If you're looking for a sweat-resistant, all-in-one solution for rocking out at the gym, the Sony W-Series Walkman will provide just that.
This fitness-friendly player still features an ample 2GB of internal memory, and Sony has knocked $10 off the MSRP, bringing the W-Series down to an even more affordable $59.99. If you're sick of irritating headphone wires during your workouts, this all-in-one device is a fantastic way to nip that problem in the bud--provided you can get a good fit.
We have to give Sony credit for the W-Series Walkman's design, which is now available in a single all-black model. The two rectangular audio modules have been rounded off slightly, which gives the design an updated look. These pieces measure roughly 2 inches long by 0.8 inch wide and 0.4 inch deep and attach to one another via a flexible, twisting neckband.
Of course, with any such device made specifically for active pursuits, a secure fit is a chief concern. Luckily, the W-Series Walkman is up for the task: we tested the player walking, jogging, and doing jumping jacks and found it quite capable of staying in place during all of these activities, mostly thanks to the neckband's slight inward pressure and ear-looping design. However, its one-size-fits all design can cause discomfort for some. In other words, it doesn't really "fit all."
Naturally, the W-Series Walkman doesn't have a screen--it would be rather difficult to view one on a device that's attached to your ears, anyway. Music plays straight through in alphanumeric order by default, or you can activate the shuffle feature. A switch on the left earpiece lets you toggle between the two settings.
The bottom edge of the right module contains the remainder of the controls: two volume buttons and a jog dial. Swiping the dial forward or backward serves to cycle through tracks, and a quick press in plays/pauses music. Sony also incorporated a nice feature where when you connect the earpieces via two tiny, integrated magnets, the player automatically shuts off.
The W-Series Walkman is predictably light on extras, but Sony does integrate a few unique and useful features. The first is something called Zappin, which lets you browse through tracks by ear by playing a snippet of the chorus of each song. The player also offers a quick-charge feature that will give you 90 minutes of playback from a 3-minute charge--particularly handy for a fitness-friendly player.