The NWZ-E454 came out in November last year and people waiting for a solid PMP must have kept their hopes high. Looking at the A845 or the W252, my expectations for this was pretty high, but I feel there’s something holding it back from being a great device.

Design and Features
The NWZ-E454 is built really well, but that shouldn’t be surprising in the first place. The player has a glossy front panel with a matte finish at the back. Let’s take a look at the physical aspects of the E454.

Neat and tidy

Neat and tidy

The display screen is a 2-inch QVGA LCD Display and accommodates 262k colors at a 240 x 320 pixel resolution and is an absolute smudge magnet. The button layout is quite similar to that of the A845, i.e. a four-way rounded keypad with a play/pause button in the middle. Just a little at the top-left of the keypad is the back/home button while on the right is a option/power button. On the right side of the player there’s a hold switch and volume controls at the top. Finally below the player, you’ll find the 3.5 mm audio jack and Sony’s proprietary WM port.

Coming to the formats that the E454 supports, it’s almost a crime that there’s no FLAC support or even AVI support for audio and video files respectively. While it does support MP3, WMA, AAC-LC for audio, video formats are AVC (H.264/AVC), MPEG-4, Windows Media Video 9 and AAC-LC. The player has 5 EQ presets and 2 custom presets and there are other sound enhancement settings like Dynamic Equalizer, Virtualphones Technology and others.

The ports and buttons sit pretty

The ports and buttons sit pretty

The player holds 8 GB of media and is bundled with a proprietary cable, earphones and an attachment to support the player while it charges.

All that said, the player is designed and finished well but coming to the earphones, they disappoint in the fact that they are plain ear-buds and not in-ear monitors. Also, the build of the earphones is very average with the wire’s plastic being soft and thus getting entangled easily.

Nicely built and finished well

Nicely built and finished well

Performance
After a solid design, we are looking for a solid performance but do we get to see that? Let’s find out whether the E454 plays loud and strong.

Still pictures could have looked better

Still pictures could have looked better

With all those equalizer settings and more options for sound enhancement, the E454 is one PMP that sounds really good and manages to do so even on default. While the highs and lows are very nice and clear, the mids are pretty decent too. While it was easier to hear the vocals, somehow the drums felt a little low. Some slighter details in a song might possibly go unnoticed, but you can tweak those with the wide range of audio settings.

Publish date: January 26, 2011 11:34 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 7:13 pm

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