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Which Sony Walkman should you buy?

By Tom Morgan

If you’re looking for a Sony Walkman, which MP3 player should you pick? We reveal the Walkmans that performed the best in our test lab.

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Sony’s Walkman family is an alternative to Apple’s iPod line-up. Although MP3 players aren’t as popular as they once were, Sony is still producing new portable devices that can store thousands of tracks, and many of them support high-res audio.

When it comes to picking up a new Sony Walkman, you may be left wondering what sets each model apart from its siblings. Below, we’ve rounded up the best-performing Walkman MP3 players to pass through our test lab and highlighted key features.

Which MP3 players deserve room in your pocket? Our Best Buy MP3 players page has the details.

The best Sony Walkman MP3 players

Today's best price £219.99
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Best Buy
Sound quality, with supplied headphones:
4 out of 5
Performance:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Memory (GB):
Member exclusive
Expandable memory:
Member exclusive
Display size (cm):
Member exclusive
Battery life (hrs:mins):
Member exclusive

This MP3 player is an impressive Best Buy. It serves up clear, punchy sound and copes brilliantly with hi-res audio. We were blown away by battery life during testing. Noise cancelling in-ear headphones are also included, which is a nice bonus. Log in to see which MP3 player we're talking about.

Typical price £80.00
Which? score 69%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Sound quality, with supplied headphones:
4 out of 5
Performance:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Memory (GB):
Member exclusive
Expandable memory:
Member exclusive
Display size (cm):
Member exclusive
Battery life (hrs:mins):
Member exclusive

This Sony Walkman is a fantastic budget-priced option for music fans. It's a sleek, 16GB player that offers almost double the battery life of Apple's iPod Nano. The sound is consistently good and it's supremely easy to use. Log in to see which MP3 player we're talking about.

Today's best price £122.00
Which? score 66%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Sound quality, with supplied headphones:
4 out of 5
Performance:
5 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Memory (GB):
Member exclusive
Expandable memory:
Member exclusive
Display size (cm):
Member exclusive
Battery life (hrs:mins):
Member exclusive

This MP3 player is a couple of years old, but still worth considering if you're looking for a device to keep you company at the gym or on a walk. This model comes with 16GB of storage (enough for thousands of tunes) and supports high-resolution audio. It's compact and light, and you can expand the memory so you'll never run out of space. Log in to see which MP3 player we're talking about.

Sony Walkman – unique features

To tempt buyers away from the iPod, the Sony Walkman has several unique features of its own. You don’t get a dedicated app store with a Walkman, but you do have access to features that help you get more from your music, such as:

  • Expandable memory: handy for music fans with a hefty library, some Walkmans (including the NWZ-A15 and NW-A25HN) have expandable memory. That means you can insert a micro-SD card to give yourself more space.
  • FM radio: an FM radio comes pre-installed on the Sony Walkman, so you can manually search for stations and save your favourites for quick access.
  • High-res audio: unlike the iPod Nano, Shuffle and Touch, Sony Walkman MP3 players support high-resolution audio. This type of audio uses a higher sampling rate than standard CDs and MP3 files, which means you’ll be able to pick up on subtle changes in pitch you otherwise wouldn’t hear.
  • Equalizer: head into the sound settings of a Sony Walkman and you’ll find the equalizer. If you’re a dedicated fan of a specific type of music, you can pick a preset to enhance the sound of your library. These options include rock, pop, jazz and classical.
  • Waterproof design: not every Walkman will survive a rainy run through the park, but some will. The Sony NWZ-W273S, which we’ve tested in our lab, is one example.

Apple iPod or Sony Walkman?

If you’re in the market for a new MP3 player, you might find yourself trying to decide between an Apple iPod or Sony Walkman.

If you’re tempted by Apple’s iPod range, you’ll have devices such as the iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano and iPod Touch to choose from. We’ve tested all of these in our lab, so head over to our Apple iPod reviews to see how they scored. For a closer look at the differences between these big brands, see our Apple iPod vs Sony Walkman advice guide.

Picking the perfect MP3 player

Choosing which MP3 player to go for will depend on a number of factors. Thankfully, MP3 players come in all shapes, sizes and prices, so they can cater to buyers on a budget as well as dedicated audiophiles.

Every MP3 player that passes through our lab is rigorously tested by our audio experts, and only the most impressive become Best Buys. For more tips on how to pick the perfect MP3 player for you, see our guide to how to buy the best MP3 player.

See our MP3 player reviews for our expert verdict on the most popular music players on the market.

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