Sony NWZ-B133 Walkman review: Sony NWZ-B133 Walkman

Typical Price: £29.00
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good Its low price; convenient to use.

The Bad No USB extension cable or software provided.

The Bottom Line It's not an exciting player, but it's well-priced, easy to use, pleasantly designed and it sounds great once you've upgraded the bundled earphones

7.5 Overall

Sony's B series NWZ-B133 -- also sold as the NWZ-B133F, NWZ-B135, NWZ-N135F and plenty of other names depending on the colour and GB size -- is a simple drag and drop USB stick-styled entry-level Walkman.

If full colour screens, video playback and stereo Bluetooth just aren't you thing, or if you're after a secondary MP3 player perhaps for the gym, Sony's B series could be for you. It's especially well-priced at £29.

Design
Like the E013 and many other models before it, the B133 rocks the I've-got-a-USB-socket-fixed-to-my-body factor. This means you need no cables to hook it up to any PC or Mac -- just pull off the cap and push it into a free socket.

The only issue here is if there isn't much space around your only available socket -- if there's another device next to it, or if the port's in an inaccessible place, you may struggle to get the player to fit. And there's no extension cable provided so you'll need to buy one.

But once your music's loaded onto the device, it can all be navigated easily using simple front-mounted controls. There's a small LCD screen, but it's bright and crisp. If you struggle to read small text, however, you may find yourself wincing uncomfortably.

Features
In line with being a dead simple player, it plays just MP3 and WMA files -- no AAC and not even WAV. A shame in a world where SanDisk sells a £20 player that supports MP3, WMA, Audible, FLAC and OGG.

Protected WMA content from the likes of Napster and 7digital is supported when the player is synced through Windows Media Player. All other content can either be managed with WMP or by dragging and dropping through Windows Explorer or Finder on OS X.

A built-in microphone allows you to record voice notes as WAV files, and a modest selection of audio enhancement settings -- including a custom five-band equaliser -- will help you get a more customised sound (but we advise your first step to better audio is getting some decent earphones).

Incidentally, the B133F and B135F models also feature FM radio reception as well as all the features mentioned above, whereas the B133 and B135 models do not. If these model numbers are confusing you, trust us when we say we feel your pain.

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