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Sony quietly introduces the new B180 Series Walkman

Sony quietly introduced the new B180 Series Walkman.  No press release that I can see and not a surprise since it only just changes the design but I feel much of what is inside the device is the same as before.  It is 4GB only, USB 2.0, around 20 hours of playback, there is no FLAC support.  Apparently the design is aluminum, which adds a nice premium touch.  Colurs are blue, pink, red and black, price in the UK is 35 pounds, can't seem to find the EU price yet, EU price appears to be 49.00 euros.  It states the device is temporarily out of stock on the Sony UK site.

There is another colour, gold, but that seems to be region limited, as in Russia, Middle East and Africa.  Price in Russia is around 2290 rubles, or 46 Euros.


  1. I love my Sony NWZ B180 MP3 Walkman, it is ALMOST perfect. I bought it to replace my Samsung MP3 YP-U7 player because Samsung not longer sells this type of music player. I bought the Sony and I am glad I did because Sony is doing an excellent job in this market segment. This player is perfect for people who want a player that is cheap, light, small, mobile, strong and easy to use.

    Codec Support

    Currently the player will only play mp3 and wma. Unfortunately there is not support FLAC, WAV, OGG or AAC (Apple Format). I hope in future support more codec’s.

    Menu Navigation

    The navigation of the menu system is very easy and intuitive in comparison to samsung YP-U7.

    Music Playback

    The music playback choices are by "All Songs, Album, Artist, Genre or Folders" which is great. For me the most used playback choice is by folder because it avoids all the inherent ID3 tagging playback problems such as an unexpected or incorrect song playing. These playback problems are not due to any fault with the Sony Player or the ID3 format but are due to variations in id3 naming and missing or incorrect ID3 tagging information.

    Playback Order

    The Samsung YP series of players are unable to play music by track number and the Sony player also suffers from this problem. The player orders the songs alphabetically which is very annoying if you want the songs to play in order. In order to avoid this problem I force the correct play order by renaming all my music filename to be prefixed with the track number before the song name.


    The text screen is crisp and clear unlike the samsung with it's quirky colours and stupid popcorn graphics. There are three display lines. The first line contains the file name (Physical Filename) / the artist name (ID3). The second line contains the folder name, in my case that is the album name. The third line contains play / pause indicator, playback time, bass indicator and battery indicator. Very Simple, Clear and Nice.

    Music Uploading

    Music copying is super easy with just copying exactly the same as any usb memory stick and non of that horrible MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).


    The Sony player does have a hard reset switch which is accessed via a pen tip press. I don't expect I need it because I trust the quality of Song but it is a very useful feature if the player ever enters a stuck state. My Samsung YP series were buggy and this feature proved very useful. Unfortunately the last Samsung YP-U7 player did not have this feature and I had to flash the firmware every time it got stuck. I think less technically inclined people who just have thrown the player away.

    USB Tail Cap

    The tail cap of the Samsung YP-U7 was fantastic, it was a tight fit and never and I mean never came off unexpectedly and I used that player heavily. Unfortunately the Sony NWZ B180 Player has a weak cap and it simply slides of with the smallest amount of pressure. For sure many of these caps are going to get lost. I am thinking of taping it on with sticky tape to prevent this.


    The buttons are simple and very well designed. The button layout has two raised buttons for volume, one for backwards on the side. On the front next to the display a flat button for "play / select" and just before the tail cap on the top and bottom two flat buttons for "track skip". On the rear a key press sliding lock button to prevent accidental button pressing.

    Sound Quality

    The sound quality is reasonable and loud but I suggest upgrading your headphones. The earbuds that are supplied sound a little tinny to me meaning that the high frequency sounds are a little harsh having a displeasingly slightly ear hurting metallic sound in the upper frequency ranges most notable when playing demanding music like metal or rock music. Once I connected my Trust headphones (€30) it sounded ten times better to my untrained ears meaning a clear, full, warm sound with good bass.

  2. Update

    Problems with current player and firmware version 1.00

    1) USB Cap falls off easily
    2) Volume has issues from 25 - 30 with volume increase and decreases instead of incremental increases.
    3) Brightness is a problem in sunlight. Unless it is a cloudy day you can not read the text display outside even with the Brightness set to the maximum of 5.

  3. Anonymous27 October, 2014 19:59

    Problems with current player and firmware version 1.00

    4) The S/N is much worse then my old Samsung, when I plug the Sony Walkman into my mini JBL speakers there is a constant irritating hiss which did not occur with my old Samsung YP-U7

    5) The charge is not what Sony says it is "the built-in Lithium-Ion battery of the Walkman® NWZ-B180F ensures you have enough juice for a 90-minute journey with a quick 3-minute charge", the truth is that when I charged my Walkman for 6 minutes double the time they say it only gave me a charge lasting 60 minutes. Still that is impressive but I don't like it when sales people lie.


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