Sony revolutionizes portable music players by adding external speakers

SonyI don’t envy the PR people who have to write press releases. They can never just call a spade a spade.

Case in point, Sony’s new S Series Walkman. Its main feature is built-in speakers. But instead of just saying it has built-in speakers, it’s instead a “unique user experience” that adds “a new social element to the world of digital music and video.”

But in the interest of the whole spade thing, here’s what else you get for $110 (8GB) or $130 (16GB):

  • 2.4-inch screen
  • 30 frames-per-second video playback
  • 42 hours of audio, 6.5 hours of video through headphones
  • 17 hours of audio, 5 hours of video through the new, unique, and revolutionary socially elemental speakers
  • Voice recording, FM recording
  • Codec support: MP3, WMA, AAC, PCM, AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, JPEG

The S Series are available for pre-order and will ship sometime in September.

Okay, thanks for stopping b–WAIT! There’s something else!

Sony’s also announced the E Series Walkman, which is basically the S Series without the speakers. It’s also available for pre-order to ship next month at $80 for 8GB or $100 for 16GB.

Sony Walkman MP3 Players []

Full press release:

New Sony S Series Walkman Features Built-In Speakers For Unique User Experience

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ — Sony today unveiled the stylish new S Series Walkman(R) Video MP3 player, featuring high-quality built-in stereo speakers that allow users to share music out loud.

“By outfitting this Walkman with internal speakers, we feel that we are adding a new social element to the world of digital music and video,” said Katie O’Brien, manager of the Walkman business for Sony. . “Consumers now have a fast, simple and easy solution for sharing their personal music and video library with others.”

Even with the built-in stereo speakers, the new Sony(R) S Series Walkman player features a slim, compact and lightweight design, measuring less than a half-inch thin. It has a bright, high-contrast 2.4-inch QVGA LCD screen (measured diagonally) that has an ultra-quick response time, with smooth playback at up to 30 frames per second. And thanks to the unique “Clear Audio” and “Digital Linear Phase Speaker System” technologies in the S Series, this new model carries on Sony’s legacy of superior sound quality, both inside and out.

Further, the S Series Walkman player has an exceptionally long battery life, with up to 42 hours of music playback and up to 6.5 hours of video playback through the headphones. Through the speaker output, the new model features up to 17 hours of music playback and up to 5 hours of video playback.

The new S series also introduces a voice recording and FM recording feature. This enables recording favorite songs from the radio, or capturing quick messages and reminders on the go. Importing music, video and photos is quick and easy, with simple drag-and-drop from your compatible PC’s media folder or via iTunes(R) 8.1 using Content Transfer.

The new S Series player supports a variety of codecs, both of the audio and video variety. Audio codecs supported include MP3, WMA(DRM), AAC(non DRM) and Linear PCM. The video codec support includes AVC (H.264/AVC) Baseline Profile, MPEG-4 and WMV(DRM). The new model also supports JPEG photo format.

New E Series Walkman

Sony has also introduced its new E Series Walkman Video MP3 players, designed for those looking for great functionality at affordable prices.

The new E Series Walkman players feature a similar stylish, compact design as the aforementioned S Series and utilize the same “Clear Audio” technology to produce very clean, high quality sound. The E series models have a high resolution, high contrast 2-inch (diag.) QVGA LCD screen, with playback at up to 30 frames per second.

Further, the E Series Walkman battery can last for up to 30 hours of music playback and approximately up to 4 hours of video playback. Codec support includes MP3, WMA(DRM), AAC(non DRM) and Linear PCM for audio and WMV(DRM) for video. This model also supports JPEG photo format. The E series Walkman player also includes the Content Transfer application for simple transfers of digital music files.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony S Series Walkman video MP3 player will be come in several colors including black, red, violet and pink colors. It will be available in capacities of 8 GB and 16 GB. Both the 8GB and 16GB models will be available next month for about $110 and $130, respectively.

The new Sony E Series Walkman Video MP3 player will be available in red and black colors and in capacities of 8 GB and 16 GB. Both the 8GB and 16GB models will be available next month for about $80 and $100, respectively.

The Walkmans and a variety of accessories will be available online at, at Sony Style(R) retail stores, at military base exchanges and a variety of authorized dealers nationwide.

Sony and Walkman are registered trademark of Sony Corporation. iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.