It pains me to write this, but the NW-E395 is THE WORST Sony Walkman model I've ever purchased.
I've sampled several brands and models of mp3 players over the past ten or more years, and up until yesterday the Sony Walkman was consistently the best I've ever owned. The previous three I've owned during that time (one NWZ-E345 and two NWZ-395's) were great…solid, dependable and capable of delivering fantastic audio reproduction. I've been praising them ever since.
In the space of a couple of months, I lost my two NWZ-395's, so I decided to jump on this new Walkman model. To my great disappointment, it showed itself to be a clear example of someone(s) within Sony trying to "race to the bottom"….or to put it another way, they're charging their usual prices for a vastly cheaper and inferior product. Here are just a few of the degradations I discovered within the first two hours of use…
1. No More "Clear Bass": The NW-E395 still has it's 5-band EQ, but the Clear Bass EQ is missing. Instead, you have to select a separate "Bass Boost" which defeats the 5-Band EQ, turning the sound to mud. Also, once it's engaged, you cannot adjust any EQ settings.
(Just to make sure I wasn't mistaken, I did a side-by-side test. I matched the volume and EQ levels of both my oldest and the new Walkman, then simultaneously played the same song while switching the headphone plug back-and-forth between the two. The new model's lack of sonic clarity and weak output was beyond unacceptable!)
2. Not-So-Random "Shuffle" Setting: Every time I selected a song while in "Shuffle" mode, the next two or three songs would be something random. However, at four or five songs, the same, exact pattern of songs would fall into line. Even after powering-down and switching to other modes, I'd get the same pattern once I engaged "Shuffle" mode.
3. Screen Resolution/Graphics: Whatever changes Sony's designers made to the graphic interface, it's definitely a step backwards. I can clearly see the rough pixels comprising the text, as opposed to the smoother fonts of the older model. (see the side-by-side comparison pics)
Overall, this model screams "poorly designed" and "cheaply manufactured". For someone who's never owned a Walkman mp3 player, I can see why it would appear to be a good model. But for those who have experienced what Sony was capable of offering it's customers in the not-so-distant past, the NW-E395 is a very disappointing, low-brow piece of overpriced tech which I will be returning posthaste.