The Qoolqee K7 boasts a 65,000 1.5” color display, dual headphone inputs, jog dial for and easy menu navigation, 20 hour battery life, FM tuner, and unlimited ways to customize both the sound and display. The player has a plethora of other features and is able to play MP3, WMA, and OGG files. But the one this player excels in is sound quality which is produced by a high end Wolfson 24bit DAC.
I choose to review this player because it is one of those gems overlooked by the US market. Even though the United States may never see this player, by creating some attention it may help to bring it stateside some day.
Three cheers for Qoolqee when it comes to getting music on and off of the player. The device shows up as a universal mass storage device, which means you don’t need any drivers assuming you have Windows XP or Mac OS 9.2/X or Linux for that matter. This is the standard for music transfer by which all should follow. Just plug the player into a USB port, and you’re ready to cut, copy, paste, drag, and drop all you want. You can also add and delete folders through your Explorer window. You are also able to create playlists in both universal M3U and Winamp PLS types to put them directly on the K7.
The only problem with this method of putting music on & off an MP3 player is that you don’t have the ability to rearrange songs in a different order from your computer. The order you originally place your songs on the mp3 player is the way they’ll show up. On the Qoolqee K7 unfortunately, there is no way to manually rearrange the songs from the player itself.
The built in battery is rated at a maximum of 20 hours, but by judging by my daily usage I would guess is it more towards 15 hours. It will go up to two weeks before it has to be charge and that is after using it daily at the gym for 1-2 hours each day. Even then, the battery indicator doesn’t show that the player is completely drained. The player is charged via the USB connection to your computer. The player lacks an AC charging unit so you will need access to a USB port to charge it, which takes only 3 hours.
The navigation, simply put, is wonderful. There is a menu button on the side of the three way jog dial. Different menu options can be accessed by using either a short press or a long press. For example, pressing it once quickly give you quick access to menu functions for primary uses such as EQ settings and Repeat/Shuffle modes. Pressing and holding the menu button gives you access to an array of customized settings. This method of long and short pressing works for all of the buttons. Overall the navigation is very intuitive and easy to learn.
You can input 2 of your own EQ settings, adjust the backlight timer, adjust the LED lights to match the beat of your music, etc. The menu is set up scroll style, and the 1.5” color display makes it easy to see where and what you are navigating to.
The reception is good, and stations can be programmed for quick access. The FM radio performs just as expected without any problems even while moving around.
A relatively unique function of the K7 is that fact that you can scheduled the player to automatically record FM radio at different times. This is great for recording your favorite morning talk shows.
The player allows you to directly encode music from other devices like CDs or other audio devices. It also allows for track detection to automatically break up the CD into separate tracks.
This is not found in a lot digital audio players. The Qoolqee K7 will allow you to change the speed of the audio being played. This is a great feature for audio books, when the reader is talking way too slow.
Outlook Contact Sync
The provided software will allow you to sync your Microsoft Outlook information to K7. I am obsessed with having this information with me at all times, so
to me this feature is great.
The player allows you to book mark individual tracks in order to create playlist. While it does support PLS and M3U playlists, book marking is a way to create on-the-go playlists.
Voice monitoring / karaoke
Leave it up to the Koreans and their obsession with karaoke to come up with this feature. Whit this feature on you can listen to yourself sing overtop of the music you are playing while singing into the player’s microphone. The microphone will also allow you record your voice into the WMA format.
Clock / Stopwatch
The clock is always a nice thing to have, but I like the fact that there is a stopwatch which comes in useful when running or doing other sporty things.
There are two puzzle games that you can play on the K7. However, the games are nothing to get excited about and are nothing more than what you would find on your average mobile phone. Still they are there for those times when you are truly bored
You can put text files on the player and view them on screen. Nice feature to have but I don’t think that it is very practical to read anything substantial on a 1.5” screen.
The software provided with the player is all about customization. The software provided allows you to create animated backgrounds for the vivid color LCD. It is very basic but works well.
The other piece of software allows you attach lyrics to each song. The program will contact the lyric server and attach the lyrics to each song accordingly, which then can be displayed on the screen while playing.
The player does not come with software to rip CDS, organize your music collection, or transfer music to the player. The fact is you don’t need it. Songs are easily transferred when it shows up as a drive on your computer. Additionally, the device is recognized in Windows Media Player if you like to synchronize you music that way.
My biggest complaint about this player is the materials it’s made out of plastic. There isn’t a single piece of metal or glass on this player. To me, this cheapens the feel of the product. With such an amazing sound quality and almost perfect user interface, it’s unfortunate that Qoolqee decided to surround it all in a sea of plastic. Fortunately I find the functionality of the build to be wonderful. Another small complaint is that the belt clip does not allow you to slide it on/off a rim of clothing or bag; it simply comes unattached. It’s too shallow to actually use on a belt, and can only really be used with the supplied arm band.
The K7 comes with a good assortment of accessories. Inside the box you will find: software CD, USB cable, line-in cable, manual, nick cord, earphones, arm band, and carrying case. Finding additional accessories for the Qoolqee K7 is impossible, unless you live in Korea. The Qoolqee Korean website does have a list of accessories for the K7 that can be purchased; however, I have been unsuccessful at my attempts to purchase those products on that site.
As a side note, I purchased a much better armband from www.mpio.com which doesn’t have Velcro and fits my Qoolqee and arm, much better.
Inside the MP3 player there you will find a Wolfson’s high end 24bid DAC audio chip, which gives the Qoolqee K7 its amazing sound. This is where the Qoolqee surpasses all other players that I have listened to for sound quality.
I cannot comment on the supplied earphones because I have never used them. I choose to use my pair of Sony Qualia MDR-EXQ1’s to give the player a fair assessment. The sound quality of the Qoolqee K7 is unsurpassed. I listened to everything from rap to classical to techno music, each of which sounds simply amazing. I am a huge fan of bass, and this player delivers. The sound is never distorted, even at its highest volume. Comparatively, when I listen to my iPod Mini with the Sony Qualia, the sound becomes distorted, and the bass barely exists. The Qoolqee K7 will allow you to tweak the sound using numerous EQ presets and individual settings to suit your needs.
The only disappointing aspects of the Qoolqee K7 were its plastic build and odd shape. But inside that plastic, the K7 employs one to the highest quality sound processors on the market, which provides the listener with crisp highs and robust bass. The sound will please even the discerning audiophiles. Qoolqee is customizable and is loaded with tons of features that are not usually found in many players. These features can be easily accessed through an intuitive all of which are wrapped up in a tight easy to use interface.
The Qoolqee K7 is not currently available for purchase directly in the US but can be purchased from UK site Advanced MP3 Players, they will ship anywhere in the world.
- Sound Quality
- Universal Mass Storage Device
- Intuitive User Interface
- Dual Headphone Input
- Lots of Features
- Supplied Accessories
- Color Display
- Plastic Everything
- Poor Belt Clip
- Access to Accessories
- Hard to Purchase in the US
[guest review by: Josh Romine]