Review of Sony Walkman NW-A35 with support for Hi-Res and LDAC
I’m sure many readers remember the cassette and disc players Sony Walkman, on this subject, we have nostalgia from our site. The Walkman brand continues to live safely now in the form of Hi-Res audio players. In fact, the brand Hi-Res came up with and promoting Sony. Not sure now the Walkman are very popular, because the average user enough smartphone for music listening, but demanding audiophiles are Hi-Fi players many Chinese manufacturers who can provide really high quality sound. There is very little gap between these categories of users, which is devoted to a review of the new Sony Walkman NW-A35.
What is it?
Sony NW-A35 — compact digital music player with support for high-resolution audio formats, touch screen and wireless interfaces.
Than it is interesting?
The player can play horrible in terms of music: DSD, FLAC, HE-AAC, MP3, WMA, AAC, AIFF, ALAC, PCM and some of the video, although on such a compact screen that’s not too comfortable, and why? It’s a music player after all. Sony NW-A35 is equipped with every brand uluchshiteli sound, noise reduction system (only works with certain headphones), wireless modules Bluetooth 4.2 supporting proprietary LDAC codec (Lossless Digital Audio Coding technology) and NFC. Control the player using the touch screen or mechanical buttons on the case. For music storage is internal memory plus slot for memory cards MicroSD.
What’s in the box?
Sony NW-A35 Packed in a small box made of white cardboard with a small amount of printing. Sony decided the same player to release in different packaging and call it all NW-A30 Series. Marked Sony’s little bother. We have the simplest model NW-A35 with 16 GB of internal memory and no headphone included. A35HN — same model, but with headphones. There are options with digital symbols 36 and 37, 32 and 64 GB respectively. We have come across NW-A37HN, 36-I like it for the Asian market. Complete the player packet instructions and warranties and sync cable, which we recall below.
The player is made of plastic and comes in different colors: yellow, red, blue-green and coal-black. The player was much smaller than I expected. It is made in the form of small, monolithic bars. Almost the entire front surface closes black safety glass with rounded corners. Frame around the touch screen large, but it is quite permissible music player. The screen itself has a diagonal of 3.1 inches and a resolution of 800×480. Above the screen is the Sony logo in the lower right corner of the front panel — logo Walkman. All the physical controls located on the right side: Hold slider, playback controls, volume buttons and power:
Lateral ends have a rounded shape, it can be clearly seen in the photo below. The top end is devoid of any functional elements:
3.5 mm headphone Jack placed at the bottom end. It also has the eyelet lace and the highlight of the program: 22-pin proprietary connector! Proprietary. Connector. In 2017 (okay, player was released in 2016, but essentially the essence of it does not change). Victorious decision at the time, as the same Chinese manufacturers of Hi-Fi players safely move to USB Type-C MicroUSB and able to work as a USB DAC (unlike the hero). Tripping me about it very much.
On the left side — a slot for memory cards MicroSD:
It is covered with a plug style Sony:
Back cover — large logo Walkman and NFC. I am glad that such a convenient little thing, as NFC can now be found not only in flagship smartphones:
Looks like Sony NW-A35 very nice indeed, in the style of Sony. Nothing excessive, good build quality, practical materials and a very cool jet black color. The rest did not see live, but this really looks great.
How convenient and functional?
For a start I will mention again that the player is very compact and lightweight. It does absolutely not interfere in your pocket. Another important and positive point —mechanical control buttons. They are large, significantly protrude above the top of the player and have a clear travel, which makes the player convenient to operate without removing from pocket. I’m used to such “blind” control for the first day of use.
Now the interface and the touch screen. I somehow magically managed to make the player one screenshot (to repeat more did not work even after active gugleniya) that could push thinking about Android, but no. The player runs on proprietary OS. It is organized into five main sections-screens. The main playback screen, which displays current track, the total number, volume, play mode, battery charge, wireless interfaces, and navigation buttons:
Screen switching happens with swipes in four directions. The playback screen is library. There are different sorting options: All songs, Album, Artist, Genre, Year of release, Hi-Res and custom playlists. In this section there is an FM tuner and a strange feature of language learning, which allows you to slowly rewind or re-listen to snippets, you can also use audio podcasts.
To the left of the main screen is the current playlist:
As you scroll right from the main screen to enter bookmarks. A kind of option favourites, tracks can be added directly from the playback screen:
And the most extensive section settings. The name speaks for itself. They are divided into separate categories, ranging from the player settings (brightness and so on):
Settings audio output and wireless interfaces:
And all sorts of uluchshiteli sound. There is an equalizer, DSEE HX (apskeyl to Hi-Res), Clear Audio+, the linearizer phase response:
Virtual surround sound with presets that mimic the sound of the Studio, hall and so on. Plus the adjustment of tracks on the volume:
The controls are simple, intuitive and it can very quickly get used to it.
How does it sound?
The impression is that the development of the Sony NW-A35, the company was guided by the objective to make a sound that will appeal to the widest possible audience. It is devoid of any sharp corners, a smooth and laid-back. There are no distortions and blockages in different pieces of the range, the sound is neutral, but the detail, the width of the scene and the character nearly enough. Yes, it really will surprise users who are accustomed to listening to music from smartphones, they will discover many new things in familiar tracks. But similar cost Hi-Fi player for accuracy, detail, speed and width of the scenes does not hold. It gives elastic, driving and tight bass, but the resolution and detail in mid range he is definitely lacking. High frequencies are a little pushed, whereby the HF-foby will be definitely satisfied. The player is absolutely omnivorous in terms of music genres, and used headphones. Tested with DUNU DK-3001, T-Peos H-300, Ostry KC06 and Sony MDR-7506. By itself, without any uluchshayzerov and equalizers. Although think a mass audience could use them. The closest price competitor to the Sony NW-A35 is the FiiO X3 II, it is much more interesting sounds, but very inferior in terms of functionality.
I. test failed due to the lack of appropriate headphones, exactly as LDAC, for the same reason. The LDAC codec developed by Sony and, in essence, is something from the aptX and focused on the encoding (and decoding) of high-resolution audio (Hi-Res), of course this does not apply to DSD. The caveat is that this requires appropriate headset Sony at the time, as aptX supported by pile manufacturers.
How much the battery holds?
Sony claims that the player is capable of 25 hours to play DSD 2.8 MHz without noise reduction), and 30 hrs (FLAC 192kHz/24-bit, no noise reduction). On my player there was music in different formats (of course, almost all of the aforementioned). It’s hard to say any exact figures, but 27-30 hours really happened, so the player can be charged no more frequently than once in two and a half weeks. A very good indicator.
Sony NW-A35 — a sort of compromise, something between a smartphone and severe specialized Hi-Fi players. He is really able to offer much more qualitative, informative and detailed sound than a smartphone and supports all major audio formats, including DSD. It is very compact, looks interesting, well built and, importantly for music player, easy to manage. He long is battery powered and equipped with useful additional things: noise cancellation (with certain models of headphones), Bluetooth, NFC, and the owners of Bluetooth headsets Sony is more expensive and even get the support of LDAC. The most unpleasant aspect is the proprietary connector, which Sony does not want to give up. This — plus the cord on any trip and a headache at his loss. Another reason to look at anything else may be that Hi-Fi players of Chinese manufacturers in the same price range sound really better.
5 reasons to buy the Sony NW-A35:
- support for all major audio formats, including DSD;
- compact size and nice design;
- easy management;
- the presence of Bluetooth with LDAC and NFC;
- long time of Autonomous work.
2 reasons not to buy Sony NW-A35:
- proprietary connector;
- Competitors with same price tag sounds interesting.
|Audio formats||DSD, AAC (not DRM), AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, HE-AAC, MP3, WMA (no DRM) and WAV|
|Videos and pictures||AVC (H. 264/AVC), MPEG4|
|Display||3.1″ TFT, 800×480 pixels|
|Memory||16 GB, microSD up to 128 GB;|
|Interfaces||Walkman Port, Bluetooth with LDAC, NFC|
|Dimensions||55.9×97.5×10.9 mm, 98 g|
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