Sony NWZ-S544 portable media player
This 8GB Sony MP3 player is a strong competitor to the iPod Nano
- Good quality screen, inbuilt stereo speakers
- No Wi-Fi, inferior controls to iPod Nano, poor bundled earphones
Sony's mid-level MP3 player competes with the iPod Nano, and while it is superior for video or photo viewing, the interface doesn't hold a candle to Apple's tried and tested iPod menu system. If you're a multimedia enthusiast and don't mind the lack of Wi-Fi , we'd seriously consider getting the Sony NWZ-S544 instead of Apple's Nano.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Sony's NWZ-S544 is an 8GB MP3 player/portable media player designed to compete with Apple's iPod Nano. It offers a better screen for watching video or playing movies, but it doesn't stand up to the iPod's polished music system.
The Sony NWZ-S544 sports a pleasing design. We tested the pink model, but a variety of colours are offered. The MP3 player is sturdy but still relatively light, so it doesn't add significant weight to your pocket. The matte finish over most of the body seems to be good at preventing scratches.
Rather than a use a touch screen like the iPod Touch does, the Sony NWZ-S544 relies on a five-way navigation pad and physical buttons. Volume control is handled by a side-mounted button which sits next to a hold toggle and a slider to switch between headphones and the internal speaker. Navigating the menu system isn't too difficult but we'd still place the NWZ-S544 behind the iPod Nano in terms of usability, especially for navigating extensive music collections.
The Sony NWZ-S544 MP3 player has a 2.4in, 320x240-pixel screen that is sharp and bright. Sometimes it can seem like there is a lack of colour depth, and the reflective screen is annoying in bright daylight. However it's a better display for watching videos than the Nano's because of its larger size.
The Sony NWZ-S544 has inbuilt stereo speakers that add noticeable size — roughly an extra centimetre on the top and bottom. The speakers allow you to use the NWZ-S544 as an alarm clock, but also let you watch videos in quiet environments. At lower volume levels the audio is reasonable — slightly tinny but clear. Higher volumes introduce significant distortion though, so if you're in a noisy environment the speakers won't be much use.
The bundled earphones of the Sony NWZ-S544 are underwhelming. We liked the headphones bundled with the pricier Sony X-Series a lot more (the X-Series MP3 player and headphones work in tandem to offer noise cancelling) . The Sony NWZ-S544's earphones are adequate for listening to the inbuilt FM radio or low quality MP3s, but you'll notice the improvement if you switch to a better pair.
With a pair of good quality earphones or headphones plugged in, the Sony NWZ-S544 can produce a clean, crisp and musical sound. The MP3 player has a wide volume range — we were easily able to reach uncomfortably loud volumes without distortion — and the integrated EQ allows adjustment of bass and treble.
The Sony NWZ-S544 has pretty standard format support, playing MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC audio files as well as MPEG-4, WMV and AVC video files.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Apple slates March 21 event, with 4-in. iPhone likely on the stage
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Tablets replace books for kids back at school
- Sony shows latest high-end Walkman
- Australian Government issues security warning to Apple users
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCChange Manager - SAP FinanceNSW
- FTLinux Infrastructure EngineerVIC
- CCDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCProject Manager - Healthcare DomainSA
- FTAX Lead Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCDigital Business Analyst (iOS & Android / Web Projects)NSW
- CCMicrosoft System Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCIT Assistant (Office Automation/Windows) 160517/ITA/884Asia
- CCSenior Network Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCChange Manager- ProcurementNSW
- CCSAP Project ManagersNSW
- CCQA OfficerACT
- FTSystems EngineerACT
- FTManager, Applications SpecialistNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - TelcoVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 160520/AP/985Asia
- CCNetwork Architect VoiceNSW
- CCProject Manager/Iteration ManagerVIC
- FTAX Lead Technical ConsultantNSW
- CCTechnical System Engineer (Linux/Mobile/SQL)160524/TSE/vmtAsia
- CCInfrastructure and Cloud Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Systems AnalystSA
- CCRevalidations OfficerACT
- FTProduct Owner - MarketingNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/Oracle) 160523/AP/254Asia