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Sony VGF-WA1

Portable wireless audio system plays music from your PC anywhere in your house

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  • Sony VGF-WA1

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  • Sony VGF-WA1

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  • Sony VGF-WA1

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Item #: 158VGFWA1
 
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Our take on the Sony VGF-WA1

by Tara W.
Sony

Feast on an endless buffet of music

A network music player presents you with virtually unlimited ways to play your favorites or discover new music. Access your computer's music library, Internet radio stations, and online music services through your wireless home network.

Sony's VGF-WA1 makes it easy to listen to your PC music collection in any room of your home. This compact system sports a portable design with built-in speakers and a rechargeable battery. It can connect to your existing Wi-Fi® network to access music files stored on your computer. Or, if you don't have a home Wi-Fi network, plug the included USB adapter into your PC and it creates its own wireless connection with the 'WA1.

The included PC software searches your computer's music libraries for unprotected digital music files and creates an index of tracks to play wirelessly. Use the 'WA1's LCD display and remote to select the tracks, albums or artists you want to hear. The rechargeable battery gives you up to 4 hours of music playback. A stereo minijack input even lets you connect an MP3 player.

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Highlights:

  • plays music from your computer on built-in stereo speakers
  • searches iTunes, Windows Media Player, and other music libraries for unprotected music files (plays protected music files purchased from Sony Connect™ online music store only)
  • LCD display
  • 128MB built-in memory for storing music files
  • remote control
  • stereo minijack input for connecting a portable audio player
  • analog and optical digital audio outputs for connection to a home audio system
  • built-in Wi-Fi capability
  • USB adapter for easy wireless connection to PC (uses proprietary network technology)
  • rechargeable battery provides approximately 4 hours of playback
  • 15"W x 5-7/16"H x 4-9/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
PC System Requirements:
  • Windows® XP or Vista required
  • iTunes, Windows Media Player, or Sony's Connect™ software installed

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Wireless digital audio streamer
  • Wireless remote control (RM-WA1)
  • CR2025 Lithium battery (installed in remote)
  • Wireless adapter
  • VGP-AC16V8 AC adapter with attached 6' DC output cord (DC output: 16V/4A)
  • 30" AC cord
  • 39" USB cable (with Type A and B connectors)
  • 7" Wireless Adapter connection support cable (with male and female Type A USB connectors)
  • Wireless Digital Audio Setup CD-ROM
  • Operating Instructions
  • Setup Guide
  • Sheet about Web Radio service
  • Limited Warranty Statement
  • Sheet "for customers using Windows Media Player 11"
  • Sheet about Wireless Adapter Manager message

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Minimum Computer Requirements
Inputs and Outputs Notes

Features

Overview: The Sony VGF-WA1 is a wireless digital music streamer, which allows you to play music files stored on your computer, or listen to Internet radio via a wireless LAN. You can listen with headphones or using the two built-in speakers. It can be played using battery power or AC power, allowing you to carry the unit from room-to-room, and listen to your music files wherever you want.

Display: The top panel features a 2" x 1-3/8" monochrome LCD display which allows you to view menus, music files/folders, a 12-band spectrum analyzer, and a clock. The brightness of the display dims when the power is turned off.

Sources: There are four ways to enjoy music on the VGF-WA1:

  • PC Streaming Function: You can play music files stored on your computer via a wireless LAN. Playable file formats include ATRAC3, ATRAC3plus, MP3, WMA, AAC, and Linear PCM (WAV). Some copyrighted content obtained from online music stores cannot be played.
  • Web Radio Function: You can listen to web radio offered by a service provider (Live365). You can listen to web radio by connecting this device to a computer that has an Internet connection, or to an access point.
  • Auxiliary Function: You can connect an audio device, such as a portable digital audio device, to this unit to listen to music from the auxiliary device through the unit's speakers. The auxiliary device must be operated manually, as the digital audio streamer cannot control it.
  • Internal Memory Function: You can play music files stored on the internal 128 MB of this product. Music files can be downloaded to the internal memory while you're listening to streaming audio from your PC. Downloadable file formats include ATRAC3, ATRAC3plus, MP3, WMA, AAC, and Linear PCM (WAV). Some copyrighted content obtained from online music stores cannot be downloaded.

Wireless Adapter: If you do not have a wireless LAN environment that contains an access point, you can plug the supplied Wireless Adapter into a computer to connect this device directly to the computer. If you cannot plug the Wireless Adapter directly into your computer, a 7" Wireless Adapter connection support cable is provided. The adapter has an Auto Install feature for easy installation.

Playback Modes: In the Streaming PC and Internal Memory Modes, the player has the following playback modes and operations:

  • Play Modes:
    • Normal: All songs after the selected song are played in the order of the music list, and then playback pauses
    • All Repeat: All songs in the playback area that includes the current song are played repeatedly in order of the music list.
    • 1 Repeat: The current song is played repeatedly.
    • Shuffle: All the songs in the playback area which includes the current song are played once in random order, and then playback pauses.
    • Shuffle Repeat: All the songs in the playback area which includes the current song are played repeatedly in random order.
  • Operations:
    • Play
    • Pause
    • Fast Rewind/Fast Forward
    • File Skip (- and +)
    • Folder Skip (- and +)
    • Volume (- and +)

Sound Settings: You can set the sound quality and sound effects to fit the music genre or your taste. Sound quality settings include:

  • Dynamic Normalizer (D-Normalizer): provides a consistent volume level for music files. When listening to music files recorded at different volume levels, the unit will play them at the same level.
  • Dynamic Bass Boost (D-Bass Boost): boosts the low frequencies of music, offering a strong and powerful sound.
  • 6 Band Equalizer: allows you to customize the sound quality to match the genre of the music. Available EQ presets include: Heavy, Pops, Jazz, and Custom 1 & 2. The custom presets allow you to store your own EQ settings. You can adjust each band (100Hz, 250Hz, 630Hz, 1.6kHz, 4kHz, and 10kHz) to any of 7 levels (-6dB, -4dB, -2dB, 0dB, +2dB, +4dB and +6dB).
  • VPT (Virtual Phone Technology) Wide Stereo: increases the virtual distance between the right and left speakers, and enhances the stereo feeling.
  • Digital Linear Phase (D-Linear Phase): adjusts the phase response and frequency response of the speaker's mid-high range to achieve a highly precise localization of sounds, and a sense of greater depth. There are three settings: Type A attains a flat frequency response such as with monitor speakers, suitable for a wide variety of genres, from pops to classics. Type B stresses the middle range audio, ideal for vocals. Type C attains an intermediate response between Type A and B.

Timers: The unit has a built-in clock, and can be used as a clock radio for falling asleep and waking to music. The unit is equipped with two types of timers:

  • Sleep Timer: You can set the sleep timer to automatically shut off the unit after 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes of playback.
  • On-Timer: You can set a start time, stop time, the day of the week, and favorite content to start playback automatically. There are two separate On-Timers.

Remote Control: The VGF-WA1 includes the credit card-sized RM-WA1 wireless remote control. The remote has the following controls:

  • Power
  • Source Buttons: PC, Web Radio, Aux, Memory
  • Sleep
  • Play/Pause
  • Skip Forward/Backward
  • Volume +/-
  • Folder +/-

Battery Operation: The unit has a built-in internal Lithium Ion rechargeable battery (11.1 volts/2200mAh). The battery charges whenever the unit is plugged into AC power (and battery switch is "on"). The life of the battery is approximately 4 hours.

Power Output: The internal amplifier outputs 8 watts per channel x 2 when the unit is operating on AC power. The power reduces to 4 watts per channel x 2 when using the internal battery. The speakers mute when headphones are plugged into the 3.5mm headphone minijack.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response:
    • Built-in Speakers: 90Hz-16kHz (±10dB)
    • Headphones: 20Hz-20kHz (±3dB)
    • Line Out: 20Hz-20kHz (±3dB)
    • Auxiliary (Line In): 20Hz-20kHz (±3dB)
  • Networking/Modem:
    • Wireless LAN: IEEE 802.11b/g compliant (WEP64bit, WEP128bit, WPA-PSK TKIP, WPA2-PSK AES)
  • Dimensions:
    • Main Unit: Width=14.9375", Height=5.575", Depth=4.657" (6.056" w/plug), Weight=5.5 pounds
    • Wireless Adapter: Width=1.085", Height=0.436", Length=3.394" with cap (3.296" without cap)
    • Remote Control: Width=2.126", Height=3.392", Depth=0.366"

Minimum Computer Requirements

Operating Environment: To use the VGF-WA1 with your computer, the following environment is required:

  • Computer: IBM PC/AT compatible
    • CPU: Celeron 1.00 GHz or higher
    • Hard Disk Drive Space: 1.2 GB or more
    • RAM: 256 MB or more
  • Operating System: Windows XP (SP 2), Windows Vista
  • Display: High color (16 bit) or higher, 800 x 600 dots or better (1024 x768 dots or better recommended)
  • Other: Internet connection (for Web Radio function)

Supplied Software: The supplied CD-ROM software contains the following applications:

  • SonicStage Ver.4.2
  • VAIO Media Integrated Server Ver.6.0
  • Windows Media Connect 2.0
  • Wireless Adapter Setup
  • Wireless Adapter Manager
  • Access Point connection tool
  • Adobe Reader

Telephone Support: In addition to the 1 year parts and labor warranty, this unit comes with 1 year toll-free technical telephone assistance, available 24/7.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Aux Jack: The VGF-WA1 is equipped with a 3.5mm minijack auxiliary input on the rear panel for connecting an external audio device. If the output level of the audio device is too high and the audio is distorted, you can adjust the sensitivity of the Aux jack (Normal, Middle, Low).

Optical Output: You can connect the unit to your home stereo system or another audio device via an optical digital cable (not supplied).

Line Out Jacks: Two gold-plated RCA jacks are provided for connecting the unit to your home stereo system or another audio device via analog RCA cables (not supplied).

USB Port: This USB port has a Type B connection, and is used to connect the unit to your computer for setting up the device using the included software.

Headphone Jack: For private listening, you can plug in a pair of headphones to the 3.5mm minijack headphone output. The unit's speakers are muted when headphones are plugged in.

 
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