Sony NWZ-S544 portable media player
This 8GB Sony MP3 player is a strong competitor to the iPod Nano
- Good quality screen, inbuilt stereo speakers
- No Wi-Fi, inferior controls to iPod Nano, poor bundled earphones
Sony's mid-level MP3 player competes with the iPod Nano, and while it is superior for video or photo viewing, the interface doesn't hold a candle to Apple's tried and tested iPod menu system. If you're a multimedia enthusiast and don't mind the lack of Wi-Fi , we'd seriously consider getting the Sony NWZ-S544 instead of Apple's Nano.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Sony's NWZ-S544 is an 8GB MP3 player/portable media player designed to compete with Apple's iPod Nano. It offers a better screen for watching video or playing movies, but it doesn't stand up to the iPod's polished music system.
The Sony NWZ-S544 sports a pleasing design. We tested the pink model, but a variety of colours are offered. The MP3 player is sturdy but still relatively light, so it doesn't add significant weight to your pocket. The matte finish over most of the body seems to be good at preventing scratches.
Rather than a use a touch screen like the iPod Touch does, the Sony NWZ-S544 relies on a five-way navigation pad and physical buttons. Volume control is handled by a side-mounted button which sits next to a hold toggle and a slider to switch between headphones and the internal speaker. Navigating the menu system isn't too difficult but we'd still place the NWZ-S544 behind the iPod Nano in terms of usability, especially for navigating extensive music collections.
The Sony NWZ-S544 MP3 player has a 2.4in, 320x240-pixel screen that is sharp and bright. Sometimes it can seem like there is a lack of colour depth, and the reflective screen is annoying in bright daylight. However it's a better display for watching videos than the Nano's because of its larger size.
The Sony NWZ-S544 has inbuilt stereo speakers that add noticeable size — roughly an extra centimetre on the top and bottom. The speakers allow you to use the NWZ-S544 as an alarm clock, but also let you watch videos in quiet environments. At lower volume levels the audio is reasonable — slightly tinny but clear. Higher volumes introduce significant distortion though, so if you're in a noisy environment the speakers won't be much use.
The bundled earphones of the Sony NWZ-S544 are underwhelming. We liked the headphones bundled with the pricier Sony X-Series a lot more (the X-Series MP3 player and headphones work in tandem to offer noise cancelling) . The Sony NWZ-S544's earphones are adequate for listening to the inbuilt FM radio or low quality MP3s, but you'll notice the improvement if you switch to a better pair.
With a pair of good quality earphones or headphones plugged in, the Sony NWZ-S544 can produce a clean, crisp and musical sound. The MP3 player has a wide volume range — we were easily able to reach uncomfortably loud volumes without distortion — and the integrated EQ allows adjustment of bass and treble.
The Sony NWZ-S544 has pretty standard format support, playing MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC audio files as well as MPEG-4, WMV and AVC video files.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTICT Project ManagerNSW
- CCHyperion SpecialistQLD
- CCProduct Design AnalystNSW
- TPDeployment OfficerQLD
- FTSenior Test AnalystSA
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- FTCCTV Sales & SupportNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst (Security) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTTest ManagerWA
- FTField Hardware Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTFull Stack .Net Developer Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- CCJava/ Guidewire DeveloperQLD
- FTDigital Support ConsultantSA
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTStorage Engineer (HDS)NSW
- FTSAP Payroll and Time ConsultantVIC
- CCMainframe Specialist - Z/OSACT
- TPSenior Node.JS DeveloperNSW
- FTWeb BA LeadQLD
- FTApplication Support LeadQLD
- CCInfrastructure Test Lead - Contract 6-8 wks initially - IT Services - North RydeNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager -Wealth/Funds Management SoftwareVIC