Sony NW-A805 review

Excellent - stylish looks, great sound and picture quality Tested at £120.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Yet another fantastic, non-Apple mini MP3 player. The nano’s facing its strongest ever rivals...


  • +

    Stylish looks

  • +

    great sound and picture quality

  • +

    surprisingly accomplished headphones


  • -

    2GB will fill fast, especially with video

  • -

    bundled software is clumsy

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We almost feel sorry for new MP3 players. It can't be easy going up against the mighty iPod, yet companies can't help but take their chances against Apple. So here we are again, with another challenger squaring-up to the nano for the featherweight crown.

The good news is the NW-A805 might take its rival the full 12 rounds. Like the nano, it has great looks, a weighty feel and 2GB of storage. Unlike the Apple, it has decent headphones.

Double software trouble
The '805 will accept a variety of video and audio formats, and the supplied software converts the files. However, you use two programs, one for audio and another for video, and neither is intuitive. This is in stark contrast to the '805 itself, which is a doddle to use.

Better yet, playback is brilliant. Videos are bright, colourful and sharp, while music is detailed and muscular, something that's helped by the decent 'phones. This portable is excellent; looks like we just found ourselves a contender.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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