If you recall, about a week ago I mentioned that Sony had sent me three of their MP3 players. One to review and two units to give away. What a nice company! I was really excited to see these come in the mail as I have really been having some major problems with a competitor's MP3 headphones and have been getting really tired of the problems. Now I typically don't race with headphones on but I always run with headphones when I'm training so I figured I could give them a real workout.
A first look at the unit, the thing I noticed was how nice the packaging is for the unit. It's very easy to see it and is packaged in good quality. Cut around the edges and you are in business!
According to the package, these are water resistant(not water proof). The water rating on these is IPX5 rated. The technical definition of IPX5:
"Protected against water jets - Water projected at all angles through a 6.3mm nozzle at a flow rate of 12.5 liters/min at a pressure of 30kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters."
I can't say I really know what that means other than you are likely not going to have to worry about them in light rain or when sweating(which many people do when they run)
|Sweating to the oldies!|
Inside the package is the following:
The actual MP3 player
Instructions how to use it
Some earpiece adapters
A cord to plug the MP3 player into your computer
A holder to prevent magnetic leakage
Magnetic Leakage??? - Yes, there is a magnet on the unit to hold the two earpieces together when they are not in use. This is what the holder is for - to keep the magnet from ruining say a credit card next to it.
Surprisingly, I was expecting there to be a CD that would need to be used to load the software but all you do is plug in the unit to the computer and it does it for you. Nice for those not inclined to use the computer that much. Then again, it is an MP3 player so it's helpful if you know how to use the computer.
Speaking of computers, this unit is compatible with Mac computers and PC computers. It took me awhile on the Mac(stupid me) but I have it working thanks to the folks at Sony. All you have to do is drag songs to the music folder on the walkman and they show up on the unit. That's all there is too it. There is no software if you use a Mac but you can get songs directly by dragging them to the Walkman.
I also plugged the unit into my Windows laptop and it recognized it. I was then able to click on setup and it downloaded the software to my computer. After that, I was able to download songs from the computer to the unit. Very easy!
It should also be noted that the unit is also charged through the computer with no batteries to replace. Just plug in the transfer cable and it will charge while it's plugged into the computer.
The transfer of songs was very quick. I put around 55 songs on it to start and it loaded in a couple minutes. Next was learning how to use the unit. It's actually really easy to use and you don't even need the directions to learn how. On the unit, there are several buttons. A next song or back song lever, a volume up button, a volume down button, a shuffle button. If you want to go to the next folder, such as to go to another playlist, you just move the next song lever and hold it until it says it's switching to the next list. Very easy to use. One thing I did have to read in the directions was how to turn it off. You need to take off the headphones and put the magnet together. This turns it off. There is no off switch. One thing you cannot do is charge the unit and listen to the music at the same time.
The other thing I liked about it is that if you press the lever in, it will scan through songs quickly and then you press it again and the song will play. That was a nice feature compared to having to repeatedly pressing a button like others. This is especially useful when running so you are not changing your running form as much just to change a song.
|Vol buttons & switch song button long with plug for computer|
|Overall look while charging|
|Overall look interior|
Capacity and Charging - The Sony MP3 player is a 2 GB unit. This means you can put tons of songs on it. Like 470 songs at 128 kbps. That a LOT of music. More than enough to run a full marathon if you choose to run with this in a marathon.
Comfort - I thought the player was comfortable with a couple exceptions. The unit is comfortable when you are walking around inside. If you run outside, like I do most days, you need a beanie to keep you warm in winter. I did take a picture with a beanie on so you can see what it looks like. A real dork but really the unit still worked just fine. It was a little snug on my ears but I'm thinking that I'll probably get used to it as I use it more. When the weather warms up, this will not be an issue at all. You can even wear a hat and sunglasses in summer if you want. You can also feel the cord at the base of your neck but you do get used to it.
Biking with them - I used the headphones for the first time on my bike. What I can tell you is they worked perfect. Stayed in place really nice and never noticed I even had them on.
Running with them - I used the headphones on my 6.2 mile treadmill run today. Yes, I actually chose to use the treadmill today to test out the headphones. At first, the moved a little and I thought, oh no, I can't deal with this. However, once again, they remained in place after about a tenth of a mile and worked really well and did not move at all. I could not tell I had them on.
Swimming with them - Nope. Don't do this. As I said, they are water resistant, not water proof.
Sound - I thought the sound was decent. I have been listening to songs while writing this review. The bass on the player is great but not overpowering. Because the volume controls are easy to use, it was nice to be able to increase or decrease the sound with the click of a switch. Also, based on how the unit is made, with the earplugs going into your ear, you can hear the music quite nicely. Much better than other MP3 players I have tried. One con is that you also can't hear your surroundings as much so be careful when running with these.
Price - $50. Reasonable price and very competitive for what you get. A nice reliable MP3 player for running or any other activity.
If you enjoyed the review(and made it this far), as I said I am offering two of these units for prizes in a contest thanks to Sony. Here's what you need to do:
1) You must be a follower of my blog(and leave a comment here)(mandatory)
2) Go to Detroit Runner's Facebook page and "like" my page and either leave a comment on the facebook page or on the blog(mandatory)
3) Go to Sony's Facebook page and "like" their page and leave a comment that Detroit Runner sent you there AND let me know that you did it by commenting here.(bonus)
4) If you blog about this review or add it to your sidebar for contests, I'll add two more entries into the contest but this is not required.(double bonus)
This gives you 5 chances to win! That's it. That's all you have to do to win. The contest will not expire until March 25th so that gives you 3 weeks to get in and also spread the word. Good luck everyone and once again, Thank you to Sony for sponsoring the two units for the prizes.
Have a great day and......Keep Running!!!!!