Sony NW-S23 S2 Sports Network Walkman review: Sony NW-S23 S2 Sports Network Walkman

Those already familiar with the Network Walkman family will know that you must use the included SonicStage software to transfer ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus files. Prior to the NW-S23, those with MP3 and WMA files needed to use SonicStage to convert them to Sony's proprietary format. With the NW-S23, you still can't simply drag and drop music files onto the device, which shows up as a drive letter without software on Windows XP. You must first open an application called MP3 File Manager that resides on the device itself. This enables you to drag and drop your MP3s (or the folders containing them) into the utility's window, and voilà: your player is ready to play back MP3s. The player also supports Sony's Connect music store, which features more than 700,000 tracks downloadable in ATRAC3. Sony includes five free Connect downloads with the player.


You must use the MP3 File Manager utility to transfer playable MP3s to the device.

The NW-S23's sound quality is above average (80dB signal-to-noise ratio), but it doesn't truly sound bright and full until you jack up the treble and bass. Transfer times are decent over USB 1.1. But the most standout performance stat for the NW-S23 is its battery life. Sony promises 70 hours of life using a single AAA battery when playing back ATRAC3 files, and it should run for 50 hours when playing MP3s. CNET Labs was able to get 55 hours playing back MP3s, which is, to us, an incredible number.

File transfer speed (MB/second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
MB per second  

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
In hours  

Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.

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    Sony NW-S23 S2 Sports Network Walkman

    Part Number: NWS23

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    Quick Specifications See All

    • Built-in Display LCD
    • Run Time (Up To) 70 hour(s)
    • Capacity 256 MB
    • Color sports white
    • Weight 1.4 oz
    • Supported Digital Audio Standards WAV
    • Installed Size 256 MB
    • Type 1 year warranty
    • Sound Output Mode stereo
    • Type digital player