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Sony Walkman review at What Hi-Fi?

Chromatischism

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#1
I'd like to see them produce a measurement that supports this claim.

If you’re looking for a sonic upgrade over your phone, the Sony will offer it across the board. It has a next-level maturity when it comes to delivering clarity, cleanliness and weight, and its well-timed sprightliness and more than a hint of dynamics save it from mimicking the often flat presentation you get from a phone’s output.
https://www.whathifi.com/us/reviews/sony-nw-a55l
 

Hemi-Demon

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#2
That is a ton of functionality for only $220, whats not to like as an early entry into the hobby. Most Sony units sound great, tad warmish, have great battery life, an excellent OS, but measure poorly. That even goes for the Wm1a/Wm1Z series. Folks love them though.
 
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#3
Same here, would love to see more measurements on Sony DAPs.
 
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#5
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-audio-player-review.12950/page-5#post-524415

Adding to random observations I like to put into writing about products I understand well, I will note that:
  1. 'a sonic upgrade over your phone' is correct? based on subjective listening (link in post-524415), and here Walkman wins over Xperia:
  2. 'maturity when it comes to delivering clarity, cleanliness' refers to how the remaining noise in the A series has been pushed down further in A100
  3. 'well-timed sprightliness and more than a hint of dynamics save it from mimicking the often flat presentation you get from a phone’s output', now this is getting to the point: the sound is engaging to the ears rather than true to the original digital file - it changes the file to something a bit different - DSEE HX AI/Extreme and other Sony DSP is at play here, so is the Sony S-Master DAC
Why is it necessary to change the file? While some music is mastered well and can maximise the phone's DAC capabilities to be engaging enough without DSP or hardware gimmicks for clean analog output, most do need help to achieve their potential. Now that is just a general statement from me and the reality is very complicated. Which phone DAC? What player on Android? What Walkman settings? What IEM? What file/source? And when I and that website publish our writings on the Internet, we rely on memory or notes written when we listened, and our ears may be tired depending on the time of the day we listened. And we are all different too.

My intent of course: one day small dongles will surpass DAPs in terms of 'enjoyableness' of the sound (not UI). One can do so even now, by remastering your files in a simple wave editor - Audacity is pretty powerful before Sound Forge or Wavelab is discussed. And before using good plugins, free ones are fairly fun to use. A layperson cannot easily reproduce good sound after editing, and it won't be 'as true to the original' like the Sony DSP which are intentionally subtle (to 'recreate' or 'simulate vinyl' etc). A trained professional does not need a walkman - any dongle will do, but they must use Audacity etc to tailor the sound for that dongle. This is a highly niche hobby. You make it easier for the mastering engineer - they have to tailor the sound to play well on any source/player. You can tailor it just for the DAC and IEM and software player you intend. On the other hand you can do adjustments in the player but they are limited and variable in terms of quality. You don't have as much control as you would in Audacity etc.

A trained professional may find that a Walkman reproduces sound just like the studio sound. It is hard to argue against that - but one asks in retort, are you comparing with studio monitors or IEMs or what?

A trained professional may find that a PCM recorder records audio better than a phone with a mic plugged into it. There is no way around that reality. Playback is different because I am still gauging the true extent it is necessary to design DACs perfectly - why would the small DAC sound different from a DAP, and which is sufficient for reproduction of sound? Are the small capacitors squeezed into the dongle or phone or PC sufficient or are the bigger ones in the DAP necessary? How different and how necessary are the differences between DAPs and dongle DACs? Anyone who tries DAPs would certainly decide that it sounds better but I have tried to suggest optimising your audio for the dongles instead of buying DAPs and relying on their 'subtle DSP and bigger caps'.

Essentially I am reiterating the old fashion - if you truly care about audio then remaster your audio as you listen - create the sound you prefer and save that and listen to it exclusively on the DAC you used. Better DACs aren't necessary as long as yours isn't flawed. DAPs are just like automatic remastering engineers - one choice among other AI mastering plugins, but I have not seen conclusive proof that as a DAC, they are truly 'better'.
 
Last edited:

pozz

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#6
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-audio-player-review.12950/page-5#post-524415

Adding to random observations I like to put into writing about products I understand well, I will note that:
  1. 'a sonic upgrade over your phone' is correct? based on subjective listening (link in post-524415), and here Walkman wins over Xperia:
  2. 'maturity when it comes to delivering clarity, cleanliness' refers to how the remaining noise in the A series has been pushed down further in A100
  3. 'well-timed sprightliness and more than a hint of dynamics save it from mimicking the often flat presentation you get from a phone’s output', now this is getting to the point: the sound is engaging to the ears rather than true to the original digital file - it changes the file to something a bit different - DSEE HX AI/Extreme and other Sony DSP is at play here, so is the Sony S-Master DAC
Why is it necessary to change the file? While some music is mastered well and can maximise the phone's DAC capabilities to be engaging enough without DSP or hardware gimmicks for clean analog output, most do need help to achieve their potential. Now that is just a general statement from me and the reality is very complicated. Which phone DAC? What player on Android? What Walkman settings? What IEM? What file/source? And when I and that website publish our writings on the Internet, we rely on memory or notes written when we listened, and our ears may be tired depending on the time of the day we listened. And we are all different too.

My intent of course: one day small dongles will surpass DAPs in terms of 'enjoyableness' of the sound (not UI). One can do so even now, by remastering your files in a simple wave editor - Audacity is pretty powerful before Sound Forge or Wavelab is discussed. And before using good plugins, free ones are fairly fun to use. A layperson cannot easily reproduce good sound after editing, and it won't be 'as true to the original' like the Sony DSP which are intentionally subtle (to 'recreate' or 'simulate vinyl' etc). A trained professional does not need a walkman - any dongle will do, but they must use Audacity etc to tailor the sound for that dongle. This is a highly niche hobby. You make it easier for the mastering engineer - they have to tailor the sound to play well on any source/player. You can tailor it just for the DAC and IEM and software player you intend. On the other hand you can do adjustments in the player but they are limited and variable in terms of quality. You don't have as much control as you would in Audacity etc.

A trained professional may find that a Walkman reproduces sound just like the studio sound. It is hard to argue against that - but one asks in retort, are you comparing with studio monitors or IEMs or what?

A trained professional may find that a PCM recorder records audio better than a phone with a mic plugged into it. There is no way around that reality. Playback is different because I am still gauging the true extent it is necessary to design DACs perfectly - why would the small DAC sound different from a DAP, and which is sufficient for reproduction of sound? Are the small capacitors squeezed into the dongle or phone or PC sufficient or are the bigger ones in the DAP necessary? How different and how necessary are the differences between DAPs and dongle DACs? Anyone who tries DAPs would certainly decide that it sounds better but I have tried to suggest optimising your audio for the dongles instead of buying DAPs and relying on their 'subtle DSP and bigger caps'.

Essentially I am reiterating the old fashion - if you truly care about audio then remaster your audio as you listen - create the sound you prefer and save that and listen to it exclusively on the DAC you used. Better DACs aren't necessary as long as yours isn't flawed. DAPs are just like automatic remastering engineers - one choice among other AI mastering plugins, but I have not seen conclusive proof that as a DAC, they are truly 'better'.
There is only so much you can pull from reviews and colloquial sources without engaging the academic or scholarly material about listening tests, electronics and headphones/speaker. You may find that your will opinions change.
 
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#7
I promise I will review academic or scholarly material in making posts about DSD audio or Walkmans in the future.
 
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