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Review: Sony MP3 NW-E407

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Blackspeech, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Blackspeech

    Blackspeech
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    Basics:

    Size: 1 Gb
    Colour: Black
    Amazon £119.99

    Well here I am having finally bought an MP3 player, having had the item two days here is my initial review (I will update if anything new arises).

    The player comes in a nice black Sony box, nicely presented. Inside you get in-ear headphones (Black) and an extension cord. There is a small velvet effect, drawstring bag to put the player in when it is not being used. There is no neck cord but you do get a belt clip which clips round the top and sits snugly and very neatly around the bottom of the player. You also get a USB lead for PC/Laptop connection and SonicStage software Vs. 3.0 on CDROM.

    The 407 doesn't have a radio - to be honest I don't listen to it since I have more than enough music on the player itself. If you want a radio and are short on budget ask yourself how often you listen to the radio...and what you listen to if it's music only - do you need the radio? I didn't.

    The construction is sound. The player is small but substantial in weight so you don't feel that you have to handle it too carefully. The controls are located at the top and rather remind me of a cigarette lighter. They are easy to use and the volume controls, while a little sensitive are located either side of the main shuttle switch. The Play/Stop button requires a firm(ish) push to operate and is slightly recessed into the body, this means that it will not be pushed accidentally very easily while in your pocket - I have tried this out.

    The search/menu and display buttons are small, and sit just on the cusp of the rise into the main control area. This means they are harder to access if using a finger running form the main control panel over. To make it easier it is just as well to hold it in two hands and then use a finger from the other direction to that talked about above. In Sony's defence: for those of us that do not engage 'hold' very often (so volume is easily adjusted and tracks switched) the design of the buttons is superb overall as they are not easily pressed due to the design.

    The display is crystal clear and a nice shade of blue on my player. Easy to read and the level of information displayed is good. There is a thick, clear, hard plastic cover (non-removable) on the upper half of the player which protects the screen (but would obviously scratch if kept in a pocket with keys etc). It does however make the player feel solid. The headphone socket is a standard 3mm Jack - with no remote plug on any model. I am unsure at this time if you can attach any accessory that would give you a remote control option.

    The USB port located on the bottom of the unit lets you sync music as expected but also passes through a charge when you connect. This is the only means by which you can recharge the battery. Some find this odd, but for those working with laptops on a day to day basis it is helpful not to have to carry an adaptor. However, at times when you are away on holiday you will need computer access to keep using the plyer beyond it's stated 53 hours battery time. The 3 minute charge is a feature I have yet to use.

    As I have not had the player long enough I cannot write anything about the battery life here. I will update the review at a later date.

    For iTunes users I understand you find the Sony software not very intuitive. I can understand that a little. My advice is that any users should import the tracks as directed in the quickstart guide - it is very easy to do. Remember that the default format is Atrac3plus @ a rate of 64kbps. The quality at this level is very good, and allows you to import around 45 CD's onto the player.

    Once tracks are imported click into 'my library' and select AUTO. Using auto means no matter how many tracks in the library the software will only import those not already in the player. If you do not wish to import them all at this time then select the items you want and click the red arrow pointing at the MP3 Player content list. (TIP If you use a USB memory stick it is just like copying files in Windows Explorer). At around 2 mins to transfer an 11 track album the speed of transfer is good enough.

    The sound quality of the player is very good with options to configure the sound in terms of Bass & Treble although 3 points on each doesn't sound like much, they do make a difference.

    I am using Sennheiser PX200 headphones which give a great response in all aspects - especially for Gary Numan's 'Are Friend's Electric' - very crisp and tight with the right tones. Numan tracks often sound empty and devoid of any real body due to the total use of syths and electronic drums. The mid-eight/ instrumental on this track demands a good source and with the Sony NW-E407 and Sennheiser PX200's you get great delivery.

    While the 1 Gb size may seem small compared to the larger storage options out there it is important to ask yourself if you are going to download or have that many tracks on your player. For me, I will just move tracks back and forth from player to PC as required. I was considering the HD5 to store photographs of my son on (as back-up) but due to the issue of button cracking decide to give it a miss and go for music only.

    The Sony NW-E407 may suit your needs, it may not. I have found it to be a great player so far and the size and weight is a real bonus. :thumbsup:
     
  2. recsnmisc

    recsnmisc
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  3. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    I really liked the way it looks and the Sony remote style controls as well as the paddle volume buttons. It just feels very nice to use. But it requires Sonicstage which you can't run off the player (and requires a reboot anyway) and is dead slow to load. Display is also invisible in daylight. Minor complaints, but the 400 series is also really heavy for a flash player and the screen is a scratch magnet.


    In the end I abandoned it for the iAudio/iRiver/Creative flash players. I gave the 407 away and the 507 is collecting dust.
     
  4. Ginge22

    Ginge22
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    I'm in the same boat. I purchased an NW-E507 and I am going to return it and purchase an iAudio 5 or G3. The E507 looks and feels great, but it's not good for listening to audiobooks or podcasts since there is no bookmarking feature. Like you said, it is also easy to scratch and impossible to see in daylight. Sonicstage is a nightmare as well and files take longer than usual to transfer. I wanted to love this player, and I do...it's gorgeous looking...but the iAudio players off more of the features I need.
     
  5. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Unfortunately it is a functional disappointment if you have used other recent flash players, especially the iAudios. The 407/507 does enough to impress anyone who has not had a flash player before / for a while, and that's probably what Sony had in mind.
     

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