Players Tested - Part 1

April 28, 2007

Now it's time for a list of the players I've ever owned/tried (and when I mean 'tried', it's not just fiddling with it at a shop or show. It's actually bringing it home for a few days). I guess I'll have to seperate them by type 'cos there's simply too many to list down in one shot. I'll skip CD players 'cos I never really bothered to use them. I jumped straight from using my prized Walkman - the WM-FX50, straight to MD technology. I haven't regretted the decision at all :)

The talk of the town these days is of course MP3 players, but this is slowly veering towards MP3 phones. Its most prom
inent form are Sony Ericsson's line of Walkman phones. Watch out - convergence is here to stay!

MP3 Players

  1. Sony Ericsson W800i
  2. iPod nano (2nd gen)
  3. Microsoft Zune
  4. Creative Zen V Plus
  5. iPod (5th gen)
  6. Sony NW-S705F
  7. Creative Zen Vision:M
  8. Transcend T.sonic 620
  9. Creative Zen Microphoto
  10. Creative MuVo V200
  11. iPod mini (2nd gen)
  12. Creative Zen Micro
  13. MPIO FL300
  14. Sony NW-E70
  15. Creative MuVo² FM
  16. D Cube NMP-612T
  17. Elson EM-250H

MD Players

  1. Sony MZ-NH1
  2. Sharp MD-MT877
  3. Sony MZ-E90
  4. Sharp MD-SR50
  5. Sharp MD-MT831
  6. Sharp MD-MS721

To showcase the qualities of the audio players, I'll break them down into
a. Audio Quality

b. User Interface
c. Battery Life

d. Design
e. Other Features

I'll talk more about point a. first. We'll look at b. to e. in some later posts.

a. Audio Quality
Assuming that the earphones are the same for all the players, then the only item that is variable is the format. For the MP3 player
s, let's take the default audio format to be .mp3 128 kbps and for MD players, the default is ATRAC3 SP mode.

It is certainly possible to compare the Sony MZ-NH1 to several of the MP3 players due to its MP3 playback ability and the Sony MP3 p
layers to the MD players due to their ATRAC3 support. Unfortunately, I no longer have the Sony MD/MP3 players in my possession so we shall limit the comparison to .mp3 for MP3 players and ATRAC3 SP for MD players.

If you are wondering how ATRAC3 and .mp3 s
quare up, we'll leave that to a later date where we will compare the formats. Right now, we will focus solely on the players.

MP3 players do not disappoint in the audio department. Apple iPods and Creative Zen players are solid units with good all-rounded sound. iPods have one major issue - the lack of an equalizer and this lack of customization is a minus point. The Dance EQ setting tends to distort the audio too. The 5-band equalizer in Creative Zens are appreciated. Similar to iPod's Dance EQ setting, Creative players have a Bass Boost setting which should be disactivated at all costs. Most of the other MP3 players did fine though the Sony Ericsson W800i does have an obvious background hiss when the earphones are plugged to the ears.

MD players are pretty powerful in terms of audio, especially if you were to choose a Sharp.

The initial Sharp units have 3 levels of bass settings (excluding default) - the 3rd level is rock solid for dance music as the bass reverberates strongly in the eardrum. This changed with the MD-DR480 where we saw 5 levels of treble setting included and more importantly, a 1-bit digital amplifier supported with a 4-pole earphone plug/jack. While this unit was supposedly one of the best MD units in terms of sound quality, unfortunately I did not get my hands on this unit to have a go.

Sonys tend not to have bass that isn't so strong but are good in terms of overall performance in the frequency spectrum. The older Sonys have 2 bass levels (excluding default) while the later models like the MZ-NH1 impress with a 6-band equalizer and 'Virtual Surround'.

You Might Also Like


Related Posts Plugin for Blogger

recent posts