Sony Walkman NWZ-A720 review: Sony Walkman NWZ-A720

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 9.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Sony NWZ-A720 Walkman MP3 player series offers high-quality music, photo, and video playback, along with EX-style earphones and a phenomenal battery life.

The Bad The Sony NWZ-A720 series doesn't come cheap, and it lacks an FM radio, voice recording, memory expansion, and a standard USB connection.

The Bottom Line The Sony NWZ-A720 is the best-sounding, best-looking Walkman series yet, and the inclusion of premium earphones adds real value.

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The Sony NWZ-A720 Walkman series is a subtle evolution of the NWZ-A810 series we enjoyed in 2007. This year, Sony is treating us with a larger screen and a more assertive design, offered in 4GB ($149), 8GB ($199), and 16GB ($299).

Design
Given Sony's track record with curvy, rounded designs, the Sony NWZ-A720 is refreshingly square. Measuring 2 inches by 3.75 inches by 0.4 inch, it has a metallic body and a 2.4-inch screen. The NWZ-A720 is a little larger than its predecessor, but it maintains a slim, pocketable profile. The circular four-way navigation pad found on last year's Sony NWZ-A810 has turned into a more solid-feeling square on the A720, flanked by two small option and menu buttons. All other buttons are confined to the right side of the player, including a rocker switch for volume control and a hold switch. The bottom of the A720 Walkman features a headphone output and proprietary USB connection.


One little design detail that distinguishes the Sony NWZ-A720 from last year's model is the inclusion of a detachable kickstand for hands-free video playback.

Features
The Sony NWZ-A720 is stocked with features, including music, photo, and video playback. On the audio end of things, Sony is continuing its support for MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, and DRM-protected subscription music files. In typical Sony style, the restrained design of the music playback screen betrays the awe-inspiring music enhancement technology working behind the scenes, such as a 5-band EQ, Clear Bass, Clear Stereo, DSEE high-frequency restoration, and dynamic normalization.

With its 2.4-inch QVGA LCD and excellent video battery life, the Sony NWZ-A720 is the most video-worthy Walkman we've seen. Sony offers limited video format compatibility, however, including MPEG-4 and H.264 sized at a strict 320x240 ratio. Fortunately, the popularity of the iPod and video podcasts has made the QVGA MPEG-4 file format one of the most abundant on the Web.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Mar. 28, 2008
  • Built-in Display LCD
  • Output Power / Total 10 mW
  • Run Time (Up To) 36 hour(s)
  • Capacity 16 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 2 oz
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards WMA
  • Installed Size 16 GB
  • Diagonal Size 2.4" m
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital player
About The Author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.