back to article Sony Walkman NWZ-A866

Rumours that Apple would kill the iPod may have been far from the mark, but it doesn't stop rival companies wrestling for their own portion of the portable music player pie, despite smartphones eroding this market. Indeed, Sony still knocks out respectable PMPs and its latest A-series Walkmans are slick, lightweight models with …


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  1. Ralph B

    This Old Git

    This old git misses having user-replaceable batteries. Preferably standard AAs. I know they might make the device a bit clunkier and heavy, a bit less chic, but surely I'm not the only one who sees the advantage of being able to just plug in new cells in the back-of-beyond and just carry on listening? Don't people go on long bus journeys now? Don't they go trekking in Nepal? I think they must, because you can still buy cameras with user-replaceable batteries, so why not digital audio players? WTF?

    1. a_been

      Don't they go trekking in Nepal?

      Not with a couple of weeks worth of batteries, for that you just take a £5 portable charger and buy the batteries as you need them.

      1. Ralph B

        Trekking in Nepal

        My Samsung YP-MT6 gets 42hrs out of an AA. Assuming 12hrs/day walking/listening, then I'd need exactly 4 AAs to get me through 2 weeks of trekking. I think I could manage that.

        Of course, I'd be listening to the same 1GB of music the whole time, so I'd have to choose wisely.

  2. Roger B
    Thumb Up

    Looks interesting, I'm after something to replace my 30GB Creative Zen and the 64GB sounds like it might do the job, I know I could cut the size of my music library down, but I like to have it all on there and just keep adding to it as I buy new CD's. The two Amazon reviews are a bit mixed though, one loves the headphones but says it is quieter than his previous Sony player.

  3. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Not great

    I looked at this for the missus (wanted a separate MP3 player to save having to re-sync her iPhone every time iTunes destroyed the build on update). All of the reviews have said that it's trying too hard to be an iPod touch and have removed a lot of the decent functionality that was already on in place on the previous models, so I ended up going for a previous model.

  4. Martin Huizing

    "If you're keen on video, then you might be better off paying an extra £20 and settling for an iPod Touch."

    ...and games

    ...and books

    ...and navigation

    Not to mention the higher resolution screen.

    "But as many will argue, Apple's media players could sound better. "

    Do you mean "Sony's media players could sound better."?

    a device this big only used for playing music is a terrible fail in my opinion.

    I'm not an Apple fan, but the iPod does seem to tick all the right boxes and the NWZ-A866 does not.

    1. Gio Ciampa

      Going from: "Not to mention the higher resolution screen"

      to: "a device this big only used for playing music is a terrible fail in my opinion."

      which one is it... bigger, better screen... or smaller (possibly lack of) screen...?

      1. Martin Huizing

        Sorry but I read 'Apple's media players' (plural) I believe Apple only has one (iPod). Still thinking the author meant 'Sony'...

        "But as many will argue, Apple's media players could sound better. Indeed, the Sony NWZ-A866 delivers a quality output,..."

    2. Brian 6

      @Martin Huizing

      ""Do you mean "Sony's media players could sound better."?"" No he meant Apples media player could sound better, a lot better. Sony players have always had better sound quality.

  5. Hardcastle the ancient
    Thumb Down

    Sorry, that's far too expensive.

    You can pick up a sansa clip+ for 30quid. Is this really 7 times better?

    The walkman my wife gave me for christmas 3 years ago was about 70 quid. OK, no FM radio, but for 230 I'd expect DAB and a week's battery life (not on DAB obviously)

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      I'll follow up to you, it's bad form to follow up to yourself.

      I am in Schiphol, and even at airport prices I can buy an Iconia A-100 tablet with Android 3.2 for 239 euros. That's rather less than this walkman!

      Do get a grip, Sony, or you will soon impersonate the oozleum bird.

  6. Robert E A Harvey


    'Ow much Ggrranville?

    They said they are loosing money on TVs. They are obviously trying to claw it back here.

    I bought a 55 euro touch screen pmp at Schiphol, made by Mitone. It was a distress purchase. The hardware was fine, 2 days battery life, only the software let it down. I gave it to my client's teenager when I came home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ""I gave it to my client's teenager when I came home."

      What in exchange for the audio player? <<titter>>

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, no web, no mail, no apps?

    And not selling for significantly less than an iPod Touch? I say fail!

  8. Paul Durrant

    How much?!


    I was thinking... hmm... perhaps £50. Maybe even £99 since it's a Sony.


    Good grief! What are they thinking! How much is the 32GB iPod Touch ? £249. Just £19 more than the Sony.

    Any one of the iPods extras over the Sony is worth the £19.

  9. Richard 31
    Paris Hilton


    While i realise that there isn't really a lot of innovation left to be done on the standard mp4 player. It does seem as though they have missed stuff?

    Previous A series players have had active sound cancelling in them via microphones in the headphones. Does this one have it?

    Either way i have an old Sony NWZ-A829 and i am glad i paid the £12 to get a replacement battery for mine. Back to 36 hour battery life! :)

  10. hi_robb

    Does it do gapless?

    A very important feature for lots of folks.

  11. D@v3

    Is there still such a thing as an MP3 player?

    All I want is a high capacity MP3 player. Dont want a touch screen, don't want video, games, even a colour screen isn't necessary, just a device I can put in my pocket, with all my music (80- 100 GB) (and nothing else) on.

    The only high capacity devices I see these days are iPod touches (or android similars) which are just the same as the phone i already have (but without the phone, and still not quite a large enough disk), and far too expensive. Is it too much to ask?

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Sansa clip+ & a handful of cards?

    2. Tiny Iota

      iPod Classic is 160GB. Has a colour screen though, sorry

  12. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    not disappointed

    No support for FLAC? £230 tag? Glad I don't have to consider removing Sony from my personal sh*list :D

    For those considering pure MP3 player with no apps, no web etc. but great sound and good format support - check out Cowon C2.

  13. Andy 97

    Erm why?

    They just launched a droid phone with a decent music player...

    £200 as I recall...yes, here it is:

  14. Big O

    I like the A-series - the audio quality is pretty good.

    However, I want to be able to do play lists on the fly and when I transfer music from Napster can I set the convention for albums? I browse by artist, if an artist has done an album with a lot of 'featuring' tracks (hey, I'm looking at you hip-hop!) can I please just have one entry for the 'main' artist?

    Still, I would like a new player soon so its in with a shot :)

  15. A knight who until recently said "Ni!"

    If trekking in Nepal etc...

    ...why on earth would you be listening to music?

    1. dogged

      to drown out the yetis, obviously.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reincarnation of a legendary portable music listening device

    now choked up to the eyebrows with the latest Sony DRM tech.

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