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Live photos of E-Series and S-Series from CNET (Updated)

CNET’s Jasmine France got a hold of the new E and S from Sony. The new walkmans look surprisingly good in the live shots and should sell well due to competitive pricing, but CNET did mention this had its downsides. Link to the review and gallery after the break.

Link to CNET article

Live Shots of E-Series and S-Series

The main reason for the lower cost is lack of integrated noise-cancelling, higher end headphones, SensMe Channels, or Rhapsody DNA. I can understand the removal of noise cancelling but including MDR-E804 headphones is a crime. I used to have an old pair of E804s, apart from their poor sound, they were uncomfortable and kept falling out. The price was around 20 dollars which is inexpensive but for 10-15 bucks more one can buy the MDR-EX33s and for 20 bucks more the MDR-EX35s. Of course there are other brands but I specify Sony’s headphones since these 2 different models could have been included with the new players.

I currently use the MDR-EX85s which came with my NWZ-A818. The same pair shipped with the old E and S which is why they were a much better purchase than some competing players. Without these higher end headphones, the new E and S maybe not sound great straight out of the box unless you buy some better headphones. Personally I think removing the better headphones was a blunder on Sony’s part and I am sure people would have gladly paid extra for better headphones. Of course this I just my opinion.

Back to the players, the new S-Series with its larger 2.4 inch screen is a tad larger than the old A-Series, coming in at 1.1 mm deeper and 5.4 mm taller, but slightly less wide. From the photos, the build quality appears to be quite good. One thing that concerns me is the area around the screens in both the E and S. In the previous models the area next to the screen was covered by the player’s case whereas in the new models, the screen cover goes all the way to the edge and even more in the S. Of course one can buy a silicone case from Sony but sometimes these cases do not ship at the same time as the walkmans and one is left with nothing to protect the player from scratches.

I will definitely check the new S and E out once they arrive in store, but will unlikely get either. I am wondering though if Sony will introduce other models with noise cancellation and SensME, perhaps a NWZ-S65x or NWZ-E74x. It would be a shame if these lower end models were stripped of features only to have these features added to a new A-Series or second gen X-Series so as to jack up their prices.

Update, DAPreview has a photo comparing the S-Series to the new Zii egg and the X-Series. The brightness and contrast of the screen seems to be on par with past models, but not as vibrant as the OLED on the X. Furthermore DAPreview member Harder mentions the speakers on the S to be quite good and even better than on the new Zii. It remains to be seen if this is the actual case but if it is, then this will plus for the S.

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