Sony’s Walkman series of MP3 players are known for their good sound but rather basic features. The recently launched NWZ-E443 is a mid-range MP3 player that anyone looking for a new MP3 player should consider.
Features & Design
Available in various trendy colors (pink, violet, red and black), the E443 is a mid-range MP3 player that has almost every standard feature in place. There are 4GB and 8GB versions we are reviewing the former. The compact body has a mix of matte and glossy plastic which is quite prone to smudges and scratches. The front 2-inch TFT display with QVGA resolution, though smaller than the 2.2-inch on the iPod Nano, is still adequate for viewing playlist and album art. Below the screen is a circular 4-way direction pad with a center select button and there are two smaller buttons for Back and Options as well. The side has hold switch and volume rocker and ports for the headphone and Sony’s proprietary data cable are at the bottom. The player also supports voice recording via a mic-hole at the bottom which is the long-waited feature for Walkman series of players. FM radio with recording option is also present. File format support includes MP3,WMA, AAC, WMV,MPEG-4 and JPEG.
Performance & Usability
We like the well-placed control buttons and the good tactile feedback on the front directional controls.
The E433 is lightweight at 54 grams and is easily pocketable. We like the well-placed control buttons and the good tactile feedback on the front directional controls. The need to stick to the proprietary cable for data transfer and charging is a bit of a downer though.
Using drag and drop, we easily transferred our media files and let the player do its job in no time. We found the bundled earphones a little better than the ones that came with other players like the iPod Nano for example. However, it still fails to deliver impressive highs and the low ends which let us quickly switch to our in-ears from Sennheiser. This time the E-443 has all the good sounds that we heard from the previous E-series we reviewed earlier. Bass was deep and tight, mids were clear and highs were bright. The player did not distort at loud volumes when EQ setting is at default. The Clear Bass feature provided a warm and deep bass which many Hip Hop and Trance lovers will appreciate. When compared with the iPod Nano, the E443 produced punchier and warmer sound without sacrificing details but for those who like their sound neutral, they’ll prefer the Nano.
However, if you like punchy, fuller sound and effective enhancements to add colors to your dull-sounding MP3 collection, the E433 is for you. FM radio has good reception with rich sound and voice recording came out with clear though background noise was not suppressed in any way. Video on the 2-inch screen looked a bit washed out on some bright areas but offered good details and vibrant colors with decent frame rates. The player has a rated battery life of 30 hours of music playback, we could achieve around 24 hours of audio playback which is still decent but not first-class.
The NWZ-E443 is a basic-looking player that offers great sound quality with a few add-ons. Priced way below the Nano even (though it has less features), the NWZ-E443 is purely a flash based MP3 player.
Compact media player with excellent sound and priced reasonably.