The company that invented the Walkman has now made music even more portable. Sony's NWZ-W202 cuts the cord on portable music players by putting the entire device inside the headphone.
The model consists of two earpieces that look similar to Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones, but offer 2GB of storage memory to hold 500 MP3 tracks. The two earpieces are connected to each other by a wraparound band that helps keep it on your head.
The design has obvious advantages, the biggest of which is full freedom of movement without having to worry about the connecting wires that dangle from standard MP3 players. But the downside is that you will not be able to search for songs while looking at a menu because there is no display.
Sony's solution is its so-called ZAPPIN technology, which lets you search for songs by listening to a few seconds of the chorus of a track. There is also a shuffle feature for a random play list.
It supports most audio file formats, including MP3, AAC and WMA, and offers drag-and-drop file transfer from a computer. The battery lasts for 12 hours, with a three-minute quick-charge function that powers you up for 90 minutes.
The NWZ-W202 is expected to cost about HK$800 to HK$900 when it launches officially this month. Pros: no wires to tangle, quick charge for temporary power Cons: no display, does not work on 64-bit Windows or Macs