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!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 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
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTProject Delivery Manager | PortfolioQLD
- CCSolution Designer - MulesoftVIC
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - Wealth ManagementNSW
- TP.NET Developer (Sitecore)QLD
- FTNetwork Engineer / Systems Engineer (January 2017 Start)QLD
- TPSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCWeb Developer - WordpressNSW
- CCIT Service Management Delivery SpecialistNSW
- CCHadoop DeveloperACT
- FTEnterprise ArchitectACT
- FTService Desk Analyst / Security EngineerQLD
- TPPHP Programmer - SeniorQLD
- FTFull Stack PHP DeveloperQLD
- FTDevelopment Manager / Engineering Manager - Canberra RoleACT
- CCIngres DeveloperWA
- FTSenior Back-end Developer/Database DesignerSA
- FTMigration ArchitectSA
- TPOffice 365 Technical ConsultantQLD
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Solutions Architect - CloudNSW
- FTTSM SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Developer - Java and AWSVIC
- FTIT Business PartnerNSW
- FTLevel 3 Managed Services ConsultantNSW
- CCApplication Specialist (Cerner)QLD