Update: Please note that this review is for the DAH-1500. This is the Europe and Asia version of this player. If you are in the United States you should read the MobiBLU DAH-1500i review. There are quite a few upgrades on the US exclusive 1500i, such as DRM, faster USB 2.0 transfer, playlists, SRS WOW, and voice recording.
I was intrigued by the claim of the MobiBLU DAH-1500 of being the “smallest MP3 player”, so I picked one up just to see how small it was. Plus I needed something for the gym and I felt my Samsung YP-T6 wasn’t small enough.
The player comes in a tiny cubic package measuring 24 x 24 x 24 millimeters and weighs 18 grams or just under one square inch and about 0.64 ounces. (…or four sugar cubes and five eights, for the stoners) The player has an FM radio and supports MP3 and WMA files. The MobiBLU DAH-1500 comes with a USB connection cable, headphone necklace, program CD, user guide, and protective case. The storage sizes available for the device are 512MB and 1GB.
Getting Music On and Off
Loading up the player was as easy as it gets. It shows up as a universal mass storage, no drivers needed. This player demonstrates how all players should handle music and file transfers. The player is exemplary when it comes to loading and unloading your music.File transferring, however, was slow. I benchmarked the USB 1.1 transfer to and from the player at around 750kbps. The files are transferred via a USB cable that plugs into the headphone jack which also charges the unit. Very smart.
The navigation is handled by the directional and center button on the right side and a menu button on the left. The navigation is intuitive and simple; I took to it almost immediately. When you copy music onto the player, the folder structures stay intact. This makes it easy to navigate and find your music.
The radio works as expected. The reception is good thanks to the engineers who made any headphones you plug in an antenna.
The software it comes with is nothing fancy. In fact, it is just Windows 98/ME drivers for universal mass storage with no ripping or burning software included. They were smart in leaving out the software to keep the cost down. Plus there is really no need for another media player, there are already many programs and utilities for free that will rip, burn, organize, and play your music.
One thing I had trouble with was finding out how to update the firmware on the player. I downloaded it from the MobiBLU website which was a zip file that contained unknown file types. The website or manual was no help, as it did not give instructions. So I dropped the two files on to the player. Nothing happened until I unplugged the player from the computer. The screen then said “updating firmware”. Cool. It couldn’t be any easier or simplistic.
The sound quality is good; it’s on par with most digital audio players or perhaps a notch above. One of the only problems I have with the DAH-1500 was the track transition. The gap between tracks is around 2-3 seconds and at times distorted while skipping or transitioning to the next track. The player also does a quick fade-in when it starts the next track, which I found no way to turn this “feature” off.
The headphone necklace works very well with this player. The necklace has a loop that attaches to the top of the player then plugs into the headphone jack. The wires are incased in a fabric making them very durable and comfortable around your neck.
I tested the headphones against what I always use as a reference: the Sony MDR-V700DJ. The player would play clean with volume at full blast and equalizer maxed in the Sony headphones. However the supplied headphones would distort at extreme volumes with heavy bass, much like any average ear bud type headphones would.
One feature that I liked about the iPod was that when you disconnected the headphones the player stopped. The MobiBLU has this as well. This is an ability I wish all manufactures would incorporate into their players. It’s a nice feature that saves your battery when buttons get pressed when headphones are not plugged in.
If I had to change something about the MobiBLU DAH-1500 it would be the poor track transition and this may be fixable in the future by a firmware update. It is what I believe to be the player’s only major fault. Other than that, MobiBLU has created a very nice MP3 player in a miniature package without sacrificing usability. The DAH-1500 is a great on-the-go player for its tiny size and necklace headphones. The screen is bright and the navigation is well thought out. Transferring music on and off of the player is a snap by simply dragging and dropping without the need of additional software.
For those of you in Europe and the rest of the world you can purchase one from Amazon, the MobiBLU DAH-1500i. You can buy the 512MB and 1GB versions in six deferent colors for $100 and $130. The American version of this player adds DRM, faster USB 2.0 transfer, playlists, SRS WOW, and voice recording. We also did a review on this player as well, which you can find that DAH-1500i review here.
Bright OLED Display
Recognized as Universal Storage Device
Easy to use
Poor Track Transition
No DRM Support