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Sony Walkman NWZ-Z1060 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £275
inc VAT

The best Android MP3 player we've seen yet is, unfortunately, shockingly expensive

Sony’s new Walkman is a chunky Android-based MP3 player with 32GB internal storage and a 4.3in QVGA (800×480) screen. It has similar battery life to most Android phones and managed to keep playing audio for 22 hours and video for almost six and a half in our tests.

Sony Walkman NWZ-Z1060

The Walkman is big enough to use for comfortable mini-tablet style gaming and movie watching, but it’s a bit of a squeeze if you want to stuff it into your jeans pocket. It has a snazzy coloured back, although this proved to be slightly prone to scratching. Tinny – but surprisingly loud – little speakers on the rear allow you to share your impeccable musical taste with fellow bus commuters, too. For some unknown reason, Sony has seen fit to use a proprietary USB cable, which means you’ll either have to buy extras or cart your only cable everywhere with you. We’d have been much happier with the same standard micro USB port found on every other Android device. The Walkman also has a mini HDMI port, so you can connect it to a TV if you want to watch videos on a bigger screen.

The MP3 player comes installed with Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread), rather than Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which is a bit of a disappointment, but the player’s 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor – although it’s getting on a bit – is powerful enough to make Sony’s launcher interface run smoothly. The supplied music app is easy to use and has some cool features, such as a mood analyser, but you can’t search through track names and its format support isn’t great – it can handle AAC, MP3, WAV and WMA files, but we had to install Winamp to play our OGG files and AndLess to play FLAC content. Similarly, if you want to play Audible’s proprietary AU format audiobooks, you’ll have to download a dedicated app. The joy of Android, of course, is that installing these apps is easy to do.

Sony Walkman NWZ-Z1060

The Walkman’s sound quality is excellent. That’s par for the course – modern phones and MP3 players generally have high quality DACs. The default settings of Sony’s own music app are fairly flat and well balanced, with a slight bass emphasis. There are also plenty of other settings you can apply to normalise track volumes, change the EQ balance and compensate for the effect of dynamic range compression during the music production process. However, we slightly preferred the audio characteristics and settings built into the free Winamp player – the choice is up to you, as you can install any Android audio app you want. If you use the Walkman button on the side of the player to wake up the player’s screen, it will jump straight to the Sony music player app; waking the Walkman with the power button at the top of the device will take you straight to whichever app you’re currently using.

Sony Walkman NWZ-Z1060

The supplied earplug-style headphones are among the best you’ll get with an MP3 player, but we found them a touch boomy and bass-heavy for our taste. This made it harder to pick out detail in the mid and treble ranges. Fans of more balanced audio are advised to upgrade to headphones such as the Soundmagic E10 earplug style set.

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Price £275
Rating ****
Headphone Rating *****


Capacity 32.00GB
Interface USB
Storage medium flash memory
Battery and charge options Li-ion, USB
Size 71x11x134mmmm


Device has screen? Yes
Viewable size 4.3 in
Native resolution 800×480
Memory card support none
FM Radio yes
Audio record options microphone
Video record options none
Supplied with headphones, USB adaptor

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 22h 10m
Tested battery life (Video playback) 6h 25m
500MB transfer time 1m 19s
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 Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback Yes
Image BMP support Yes
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 Sony Music Unlimited

Buying Information

Price per MB 0.8p
Warranty one year RTB

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