"Great Sound, Deep, Rich Bass, Great Headphones"4.0 starson by suburbanite1
Pros: Drag & Drop File Transfer
Can Sync with Itunes
External Player Controls- Easy to Operate it While it's in Your Pocket
Good Build Quality
Cons: Really Only 14g Storage Space- about 2g used for Software
Bluetooth Takes Very Long Time to Connect to Other Devices
Summary: This is a media-only player- It's not intended to rival the Ipod Touch- and that's why I got it. You don't have to go through too many menus in order to just find or play one song. You get external player controls- the Touch and the Zune HD don't give you that. You have to use the touchscreen to scroll through tracks.The FM radio is weak. I can get few stations in the large, affluent metro area I live in which is also a valley- I should be able to get a lot more than this device can. This is with both the OEM earphones and aftermarket headphones (Bose AE2).
I've only used the MP3 player. I haven't used the video, podcast or microphone features so I can't comment on them.
I got this device because I wanted sound quality that I didn't think the Ipods could deliver, given their emphasis on minitiuriziation (Nano), multitasking (Touch) or sheer storage space at the expense of bulk (Classic) and the Walkman has delivered. For the first time in a long time, I've found myself smile when I heard a favorite passage of music such as "It's No Good" from Depeche Mode. The bass and more generally the richness of the music is awesom.
I've done most of my listening through the in-ear monitor headphones that came with this device, and they bear limited credit for the sound performance thereof; I tried them with my Droid X2 phone, listening to the exact same track "It's No Good" at the same 320 kbps rate downloaded from the same computer file and the sound was both very quiet/weak and had lots of distortion.
That's all I can tell you so far as I've had this device for only 5 days.
Updated on Sep 1, 2011
The absence of a subscription radio service app is annoying- no Slacker, Pandora or Zune.
As of this writing, accessories from Sony for the A-series are few; the armband and silicone cases are for the E and S series only. It's almost as if Sony values the lower end buyer more highly. A silicone case wouldn't been good given how small and slippery this device is; it would be easy to drop it.
To conclude, this device is what it is purported to be- a simple, media only device with an emphasis on music sound quality. It is rather expensive at $220 with a 14GB capacity, though, so it had better be exactly what you want and you should know what it doesn't offer before buying.
Updated on Sep 6, 2011I finally emailed Sony about Sony-made accessories for this item; here are the questions I asked and the answers I got from email@example.com.
Q: Will Sony sell a silicone or rubber casing for the NWZ-A865?
Q: Will Sony sell an armband for the NWZ-A865?
A: "Sony does not sell silicone or rubber casing and armband for this model. I would suggest that you check with your favorite retailer, specialty magazines, or search the Internet for available options that may be available from third-party manufacturers to address your request."
RE: AC ADAPTER
Q: Do you sell or recommend a usb 2.0 AC convertor?
A: "The battery of the Walkman Player is recharged while it is connected to a running Computer. An AC Adaptor cannot be used with the Player."