A Sexy Skin.
Pros: transparent, covers the buttons, protects from scratches, durable material.
Cons: display is exposed (adding screen protector is desirable).
Available on Amazon.
Why do we get cases for DAPs? For the same reason we get cases for phones, to protect our investment from scratches and bumps, to make it less slippery when placed on a smooth surface, and to enhance the grip when handling it. Also, some get cases as an accessory to customize the look of your gadget.
If you are the owner of Sony’s flagship Walkman WM1Z, you might also want to consider a less bulky case since 1Z is not exactly lightweight or super compact, and maybe something that will not hide the beauty of its “golden” design. There are a few available choices, including Sony’s original flip cover design which has a good level of protection, but it adds the bulk, requires constant flipping of the cover, and has the charging port covered when it’s closed.
The case arrived in a nice brand name packaging box. Along with a case, also included were instructions with steps how to put on and to take off the case, and a set of Hi-Res Audio stickers if you want to attach it somewhere on the side or the back of the case or maybe on the DAP.
We often associate TPU Gel cases with a cheap skin alternatives used for a minimum protection. When I received this Benks ultra-thin transparent protective case, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and the durability of the material. The case itself is very thin, only 1mm in thickness, has a smooth outside texture which feels very nice to the touch, maybe even a little too smooth thus wrist strap is still recommended, but it has a great friction with any surface I place it on (glass table, granite countertop, etc). Inside the case, there is a different surface texture to protect this TPU skin from scratching the gold-plated finish of the chassis and from rubbing against the leather back panel of the DAP.
The case wraps around WM1Z with a tight grip that fits like a glove. Both of the headphone outputs have a generous opening, and the same at the bottom where you have an opening for the wrist strap and cable connection, while microSD card tray is covered. You will also find a cutout for the Hold sliding button on the left side. The right side has all 6 buttons covered with individual round imprinted shapes so you can feel each one like a physical button. It also has a dot bump on Play/Pause and Volume+ buttons, the same as on the physical buttons, so you can blindly ID them by swiping a finger. There is even a pinhole opening next to the Power button to see the power led.
Even so the case color is transparent and you can clearly see a beautiful golden tone of WM1Z with all the details of the design, this TPU case has a very slight shade of a tint, like a UV shade. It looks very elegant on WM1Z, and I’m sure will look as good on WM1A too.
Due to rounded edges of the DAP and in order to allow easy access to get the skin around WM1Z/1A without stretching it, only the top of the case extends beyond the display level, while other 3 sides of the case are slightly recessed. As a result, if you place the DAP with a display down, it will come in a contact with a surface. That’s why I would also recommend to invest into a screen protector if you want to have a full all-round protection of the DAP.
I found this particular tempered glass screen protector by Garmas, available on Amazon, to have the perfect fit with WM1Z using either Benks TPU Gel case or Sony’s original flip cover case. This tempered glass has 9H rated hardness with anti-scratch and anti-shatter material (in case of a drop it cracks but doesn’t shatter with sharp edges), it’s smooth to the touch, has rounded edges, and fully transparent. This tempered glass is very thin, only 0.2mm, but I would still only recommend to use it with a case where you don’t have to slide WM1Z in since it can get lifted off if you try it with something like Dignis or Miter cases.
I found this Benks case to be a perfect companion for WM1Z/1A DAPs because it feels durable, has a nice grip, has a generous opening for all the ports, covers the Play/Pause/Skip/Volume/Power buttons while providing an imprinted shape of the actual buttons with a tactile easy to press operation, and even duplicates a dot-id for Play/Pause and Volume+. The case is non-slip when placed even on a smooth surface, it’s thin and lightweight without adding bulk to the DAP. The most important, it doesn’t hide the details of the design and keeps the golden tone of the finish relatively transparent. From a distance, it doesn’t even look like the case is on, which is the whole beauty of the design.