Nowadays most of us take portable media players pretty much for granted, but back in the 1980s, when Sony released its first personal cassette player, they were revolutionary. Thirty years on and cassettes have all but gone and, despite numerous other worthy contenders, Apple holds the media player crown. For many, however, the Walkman is still regarded as the media player of choice and Sony has just revealed a new addition to its iconic family, the supermodel-thin S750. The audio and video player features noise canceling, audio enhancement technologies, a Karaoke mode and 50 hours of audio enjoyment on a single charge.
To some, the very first Walkmans were just annoying, tinny noise on an otherwise fairly quiet subway train. To those lucky enough to own one, though, they provided freedom from interfering radio DJ chatter, the ability to listen to a personal track list and a means to escape the dreary conversations of those around you. Sony has now announced the next addition to the brand, the S750 video MP3 player.
The player is shipped with EX vertical in-ear headphones and features digital noise canceling which is claimed to cut out about 98 per cent of background sound, allowing users to turn down the volume without losing audio clarity. Also included is a special adapter for air travelers who want to make the most of the Walkman's noise canceling capabilities while enjoying the in-flight entertainment.
The S750 benefits from five Clear Audio technologies including Clear Bass and Clear Stereo, and a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine which restores the high frequencies lost in compressed music files such as MP3. Its 2-inch (51mm) LCD display features TruBlack technology to give screen contrast a bit of a boost, and the supplied software allows drag and drop file transfer. Sony's SensMe technology creates themed channels for access to mood music, and for those moments when your own music collection becomes too familiar, there's also an FM radio.
Party people will find the Lyric Sync and Karaoke Mode a useful addition. As the name suggests, the former displays lyrics on the screen while the other reduces the volume of the vocal track to allow users to take center stage. The S750 even allows the playback pitch to be adjusted to cater for those who have trouble reaching the high notes. The player also offers the chance to turn a private sing-along into a public performance via the AV-out port, which also provides for standard definition 720 x 480 video content on a connected TV.
Those wishing to nail a foreign language can take advantage of the player's phrase looping, which repeats a chosen passage at reduced speed without changing pitch or clarity.
All of these multimedia features, along with a battery claimed to give 50 hours of audio or 10 hours of video playback, has been squeezed into a form factor just 0.283-inch (7.2mm) thin. The Walkman S750 will be available in either 8GB or 16GB from October, although Sony's Japanese site also shows a 32GB version. There will also be a splash-proof dock available at the same time.