Sony Readies Its 1st Bluetooth Walkman

By Amy Gilroy On Mar 10 2008 - 6:00am

Sony is bringing Bluetooth to its flash-memory Walkman players for the first time in a new line that also boosts flash-memory capacity to 16GB and brings noise-canceling headphones to video-capable models for the first time.

All models in four new series of Walkman units play most standard audio and video codecs in native form, offer "clear audio" to restore music frequencies lost during compression, and offer extended battery life between 33 and 36 hours, depending on the model. All models decoded music in the protected and unprotected WMA format and unprotected AAC, MP3 and PCM formats. They also support AVC (H.264) and MPEG-4 video and can store JPEG photos.

All models are expected to ship towards the end of March.

In 2006, Sony shipped its first music-only Walkman MP3 players with noise-canceling headphones.

The NWZ-S710 series is available in 4GB and 8GB models at respective suggested retails of $150 and $200. It offers noise cancellation to reduce ambient background noise and is aimed at business travelers and families who want to keep noise levels down. Both versions feature 1.8-inch QVGA screen and an FM tuner.

The NWZ-A720 series moves to a 2.4 inch QVGA screen. It comes in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities at $150, $200 and $300, respectively.

The NWZ-A820 series offers similar features but adds stereo Bluetooth capability. The NWZ-A828K with 8GB memory is bundled with Bluetooth behind-the-neck style headphones at $270. The 16GB A828K retails for $320 with wired ear buds.

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