Sony NW-HD3 Reviews

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Sony NW-HD3
★★★★☆
3.6
71.0% of users recommend this
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  • Sound Quality

  • Screen Quality

  • Battery Life

  • Features

  • Value For Money

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Media Gallery for Sony NW-HD3

Specification for Sony NW-HD3

Main Features
Memory 16 - 20
Main characteristics
Number of Songs: 5000
Family Line: Network Walkman
Storage Capacity: 20 GB
Main Storage Type: Hard Drive
Audio Capabilities
Audio Format: MP3ATRAC3
Screen
On Screen Display: Battery Level
Screen Size: 1.5 inch
No. of Lines: 7 Lines
Connectors
Interface: USB 2.0
Power Supply
Power Source: Internal BatteryAC/DC Adapter
Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium Battery
Battery Life: 30 hrs.
Other
Height: 6.2 cm
Width: 9 cm
Depth: 1.5 cm
Weight: 130.1 g
Release Date: 30 November, 2004

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Latest Reviews

“Piece of junk. Sorry I did not spend the extra and get...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by on 29/03/2010

Piece of junk. Sorry I did not spend the extra and get an IPOD. The Sony software is terrible, and once you move country or change computer it does not re-install. It also seems impossible to get your songs off the player, so always keep backups, and the random feature just does not work, playing some songs a lot and some just about never. I've had it since 2006, and have almost 3,000 songs, and dread the day that it dies and I have to start from scratch with an IPOD.

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“I have now owned an NW-HD3 for more than four years. ...”

★★★★☆

written by on 12/01/2010

I have now owned an NW-HD3 for more than four years. I have since replaced the headphones (to my prefered model) and am about to replace the battery.I have never used the MP3 format, preferring the far superior Atrac system. I have in excess of 3,000 tracks stored. When new the internal battery gave well in excess of the specified 30hrs playback time, but recently has since only delivered about 5hrs. Replacement batteries are readily available for about £10-15. They are fairly easy to fit, but you require a decent jewellers type screwdriver.
Overall the NW-HD3 as performed faultlessly, being used almost daily during the past 4 years. The only problem I have encountered is the battery on/off button has partly broken off, but is still useable.

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“As said before, good sound and it has lasted (mine...”

★★★★★

written by on 31/12/2008

As said before, good sound and it has lasted (mine still going strong after 4 years now tho battery is fading a little). Over all a very good piece of equipment, great piece of kit, well recommend Sony NW-HD3.

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“One of the best mp3 players of it's generation. I've...”

★★★★★

written by pringlefox on 13/12/2008

One of the best mp3 players of it's generation. I've owned my HD3 for just around four years and I haven't had a bit of bother yet.

At the time, and even still today when compared to some of the low end brands, the HD3 was small and lightweight considering the huge 20GB capacity it boasted.

The sound quality still outstrips many of the flat and tinny noises produced by a number of other portable audio players. Investing in a good set of headphones is actually a worthwhile venture with the HD3, a fact that cannot really be justified with the iPod players.

The battery life is outstanding and the HD3 can easily last a day or two of thorough use without the need for charging. Only now after four years is the battery beginning to look like it may well be on the way out. I challenge you to find any iPod user that can boast a similar claim.

Even today the HD3 looks stylish and the casing is durable enough to take a fair beating. My battle-scarred HD3 bears testament to the overall ruggedness and reliability of the player.

The only downside to the HD3 is the software used to transfer songs across from your PC. To be honest SonicStage is one of the least reliable pieces of software that I have ever used. And coming from a Software Engineer that's quite an embarassing claim in my opinion. However the quality of the player itself shouldn't be judged harshly just because Sony didn't see fit to allow drag and drop style tranfers like similar players.

After four years of loyal service I'm finally considering putting my HD3 into retirement and replacing it with a new high quality player, perhaps the NWZ-S639F. I just felt that it was time that this sadly overlooked and under-rated player got the recognition that it deserved.

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“I have owned my Sony NW HD3 for what must be three to...”

★★★★★

written by on 09/04/2008

I have owned my Sony NW HD3 for what must be three to four years now, it has been my first and only mp3 player. While the girlfriend has gone through 3 different variants of the ipod in the same time, this little trooper has battled on. Its tough, sturdy, almost unbreakable and more importantly simple enough for anyone to use. Its battery life has always been exceptional and only now, a couple of years down the line has it shown to falter slightly. The main problem is purely sonicstage. Although it was a consistent (albeit a bit clunky) performer, now I have changed PC i cannot find the original discs and the sony download is much more hassle than help. I will use my NW HD3 til he gives up his last little breath...

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“The size is excellent and fits well in my pocket. It...”

★★★★★

written by PixieB98 on 20/02/2008

The size is excellent and fits well in my pocket. It feels sturdy in my hand and is far superior to the iPod. My husband has had 2 iPods and they both lasted about 1 year and died. Even towards the 10month period the battery life of the iPods was of 2h. The Sony still has an excellent battery life even after 2 years.

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“Do not buy any Sony product that requires the use of...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by srburrows on 11/09/2007

Do not buy any Sony product that requires the use of Sonicstage. Sony have now removed the need to use the software on newer models so support for this appalling software will now be non-existent. What was wrong with simply clicking and dragging music onto the player?

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“I can't recommend this little mp3 enough it is a first...”

★★★★★

written by bemahler on 03/02/2007

I can't recommend this little mp3 enough it is a first class piece of kit for what it is intended to do. I have heard numerous mp3 players from all the top makers but nothing comes close on sound quality to match this player. Make sure you spend out on a really good pair of phones either Bose triport or B&O's small earphones, as they really do bring out the sound quality of this player. I hope this help when looking to buy this mp3 player.

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“I've had this gadget for about a year and a half and...”

★★★☆☆

written by edmundslu on 23/01/2007

I've had this gadget for about a year and a half and have looked after it and enjoyed it. I've used it as it should be used, took a lot of pleasure from it and then, with no prior warning, it decided to stop working and die - great, that's just what I needed! Now all the music that I had obtained over the past year and a half was gone - I had obtained the music from many sources and thus did not have it all backed up at home on a computer - aside from the fact that I will have to fork out on a new one. Are they the most expensive things in the world? No, they're not but that's not the real point here - I expected it to have a long life as I had looked after it but I was let down. Be warned!

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“I have owned the Sony HD-3 walkman for 11 months now...”

★★★★☆

written by lukeirving on 21/06/2006

I have owned the Sony HD-3 walkman for 11 months now and I have just had to send it back for repair work! This was because when ever you put the headphones in it they would crackle and get quiter.
Another problem was the original headphones had a little black rubber ring around them which fell off. This ended up causing a small electric shock above my lower lip which happened in January 2006 and the headphones had not worked right ever since. I did change the headphones for the player after the electric shock incident but the problem persisted.
Eventually it got so bad that i returned the player to the shop and they immediately sent it to a sony service centre for repairs. I was dissapointed as it was a birthday present off my mum and dad and it was the last one in the shop when they bought it. This meant a replacement was not possible and the next model was launched around a month later.
I also dislike the display as it is very dark and not very clear. It is not something you would expect sony to produce with their knowledge in LCD technology.

It does have some good points as it is very small and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The carry case provided with the player is easy to use as the walkman is not an extremely tight fit.
I also prefer the battery life of 30 hours as the iPod only has a battery life of 14 hours and the walkman can be charged via the mains. The iPod must be connected to the computer to charge unless you own an expensive mains powered docking station which can charge the iPod.
The built in HDD is very good but ATRACK songs from sonic stage do not play as well as mp3 tracks. The ATRACK system means you can store up to 13000 songs at 48kbps but it does take a long time to load tracks onto the Walkman as you have to burn them to Sonic Stage 1st.

All in all this is a GOOD mp3 player for a teenager or child who might eventually fill the 13000 song capacity.

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“Overall this Sony NW-HD3 is the best mp3 player I...”

★★★★★

written by sleepyhead20 on 29/03/2006

Overall this Sony NW-HD3 is the best mp3 player I owned and it's a shame it got messed up but the memory and battery life is great. Looks good, pink screen, and can alter the sound effects to live or arena music.

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“I've had the pink Sony NW-HD3 for a few months now,...”

★★★★★

written by soxy6 on 20/02/2006

I've had the pink Sony NW-HD3 for a few months now, and I love it. I bought it for $195 off eBay, brand new - a great deal!

At first I was hesitant to buy it because of the complaints about its Sonicstage software, but it really isn't that bad. Some people have said that Sonicstage is hard to use - I disagree. It's actually quite straightforward, and if you do need help, the manual will tell you all you need to know. The only gripes I have about the software is that it has a slow start-up time, unlike iTunes; that it doesn't alphabetize your music for you; and that it doesn't recognize CD information (like song titles, singer, etc.) for older or foreign CD's, so you have to enter them yourself sometimes. Also, Sony Connect (the music store) has a less extensive collection than iTunes, but I don't use it anyway. So if you have a large CD collection already, this is good for you!

What I like the most about the NW-HD3 is the long battery life. I listen to music every day for about 3 - 4 hours, and it usually lasts me 4+ days without charging (with the backlight on too). If you want the battery life to be even longer, turn off the backlight.

I also adore the look of the NW-HD3 better than the iPod. Sure, the iPod is pretty nice looking, but the Sony one looks more sophisticated... Although I do find that the scroll wheel on the iPod is faster. But hey, not a problem.

There are a lot of playback modes besides the standard shuffle and normal modes, as well as contrast, sound, and backlight options. There is that annoying beep every time you press a button, but that can be turned off.

Just a tip: You don't have to turn the off switch on the side in order to actually turn the player off. Just press the stop button and leave it, the player will turn off by itself (screen and all) and your mode settings won't be reset to default (like the beeping noise). To turn it on again, just hit play. This doesn't seem to affect the battery life either. :-)

The sound quality is good, although you can tell a difference between MP3 songs and ATRAC songs volume-wise. For some reason, an MP3 song will sound louder than an ATRAC one.

I just wish there were more accessories for this thing. Besides headphones, there's not much to choose from. You might spend some time looking for a sound dock and whatnot.

One more thing I want to address is the slow loading time from one screen to another. Say you want to go from the Current Playlist screen to the Artist screen. It will take about 3 seconds to load it up. I don't know if this is the same for the iPod, and whether it should be almost instantaneous or not... It's not a big deal anyway.

Despite the minor setbacks (software, lack of accessories, and USB cords), if you're looking for a visually pleasing, durable and reliable 20GB MP3 player, I highly recommend the Sony NW-HD3.

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“Overall, the Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player is a great...”

★★★★★

written by mr123 on 14/02/2006

Overall, the Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player is a great product, especially for the value. It's perfect for those people who want to have music on their MP3 players. It especially suits musicians, being one myself, with a really tight budget and an absence for the desire of fancy color screens and video, it fit the bill perfectly. Just make sure you are careful with the connector and buy some more comfortable earbuds; it'll be worth it.

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“This Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player is brilliant. I have used...”

★★★★★

written by stony61 on 12/02/2006

This Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player is brilliant. I have used it continuously since buying it, I love it to bits. The sound quality is great with good base, although that is helped by the superb Ross Spark Plug headphone I use with it. The volume limiter fitted by Sony is not good but the use of a commonly available hack is a very easy way to turn it off. My player is now as loud as I want it with no drop in sound quality. This little player is very strong too, I wear it at the Gym and have dropped it three times onto a hard surface, it didn't even stop playing....BRILLIANT!

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“Hi, I have had the Sony NW-HD3 Mp3 player for 1 year...”

★★☆☆☆

written by Soleman on 04/02/2006

Hi, I have had the Sony NW-HD3 Mp3 player for 1 year now. I bought it from one of Dixons high street stores. After one week I had to exchange it for another one. I found the transferring of music files very awkward as you had to upload them onto Sonicstage. This took quite sometime to do. After 5 months the players hard disk stopped working, so I was unable to listen to any music. A couple of weeks later I sent it back to Sony, where they said they could only repair the MP3 player.
When the Sony player returned I was able to use the player again, apart from the battery life had gone down to about 6 hours of playing time. The playing time was supposed to be 30 hours. 5 months later I got a letter from Sony saying that the gurantee on the player had run out. 2 weeks later the player broke down again, and I knew that I would have to pay about £70 to repair it. When I thought their was no point in paying the costs for it to just break down again. So this has left me with no music for my next holiday where I will desperately need my music.

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“I absolutely love the Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player! When I...”

★★★★★

written by Helenxxx on 14/11/2005

I absolutely love the Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player! When I wanted an MP3 player early this year, my friend steered me away from iPod's, and rightly so! This was, and still is one of the best MP3 players out there! Great value for money! I have already persuaded my friend to get this model, and my dad to get my mum one for Christmas (I don't work for Sony honest).

I am going backpacking next summer, and I really wanted one that could store all my music, has a long battery life, and is easy to charge. This is perfect! I also use it with a tape adapter in my car.

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“I have to say that for the above bad points, I have...”

★★★☆☆

written by Reina on 06/10/2005

I have to say that for the above bad points, I have been quite disappointed with the Sony NW-HD3 MP3 player.

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“Buy the Sony NW-HD3 ! Better than an ipod!! More music...”

★★★★★

written by Skratchin on 02/09/2005

Buy the Sony NW-HD3 ! Better than an ipod!! More music on it! Longer battery life! Looks different! Choice of colours! Lightweight!

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“I bought one in December 2004, and it died in March. ...”

☆☆☆☆☆

written by epzcaw on 08/08/2005

I bought one in December 2004, and it died in March. I had it repaired, then the Hard disk failed in July. The retailer won't replace it, only repair. I will probably throw it out when I get it back.
User interface is very poor.
Group playing is awful. The icon remains, even when the group function is not being used.

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“Got my Sony NW-HD3 Portable MP3 Player from Argos in...”

★★★★★

written by davidjpeterson on 02/08/2005

Got my Sony NW-HD3 Portable MP3 Player from Argos in the sale (think Sony were bringing out a new range so Argos were getting rid of the old stock?)

Anyway, i'm quite pleased with it - battery life is phenomenal, left it on by accident for hours and hours the other week and battery was still more than half full.

I've also had problems with the software - Occasionally makes my PC crash with a protection fault, anyone else had this?? I am getting used to the software though and the Atrac3 format does seem OK - almost as good quality as MP3 but far smaller files.

I'm confused by the adaptor that links into both the power lead and the USB lead - im scared stiff of losing the adaptor!! Does anyone know what the point of this is??

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