Review: Sony Ericsson TM506
If you want to get to your music, skip the Entertainment icon and choose the Media icon instead. The media menu shows you the PSP/PS3-styled interface. The media player defaults to the Music selection. You can sort through your artists, albums, songs, and playlists. Once you've made up your mind what you're in the mood for, selecting it brings up the media player itself. The media player is pretty simple. Album art, if you have it, will be displayed prominently, and the song title, album and artist are all listed, as well.
With music playing, the left soft key is the options key. Here is where you can adjust the player's settings. You can turn on/off shuffle, and on/off a loop. You can also find the equalizer here (one of my favorite features). There are five presets, with no-brainer names such as bass boost, treble boost, etc. You can also manually adjust the five-band equalizer to suit your own tastes.
There are several ways to listen to music. You can use the included headset, which is of pretty poor quality, stereo Bluetooth headphones, or through the phone's external speaker. The TM506 makes one glaring omission, and that is the lack of a standard headset jack. No 2.5mm or 3.5mm headset jack is to be found. That means if you want wired headphones, you'll need to use what Sony Ericsson gives you, or find an adaptor. This is a hassle. Many people like to be able to use what they have, and not everyone likes to use Bluetooth headsets for calls or music.
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With that said, the headphones included in the box did a poor job of conveying the TM506's ability to play music well. You're much better off using a stereo Bluetooth headset. I was able to get a much better sound through Bluetooth, but even that isn't saying all that much.
The music will play with the phone closed, but you can't interact with it in any way. If you close the phone, you'll see the track info scroll across the exterior display, but unless you are using the controls on a stereo Bluetooth headset, you can't really do anything.
Suffice it to say, music playback is not one of the TM506's strong suits.
Sony Ericsson and T-Mobile have teamed up for the first time in four years to offer the 3G-equipped TM506. Was it worth the wait?
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