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Sony NW-A45 Walkman®

High-resolution portable digital music player with Bluetooth® and FM tuner (Black)

23 Reviews | 11 questions - 20 answers

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Our take on the Sony NW-A45 Walkman®

With the Sony NW-A45 Walkman you've got choices. Enjoy high-res music files, such as those you can download from sites like HDtracks. There's also a built-in FM radio, so you can listen to your favorite station or catch the big game. Use the ‘A45's built-in Bluetooth to stream to a set of wireless headphones. You can even use the ‘A45 as an external DAC (digital audio converter) for your computer to make its music sound even better.

High-res audio entertainment

With the Sony NW-A45 Walkman you've got choices. Enjoy high-res music files, such as those you can download from sites like HDtracks. There's also a built-in FM radio, so you can listen to your favorite station or catch the big game. Use the ‘A45's built-in Bluetooth to stream to a set of wireless headphones. You can even use the ‘A45 as an external DAC (digital audio converter) for your computer to make its music sound even better.

Sony NW-A45 Walkman

The NW-A45's compact size makes it easy to take anywhere (headphones not included).

Support for high-resolution audio files

The NW-A45 is compatible with high-res PCM-based files (up to 24-bit/192kHz), DSD (Direct Stream Digital) files, Apple Lossless, and other formats. For low-resolution files, such as MP3s, The player is also MQA-compatible.

Sony's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine can help them sound fuller. The built-in rechargeable battery can deliver up to 45 hours of operation, so you can enjoy music all day and then some.

High-res Bluetooth streaming

This player also has built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming. On top of that, it features Sony's LDAC technology, which allows the wireless signal to retain more musical detail with compatible Sony speakers and headphones. We recommend pairing this player with Sony's best Bluetooth headphones — the WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-cancelers — for a super-sounding portable listening rig. 

Storage for high-res files

The 'A45 features 16GB of built-in storage. If you need more memory, the player's microSD card slot can accommodate up to a 128GB card. That gives you up to 144GB of storage, plenty for high-resolution files as well as CD-quality audio files. And of course, you can carry extra cards with you for an even bigger music library.

Product Highlights:

  • plays MP3, FLAC, Apple Lossless, AAC, APE, WAV, and WMA audio files (up to 24-bit/192kHz)
  • Direct Stream Digital (DSD) files (.dff and .dsf formats up to 11.2MHz resolution)
    • DSD files are converted to PCM for playback
  • rendering for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files
  • microSD card slot accepts microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC cards (available separately)
  • 16GB internal flash memory, with up to 128GB additional storage (up to 144GB total memory)
  • 3-1/16" color touchscreen display (800 x 480 pixels)
  • built-in FM tuner
  • Bluetooth-compatible with LDAC Hi-Fidelity wireless music streaming
  • NFC touch pairing with compatible phones
  • DSEE HX and ClearAudio+ sound modes for restoring compressed music
  • S-Master® HX amplification offers accurate, detailed playback of high-resolution music files
  • stereo minijack headphone output (3.5mm)
  • high-speed USB 2.0 port
  • rechargeable battery provides up to 45 hours of playback
  • USB 2.0-compliant cable included for file transfer and battery charging
  • 2-1/4"W x 3-3/4"H x 7/16"D
  • weight: 3.5 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Portable digital audio player
  • 42" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and WM-PORT plug on other end)
  • Instruction Manual
  • Startup Guide
  • Limited Warranty (US & Canada)
  • Headphone info
  • CEA Listen for a Lifetime

Featured Video

Great product with great sound. Easy to connect to external speakers using Bluetooth. Using Sony Music Production Center to upload songs and album art (very important).

Bob Kashmanian, Bedminster, NJ


Sony NW-A45 Walkman® Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(23 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research


Overview: The Sony NW-A45 is a Hi-Res Walkman digital music player, capable of playing high-resolution audio files. Hi-Res audio (24-bit, 96kHz and up) transmits 3.2x more data than CD audio (16-bit, 44.1kHz), allowing you to hear more detail and nuances in your music. The NW-A45 also has Bluetooth Audio Streaming with NFC technology for easy connection and wireless listening. The unit features a 3.1" LCD screen, and an internal 16 GB flash memory. You can add even more memory by inserting a microSD card.

Supported Audio Formats: The NW-A45 Hi-Res Walkman can support multiple digital audio formats:

MP3 32-320 kbps (incl. VBR) at 32, 44.1, and 48 kHz
WMA 32-192 kbps (incl. VBR) at 44.1 kHz
FLAC 16, 24-bit at 8 and 192 kHz
WAV 16, 24, 32-bit at 8 and 192 kHz
AAC 6-320 kbps at 8 and 48 kHz
HE-AAC 32-144 kbps at 8 and 48 kHz
Apple Lossless 16, 24-bit at 8 and 192 kHz
AIFF 16, 24, 32-bit at 8 and 192 kHz
DSD 1 bit at 2.8224, 5.6448, and 11.2896 MHz
APE 8, 16, 24-bit at 8 and 192 kHz (Fast, Normal, High)
MQA Supported

Design: The NW-A45 features solid build quality with a 3.1" TFT WVGA color display (800 x 480 pixels) with white LED backlighting. It has a capacitive touch screen for on-screen control. The circuits and components are attached to the circuit board with a Sony-developed high-quality, lead-free solder for a purer signal path. The S-Master HX digital amplifier is optimized for high-resolution audio playback, delivering smooth, natural sound over a wide 20Hz-40kHz frequency range.

DSEE HX: Sony has included their DSEE HX "up-scaling" technology in the NW-A45. DSEE HX uses an algorithm to analyze the music, and automatically replace the "lost" information. DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) gives your highly-compressed music files new life so they sound almost as good as true Hi-Res Audio quality.

Memory: The NW-A45 has a 16 GB internal memory, which has the capacity for the following number of recordable songs (approximately 4 minutes in length):

  • MP3 (128 kbps): 3,300 songs
  • AAC (256 kbps): 1,600 songs
  • FLAC:
    • 44.1 kHz/16-bit: 300 songs
    • 96 kHz/24-bit: 90 songs
    • 192 kHz/24-bit: 40 songs
  • DSD (2.8224 MHz/1-bit): 70 songs
Note: Actual user memory is approximately 12.26 GB, as a portion of the memory is used for data management. The unit's memory card slot will also accept microSD cards for even more memory capacity.

FM Tuner: The NW-A45 has a built-in FM tuner for listening to radio broadcasts. The frequency range of the FM tuner is 87.5 to 108.0 MHz. The FM tuner can be turned on when a pair of headphones are connected, as the headphone cable serves as an antenna. Up to 30 FM stations can be set as presets, manually or automatically.

Bluetooth/NFC: With built-in Bluetooth 4.2, you can stream your music files wirelessly from compatible devices up to 30 feet away. Devices that have the NFC (Near-Field Communication) function, can be automatically turned on, and paired with the Walkman, by simply touching the back of the Walkman to the device on the NFC logo. The NW-A45 is equipped with LDAC, which uses the conventional Bluetooth connection, but transfers data at up to 999 kbps. That's three times the transfer rate of other audio profiles, which results in higher fidelity. In addition, the unit supports aptX and aptX HD.

Sound Quality Settings: You can adjust the sound quality with the following selectable functions: 6-band Equalizer (with presets Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, EDM, R&B, HipHop, Relax, and Custom 1&2), DSEE HX, DC Phase Linearizer, VPT (Studio, Club, Concert Hall, Matrix), Dynamic Normalizer, ClearAudio+, and Clear Phase.

Special Modes with Sony Headphones: The NW-A45, when used with certain Sony headphones offer extra listening modes. These functions should be turned off if using incompatible headphones to save battery power:

  • Noise Canceling: Headphones with Noise Canceling include the IER-NW500N, IER-NW500NE, MDR-NW750N, and MDR-NW750NE. The Noise Canceling function reduces ambient noise, and allows you to listen to your music at a low volume.
  • Ambient Sound Mode: The IER-NW500N and IER-NW500NE also have an Ambient Sound Mode, that allows you to hear ambient sound, even while wearing headphones. It uses the built-in microphones to pick up and amplify ambient sounds to help you stay aware or your surroundings.

Rechargeable Battery: The Walkman has a built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery for exceptional stamina. After a 4-hour full recharging time (via USB connection), the unit's estimated battery life is as follows:

  Ambient Sound Mode Off / On Noise Cancel Off / On
MP3 128 kbps 45 hrs / 30 hrs 45 hrs / 37 hrs
AAC 256 kbps 39 hrs / 27 hrs 39 hrs / 33 hrs
FLAC 96kHz/24-bit 39 hrs / 27 hrs 39 hrs / 32 hrs
FLAC 192kHz/24-bit 30 hrs / 23 hrs 30 hrs / 27 hrs
DSD 2.8224 MHz/1-bit 25 hrs / 20 hrs 25 hrs / 22 hrs
Radio --- 32 hrs / 27 hrs
Direct REC 8 hours MP3 (128kbps)
Bluetooth MP3: 20 hours (SBC connection)
FLAC: 13 hours (LDAC, Auto)

Connections/System Requirements: On the bottom of the unit is a 3.5mm stereo headphone output, plus a 22-pin WM-PORT for connecting the unit to a computer using the supplied USB cable. The NW-A45 is compatible with computers with the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and macOS v10.8-10.12. You can also use the WM-PORT to connect the unit to one of Sony's Headphone DAC/Amplifiers, such as the PHA-1A or PHA-3 (special cable supplied with the headphone amplifier).


  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 40 kHz
  • Audio Power Output: 35mW + 35mW max
  • Dimensions: Width 2.2", Height 3.839", Depth 0.432"
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

Sony's NW-A45 Walkman lets you take your high-res music files everywhere. It plays FLAC, WAV, DSD, and MQA files, and your can expand the onboard storage with a microSD card so you'll never run out...

What are the Labs?
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

great price great product great purchasing process [ Steven  Oct 27, 2018 ]
the advisor said that this would meet all our needs -- we are a small theatrical performing group and need to move our music from place to place. [ kaveri  Oct 26, 2018 ]
It plays FLAC and handles a large SD card [ RICHARD  Oct 25, 2018 ]
on sale [ Tai  Oct 19, 2018 ]
My battery on my Hi Res Sony Walkman NWZ-F806 died. I was using this via usb to my Sony car radio. Sony just responded to my query as to whether this Hi Res Walkman would also work via usb with stated radio.( radio model # CDX-GT575UP). Crutchfield said it should, and Sony said it would. So when I saw the 61.00 in Crutchfield rewards that I had acquired that could be used with this purchase, and free shipping, well it was a no brainer. [ T  Oct 03, 2018 ]
I chose this MP3 player because I prefer to listen to music on a dedicated player, and because my current Walkman has excellent sound quality. [ Elizabeth  Sep 21, 2018 ]
plays all kinds of files!! and crutchfield is awesome!! [ Matthew  Sep 09, 2018 ]
A more advanced walkman that can play many forms of music files. [ William  Aug 20, 2018 ]
I still have and use my old Walkman. If this new Walkman with all it's extras performs as well as the old one, it is sure to increase my enjoyment of my music collection. Also, I won't expect to have to buy another one for a really long time. [ Paula  Jul 25, 2018 ]
tired of apple! [ Dave  Jul 25, 2018 ]
FOR ITS OUTSTANDING VALUE. [ Zonnie  Jul 24, 2018 ]
prefer to have music in a dedicated device to include radio. Keeps my phone from being tied up. [ Stanley  Jul 24, 2018 ]
I chose the Sony Walkman to playback my music library on the go in my car, in my boat, or in my home. My old IPOD classic battery will not charge Apple does not support that product with battery replacement. Good bye to Apple Hello to Walkman. Again. My last Walkman played cassette tapes! it was great. Then. Colt answered my questions prior to placement of this order. Thanks Crutchfield for your superior service. [ David  Jul 24, 2018 ]
Just kind of curious to see how far the walkman has come from the old cassette tape days. Being on sale doesn't hurt either. Sony was once the only choice for portable audio, so I am really curious to see how this product performs. Not that I am a audiophile or anything like that. Just a guy that likes to listen to music. [ Ken  Jul 24, 2018 ]
Long time Sony user who needed a music player. [ Michael  Jul 24, 2018 ]
Design, quality and price [ VERDONE  Jul 23, 2018 ]
Love Sony stuff [ scott  Jul 22, 2018 ]
I lost my last one and wanted to replace it---- really nice little player. [ John  Jul 19, 2018 ]
I needed an upscale music player, and this looked good. I've used Crutchfield a lot in the past, and they have always been good to me [ David F.  Jul 15, 2018 ]
Features, brand, and price [ Douglas  May 23, 2018 ]
Bluetooth capable, expandable memory. I've always bought reliable Sony products. [ Z  Apr 16, 2018 ]

11 questions already asked

Hi; I understand that Tidal sells a subscription for use of their music library. My experience with this service is excellent, but the only music you can actually transfer is the library you paid for. [ Adalberto  Nov 08, 2018 ]
Yes, I can connect to my 2018 Subaru's bluetooth! It sounds great!!! [ KIMBERLY  Nov 01, 2018 ]
Yes, absolutely BLUETOOTH & NFC. with high end sound. [ Van  Oct 31, 2018 ]
Yes it has bluetooth. I had no issues connecting it to my mega boom via bluetooth [ Steven  Oct 31, 2018 ]
You can add up to 128GB. [ Paula  Aug 14, 2018 ]
128 gig [ Daniel  Aug 14, 2018 ]
up to 128 GB [ STUART  Aug 14, 2018 ]
Hi Lisa I bought a couple of SaDisk micro cards 64G on sale at COSTCO. Put one in and increased my storage capacity substantially. If I need more I'll probably buy a higher capacity card. I hope this helped. Good Luck Vince H [ vince  Aug 14, 2018 ]
You can add a 128GB card as max. Some people are claiming you can use a 256GB card but I believe they are mistaken. Your best bet is to contact Sony directly. I am using a 128GB card and the unit reads it with no problem. [ MONTE A  Aug 14, 2018 ]
I'm afraid we don't have enough information on the Sony NW-E394 model to compare the tuner quality to the NW-A45 model. However, the NW-A45 has a built-in FM tuner with a frequency range of 87.5 to 108.0 MHz. And similar to what you described, the FM tuner can be turned on when a pair of headphones are connected, as the headphone cable serves as an antenna. For more details or to discuss further, please contact an Advisor directly by phone (888.955.6000) or online chat. Thanks! [ Larry  Jul 31, 2018 ]  Staff
If you load them onto the memory in a compatible file format, absolutely. [ Ryan  Jun 02, 2018 ]  Staff
Yes. You have to transfer it through Sony's software, but yes. I have not however tried, older, protected files. I've only used ALAC files, as I don't want the lower quality files in the device. [ Omar  May 20, 2018 ]
Sorry, no. USB is a digital connection so, you wouldn't want to connect the player this way as it would bypass the Sony's high quality digital to analog converter. If you want to connect the Sony to a car stereo, the better option would be to use the analog headphone output connected to an auxiliary audio input on the stereo. For additional assistance and personalized recommendations, feel free to contact us directly by phone or through our online chat service: [ Ryan  May 31, 2018 ]  Staff
You can upload both. Just not exactly the same way. Not all artwork seems to be compatible. I had to update some artwork in iTunes for it to be compatible with the Walkman. You will use Sony's software to transfer data from iTunes to Walkman (drag n drop). Easy, but tedious. [ Omar  May 20, 2018 ]
Hi Aaron I am sorry but I only have basic headphones. Good Luck Vince [ vince  Nov 05, 2018 ]
Yes, it has plenty of volume levels to work fine with whatever headphones you use. [ William  Nov 05, 2018 ]
I don't know the answer. I've used several Bose wireless and wired headphones and it works very well with those. [ Stanley  Nov 05, 2018 ]
I haven't used it on headphones yet , I've only listen to my small JBL speaker,,, sorry can't help you [ Alfredo  Nov 05, 2018 ]

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