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The musical equivalent of a Swiss army knife

Is it a pair of headphones, a Walkman or a speaker system? It's all three.

gadgets Updated: Sep 13, 2013 12:18 IST

Is it a pair of headphones, a Walkman or a speaker system? It's all three.

In a rather brave attempt at trying to be all things to all musical types, Sony has launched a premium addition to its Walkman range, the NWZ-WH505. At first glance, they appear to be, and are, a set of flagship, over-the-ear, closed headphones. However, integrated into the structure is a 16GB Mp3 player, meaning that there's no need to plug these headphones into a smartphone, tablet or iPod... well for the first 4000 tracks anyway. A great feature for those that are of an athletic disposition and don't want to get tangled up in their cables when running, skating or generally working out.

However, if you want to share what you're listening to with other people at a party, the headphones fold out to become speakers, complete with virtual surround sound settings. And these features are not confined to music on the in-built MP3 player: the headphones, and therefore speakers, are Mac and PC compatible and will plug into the headphone slot of any Android or Apple smartphone.

The headphones should provide 20 hours of playback on a single charge. Although their existence was announced this week, Sony is yet to confirm when they will be released or how much they will cost.

First Published: Sep 13, 2013 11:57 IST