Japan's New S10 Series Digital Audio Player Review

Features

The there are two variations, the NW-S14 8GB and or NW-S15 16GB. And they both come in an array of colors.

The sound of the Sony NW-S10 series can be appreciated both indoors and outdoors. It's noise cancelling feature cuts around 98% of the back ground noise leaving you in your own zone to enjoy your music. Sometimes you can't even enjoy music in your own home if you have a noisy household, however this is the perfect solution. This function even works when you are not listening to music, so if you are on noisy public transport and you want to get into reading a book, then this is the perfect option. Much better than simple ear plugs.

It has a state of the art high compression audio system leaves the quality of the audio untouched, meaning even more songs can be compressed into into the generous storage available (DSEE technology).

It's Clear-Phase technology leaves you feeling like you are in the midst of the sound and not just listening to it passively. And of course all these features can be tweaked and fine tunes in the settings for your perfect listening experience.

The Clear Bass function allows you to turn up the volume high with the bass becoming distorted.

There are also the K Models NW-S14K and NWS15K that come with external speakers which is very good value considering the small price difference. In Japan, it seems most models have the speak set.

K-Models with speakers

Three different listening modes

1. Remote mode - This is where an external device can be connected to the Walkman while you enjoy the sound through your own device. And the good thing about this is that your device will enhance the sound quality through the digital hardware, even from an external source.

2. Silence mode - Even if your not listening to music, the sound silencing technology puts you in your own quiet world, where you can sleep or concentrate on study or reading. Very good for noisy commutes too.

3. Clear phase mode - The technology to make you feel naturally surrounded by the music, rather than just a spectator from the distance. It achieves this by enhancing the characteristics of the speakers giving a clear sound image position. some previous models had this option however for much a higher price range.

Design

The Sony NW S10 is compact, slim and with a metal casing for that solid but arty look.

It has a very clear 2 inch QVGA (240 x 320) color screen where videos of various formats can also be played. The screen's wallpaper or background can also be customized with presets to match the models color or case. You an even apply your own picture like a smart phone.

Karaoke Mode

With the help of a downloaded application via a PC, a Karaoke mode can be utilized. The puts lyrics on the screen while the track is playing in perfect sync in order to be able to sing Karaoke style. Application is Media-Go which has a very clever Vocal cancelling effect to be able to sing over the track. The vocal cancelling two different mode - Light and Heavy. Light will slightly reduce the vocals whereas heavy will do it's best to cancel them out.


Dance Mode

This is a very useful function as it can speed up or slow down the tempo of a track without altering the pitch using and efficient time stretching algorithm.

Battery power and stamina

This is where this digital audio player really stands out. It has a music playing time of 77 hours, no need to be concerned about the battery running dead while you are out and about. With a cable sold separately, you can even use the remaining power in the player to charge up a smart phone. No need for a separate smart phone portable charger while you are out and about.

Ease of recording

Use a special cable for recording, you can easily connect an external device such as a CD player or any other audio device to directly record into the player. For the case of an external CD player, once the CD has finished it will automatically stop recording.

Review of the NW-S10

After using the iPod for some time I was rather impressed with this device. Of course it doesn't have the same amount of functions as the iPod with all it's applications however the the audio quality is something of a true Audio Player with extra features, rather than a smart device that can also play music.

I was very impressed by the noise cancelling function. I have used them before however this really does cut out the surrounding note in on eerie way. I don't recommend you using this function while riding a bicycle it could be very dangerous.

The menus are very easy to navigate through, not touch screen but very fast response timing, when switching between functions.

The clear phase technology is very impressive however it is not for all music genres. Probably mainly for classical, Jazz or other live performances. Not really needed for electronic type music.

I real liked the size of this device, it can fit neatly into pockets of tight pants without bulging out or becoming uncomfortable. I also found that the phone charging function is really useful too, since you don't have to carry around a separate charger or worry about your phones battery going dead all the time.

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