|List Price: $349.99
Our Price: $99.99
You Save: $250.00 (71%)
VAIO Wireless Digital Music Streamer opens the door to a new world of audio entertainment with wireless playback of your PC music library. You can play back files recorded on SonicStage CP, iTunes, Windows Media Player and other applications. So you are ready for seamless playback of your favorites regardless of the type of music software.
The Sony VAIO WA1 Wireless Digital Music Streamer opens the door to a new world of audio entertainment with wireless playback of your PC music library. You can play back files recorded on SonicStage CP, iTunes, Windows Media Player and other applications. It provides seamless playback of your favorites regardless of the type of music software.
- Great idea and excellent sound, but use a different UPnP server
I bought this a little over 4 months ago. The WA1 was very simple to set up with the configuratiobn tool Sony provided. It was a breeze to get it to work with my wireless LAN and security settings. Getting your music library in shape is the more daunting task.
The player is easy and the streamlined, buttonless control panel is cool. The music that comes out of this box is amazing, but that will depend heavily on the quality of the particular music file it is playing. There is good bass, and as with all sony products, the spatial effects are amazing.
I have used the player all over my two story townhouse and it works well. It works well outside, also. My neighborhood is loaded with wireless LANs and I have used it at a friend's house two doors away. This is through two concrete blocks walls!
No wireless LAN available where you want to use it? Easy, Use the internal memory to store songs and take the WA1 anywhere.
Sony almost got this one right. Using Sony's included server, or the one that comes with Windows Media Player may be adequate for most music libraries. However, if you have a large library, trying to find one or two songs with this player may be difficult.
A better UPnP server to use with this device is Twonky. Twonky allows customization of the menus and "plays well" with this device.
This is an amazing device. Buy Twonky and make your music library selections with quality files and this becomes a 5 star product for your home!
- Great product!
My husband bought this for my birthday and I love it! There has been a few issues with the software, but other than that, it has been great. I love listening to mp3s off my computer and listening to favorite internet radio stations. Battery life has proven itself as I take this easily portable system to any room in the house. The sound can't be beat! I would recommend this to anyone!...more info
- Streaming music where you want it.
I have the WA1 and find it a pleasure to use this unit daily. The setup is fairly straight forward but expect to spend 30- 60 min's to set up depending on your existing system. The WA1 comes in a nicely configured black or white package that has a backlit touch panel on the top of the unit which goes into a sleep mode after one minute but wakes up when you approach the WA1. This is to save power when it is operated in the battery mode. In the battery mode you will get somewhere around 4-5 hours although I have never run it to that point. It does not have a battery gauge per se but it does have a flashing LED that begines to flash faster as the battery runs close to depletion. At that point you can always plug it in to recharge the battery or continue listening to music as the battery charges.
The two big features are the WA1's abilty to stream your playlists or folders from any computer in your house to the WA1 which has two speakers with remarkable sound quality. The second feature allows you to listen to Live365 web radio which is also streamed from a supplied wireless USB adapter or thru an existing 802.11 WiFi.
With the web radio you have the option of 100 comercial free stations from Live365 at no charge for a limited trial period. But for as little as $5.95 a month you can join the VIP membership and have access to thousands of radio stations from around the world. This also gives you the option of setting up your own favorites list on their website that you then can access from the WA1. The stations are shown on a display allowing you to scroll to your favorites,artist or by genres using the touch panel or the supplied IR remote control to surf thru them.
One of the best features is that the WA1 has RCA and optical outputs allowing you to feed a stereo system when stationary or take it to go anywhere within an average sized house and yard area. The WA1 has many adjustments and modes for the sounds and functionality to suit your own taste as well as a clock and an alarm clock feature if you want use it in the bedroom. All in all, I really like the WA1 and listen to the web radio nonstop as there is so much content to explore such as 50 - 60 stations per genre (with the VIP membership).
The cons: The only web radio the WA1 can access is Live365. The capabilty of the streaming music is dependent on your ISP and you could experience interuptions in your streaming web radio music if you are on a dial-up connection. There is no USB inputs to listen to music on flash drives but you can input MP3 and Ipod players. There is a 128Mb internal memory which allows you to capture songs that are streamed from your library/playlists but not from the web radio. Unfortunately there is no way to expand the internal memory size. Tech support is nearly non-existent as this product is too new to have a knowledge base for the tech support people to search thru. This unit is considered part of Sony's VAIO computer product line and therefore you end up speaking to a computer technical person....more info
- Do NOT buy before you read this!!!
Be forewarned-I was too excited about this gift until I realized its LIMITED functions:
1) Web Radio streaming capability ONLY if you are a SONY 365 subscriber and want to listen to 365 provided radio stations!!! That is correct; this radio will not access/play/stream ANY OTHER radio off the web, ie Sirius, XM, etc...Period. No Can Do.
2) PC Music Files-Ready for this one? It will ONLY access Windows Media Player versions 10.0 and 11.0..it WILL NOT play iTunes nor any other stored music files on your computer...Period. Nada.
After several hours of working with Sony reps to download software required for setup and installation, I came to the very disappointing realization that this is not the product for anyone unless they meet the above 2 specifications; additionally, as this product is brand new to the market, the Sony reps knew virtually nothing more about the product nor its limited functions than I could infer from reading the small fine print in the manual.
Back to the drawing board for the perfect wireless pc/web quality radio speakers...
- Great gadget for the digital music buff & GET MORE RADIO!
I have all my digital music on a Buffalo NAS (network attached storage), which is a hard drive that attaches right to my network router without a computer. It came with a built-in "DLNA" media server. Since the VGF-WA1 was advertised to be a DLNA client but didn't specify it worked in this manner, I took the chance and gave it a shot. While I had to intitially set up the Sony device with my computer, afterwards the VGF-WA1 discovered the Buffalo NAS through my wireless network without any problems, with no other computers on the network turned on. Now I can play my digital music with this player without having a computer on.
Since it's wireless and has a battery, I can carry it out to the deck, down to the basement, or out to the garage - anywhere I want to listen to my MP3's.
I would compare the quality of the sound to a portable Bose system. It doesn't sound as warm as a full size receiver, but definitely sounds better than a typical boom box. It looks great, and has a hidden handle on its back for portablity.
The small screen and interface isn't the best for navigating large music collections. It's a little tedious and working with playlists will simplify its navigation. There are many equalizer options, typical play modes, etc.
My only real criticism is the internet radio option has let me down a little and doesn't really meet my needs. You get free use of the entire Live365 system for a period of time, then it defaults to a small number of stations unless you pay a monthly fee. I lean toward Indie label rock, and there really isn't a free station I like. I would consider subscribing, if the service worked on other Sony devices that I own. I wish Sony had their act together on this one, and given the list price I think the number of free channels is a little stingy. I just don't use the WA1 enough for radio or listen to enough radio in general to justify the purchase of a subscription.
I checked out the Sony VGF-WA1 at amazon.com after already purchasing it at a Sony Style outlet store. I was a little surprised at all the negative reviews, given the miles I'm getting out of it! I have been really happy with my purchase.
Hope this helps, BL
At another reviewer's suggestion, I sought out the Japanese firmware upgrade. It ads quite a bit more functionality that includes SHOUTCast internet radio, the ability to ad 20 of your own radio station links (that are in MP3 format), in addition to a function that allows you to turn the unit into an external remote speaker for what you have playing on your computer (doesn't work with my NAS set up). Anyway, this is how I found the file.
Do this at your own risk! The upgrade appears to be designed for Sony's Japanese market. It does not specifically discourage installation on a unit outside of this market and everything is in English, but nonetheless I went through with the upgrading considering the remote possibility exists I could brick the unit. However, it ultimately worked for me without any problems.
** Go to Google and search for this file name: SOFOTH-01589600-UN.exe
** You'll get a Sony link in Japanese. don't click on the link, but instead click on the "translate" option.
** Toward the bottom of the page under the user agreement, there's a download button written in Japanese. Click on it and the download routine should begin.
** Click on the file to install after the download, and follow the instructions.
** One more offer of clarity. In the "Enhanced Settings Tool", there's a page that discovers the WA1 unit. When it's discovered, it appears highlighted toward the middle of the page. Double click this area to access the set up pages. It took me a few tries to figure this out.
Again, hope this helps! I have relied on hundreds of reviews before making purchases, and hope this gives back a bit.
- Buyer Beware
Wanted to get a little web-radio streamer for my daughter. Not interested in any of the pc streaming features. Bought this when it was about $90. I'm not a computer expert, but I am pretty computer literate. Had a tough time getting it to work properly. Once I got it working and streaming web-radio through my Linksys wireless router, it was good for about 5 minutes. After that it shut down my router and de-listed my wireless access on my own router. Spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong and finally gave up. Will have to re-install the linksys wireless router software tonight and see if it will come back to life. When it worked (for 5 minutes) it was really cool. If the wireless stuff were fixed, I would have been satisfied. However, given that the only way to get web-radio is through the wireless router, it doesn't work out too well when the radio kills the router. I would love a simple plug-and-play item with similar sound quality. Also, the buttons are MAJOR fingerprint magnets. In summary, good sound. bad web-radio/software/wireless connectivity. If you're a computer engineer or very well versed in computers, you will probably like this item. If you're not, you will probably be frustrated and end up returning it. First bad purchase from Amazon. Returning it today...
UPDATE: just spent about four hours trying to get my wireless router revived. The WA1 really screwed everything up. If I could give it a negative star I would. I can't believe how frustrating it was to fix the problems this little piece of garbage did. Sony should have done what the Nintendo Wii does - make it simple to connect to a wireless router. My 4th grade son connected our Wii to the internet. That's how it should always be - make everything so simple even a caveman could do it. :)...more info
- Overall very good, two big misses : CLICK-WHEEL and Internet Radios // The next version should be perfect ??
A) Three great features that make it worth it - I'm satisfied
- The setup is very easy with the USB Cable. Found the networks without any problem
- Good design overall : battery, look and feel, ease of use
- GREAT sound
B) Two big misses ( disappointed , but forgiving given A!):
- NO CLICK-WHEEL nor ANY way of picking music in a long list ( unless you call pushing the "down arrow" 499 timesa way of selecting a track, which seemingly Sony does). They should upgrade the Firmware and allow a new remote to do it. THIS IS SURPRISING. So I use it with playlists made on the computer.
- Limited radio access... so it cannot be called fully an Internet Radio
C) Recommendations for Sony for next version
- Check the compatibility with many UPnP servers... works fine with Windows Media Player, but not with a Linux UPnP server that is on my NAS. Cannot read playlists then.
- Add a website for the device to configure remotely, change the name, etc. See Roku's Soundbridge as an example
- Think of a large display on the front... so you CAN use the remote and see the titles
- Display should show title + artist, not filename!
- Selection by Notation (x star and above )would be g...more info
- Useless web radio
Got this thing today and will return tomorrow. What is the point of selling a product and promoting its internet radio feature if you don't tell people that you are limited to Live365 radio stations. This makes no sense and is a waste of time when i can find my own radio stations.
Also you can't just put in a cd and play the music wirelessly, you have to first download the cd....more info