So, nearly 8 years have passed since I bought my Sony X1060 - and after hundreds, if not thousands of hours of use, the headphone jack shows signs of wear with a bad contact for the right headphone output...
Having initially chosen a different product I was told that the shop had many problems with it. OK? Well, the (in relative terms) cheaper Sony it is then, I have been happy with Sony MP3 players so far.
(Regarding the product quality.)
A little while later I then said hello to the NW-A35.
- I'm not a 100% fan of the interface coming from the X1060, but there is really one functionality I miss: the ability to scroll through albums starting from the album I am currently at. I.e. on the X1060, I could listen to an album that start, say with M, and continue searching up or down from the letter M. On the A35 with the 1.20 firmware I cannot do this.
Otherwise I have no major complaints about the interface.
- I'm under the impression that the A35 responds less quickly to button presses - at least from sleep than the X1060, but maybe that's a wrong impression.
- I really like the dual "lock" - one button to turn the screen on and off and a dedicated button to lock the physical controls if so desired. That's a good choice from my point of view, in contrast to the single hold-button on the X1060 that could lock either all or just the screen.
- As in Europe only the 16GB version can be bought easily, microSD-card support is a must, and works well, no complaints. (A 64GB Lexar card.) Why do so few sell 32GB players? That's a good "started size". And why is on-board memory so expensive when a microSD-card can be had comparatively cheaply? Anyway... I have enough space for my music, and too much leads to a mess anyway.
- A big plus of the A35 over the X1060 is the audio output: There is no (!!) hiss with Sennheiser IE8 (yes, those old ones) on the A35 while there is some on the X1060.
- Power for me is more than adequate - with Sennheiser IE8, Beyerdynamic T50p as well as Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro. However I also want to retain my hearing in good working order.
Given that there is some similarity in the volume level (not drastically less for the DT990 Pro vs. the IE8) I would guess that there could be a larger output impendance - or power output is controlled actively relative to resistance. I don't know, measurements are for other to make.
- Another nice point: While Sony uses a proprietary connection, it is compatible across devices, my old 8 year old cable works, great :).
- The Sony A35 shows up as a mass storage device with no further drivers required, which is excellent. (No need for any proprietary lock in - at least for the basics of music transfer.)
- One thing I don't like: The headphone jack at the bottom. I'd have much preferred it at the top - or as a possible alternative on the left hand side. Having the thing on the bottom basically forces me to place the player upside down in my jacket pocket...
- I cannot comment on either the bluetooth or the NFC technology as I have no need for either.
And that's all for a quick sign of life & opinion on my website.