The Sony Walkman brand is still quite famous nowadays. I still remember the good old bulky portable cassette player I had decades ago. It has a sound system with excellent quality, the gadget is sturdy and it’s usually feature-packed. I don’t really see many standalone MP3 players anymore these days. It’s probably due the ability of mobile phones and smartphones to play MP3 music themselves. Even the cheapest generic mobile phones I’ve seen, priced at roughly $15, can play music. This way, you won’t have to bring a separate device in order to play music.
Based on my observation, this has really slowed down the market for standalone MP3 players. I was in search for an MP3 player that I could use even though my phone is perfectly capable of playing them. I just want to dedicate my phone for communication. I don’t want my phone’s battery to go dead just because I’ve played music for hours. I needed a separate device. I stumbled upon Sony’s Walkman NWZ-B172F standalone MP3 player.
It’s what I expected from a standalone MP3 player. It’s simple, compact and easy to use. The menus are simple and the small LED display is readable. It’s not that hard to navigate except for the awkward dial. It also has a hold switch to prevent accidental button presses while it’s in your bag or pocket. It also has a voice recorder and an FM tuner if you fancy listening to your favorite radio stations.
The NWZ-B172F can be easily plugged into a USB port on your computer and you can just drag and drop music files into it. There’s no need to eject the player from the USB port. As long as it’s not copying or moving files, you can safely remove it. With USB 2.0 compatibility, transferring files is a cinch.
Charging the player is so easy. All you need is to plug it into a USB port and let it charge for 3 minutes. You’ll have 1 ½ hour of playback time. It only takes 1 hour, or so, to fully charge the phone and it will allow you to play music for roughly 18 hours. Just be mindful of the LED on the dial/play button. I’d recommend you turn it off in the menu to prolong battery life. It’s in your pocket anyway. You can also use the clip that comes with the package.
Sometimes though, I get really annoyed by the player’s Zappin and Zappout feature. It’s a mode where the MP3 player plays music for a few seconds then transitions into another one. After a few seconds, it will play another section of another randomly selected MP3 file. Maybe some may like it, but I especially don’t since it is very susceptible to being accidentally pushed and it’s not pleasing, for me at least, to jump from one music to another after just a few seconds.
Another thing I’m worried about is the dial around the play/pause button. You use it to move up and down the menus, move to the next song or go back. It may be possible that it may get worn out soon. It’s quite confusing at first, but you’ll get used to it.
But in the end, it all comes down to playback quality. With equalizer options and exceptionally strong bass, the audio is crisp. It has a noise-cancellation feature that may clean the audio especially if the MP3 file is, in itself, not of good quality. You also won’t be disappointed with the volume levels. The earphones that come with the player are also of good quality. It can handle the bass boost.
As a standalone MP3 player, the Sony Walkman NWZ-B172F is a good buy. It’s around $35-$40, which is quite expensive compared to generic MP3 players, but it’s well justified with the playback quality and the special features. Although it has a small storage space, it’s more than enough to store a few hundred songs. There are some fairly questionable features such as the Zappin and the blinking LEDs. But as for the other aspects, it’s a really good choice. I’ve had mine for more than a week now and I’m really enjoying it while I’m not busy at work or while I’m traveling. It keeps me awake and relaxed. If you’re out on the market for a standalone MP3 player, the Sony Walkman NWZ-B172F is a good consideration.
NWZ-B172F : B Series : Walkman® Digital Media Players : Sony Philippines