Sony DAPs Vs. The World (NW)

I’ve seen endless posts about Hiby and FiiO and Shanling players but nearly none about the Sony NW-series of players (NW-35, NW-45, NW-50/NW-55, NW-100/NW-105), even the ZX’s! I know they’re much more popular in Japan than in the US.

Does anyone have any experience with them? If so, how did it go?
Do they sound good? Are they worth how much you spent for them? How do they stack up against other DAP’s you’ve used?

Just looking for opinions on them, thanks!


I mean most of the modern sony players I have used have been solid, I think they sound pretty nice, but personally the more chifi brands tend to offer more price per dollar and more flexibility than the Sony’s, hence why they don’t get a ton of mentions imo, but pretty much most of the people I know that own sony players don’t really have many complaints with them


I’ve been looking at lots and lots of players recently and the UI/design and look/feel of the pre-android Sony DAPs has really caught my eye. I do like look of the NW-100’s though. Still having trouble narrowing my down choices, but I feel like it’ll probably come down to a FiiO or Sony player in the end.

Just been looking for something with alright battery life and a bit of customization or tweakability sound-wise. Android-based doesn’t bother me, I’ve used it for nearly ever and I like the customizability it offers, but it does sometimes conflict with the battery time issue on some nice players and makes me feel like a dedicated audio software type might (small might) suit me better. Doesn’t have to run anything powerful (over 100ohms) but preferably won’t sound noisy on sensitive IEM’s.
Open to suggestions if you have any!

Also thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

For UI and usability the sony players are good in that regard, very mature os and support, so most likely more reliable than the fiio stuff which I have had issues with in the past (but they weren’t that much of a bother)

What do you plan to be powering and what budget range are you looking in?

To add to what M0N said, a lot of the Sony ones sound good but they tend to be quiet pricy, especially compared to the fully fledged Android offerings from HiBy or Fiio.
If one wanted a barebones dap then Sony is an option for sure.

I have some used FH5’s (19 ohms) coming in,and already own some BL-03’s (32) and the 58x’s (80). I don’t own a dac/amp so using a dap as one would be a good, but temporary, option for me. Definitely not necessary, just a plus.

For price, I’m trying not to go over $400. Anything over $500 would be a tough sell, but doable. I tend to always buy used, so recommending anything over 400 or 500 is fine.

I heard to not put more into a DAP than what you’ll listen to it on and that’s probably true, but who knows what I might or might not end up buying in the future.

The hiby r3 pro is quite nice, but you would want to recable to balanced for the best experience with it, and most sony daps would also be preferable if used balanced. Also the hd58x is 150 ohms but it’s not a problem as they are easy to drive

I might be looking at that again seeing as I no longer really need to stream

I thought they were 82
: |

I have an NW-45 and love it.
UI is great (pre Android).
Sony use there own dacs so have a slightly different sound to the rest of the pack.
I doubt you’d call the sound top of the line and they aren’t super powerhouses nor do they have balanced outputs until you get to the tol models.
What sold it for me is battery life…I get 45+ hrs per charge…I bit less if I use the line out to my topping amp.
It’s also small so easily pocketable.
They are good, solid, decent sounding daps.
My mate got the latest Fiio and I can’t say I had any envious thoughts about wanting to change despite all the Fiios bells and whistles.


I agree on battery life. Battery life of many of the more hifi-ish DAPs is mediocre at best, for a DAP good battery life is important. Before the current mess I did a lot of long haul flying and business trips, having 4-5 times the battery life is way more valuable to me than a minor difference in SQ in a DAP. Which is why I now use my Galaxy S10 phone as a DAP when travelling. Sound is perfectly adequate, battery life good and it’s one less thing to carry around. The Sony DAPs I have tried sounded fine but output power wasn’t great.

I’ve had my ZX-507 for ~6 weeks now. It’s a Japan domestic model; ordered off eBay, and including stupid AF sales tax (ugh…trying not to rant about sales tax I had to pay for a purchase from a Japanese seller via eBay, and my state having zero to do with it), it was $770USD. Shipping speed was beyond impressive. I had it in my hands (I live Midwest U.S.) less than 48 hours after placing the order.

I have always been a bit of a Sony fanboy, to get that out of the way. I have ~225 hours on the 4.4mm balanced output (including initial time “burning-in”…don’t want to start a religious war about burn-in). I think it sounds amazing. I have minimal gear as someone who sold a BUNCH of stuff ~5 years ago and left the hobby until recently. I own -zero- headphones (frankly, I admitted to myself ~5 years ago that I simply am not a headphone guy), and the only non-smart phone IEMs/buds I own is my much loved Sony XBA-Z5.

I was considering other DAPs when I purchased this (I sold my 6 year old Astell & Kern AK120ii about a month ago), but settle don Sony as trustworthy from a build quality & software standpoint. I have zero regrets.

I have never gotten into streaming, so 100% of my current use is with ALAC (mostly 16/44 but some 24-bit as well; I’m a Mac user, thus everything gets ripped/transcoded to ALAC). However, I can see myself eventually trying Amazon Music at some point.

As a Android device, battery life isn’t as stellar as the non-Android Sony DAPs, but in real life, I got not quite 18.5 hours of 16/44 (with some 24/96 as well) ALAC playback when I did a 100% to shutdown run down of the battery (for calibration purposes) last week.

My sole setup is neither sexy nor cutting edge, but no longer being in my twenties, I just have zero desire to be an early adopter, or spend time modifying gear. I like things to just work. And yes, I am willing to pay a premium for that.

I’m glad Chi-fi is making noise. It’s good for we the consumers. However, I’ll let y’all be the beta testers for all those companies. I’ll just chug along with my minimal, boring gear, hahahaha.