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Sony Walkman NWZ-E443 review

Alan Lu
11 Nov 2009
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
65
inc VAT

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.

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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**
AwardBudget Buy

Hardware

Capacity4.00GB
Formatted capacity3.60GB
InterfaceUSB
Storage mediumflash memory
Battery and charge optionsLi-ion, USB
Size43x10x83mm
Weight52g

Features

Device has screen?Yes
Viewable size2 in
Native resolution240x320
Memory card supportnone
FM Radioyes
Audio record optionsmicrophone, radio
Video record optionsnone
Supplied withheadphones, USB adaptor, dock adapter

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback)26h 35m
Tested battery life (Video playback)3h 50m
500MB transfer time3m 48s
Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackYes
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Image BMP supportNo
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video WMV playbackYes
Video MPEG-1 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportYes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportYes
Download compatibilityWMA-DRM subscription and download

Buying Information

Price per MB1.6p
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.play.com
Detailswww.sony.co.uk

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