Sony A Series Walkman (NWZ-A845) MP3 player

Sony's latest iPod Nano competitor has a great OLED screen, but a mediocre interface

Sony A Series Walkman (NWZ-A845)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Bright OLED screen with good contrast, inbuilt noise cancellation when used with compatible headphones

Cons

  • Mediocre interface and controls, $100 more expensive than an iPod Nano

Bottom Line

The Sony A Series Walkman (NWZ-A845) MP3 player competes with the Apple iPod Nano, offering one of the best screens we've seen on a small portable media player and some nifty features to boost audio quality. It is hamstrung by an unspectacular interface and a high price tag.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 399.00 (AUD)

Sony's A Series Walkman MP3 player, the NWZ-A845B, is an Apple iPod Nano competitor — it has a similar design, screen size and control layout. The Sony A Series Walkman (NWZ-A845) is available in both 16GB and 32GB sizes, while the Apple iPod Nano has maximum of 16GB storage. If we were chiefly interested in picture and audio quality we'd choose it hands down, but its interface still can't challenge the simplicity of the iPod's.

Sony has always trumpeted the quality of the audio circuitry in its high-end Walkman MP3 players, and it's usually been justified in doing so. The Sony A Series Walkman (NWZ-A845) MP3 player has much of the same functionality as the impressive X-Series Walkman in a smaller, more affordable package. A high quality headphone amplifier means that there’s never a hint of distortion, even when driving the MP3 player to maximum volume. A powerful and easily adjusted equaliser offers reasonably versatile control over the tonality of sound — TDK’s EB 900 in-ear headphones benefited from the custom equaliser setting.

When used with compatible Sony in-ear headphones, the Sony A Series Walkman MP3 player activates an integrated noise-cancelling circuit that detects ambient noise and produces an inverted sine wave, cancelling it out. We gave this a test run and found it performed well in an office environment, where the constant drone of air-conditioning was easily removed. It's not a perfect solution and doesn't stand up to the quality of more expensive noise-cancelling products we've used, but it is still handy. It's important to remember that it will affect battery life.

The Sony Walkman A Series has a 2.8in OLED screen. Like those used in the X-Series Walkman range, the screen is one of the best we've seen, boasting excellent brightness and contrast. With a 400x240 pixel resolution it's not especially detailed, but if you have photos and videos on the unit they are generally rescaled acceptably and maintain clarity.

The main problem we had with the Sony Walkman A Series MP3 player was its interface and control scheme. The grid-style main interface is not difficult to navigate, but it's just not as friendly Apple's simple line-based system. Similarly, the five-way control pad and associated buttons are acceptable, but not brilliant. Similarly, the five-way control pad and associated buttons are acceptable, but not brilliant.

We think the Sony A Series Walkman MP3 player is a competent product, but it is more expensive than its chief competitors. If video and audio quality is your chief concern then go for it, but we think you should carefully weigh up the pros and cons of the Apple iPod Nano as well.

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: sony, mp3 players, portable media players
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?