Friday, May 09, 2014
Sony Walkman NWZ-B173F – Exoneration!

After the rather tragic [or not?] death of my old lousy MP3 player, I started looking for something "good". And by that I mean something that has nothing in any way resembling an iPod. And it's actually both very annoying and very sad that nowadays it's very hard to find a simple MP3 player that both does the job and is not somehow trying to imitate an iPod. =P

A couple of years ago I got my mom a Philips MP3 player which has turned out to be a very nice one, so that's where I started. Trouble though, was that I was looking for something very compact, and with some very specific functions, and Philips doesn't have that. And well, No, I didn't look at Sony Walkman at first. Why? Well because I wasn't hearing a lot of good things about it on one hand, and on the other hand back when I was buying my mom's player, they officially had nothing interesting.

After searching through the catalogues of some of my usual go-to brands and a few others, and not finding what I was looking for, I did eventually end up back at Sony's door. And that's when I come across  the "NWZ-B173F". To me it seemed rather perfect. Small, comfortable controls, clippable, with radio and voice recorder and the pretty nice zap-in feature and a tiny but clear screen. But then of course I looked into the reviews and once again it didn't look very good.

The reviews paint a pretty unseemly picture of the Walkman players in general, and this model very much so as well. Main target of criticism is the design of the player, and the USB cap. It's been said for instance that the cap is a loose fit, and starts to fall off after a few uses. And that the controls don't function very well. There's also been criticism on the sound quality and just about everything else.

Reading through the specs and having a closer look at the design, I decided to go with my guts and get the player anyway. And I'm so glad I did!!


It's been a few months now since I started using the NWZ-B173F, and I'm EXTREMELY happy with it. I can't for the life of me understand where all the nonsense comes from. The cap is not loose, the controls are perfect, and the sound quality is superb. I'm a bloody audiophile after all, I would know.

Now this wouldn't be such a big deal on it's own.. but I think I'm starting to see a pattern. In the past few years, Sony has produced some brilliant hardware, all of which have somehow ended up with either unfair, or really terribly unfair reviews. What is going on here? I mean I know that they have also produced their fair share of pure nonsense, but how exactly have their line of Android tablets and ebook readers ended up so underrated? Heck, even the NEX cameras are quite underrated, for what they're capable of.

So well, yes, I am a bit of Sony fangirl I guess. And this is my attempt at exonerating the Walkman MP3 player. I'm also planning on writing about a few more pieces of Sony hardware soon enough…

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Ahoo "Aasemoon" Pirsoleimani, 1998-2014