A display is also fun, especially if it is colored and offers a high resolution

The player is also available with half or twice as much memory. In terms of functionality, the player was convincing in addition to the built-in radio part with a WLAN module with which you can tap into a media server to receive its music or web radio stations. Also included are a video player, dictation machine and slide show function, as well as rudimentary organizer tools (calendar, date, time, tasks and contacts). Everything is shown on the brilliant color display, which shows 320 x 240 pixels.

Audio quality

The distortion factor, which gives an initial indication of the signal quality, was 0.012 percent on the Neutrik A2 audio measuring device. This is fine for a mobile playback device. The frequency response was linear in the bass range, the deviations were therefore 0 dB – great! At very high frequencies, however, the deviation increased to 2.4 dB.

sound

The finest sound details could be heard in connection with the earphones. In particular, the bass came across as concise and differentiated. Fortunately, the earphones avoided any sharpness in the heights, and the overall sound impression was very pleasant and natural.

Conclusion Creative Zen X-FI

You can receive web radio with the Creative Zen X-FI via WLAN and play music from your media server. Natural sound: even the finest sound details could be heard in connection with the included earphones.

Alternatives

The iPod Touch from Apple is also equipped with WLAN – price: from 220 euros. If you want to enjoy not only the radio but also the television on the go, you should take a look at the LG Touch DVB T80 – its price: around 140 euros.

Test results and technical data

MP3 player Creative Zen X-FI (16 GB)

Value for money

36

providers

Creative

Web link

www.europe.creative.com

price

Compare prices around 170 euros

Hotline

00353/14380000

guarantee

12 months

Practical helpers: Five dictation machines for good voice recordings Creative Zen X-FI (16 GB) EVALUATION (0-100 points)

Handling (20%)

34

Equipment (20%)

34

Sound (15%)

100

Audio quality (10%)

19th

Service (10%)

25th

Price (20%)

12th

Overall result

36

Creative Zen X-FI (16 GB) TEST RESULT

THD + N (%)

0.012

Frequency response R 20 Hz (dB)

0.00

Frequency response R 20 kHz (dB)

2.40

Frequency response L 20 Hz (dB)

0.00

Frequency response L 20 kHz (dB)

2.40

running time

22:17 hours

Data transfer rate

k. A.

Price / GB

10.63 euros

Creative Zen X-FI (16 GB) TECHNICAL DATA

capacity

16384 MB

Expandable memory

yes SD cards

Weight

69 g

Dimensions (LxWxH)

82 x 54 x 13 mm

interface

USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Power supply

firmly integrated battery

power adapter

No

Docking station

No

remote control

No

radio

Yes

voice recorder

Yes

Line-in recording

No

Image display (slide show)

Yes

Video player

Yes

Scope of delivery:

Earphones, USB cables

Display

Art

Color TFT display

Screen diagonal

2.5 inches

resolution

320 x 240 pixels

compatibility

Supported audio formats (playback)

WAV, WMA, AAC, Audible, MP3, ADPCM, protected WMA (DRM 10)

Supported audio formats (recording)

WAV

Supported image formats (playback)

JPG

Supported video formats (playback)

M-JPEG, XviD, MPEG-4, WMV, DivX

The multimedia player is all black. Apart from an on / off switch with hold function, it does not have any mechanical controls, buttons, switches or the like. The 49 gram light player is controlled via sensor buttons that react to touch and only appear when it is switched on.

The color display has a screen size of 2.4 inches. We did not find the brilliance to be particularly high in the test and it also only offers a narrow viewing angle.123helpme.me The MP-550 can play AVI videos and display images in BMP and JPG format with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. Another extra is a dictation device function. When playing music, compatibility is limited to MP3 and WMV only.

Audio quality

A distortion factor of 0.018 and frequency response deviations of 1 to 1.5 dB (with and without earphones) are good. The earbuds close the ear canal quite tightly and are therefore probably not for everyone, but they sounded quite good. The scope of delivery also includes a neck strap, a USB cable and a brief instruction manual. The battery life when making music was 9:40 hours.

Conclusion Teac MP-550

The Teac MP-550 is a lightweight multimedia player in a black plastic housing with a color display that sounded quite good, but is a bit expensive for its capacity.

Alternatives

This player is also available with 4 GB storage capacity instead of 2. The price is then of course higher. In this case around 15 euros. The 4 GB version is available for around 75 euros.

Test results and technical data

MP3 playerTeac MP-550 (2 GB)

Value for money

30th

providers

Teac

Web link

www.teac.de

price

around 60 euros Teac MP-550 price in the t-online.de shop compare prices

Hotline

0611/71580

guarantee

24 Months

Practical helpers: Five dictation machines for good voice recordings Teac MP-550 (2 GB) EVALUATION (0-100 points)

Handling (20%)

50

Equipment (20%)

33

Sound (15%)

57

Audio quality (10%)

16

Service (10%)

20th

Price (20%)

4th

Overall result

30th

Teac MP-550 (2 GB) TEST RESULT

THD + N (%)

0.018

Frequency response R 20 Hz (dB)

1.14

Frequency response R 20 kHz (dB)

1.15

Frequency response L 20 Hz (dB)

1.15

Frequency response L 20 kHz (dB)

0.06

running time

9:40 hours

Data transfer rate

0.9 MB / s

Price / GB

30.00 euros

Teac MP-550 (2 GB) TECHNICAL DATA

capacity

2048 MB

Expandable memory

No

Weight

49 g

Dimensions (LxWxH)

88 x 45 x 8 mm

interface

USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Power supply

firmly integrated battery

power adapter

No

Docking station

No

remote control

No

radio

Yes

voice recorder

Yes

Line-in recording

No

Image display (slide show)

Yes

Video player

Yes

Scope of delivery:

Earphones, neck strap, USB cable

Display

Art

TFT display

Screen diagonal

2.4 in

resolution

240 x 320 pixels

compatibility

Supported audio formats (playback)

MP3, WMA

Supported audio formats (recording)

WMA

Supported image formats (playback)

BMP, JPG

Supported video formats (playback)

AVI

Inexpensive, with all sorts of extras and inexpensive on top of that – not a bad idea. However, quality, handling, equipment and of course the sound must also play a role.

In addition to MP3 songs, the multimedia player can also play MP4 videos and display JPEG images. For this purpose, the manufacturer has installed a 1.8-inch color TFT display. In addition, the TakeMS Blade can also receive and record radio programs through the built-in FM tuner. The handy playback device even records speech – directly via the built-in microphone. A slide show function and an equalizer are also included. As a special feature, the manufacturer includes a power supply unit. So you don’t always have to turn on your PC to charge the player’s battery. The battery life was 8:15 hours – that’s relatively short.

handling

We really liked the small and light case. A display is also fun, especially if it is colored and offers a high resolution. The model at hand offers only 162 x 128 pixels – too little for unadulterated photo and video fun. The key assignment also took some getting used to – an example: To adjust the volume, you first have to press the Vol-Press the button – but not too briefly, otherwise you will activate the FROM-Repeat mode. Only then can you start using the Skip-Keys (forwards and backwards) change the volume.

Audio quality sound

The lower the distortion factor on the measuring device, the higher the rating in terms of audio quality. The blade showed a distortion factor of 0.043 percent – not a top value, but still okay. The deviation in the bass was also tolerable, it was just 1 dB – 0.35 dB in the treble range. In connection with an earphone, the bass weakness worsened to 13 dB – this is too high and clearly noticeable. The included earphones sounded correspondingly poor in bass. But they couldn’t convince in the high frequency range either, because they sounded sharp and tended to clink.

Conclusion TakeMS Blade

The TakeMS Blade is a cheap player that can do a lot, but nothing really good. The functions are a bit cumbersome at times. The sound will not convince real music lovers either.

Alternatives

Instead of a very cheap player such as the Teac MP-370 (price: 25 euros), the Trekstor i.Beat emo (price: 30 euros) or the TakeMS Passion (price: 33 euros), you could also have a better sound quality Turn to candidates. We certified the Sony NWZ-A828 to have the best sound quality so far (price: 124 euros). We also really liked the Creative Zen X-Fi, which is available for 136 euros. And the best audio quality, i.e. the best measurement results, was also achieved by the Sony NWZ-A828 (price: 124 euros).

variants

TakeMS Blade (2 GB) TakeMS Blade (4 GB)

Test results and technical data

Multimedia player

TakeMS Blade (4 GB)

Value for money

26th

providers

TakeMS

Web link

www.takems.de

price

Compare around 35 euros

Hotline

07667/94140

guarantee

60 months

TakeMS Blade (4 GB)

EVALUATION (0-100 points)

Handling (20%)

39

Equipment (20%)

31

Sound (15%)

39

Audio quality (10%)

4th

Service (10%)

18th

Price (20%)

15th

Overall result

26th

TakeMS Blade (4 GB)

TEST RESULT

THD + N (%)

0.043

Frequency response R 20 Hz (dB)

1.00

Frequency response R 20 kHz (dB)

0.35

Frequency response L 20 Hz (dB)

1.00

Frequency response L 20 kHz (dB)

0.35

running time

8:15 hours

Data transfer rate

1.7 MB / s

Price / GB

8.75 euros

TakeMS Blade (4 GB)

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

capacity

4096 MB

Expandable memory

yes (Micro SD)

Weight

31 g

Dimensions (LxWxH)

85 x 41 x 8 mm

interface

USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Power supply

firmly integrated battery

power adapter

Yes

Docking station

No

remote control

No

radio

Yes

voice recorder

Yes

Line-in recording

No

Image display (slide show)

Yes

Video player

Yes

scope of delivery

Power adapter, earphones, USB cable

Display

Art

Screen diagonal

1.8 in

resolution

160 x 128 pixels

compatibility

Supported audio formats (playback)

MP3, WMA

Supported audio formats (recording)

WMV

Supported image formats (playback)

JPG

Supported video formats (playback)

AVI

Philips has introduced two new micro systems that are really interesting. The new, futuristic SoundSphere speakers of the MCi900 and MCD900 models are designed to provide authentic sound. In addition, the Philips MCi900 with integrated hard drive and streaming function clearly appeals to MP3 fans.

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Philips promises super sound for its new micro systems MCi900 and MCD900. The press release says full-bodied: “Philips SoundSphere speakers provide natural, authentic sound reproduction.” The sound miracle is to be achieved with a small technical trick: the tweeter is attached to the top of the compact speakers. This not only looks futuristic, but also radiates the sound in all directions. According to Philips, this should guarantee more sound volume.

MP3 enjoyment in the living room

But it’s not just the SoundSphere speakers that have it all. The top model MCi900 can play MP3 files stored on a built-in hard drive as well as stream music from PC and Mac via WLAN. The MCi900 also receives internet radio. Both Philips models are controlled via a color display.

Philips is holding back the price

So it’s time for Philips to announce what the new hi-fi systems should cost and when they will be available in stores. Because such important information is still missing. My only fear is that both the MCi900 and the MCD900 won’t be really cheap.

In addition to the pretty packaging, the special thing about this device is its name. The rest is standard: The design is a mixture of that of the first generation iPod Nano (black on the front and chrome-plated metal on the back) and the Maxfield Max-Diamond (flattened edges), which is also no longer available.

handling

The player weighs only 52 grams and is easy to hold. Blue illuminated sensor keys serve as operating elements. This concept worked well. We also liked the menus. Overall, the player was very pleasant to use. The color display is of good quality, with a screen diagonal of 1.8 inches and a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels, but rather small: slide shows and video player functions are only nice gags. Apart from a few tests, you will hardly ever use it, which is also due to the only moderately fast data rates of 1.7 MB / s.

Audio quality

The built-in dictation machine and the radio are much more useful. Both extras don’t have much to offer in terms of sound, however, they sounded very dull. The MP3 and WMA player logic worked much better, the earphones are of high quality. The distortion factor was only 0.044 percent, the frequency response deviations in the line-out mode just 1 dB in the bass range. However, under load, i.e. with earphones, the bass attenuation becomes stronger. Bangs that are around 8 dB quieter than they should not knock anyone off their feet.

service

This cannot be remedied by a firmware update, which is neither supplied nor downloadable, but according to the manufacturer should at least generally be possible. The website is otherwise very unhelpful. It hardly offers any useful information, no tools, manuals or installation instructions. The built-in battery had enough power for 7:41 hours of music.

Conclusion Lexxum Lexx-Armendron

Only standard technology, services and functions across the board. Only the price of the Lexxum Lexx-Armendron is comparatively high. This is one of the reasons why the player only ended up in the middle of all the multimedia players we tested so far.

Alternatives

With 8 GB the same capacity and just as expensive, but with a larger display, the Zen from Creative comes. And the similarly equipped Transcend T.sonic 820, for example, offers only 4 GB of memory, but costs only half of the current model.

Test results and technical data

MP3 player Lexxum Lexx-Armendron (8 GB)

Value for money

27

providers

Lexxum

Web link

www.lexxum.de

price

around 100 euros