If you need any sort of self-confidence therapy, then consider this the poor man's portable solution. Sony's new NWZ-E450 entry-level Walkman may look rather ordinary on the outside, but it's got something unique wrapped underneath -- karaoke mode. Here's how it works: not only can you throw in .lrc files to get auto-scrolling lyrics for your songs, but the device can also automagically reduce the lead vocals and let you be the rock star. Of course, the latter feature may not work as well with your occasional dose of Slipknot, but as you can see in our hands-on video after the break, Leona Lewis' gorgeous voice is good to go. The rest of the spec sheet doesn't look too bad either: MP3 / WMA / AAC / MP4 / WMV playback, up to 50 hours of music battery juice, 2-inch QVGA LCD, voice recorder, FM radio, 4GB to 16GB of memory, and it comes in black, red, blue, pink and green. Available in August starting from £70 ($108).

Sony Walkman NWZ-E450 does karaoke, we go hands-on

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Your cool, colourful music partner Feature-packed WALKMAN® E450 Video MP3 player from Sony with premium sound for young music fans

15 July 2010

• WALKMAN® E450: Funky design and rich WALKMAN® sound
• Extra-long battery life up to 50 hour (music)/10 hour (video)1
• SensMe™ channels for themed listening to suit any mood
• Friendly, easy new interface with album scroll and wallpapers
• Fun music options with Lyrics Sync and Karaoke mode
• Excellent Sound Quality with Clear Audio Technologies, Dynamic Normalizer and VPT
• Easy PC transfer with auto video format conversion in Windows® 7
• Bookmark function for easy playlist creation
• Also available with portable stereo speaker dock (E450K - Black)

The WALKMAN® family grows this summer with a choice of exciting new Video MP3 players from Sony. Fun, colourful and easy to use, the latest-generation WALKMAN® E450 is all about must-have looks plus great sound and video performance.

WALKMAN® E450 video MP3 player
Young music lovers with an eye for style can enjoy rich, quality sound by Sony that really stands out from the crowd. Perfect as a first music player, WALKMAN® E450 is available in a choice of five fun, funky colours.

A fresh new interface makes WALKMAN® even easier and more fun to use. The redesigned playback screen lets you scroll through a big, bold view of cover artwork on the crisp, clear QVGA screen. Background wallpapers can be customised from a choice of designs, or use your own photos. New Scene Search makes it easy to pinpoint the right moment in longer videos by scrolling through a series of thumbnail images.

Looking to match your listening to your mood? Unique to Sony, SensMe™ technology automatically analyses and categorises your music library, creating a series of themed channels. Just pick your channel to suit the moment, from mellow to upbeat.

Brand new to WALKMAN®, Lyrics Sync supports the popular .lrc file format, displaying the words of your favourite songs on screen. There's also a new Karaoke Mode that lets you have fun singing along to your favourite songs. WALKMAN® automatically reduces the original performer's vocal level, so your own voice is heard clearly over the backing track. If you're struggling to hit those high or low notes, playback key can also be adjusted up or down to match anyone's vocal reach without changing playback speed.

Busy students will appreciate the brand-new Language Learning function that makes it easy to master a tricky phrase. WALKMAN® can 'loop' a chosen passage for listening at reduced playback speed without changing pitch or losing clarity.

Unique to Sony, a handy Bookmark function lets you create, add to or edit up to five of your own personal playlists. Just pick a playlist to suit your mood or whatever you're doing.

Like every WALKMAN®, the new E450 series stands out with full, rich sound to get the very best out of your music collection. Clear Bass and Clear Stereo are joined by new DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine). Developed by Sony, DSEE restores high frequencies that are lost when music files are compressed to recreate more natural, CD-quality sound.

New Virtual Phones Technology adds an extra dimension to enjoying your favourite tracks on headphones. Authentic acoustic modelling by Sony places you inside a choice of five soundspaces, from an intimate club to the biggest arena. As an extra listening refinement, Dynamic Normaliser balances the volume of each song as you listen, reducing jumps in volume as you listen in shuffle mode.

Extra-long battery life now lets you listen for even longer, offering up to 50 hours of music playback time (10 hours video playback) from a single charge1.

Supplied Content Transfer software makes it easy to drag and drop music files and playlists directly to WALKMAN® from your PC or iTunes library (not including DRM files).

WALKMAN® now works better than ever with your PC if you're running Windows® 7. Connect the WALKMAN® E450 to your PC's USB port and a new 'Device Stage' window launches automatically. This easy-to-use media management function lets you browse files stored on WALKMAN® in Windows Explorer and export media files directly to WALKMAN® from your PC. Windows® 7 even takes care of converting DivX® and AVCHD video files stored on your hard drive to playable format for viewing on WALKMAN®.

Also available (in black only), the WALKMAN® E450K adds a beautifully designed matched cradle stereo speaker, allowing you to enjoy crisp, clear WALKMAN® sound without headphones. Digital Linear Phase Speaker technology ensures a clear, natural soundfield, while Virtual Bass boosts low-end frequencies for a room-filling low end. As an alternative to mains power, the speaker can also be powered directly from the player's battery, letting you take great WALKMAN® sound with you anywhere.

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Sony Walkman NWZ-E450 does karaoke, we go hands-on (video)