The Sony NWZ-W252 Walkman MP3 Player is designed specifically for runners and joggers who want to take their music with them but very little else. It’s compact, sturdy and easy to use and the new version is even water resistant so you can clean it after you’ve worked up a real sweat!
I’m not a particularly sporty person but these caught my eye after I witnessed a Sony rep literally drop a pair in a bowl of water and they emerged totally unscathed! Although Sony wouldn’t recommend you try that yourselves he hastened to add; this Sony Walkman MP3 player is water resistant not fully waterproof so please don’t try going swimming in them!
So, first impressions: They come in a choice of black, white, pink or green (also, if you can find them, a Metal Gear Solid special edition) and are boxed with everything you’d expect – charger/docking base, spare headphone covers, reams of papers in various languages and a clear plastic travel case for keeping them in your bag/locker.
As with most Sony gear the packaging is minimal and practical but still good quality, especially for a product in this price range. (£49) I was mildly surprised at the lack of any software CDs but I’m sure there’s a reason in the papers – I’ll probably just plug it in and see what happens though, instructions are for wimps!
Controls are minimal (shuffle on/off, play, pause and skip forward/back) but easy to use. There’s no power button as this is built into the connecting magnet so when the headset is coupled up it’s off, pull it apart and it automatically turns on.
This is where the holder comes in to its own when the MP3 player is not in use; connect the ear pieces and it’ll hold them together, retaining the charge and protecting any nearby bankcards from the effects of the magnets.
The player is charged and loaded with two tracks so you can have a demo straight from the box, which is always a plus, especially if you’re buying as a present!
Sound is clear and full, although how it’ll balance out my ragtag MP3 collection remains to be seen. The wrap-around style is awkward at first but within minutes I’d forgotten I was wearing it, I’m wondering if I can get away with this on under a hat… So far I’m impressed!
So, over the next week I’ll be taking the Sony Walkman NWZ-W252 MP3 Player with me everywhere – walking, jogging, commuting, Pilates and perhaps an attempt at some amateur gymnastics in the park to see if they stay on.
I’ll be looking at the open format (Non-DRM only) synching software, whether the ‘3 minute charge’ claim really does equate to three hour’s playtime and all importantly sound quality, wearablity and comfort.
Finally, a disclaimer: As someone who only runs for a bus – or the last piece of cake – I’m probably not all that representative of the target audience! So, bearing that in mind, is there anything you’d like to know more about or for me to test the Sony Walkman NWZ-W252 for specifically?