weeks of problems with my ipod shuffle, I decided to give up on the ipod and try something new. I've been reading alot of good reviews about the Sony wireless walkman (NWZ-W252), so I decided to give it a try.
The main two things that attracted me to this device were that (1) it is water (sweat) resistant, and (2) there are no dangling wires.
I picked it up friday night, and had it ready to go for my Saturday morning 8 mile run. Setup was easy. I was a bit concerned because I use a Mac, and the packaging said that Windows was required. Well, it turns out that you can simply plug this into a Mac and transfer music via USB back and forth with no problems. I think that the only downside is that I can't use the software that came with it, but I don't think I'm missing very much.
It also charges its batteries using the USB. The charging is fast - only a few minutes of charging will provide 90 minutes of playback time. It will fully charge in 1.5 hours, which will provide 11 hours of playback time.
There are three sizes of earbuds. I decided to go with the medium size, which fit firmly in my ears. I was surprised at how well the earpieces stayed in place and didn't move at all while I was running. From the looks of it, I expected them to bounce around, but they were very stable with no noticable bouncing at all.
The music sounded great - better than my ipod, especially the bass. The controls were also very easy to understand and use. And, despite all of the sweating I did over the course of 8 miles, I had no problems, which was so great after weeks of frustrations with the ipod shutting down due to moisture.
I do have a couple of minor cons to mention. First is that the insides of my ears (where the earbuds go) were slightly sore at the end of my run. Not bad, but noticeable. I think I'll try the small earbuds next time. Second, they aren't the coolest looking things - I got some weird looks. I imagine people thinking I was running with one of those bluetooth things in each of my ears. Well, I'm not exactly a pretty sight when I run, so I'm not too concerned about it, but I do think than an over-the-ear design would be an improvement.
So, overall I'm very pleased with this mp3 player. Running with no wires hanging down was great, as was actually completing my entire run without having my music player quit on me. I'm guessing that Sony has more engineers that are actual runners than does Apple, because this mp3 player is definitely better suited for running than my ipod shuffle.