Sony Walkman NWZ-B173 £32

25th Apr 2012 | 08:30

Sony Walkman NWZ-B173

A slight return from the former king of portable music

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Small and discrete, but still a very good MP3 player.


Very portable; Quick charge; Good sound quality; Cheap price; Built-in USB;


Not the easiest to navigate; Zap mode is annoying;

It feels like a long time since the Sony Walkman was the king of portable music, with the Apple iPod stealing its thunder.

The Sony Walkman NWZ-B173 isn't going to revolutionise the MP3 player market, but it's a decent budget player with a few nice features.

A charge of just three minutes provides 90 minutes' playback - whilst a longer charge gives around 18 hours.

A built-in USB interface is a nice touch that makes plugging it into a PC incredibly quick, and adding files is done via dragging and dropping in Windows Explorer, no need for proprietary programs or iTunes annoyances here.

A small LCD screen shows you where you are, and it's easy enough to navigate through the menus.

Holding down a button gives the bass a boost, but there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.

Annoyingly, pressing that same button turns on the 'Zap' mode - which plays snippets of your music for you to choose a song you like. Not only is it pretty pointless, it is preceded with a loud voice that says 'Zapping in'.

Sound quality is good, though the included headphones are a bit on the uncomfortable side to wear.

MP3 players Sony
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