Thoughts: Sony NWZ-WH505 and NWZ-WH303 headphones

In the park, on the streets or skateboarding with your mates, now you can play your music, your way. The new Walkman® WH Series brings you the best of Sony – speakers, headphones, and digital music player – in one innovative, wire-free design.

The Walkman WH Series were first introduced early in September, allowing users to enjoy their music in 3 different ways, as a digital music player, speaker and its original function, a headphone. Thanks to Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstorm, I received the NWZ-WH303 and NWZ-WH505, 4GB and 16GB headphones respectively, for a comparison / test.

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- NWZ-WH303 box set. I didn’t take any photos on the external of the NWZ-WH505 box, aside from storage differences and some wordings, it looked identical.


- Micro USB / USB cable, headphone to phone /player wire and manual.


- Matte feel on the cover piece. RW/Play/FF and Volume, as seen on left. (note: look at the red lined area, that’s the speaker / surround sound feature)


- Walkman logo lit up when in ‘Play’ mode. Glossy feel on NWZ-WH505 cover piece.


- Red rim on button areas found on NWZ-WH505, to differentiate between both headphones.


- and a selfie of me wearing the WH505, to show how the additional speaker / surround sound feature doesn’t overly stand out while wearing it.

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Here are my thoughts for NWZ-WH303 & NWZ-WH505:

Pros
- Features: as a digital music player (MP3 player), a headphone and speakers (note: surround sound feature)
- Storage: up to 4GB or 16GB storage for music listening, especially great for those who would prefer a choice not to hook up to the phone or digital players (e.g. me, without the annoying tangled cables).
- Buttons: all the necessary RW/Play/FF/etc. buttons can be found on either side of the headphone piece and the system would vocalize the command when pressed.
- Sound: clarity in music and vocal for both models but better vocal clarity, for the WH505.
- Comfort: comfortable cushioning for longer period listening (for me, 2 hours and more) and adjusted for better fit.
- Design: even with the speaker / surround sound feature, it didn’t look bulky and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.
- Format: wider range of audio format, without needing to convert all to MP3.
- Battery: 20 hours worth of battery life and Sony extended the quick charge to this series of headphones (3min charge for 60mins playback).
- Other: when in ‘Play’ mode, the Walkman logo lights up.

Cons
- Weight: significantly heavier than other brands, due to the additional speaker function / feature but did not cause any neck ache.
- Sound: bass is almost non-existence, not suitable for those who’d prefer listening to songs that emphasize more on bass or heavy metal.
- Buttons: it’ll take new users some time to get used to the buttons on the headphones, even with the system vocalizing the commands.
- Cover: glossy cover of the WH505 is quite the finger print magnet, require regular wipe-down.
- Size: it might not fit well or as comfortable for those with slightly wider head circumference (note: tested by bf).
- Price: a little on the high side but I feel is acceptable for the 3 way usage, for both models.

Summarized:
The Sony WH series headphones are good for those who’d prefer headphones over earphones, for comfort, easy listening and the occasional surround sound feature for music sharing. As for users who prefer heavier bass type music, you might want to consider the XBA or MDR series instead.

Thoughts:
I would prefer the WH505 more, for the sound / vocal clarity but I like the matte feel on the WH303. Well, sometimes when it comes to products, we can’t necessary have best of both worlds, heh.
Just a suggestion, an optional water proof pouch or carrying case to keep headphones or future series, since it rains all so often in Singapore.

The Sony NWZ-WH303, is available at S$129.00 in three colors, white / black / red and the Sony NWZ-WH505, is available at S$249.00 in two colors, black / silver.

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For more details and retail locations, please head over to Sony Singapore website - http://www.sony.com.sg.

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