Sony W-Series Walkman: Wearable and wireless
Sony's new W-Series Walkman crams a 2GB MP3 player into two compact earpieces.
There's more than one way to do a wireless MP3 player, and building it directly into a set of headphones may seem like the easy way out, but it gets the job done. Plus, there are none of those audio-fidelity issues you might run into with technologies such as RF and Bluetooth, which is probably why Sony elected to take this route with it's new W-Series Walkman. This 2GB MP3 player is built into a set of impressively small earbud-style headphones and sports a palatable price tag of just $69.
As you might expect, the W-Series Walkman has no screen as is pretty light on extras. Music plays in shuffle mode by default, though Sony offers an innovative feature called Zappin that lets you browse through tracks by ear by playing a snippet of the chorus of each song. You can choose between long and short settings for this mode, and if you come across a song you want to hear, a press of the jog button will start it from the beginning.
The W-Series Walkman, more formally termed the NWZ-W202, has a rather paltry rated battery life by Sony's standards--a mere 12 hours--but given the ultracompact form factor, I can overlook this detail. Besides, 12 hours is more than enough for any workout I can think of. Plus, there's quick charge, which gives you 90 minutes of battery life from a 3 minute charge, and the entire 12 hours in just 30 minutes. The W-Series is expected to be available by the end of March.