Sony iPod Killer? Maybe not…

MP3 players

The Wall Street Journal has the first review of the Sony “iPod” – the NW-HD1 and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it gets pretty trashed… all without one mention about the sound quality.

The review is quick to highlight the NW-HD1’s advantages. The far better battery life is a key point, as is the smaller and lighter chassis. However, apart from that, the Sony apparently lags way behind.

One of its main stumbling blocks is its user interface. Compared to the highly usable iPod, the NW-HD1 is confusing and overly complicated. The PC software is also hard to use, with music files apparently being far too laborious. This is also in part due to the fact that files have to be converted into Sony’s ATRAC3 file format as they are transferred to the player. iTunes is also far more user-friendly than Sony’s own Connect music downloads service.

Despite giving it a round thrashing on nearly every aspect, the review fails to make any mention of the actual sound quality of the NW-HD1. But this may actually be its saving grace. From our own experience of an early sample of the player, we suspect it of having superior sound quality to the iPod. So maybe there’s hope for it yet.

Read the full review here.

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