Yes, you read it right, we are reviewing the Sony Walkman NW-A35, a portable media player when the world is listening to music on smartphones equally capable of delivering best sounds using the current gen audio technology. However, this is not just any other music player that plays regular MP3s but the NW-A35 from Sony is capable of delivering hi-res music.
The NW-A35 design is simple yet premium. A mini-candy bar-shaped player that can easily fit in your hand and can be operated easily with a single hand. The NW-A35 features a 3.1-inch colour screen that displays song cover, information, and other settings. The display and the build quality of the device are pretty decent. All the buttons are present on the right side of the device. There is also a hold button that locks the buttons so that you do not press them accidentally. A good feature to use when you are traveling or in crowded places.
In terms of storage, the player comes with 16GB internal storage. You can expand the same with a microSD card. The player uses a 3.5mm jack for earphones. We used Sony’s earphones with active digital noise canceling to test the audio playback and quality of the device. It also supports Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. The interface of the audio player is nothing to write home about. It is simple and features shortcuts to access the folder, settings etc.
The connections of the player are located at the bottom. It uses a proprietary cable to charge and transfer music that comes bundled with the player. Make sure you don’t misplace it!
The NW-A35 supports a variety of sound formats, including the regular MP3 and WAV. It also supports FLAC, WMA, DSD, PCM and Apple Lossless audio. The overall audio quality is very good. We found that the quality is good for listeners who do not prefer heavy bass or treble. It’s just the right mix. The depth of the sound was noticeable from the DSD track. There are various sound enhancements technology that Sony uses in the NW-A35 like the DSEE HX, Dynamic Normaliser, ClearAudio+ that helps to improve the audio quality. Sony claims a battery life of 30 hours with Hi-res audio and 45 hours listening to regular MP3s and we got close to their promised playback time.
If you are happy with MP3 audio on your high-end smartphone you may not notice the difference played on the NW-A35. However, for audiophiles who want to experience hi-res audio, the Sony NW-A35 is a compact formidable music player. The pricing Rs. 15,990, may be a deterrent factor, however, paired with a good set of earphones, the NW-A35 will definitely not disappoint you.