 1 feature of importance and that is a microphone attached which allows to take calls as well.
In terms of performance there is not too much to talk apart from the clarity of the music that is produced by the technology present in the walkman.
DSEE-HX, ClearAudio and Dynamic Normalizer make sure that the music is upscaled to represent the Hi Res lossless music that the walkman is supposed to produced.
Lossless music is the key phrase for audiophiles these days. With the NW-A25 and the h.ear On headsets the lossless music will be played at the highest possible level.
The headsets in itself have a bass production for the music and the user gets to hear a kind of sound that no normal walkman/headset can produce. Although bass wise there are other headsets which produce more but this particular headset balances everything to create the best possible listening experience.
Pricing and Availability:
Both the Walkman and headsets are similarly priced. They are pitched in the 700-900 dhs range.
The final verdict is that the headset and walkman combine to produce great sound for audiophiles. While me and my friends have used headsets that give a bigger bass output but in terms of overall sound and bass this headset is really good to use and in terms of audio production the walkman is also quite good.
The Hi Res feature along with the Clear Audio, Dynamic Normalizer and DSEE-HX sound enhancers really make all the music sound at the top level. For all music the whole level changes in the music and almost all notes are clearly identifiable.
The only thing that could have been redefined is the price for all the features that we get. I think the price is a little too high but considering all the technology and features I can see why its priced closer to the 1000dhs mark.
All inputs and thorough review done by Rahul Stanley Baroi.