Sony Walkman NWZ-E443 review

The Walkman NWZ-E443's video support is poor, but its good audio quality, long battery life, good looks and low price make it a great buy.

11 Nov 2009
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Our Rating 
5/5
Price when reviewed 
65
inc VAT

Specifications

Sony's Walkman 4GB NWZ-E443 portable music player looks striking thanks to its slender, shiny red metal and black plastic design.

Using the included earphones, music sounded bright and harsh, although the bass wasn't as loud as we'd like. Vocals were clear and there was no distortion when we boosted the bass using the equaliser. Music sounded far clearer and more detailed using a better set of earphones. Audio playback lasted for more than 26-and-a-half hours, more than even the longest flight.

Browsing through long lists of music is simple since the left and right buttons can be used to skip quickly and easily through the list alphabetically. When playing music, pressing the Option button gives quick access to playback settings such as the equaliser. Oddly, long track, artist or album names are cut off instead of scrolling to show the full title. If you tire of your own music, you can use the built-in FM radio, which sounded clear and static-free when used in our central London offices.

We were less impressed with the E443's video playback. We could only get it to play videos encoded using a very specific H.264 profile with a resolution of 320x240 pixels and a jerky frame rate of 15fps. Annoyingly, Sony's included video-conversion software sometimes failed to work for no apparent reason.

Although the screen is very bright, its small 2in size and graininess means it's not ideal for watching long videos anyway. If you do want to watch video, you can expect its battery to last four hours and 39 minutes, which isn't too bad, but other players here can last more than twice as long. There's no orientation sensor, so if you want to watch video with the screen horizontal rather than vertical you'll have to set this preference manually.

Sony's Walkman NWZ-E443 is a good-value MP3 player thanks to its decent audio quality, respectably long battery life and low price. Its video support is poor, but it's a great choice for audio.

Details

Price £65
Rating *****
Headphone Rating **
Award Budget Buy

Hardware

Capacity 4.00GB
Formatted capacity 3.60GB
Interface USB
Storage medium flash memory
Battery and charge options Li-ion, USB
Size 43x10x83mm
Weight 52g

Features

Device has screen? Yes
Viewable size 2 in
Native resolution 240x320
Memory card support none
FM Radio yes
Audio record options microphone, radio
Video record options none
Supplied with headphones, USB adaptor, dock adapter

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 26h 35m
Tested battery life (Video playback) 3h 50m
500MB transfer time 3m 48s
Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback Yes
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback No
Audio WAV playback No
Audio Audible playback No
Image BMP support No
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support No
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video WMV playback Yes
Video MPEG-1 playback No
Video MPEG-2 playback No
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback No
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support Yes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support Yes
Download compatibility WMA-DRM subscription and download

Buying Information

Price per MB 1.6p
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.play.com
Details www.sony.co.uk

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