Sony X reviewed. Verdict: "Thrashes" the iPod

Sony's Walkman X has superior audio quality, a beautiful OLED display and effective noise-canceling. Brian Ashcraft, writing for T3:
It sucker punches the iPod from the off with cracking sonics. ... This is a superb PMP. Things like a poorer interface and lack of Mac compatibility put it at a slight disadvantage to the iPod Touch, but its screen and audio quality really shine. After numerous false starts and a general drubbing from the iPod, the X-Series puts the Walkman right back in the game.
It's also Sony, so you'll probably be begging for software and firmware updates, let alone an App Store. Sony X-Series Walkman MP3 player exclusive review, pics, video [T3. Pic via Akihabara News]

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18 Responses to Sony X reviewed. Verdict: "Thrashes" the iPod

  1. kitfisk says:

    I love how the song is “Another Wanna Be”

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Things like a poorer interface”

    Interface is king. “Better sound quality” isn’t going to be that noticeable when most of the stuff you’re listening to is only 128 kbps and isn’t exactly Debussy.

  3. Rob Beschizza says:

    I have the best ultraportable computer available, the Vaio P. But the software sucks: the graphics drivers are plain broke.

    Sony forgets about each of its hundreds of products as soon as they come out. Its disinterest in software is one of the characteristic “Sony problems” that it can’t face up to.

  4. Paul Coleman says:

    It’s probably a little late to just do the audio/video thing well. It’s the apps on my iPod that make it so valuable to me. Music players are a dime a dozen and given the places I primarily use my iPod for music (in the car, walking around), audio quality isn’t my top priority.

    The bit about a poorer interface basically makes me say “No thanks”. The interface is precisely why I have an iPod as opposed to anything else.

  5. philipb says:

    Yawn – another initially interesting product from Sony that will be shoved out into the marketplace incomplete & then left to wither & die on the vine.

    The Onion about nailed it.

  6. haz says:

    “The X-Series isn’t fussy about what it’ll play”

    I’d say it’s not fussy if it could support all the majors .. MP3, OGG, WMA, AAC, FLAC, WAV .. so it’s gets about 50% in my book

  7. roboton says:

    Back in the game? I’d rather buy a used iPod from a pawnshop.

  8. Slurpy says:

    I like how two of the three things the parent review “loves” are based on the fact it comes with better earbuds. I’ve been looking for a non-Apple replacement for my four year old Creative Zen, mostly because I refuse to install iTunes software. Seems like I’m still going to be looking.

  9. milovoo says:

    Dear Sony,

    No, I’m sorry, you have screwed me too many times for me to even consider this new wondrous device. The sound could be pure golden heaven but I will not jump through your hoops, just to be abandoned after a year or two. I have a closet full of locked-down, proprietary, abandoned and needlessly obsoleted hardware to prove my previous faithfulness, but it had to end sometime.

    Have a nice life.


    PS. I still love your headphones, and will continue to buy them as long as they use standard plugs and don’t require software.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What happened to the older Walkman interface? The one from the earlier models? This one: from ages back had a better interface than any of the ones I’ve seen since. Why did they just trash can that?

    There’s no rootkit or proprietary sound format on the new Walkmans, and installation is drag-and-drop easy. I got mine (of the model above) as a doorprize and I like it better than an iPod (though not better than a Touch.)

  11. Halloween Jack says:

    It’s nice that Sony is back in the game–I used Walkmen for years and years, up until my first iPod in ’02–but between their tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and the ever-growing iPod-killer corpse heap, I’m not really tempted to switch.

  12. Andreas L says:

    Does it come with a root kit?

  13. Chris says:

    Amusing that the song on screen is “Another Wanna Be”.

  14. dthardy says:

    I wonder how this compares to the Apple iPod Touch? I would like to see some competition to Apple. Possibly just to drive the prices down. I just bought a new 32g iPod Touch for my 15 year old daughter. Paid $399 at the Apple Store. I have two more smaller daughter becoming teenagers soon. It would be nice to get some relief before that happens.

    HALLOWEEN JACK, I too had a walkman for years and it worked great for very little cost. How do you be the first to dominate a category and now be last in the market?

  15. AceJohnny says:

    I hate Sony too, but that last comment was just gratuitous, wasn’t it?

    Hmm, when will Rockbox be ported to it? :)

  16. dculberson says:

    Acejohnny, I don’t think so. Hell, ask an early PS3 adopter how long it took Sony to get it right. They’re just not that up on the whole “after selling the hardware” follow-through.

  17. M says:

    Too bad it’s from Sony. Will it have its own proprietary audio format, earphone plug, and play only music from certain bands? These are the types of questions we need answered, given past experience.

  18. skramble says:

    and the price?
    £ 209.00 at the Sony store.

    I’d hardly call that thrashing the ipod. nice try!

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