Sony NW-E000 review: Sony NW-E000

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Sony NW-E000 features a stylish design with a handy built-in USB interface, and it offers some desirable features, such as an FM radio. It's also competitively priced.

The Bad Sony's requisite SonicStage software still leaves much to be desired, and the NW-E000's display is impossible to read in direct sunlight. This player's controls are also rather unintuitive.

The Bottom Line The Sony NW-E000 is a compact, stylish flash MP3 player that those who can tolerate SonicStage should consider, but beware the unintuitive interface.

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Sony may have given up the portable audio crown to Apple years ago, but the Walkman pioneer has never given up the ghost. Although the tech giant made some questionable decisions during the past several years, such as placing a large amount of energy and focus into the niche-y MiniDisc market and requiring that all music played on its devices be encoded in its proprietary ATRAC3 format, Sony seems to embody the motto "live and learn."

Over the past year or so, the company has produced a handful of stylish, great-sounding MP3 players with excellent battery life. The NW-E000 series is no exception. Now, if only Sony would apply that same perseverance to its lackluster SonicStage software.

Sony NW-E000
Some of the NW-E000's controls, including the Hold switch and volume buttons, are found on the back of the player.

The Sony NW-E000 comes in three capacities, each with a different model number: there's the 512MB NW-E002 (available in blue), the 1GB NW-E003 (pink or silver), and the 2GB NW-E005 (green, violet, or black). For this review, I got my hands on the green NW-E005 and it's quite a stunner. The NW-E000 takes its design cues from the NW-E500 series and the larger NW-A1200 with a metallic (and colorful) plastic casing that wraps around the front and sides of the player, protecting a single-line OLED display (which is unfortunately next to impossible to read in bright sunlight).

Brushed-silver buttons for Play/Pause/Power and Folder/Home reside to the right of the screen and complement the brightly colored device. Left of the screen is the built-in USB adapter, which is covered by a matching brushed-silver cap. I expected this silver accenting to extend to the rear of the device, but instead, when you flip it over, you discover that it's enshrouded in bright, matte plastic in the same color as the device--not unattractive at all, but I'd have preferred the brushed silver.

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Where to Buy

Sony NW-E005 (2GB, black)

Part Number: NW-E005BLACK
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display OLED
  • Run Time (Up To) 28 hour(s)
  • Capacity 2 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 0.9 oz
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards ATRAC3
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital player