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Sony D-SJ01 review:

Sony D-SJ01

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The Good Rugged; looks great; sounds superb.

The Bad Expensive.

The Bottom Line One of the very best portable CD players money can buy, especially for the hyperactive.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall
Everyone has at least a few precious things that they just can't live without. For some people, it's a ratty, old stuffed animal from childhood or a potato chip shaped like Abe Lincoln; for the singing governess in The Sound of Music, just about everything she saw seemed to be one of her favorite things. We're sure you're a little more selective than she, but we think that you'll probably be as enamored with the new Sony D-SJ01 Discman as we are. With its great design and excellent sound, this sports CD player is way ahead of the pack. Everyone has at least a few precious things that they just can't live without. For some people, it's a ratty, old stuffed animal from childhood or a potato chip shaped like Abe Lincoln; for the singing governess in The Sound of Music, just about everything she saw seemed to be one of her favorite things. We're sure you're a little more selective than she, but we think that you'll probably be as enamored with the new Sony D-SJ01 Discman as we are. With its great design and excellent sound, this sports CD player is way ahead of the pack.

Striking Good Looks
In its design, the D-SJ01 eschews tradition and turns ordinary portable CD players on their head. While on the go, you can carry the Sony in your left palm: slip your hand through the strap, and wrap it around the edge. All of the necessary controls, such as Play, Stop, and Track Skip fall under your thumb. This is a much better way to carry a CD player than strapping it to your waist; it feels more secure and doesn't flop around.

And if that's not quite enough style for you, the black, yellow, and silver color scheme will definitely help you stand out from the crowd. You can watch your discs through a translucent, yellow window on the lid as they spin away. Half of the joy of this Discman is just how cool you look when you're toting it around town. And admit it: Style goes a long way in dictating the right portable electronics choice.

Rugged Construction
As a member of Sony's line of sports electronics, the D-SJ01 isn't just another pretty piece of plastic. Tipping the scales at just over 13 ounces with batteries, it's weighty without being heavy. If you're the type to go trail running in the rain, you'll appreciate the 40-second, antiskip buffer and water-resistant construction. This player absolutely will not skip, handling sharp vertical and lateral movements with aplomb.

Whether we were simulating vigorous physical exercise or listening sedately, the D-SJ01 always pumped out great-sounding music. Although the player has variable bass settings, we wish Sony had thrown in a few additional features, such as variable equalizer settings or an AM/FM radio, especially since the asking price is a whopping $250. But the D-SJ01 really does offer an innovative, functional design that plays music flawlessly, even under the harshest conditions.

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