Sony Walkman NWZ-A846 review: Sony Walkman NWZ-A846

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The Good Good sound quality; effective digital noise cancellation; excellent OLED display.

The Bad Gapless playback isn't supported; limited video-format support.

The Bottom Line The Sony Walkman NWZ-A846 is a great audio player with a useful noise-cancellation feature and a brilliant OLED screen. It's expensive, but it's definitely worth a look.

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8.3 Overall

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Skinny is the new phat, according to Sony. The company's just unveiled its thinnest Walkman to date -- the uber-anorexic NWZ-A846. The device comes with 32GB of on-board storage, a 2.8-inch OLED display and built-in noise cancellation. It's available from Advanced MP3 Players for around £220.

Super flyweight

The NWZ-A468 is an attractive little device. Its design isn't exactly progressive -- it's predominantly black with silver accents on the control panel -- but all the elements of its design hang together very well.

Its super-skinny body measures 47 by 105 by 7mm. That means it disappears easily into a pocket, which is a shame, as you'll want to show it off everywhere you go. It's also extremely light, tipping the scales at a mere 62g, which makes it ideal for exercising with.

Display of affection

Switch on the NWZ-A468 and it looks even sexier, thanks to a bright and beautiful, 2.8-inch OLED display. It's bright enough to use outdoors in direct sunlight, and menu icons, graphics and album artwork look sensational, due to the 10,000:1 contrast ratio.

It's not all good news, though. The player allows you to view still images, but only in the JPEG format. Also, zooming is impossible on the tiny screen and there's no built-in camera, so it's hardly worth bothering with this feature.

Video killed the radio star

It's possible to watch video on the NWZ-A468. While the video quality is very good, we found the screen's small size meant we never wanted to watch video for longer than a few minutes.

The NWZ-A846 is about as skinny as MP3 players come. 

The player only supports the AVC/H.264, MPEG-4, WMV and AAC-LC video formats, which aren't especially common -- at least not in our collection. If you want to watch the more common DivX and Xvid formats, you'll have to convert them to a format that the NWZ-A846 understands.

Menu du jour

The NWZ-A468 lacks a touchscreen, but it's still very easy to use. The four-way rocker switch in the centre moves an on-screen cursor, highlighting large, easily comprehensible icons that can be selected by pushing the play-pause button at the centre of the rocker. The back button takes you back a step in the menu structure, and the option button brings up contextual sub-menus.

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