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PROS: Beautifully constructed. A solid and visually pleasing device. Plays music and podcasts very well. Good battery life
CONS: Does not connect to wi-fi. Doesn't play videos. Won't display your photos. Does not play Audible books. I was able to convert my Audible aax files to mp3 files but it the sound quality suffers with converted files. Battery life a bit disappointing and not as advertised
Overall I quite like this device because it is constructed so well. I love the size and weight. Fits nicely into my hand and I like the weight of the player. It doesn't have that flimsy feeling of some of the cheaper brands.
I am quite puzzled as to why Sony made such a beautiful screen that can't display photos or video. I have a cheap MP3 player that has no problems with Audible (aax) files and can display photos and even display videos. Why did Sony build such a beautiful, reliable device and then hobble it with a limited operating system ?
I'm still giving it 4 stars because it has a very good sound quality and looks and feels good. But an upgrade to the operating system to include more file formats would make it an easy 5 stars.
Some people say this little box of goodness has fantastic build quality. I guess if youre comparing it with todays electronics but it cant hold a candle to the portable devices Sony made in mid '90s to the mid '00s that had magnesium alloy cases and big chunky buttons and remote controls which were out of this world. The sound quality of the NW-A55 is incredible especially when loaded with MrWalkmans special firmware. In this regard it is comaprable with the sound quality of the HD amp in Sonys late minidisc players (which could do lossless atrac3 ie flac). It's clear, full and vibrant, slightly towards bassy but not boring like on some dacs which are very clear. Ive heard a lot of complaints about the NW-A55 sticking with the WM-port instead of usb but I dont think it is that bad as a wm-port to usb cable is easily found online and they're pretty inexpensive to replace if you lose the one thats supplied in the box. the WM-port is also a really simple port too with the pin layout a;llowing the output of direct audio. The bigger plug grabs onto the device better than microusb and usb-c.
On the things I realyl dont like:
- I wish the device was bigger. It's hard to hold without having your fingers touch/cover parts of the screen or be on the buttons when youre clutching the device tight when youre switching songs out on a shady street. The screen is small too and has a cramped interface with tiny text... makesit hard to scroll through and make selections in a list. The UI is laid out pretty bad too. Common things you would use are deeply buried in the menus and in non intuitive places. It shouldnt be a chore to find the bitrate of a song. It's easy to bookmark a song but can you work out how to retrieve that bookmark? Why does the briefcase change function on different screens. The menus are terribly laid out and that is sad because during the minidisc era Sony were at the top of the game on this in portables. Using this device as a usb dac is pretty useless as there is a horrible delay. I think it might be the device is slow at processing audio as the visualisation meters dont exactly match the beat of the music. So it is not good as a dac on the computer for watching movies, youtube or gaming.
-cant display cover.jpg in the song folder -cant play music videos -cant display lrc lyric files -no earphones supplied (even a very basic pair would be nice for using outdoors or completness for testing the device. -needs to rebuild song library every time it's restarted -no ogg support -battery unremoveable
On the good things: +nfc +bluetooth +radio (on all units but might be disabled. Re-enable by changing region to Australia) +unicode support without selecting a Asian region so all your Japanese song names still display correctly when Australia region is selected for example. +volume limiter can be disabled by changing the region to somewhere like Australia +sound quality is superb with MrWalkmans firmware +build quality is a two piece of carved aluminium... Apple tier. +screen and ui is responsive +easy drag and drop from the computer to load in new music +plays most music types +microsd card expansion
Der Player sollte meine gesamte Musikbibliothek speichern. Es sind ca 7.000 Musikstücke. Das ging auch klaglos - bis ich Musikstücke SUCHEN wollte. Schlichtweg - es gibt keine Suchfunktion ! Sony erwartet, das man die 7.000 Titel durchscrollt, bis man zum entsprechenden Titel gelangt. Es gibt auch keine Registerfunktion (A-Z) wo man dann wenigstens schon zu dem entsprechenden Anfangsbuchstaben springen kann. Weiterhin kann man zwar Playlisten anlegen und auch importieren, aber der Player kopiert den vollen MP3 file in die Playliste. Wenn man also ein Lieblingslied in 8 Playlisten hat, dann wird das Lied 8x in den Player kopiert ! So kann man auch Speicherplatz sinnlos vergeuden. Das ist erstes Lehrjahr im programmieren, einen Index aufbauen und dann die Playlists nur auf den Song verweisen lassen. Fazit: Ich sitze eigentlich immer noch fassungslos vor dem Gerät ... absoluter Fehlkauf.
After the disappointing revelation the NW-A105 (with Android) doesn't support 24bit streaming through 3rd party apps, I figured a 'downgrade' to the A55 would still be a solid tactical move, thanks to the inclusion of the LDAC Bluetooth Receiver. This 'new' feature, previously included on the ZX300, basically let's you stream 24bit audio from your phone to the A55 in up to 990kbps.
But that's about all it does.
Compare the A55 to the Fiio M9 and the differences are night and day.
A55 * Proprietary USB connection * No WiFi * Very low output * Proprietary DAC serving both channels
Fiio M9 * USB-C connection * WiFi AND LDAC Bluetooth receiver * High output on the 3.5mm jack PLUS a 2.5mm balanced connection. * Dual AK4490EN DAC - one for each channel
I picked up the M9 for an extra fiver compared to the A55 - and returned the A55 in just a day of testing...Disappointing effort from Sony
I have DAPs costing £400, £500 and & £700 and if you want to dissect your music these are fine, but if you want to be moved and enjoy your music just buy the Sony and a quality pair of headphones. You do not need to spend Big Money. It has taken me a while to reach this conclusion.
I really needed something to listen to when travelling (I travel a lot, I was killing my iphone battery and it was dead when I landed). I looked and demo'd some of the Chinese DAPs on the Market and as nice and as well built as many of them are, they nearly all fail on my criteria battery life >20 hours, I wanted something that I did not have to recharge, half-way through my journey. The only DAPs, in my budget <£200 (that met my criteria) were the Sony NW-A45 and NW-A55. I decided to buy the newer A55, as it ticked all of my boxes (pretty much). I have to say my purchase did not disappoint. The size is great (it is small), battery life is excellent, 40+ hours on a single charge and Sound Quality is great (I listen to FLAC from 16/44.1 to 24/192). I normally use Tin HiFi T2s for wired or Sony WH-1000 XM3s. And hereby is one of my 2 minor criticisms of the WM-A55: 1. Sony do not have XM3s (their best selling noise cancelling headphones) as a headphone profile, so you cannot change the EQ, which you can with the app on a phone. And 2. Sony's insistence on still clinging to their horrible WM-Port, they should have migrated to USB-C like they have on their NW-A105.
If they had changed these 2 things then this would have been a perfect DAP. as it is I would score it 95/100.
If you are looking to break away from music on your phone and want something that offers good battery life, great SQ, great BT connection and very nice interface, look no further than the NW-A55.
I bought this to replace an ageing iPod Classic that was long past its best. I'm happy that I did. I paired this up with a Sandisk 200Gb MicroSD card and it provides plenty of room for all of my music. I mostly have mp3 files, but looking forward to trying FLAC or whatever files later on. The user interface is easy enough to use, and it won't take you long to familiarise yourself with it if you're coming from Apple's products. As it is a touchscreen interface, it's very intuitive and as I said, you'll pick up how to use it very quickly.
The sound quality is excellent, and I particularly like that you don't have to use any "walled garden" software (iTunes, I'm looking at you!) and I can transfer music across to it using the file and folder system in Windows 10. The battery life is decent and seems to last a good long while in-between charges (for me it's easily 10+ listening hours before it needs charging again?)
I'm happy with it, and pretty confident that you will be too!
Out of the box this is a good device, however the volume is heavily capped by default and with no way around it from within the device. This would not be a bad thing, but somehow I felt the audio quality was not quite as expected. I had heard of a mod that could be done to the A45 that removes restrictions imposed on the device, and with fingers crossed decided to try it on my A55.
Well it was a success and actually easier than I thought when I followed the instructions carefully. Now my A55 is unlocked and uncrippled! Not only does the device now go to a volume that I prefer not to reach due to how loud it is, but the quality of sound at even low volumes is amazing! The difference is night and day!
Before the mod, it was low volume, and somehow lacked the detail I expected. Now the detail is all there! All frequencies from low bass, to mid and those detailed high ranges are perfectly represented! Even taking low quality mp3 files and enabling an option that re-invigerates those heavily compressed files works wonders in recreating lost details. I listen to my music and hear details that were lost when playing for all these years on my mobile phone. I have fallen in love with this player. Battery life is good, the menu`s are pretty clear, not perfect but certainly usable. The device itself feels premium, it has an assuring weight on it, a lovely metallic casing, simple and intuitive controls mounted on the side for volume, play/pause, track skip and a very handy hold switch to prevent touch screen or side button inputs while in the pocket.
Be aware, the mod is software (no hardware modifications required), however I suspect it may void your warranty. For me it was well worth doing, you do it at your own discretion!
Ich fange mal positiv an, schön ist hier das Design, und die grösse von diesem kompakten Player.. Der Klang ist gut, und das Handling ist recht einfach. Was mich gerade zur Überlegung bringt, den Player evtl wieder zurückzuschicken sind folgende Punkte: 1) die angegebene Akku-Dauer von 45 h kann ich nicht bestätigen, ich komme so auf ca 9-10 Stunden Spielzeit. 2) Das integrierte Bluetooth erkennt fast nichts von meinen Geräten. Den Kopfhörer (In Ear von JBL) findet er nicht. Auch Tests mit weiteren Geräten (zb IMAC) wird nicht erkannt. 3) Ich habe mir den Player für Hörbücher gekauft - hier kann der Player Audible Daten nicht lesen. 4) Die Reihenfolgen der einzelnen CDs eines Hörbuches ist auch nicht korrekt. Bei mir steht zb CD 10 an erster Stelle. Ich habe keine Möglichkeit gefunden manuell die Reihenfolge der CDs zu korrigieren. 5) Die dazu angebotene Software, der Content Manager funktioniert auf meinem IOS System nicht, da es nur bis IOS 10.13 funktioniert, also sorry, wir sind bei 10.15. Bedenkt man die Kaufpreis und den Anbieter, sind es meiner Meinung nach etwas reichliche Funktionsschwächen.
Bought as a present for my son as I wanted my Sony NW-ZX300 back. The form factor and look isn't in the same league as the ZX300 which is just beautiful and it doesn't have quite as much volume which might be an issue for some hard to drive headphones but battery life is also excellent, the interface is the same and I really can't tell the difference in sound quality. They both sound great, noticably better than the average mobile phone or the iPhone/ipods I've had access to. Sound is not boomy but very precise and detailed. If you rate Beats Dr Dre headphones maybe you won't like but I think the sound is neutral and colored so you can get the tonal qualities you enjoy through choice of headphones. Streaming is only possible via a laptop or other device either wired or via Bluetooth which might rule it out for some but not having battery hungry Android bloatware underneath is a benefit in my opinion. Sony now offer similar devices with Android and Streaming. I hope they still continue the non Android devices too. Only thing going against NW-A55 - last year's NW-A45s are still available for significantly less and seem to be only cosmetically different. NW-ZX300 feels a lot more premium. Either way if you want a dedicated music player on the go I don't think you can go wrong with Sony