Sony Walkman NW-E003F
- Wide number of supported formats, small, sleek, doubles as a USB drive, reasonably priced, radio
- No recording abilities, Have to use SonicStage software
Good value MP3 player only let down by Sony's SonicStage software.
Price$ 159.00 (AUD)
Another day, another contender for the iPod's crown. Once again it's Sony lining up to wage war against Apple, and with their Network Walkman NW-E003F they have the iPod shuffle squarely in their sights. After spending some time with Sony's new player we have to say we think they've achieved their goal. The package as a whole may lack the finesse of Apple's offerings, with Sony's truly awful SonicStage software being the primary let down, but the extra features and convenience of the NW-E003F puts it streets ahead of the shuffle.
What the iPod shuffle lacked in functionality, such as a screen, it more than made up for in style. Small, lightweight and cheap the shuffle was a fine example of minimalist design. Sony has finally managed to trump Apple by providing a player that not only looks as good and costs roughly the same, but actually provides most of the additional functionality that Apple was missing. In particular, the addition of a screen is welcoming. The NW-E003F has a display that is cunningly concealed beneath the translucent outer casing, giving the impression that song titles are floating in the midst of a dark void. It all looks very suave until you take the player into sunlight where the display instantly vanishes into glare. Nevertheless, it still has a screen, which is more than can be said for the Shuffle. Another nice touch from Sony is the option of five different colours for the player: blue, violet, green, pink and black.
Using the NW-E003F is a mixed experience. Attempting to load songs is made far more difficult than necessary thanks to Sony's awful SonicStage software. The NW-E003F is reminiscent of a standard USB key, in that you can drag and drop files using Windows Explorer. Usually when MP3 players offer this ability the same can be done with music, but not so here. Sony would like you to use their software. While this is much the same as with the iPod, at least iTunes has the benefit of being easy to use. The same cannot be said for Sonic Stage which is clunky, slow and somewhat confusing. It does however grant the NW-E0003F the ability to play AAC and WMA files in addition to MP3s, which is a nice touch.
Once you've managed to load music on to the NW-E003F things become a lot easier. Sony has implemented a very simple menu that's easy to navigate and entirely intuitive. Virtually everything is customisable, including the display orientation, equaliser options and even a timer which can turn the player off. Finding songs is made easy by the ability to browse by artist, album and name. This is handy, as with a capacity of one gigabyte (or two if you buy the more expensive version), you could be searching through several hundred songs. Finally, the radio is simple to use with the option to save station presets a useful inclusion. The one omission which we would have liked to see is voice recording, or recording from the radio, although the other components are all of a high standard so we can probably live without this. Battery life is also pretty good; Sony claims it lasts for 22 hours and we got quite close to this although it depends which file format you play. Charging is done through the USB connection so every time it's plugged in to transfer files the battery is topped up.
Sound quality is obviously fairly important for an MP3 player and thankfully the NW-E003F doesn't disappoint. Both with and without the useful built in equalisers music sounds great, with a well balanced tonal range and punchy bass. This is definitely helped by the fact that Sony has included a decent pair of headphones, though it sounds even better with a more expensive pair.
Overall we found very little to fault with Sony's newest Walkman. It looks good, it sounds good, it's small and it's cheap. If only Sony would ditch SonicStage and allow drag and drop file transfer this would be a near perfect player. As it is, the NW-E003F is still an excellent little device and we would have no problem recommending it to anyone seeking a cheap MP3 player.
Join the newsletter!
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Tivoli PAL BT
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Microsoft Office enables your business to perform better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- Sony shows latest high-end Walkman
- Sydney Airport lost property auction: you'll be amazed at what some people left behind
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?