Design & Construction
The Sony NW-A50 is Sony's fifth iteration to its h.ear Walkman. The player weighs 99g and has a small dimension of 55.7mm x 97.3mm x 10.8mm. It houses all physical playback controls on the right side of the player. There is (From Top-Bottom): the Power button, Volume buttons, Skip Forward button, Play/Pause button, Skip Backwards button and the Hold Switch. At the bottom, there is (From Left to Right) the 3.5mm Input, WM Port, a hook to attach a strap to. At the back, there is the NFC tag and Walkman branding. To turn on the Walkman until the screen turns on. The Hold Switch allows for the locking of the device to prevent the pressing of any buttons or touch panel when undesired. Controlling of music playback is simple with either the 3 inch touch screen or physical button. The player also do a great job of fitting into small spaces and pockets.
Sound quality is much better than your regular smartphone, It has an equalizer with presets like Bright,Excited,Mellow Etc. If you're nitpicky about your sound, you may also choose top customise one on your own. On the other hand, if you are easily satisfied, just turn on ClearAudio+ and let the player customise the sound automatically. There are also other function like DSEE HX, DC Phase Linearizer, VPT (Surrround), & Dynamic Normalizer. If you are new to the Sony Hi-Res Audio ecosystem, all these functions may be too complex for the common user, however there are text guides under each function to help you understand. There are also many ways to play your music: shuffle playback, repeat off, repeat one song or repeat all. There is no distortion of sound when used with in-ears, headphones and speakers via the 3.5mm input or via Bluetooth. If you have a LDAC or AptX suported audio device, the audio output is much more crisp. When tested with Sony's in-ear headphones, headphones or speakers, the output of sound is more balanced and clear. The bass is full bodied and boosted, while the mids are clear and detailed. Highs are enjoyable and do not produce sharp and unbearable tunes. However when used with other brands in-ears, headphones or speakers via Bluetooth, the output isn't as well-rounded. The low-end isn't much emphasized, mids are okay and highs are sometimes quite sharp and unbearable for users. Unless you invest heavily into the Sony Audio ecosystem, this audio player may not output your music as the way you may expect. There is also a FM radio feature but users must use the 3.5mm input to listen to it. One new feature implemented is the Bluetooth Reciever function which streams music through the NW-A50 via Bluetooth and a smartphone connection and give all your music an NW-A50 boost. However, only wired headphones or in-ear headphones can be connected to the player itself.
Connectivity & Portability
As mentioned, Bluetooth capabilities and all codecs are supported, it also connects via a 3.5mm port. The battery peaks at 45 hours of playback so users do not need to charge it often. From a dead battery to full, users can expect to charge it for around 4 hours. The player charges only via the proprietary WM Port, which is a disappointment for some as they have to carry the cable if they are travelling aboard. *The in-ear headphone coupled together with the MP3 player is a Noise-Cancelling in-ear headphone which also features Ambient Sound Mode so that users can hear their surroundings.*
*Only Available as Sony NW-A46HN
No in-ear headphone is included for Sony NW-A55.
Compact & Modern Design
No Distortion Even At High Volume Levels
Built-in FM Radio
Long Battery Life
Physical Controls For Music Playback
Hi-Res Audio Output
LDAC & AptX Codecs Supported
Bluetooth & NFC Enabled
A Range Of Colours
Does Not Charge via USB Type-C
The Bottom Line
The Sony NW-A50 is a MP3 player which has 16GB/32GB/64GB storage, a super long-lasting 45 hours battery, fantastic compact design and great sound with totally no distortion on Sony audio equipment. It is a fantastic choice for those who want a small music player to listen on-the-go. A range of colours also suit every type and gender of users.
WE RATE IT!