Samsung is always on the cutting edge of display technologies and one of the places they test out these new technologies on a smaller scale is on their MP3 players. So many of the times when someone might ask, “Why would Samsung make an MP3 player with a transparent screen?” is for the purpose of test driving these technologies on a consumer devices, but also because its damn cool.
I was able to shoot this video at CES even though the Sammy rep was very reluctant since the player still had some things to be ironed out even though in the video it was demoed flawlessly. When I went touch the screen myself, the rep did freak out a little- that’s why the video ends so abruptly. It will be out in Q2 of 2010 and the rep was not sure if it will be released to the US.
Samsung just announced one of its latest players, the IceTouch. And we’re not gonna lie, it kind of looks like a giant home pregnancy test of some kind.
The player (which will make an appearance at CES in Vegas, where we will surely mock it in person) features a unique transparent 2″ AMOLED touch display with some sort of glass/plastic injected casing, 16GB of storage, and Samsung’s touchwhiz sweep interface. It also supports a large number of A/V codecs, including the new lossless MP3hd.
There’s a reason this is the worlds first PMP with a transparent display, because it’s ridiculous. I’m sorry Samsung, I don’t need to be looking at my feet through the display. I just don’t.
Iriver has always positioned itself as a premium brand putting emphasis on design and unique user interfaces. Since the clix 2, however, their products have been mostly disappointments. The E100 had a nice design but lacked quality hardware, and the T7 was downright unusable.
I have always been on the positive side with iriver products, but 2008 has not been a good year from them. The SPINN is iriver’s last saving grace for this year, so as I opened the box I crossed my fingers and hoped to find the old-school product.
The Clip+ has a fantastic little form factor; somewhat cheap in build quality but very rugged. The interface is simple and relatively straightforward. The features on the Clip are more or less average, however it supports the alternative Rockbox firmware which provides tons of additional options (gapless playback, Replaygain, playlists, Last.fm scrobbling, etc). Read the full review or go ahead and buy it.
The J3 is a fantastic PMP with a very nice AMOLED screen and tons of features. It sports Cowon's trademark BBE sound enhancements, and offers a customizable user interface with strong support by our user community. You can usually find it at Amazon for the best price - and don't forget to check out our review.
Microsoft Zune HD
Sure, many of us are not big fans of the walled garden, but there are a lot of great things going on with the Zune: sturdy hardware, ultra easy to use user interface, and a media player that is worthy of Editor’s Choice. You can check out our Zune HD review or stop by our Zune forums for the latest info and gossip.
Phonak Audéo PFE
Phonak Audéo PFE offer outstanding clarity and precision; natural, dynamic mids and treble, and decent bass for a single armature in-ear phone. They handle dense, complex music very well. The PFE work well with most acoustic and some electronic music genres, but bassheads might have to look at other alternatives. They're great for sports as well, since they fit very securely. Check out our review.
The Hippo VB (Variable Bass) offers a serious subwoofer for on the go, right in your head. They don’t just deliver generous quantities of punchy, textured bass, but good audio quality over the whole frequency range with decent clarity and exceptional soundstage. Exchangeable bass ports let you customize their sound to your liking. Read our in-depth Hippo VB review.
Soundmagic E10 / E30
The Soundmagic E10 and E30 are basically right in the middle between the Phonak PFE and Hippo VB - not too analytical sounding, not too bass heavy. The E10 provide a bit more bass, the E30 a bit more clarity. Both come with a very fair price tag considering the sound quality they deliver - a great choice for the audio aficionado on a budget. Read our E10 and E30 reviews for more info.