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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
NEON 4in1 128MB MP3 Player

4. Tests - Page 2

NEON 4in1 128MB MP3 Player - Page 4


We tested the Neon 4 in 1 MP3 Player's playback capabilities with different types of MP3 files. We tried playing files with different bitrates, constant and variable bitrate encoded files. The device managed to playback everything we threw at it with no problems, with the exception of files encoded at 320 Kbps. At that bitrate, the files would playback with a stutter, like someone is pushing the pause/resume button continuously. Another case where minor stuttering would appear was while accessing the configuration menu of the device during music playback.

The Neon 4 in 1 MP3 Player can read ID3 tags as well, and it can display various information about the songs played, like the song's title/duration/current position. All this information is displayed on the device's screen, scrolling from left to right so that all of the details can be displayed. The device is capable of displaying correctly English and Simple Chinese character sets.

As far as music quality is concerned, The Neon 4 in 1 MP3 Player performed very well, but not without glitches. When listening to well-encoded MP3s, the produced sound was good, but at low volume levels or where there were moments of silence during the songs, a very slight hiss could be heard. This effect tended to disappear if we increased the volume from the device.

The Neon 4 in 1 MP3 Player can be used as an FM radio as well. By selecting the FM radio mode using the player's controls, we can tune in to our favorite radio station by manually selecting the frequency or by selecting one of the 10 presets. There is a search mode as well in which you can control the 16 presets individually by storing in each one the station you want. The quality of the reception was good with the earphones acting as an antenna. What we would have liked to see as an option is the ability to disable FM Stereo mode, in order to improve reception when needed.

Looking at the recording capabilities of the Flash Recorder, the device can be used as a voice recorder using the built-in microphone. The device records using the ADPCM codec which produces the well known WAV files. The details of the recording are as follows: Codec PCM, Sampling Frequency 8KHz, Channels Mono, Bits per sample 8bits. These settings are not adjustable, so the maximum time you could record with the Neon 4in1 MP3 Player is around 4.5 hours. Each recording is stored as a file with a .WAV extension in the player, and you can copy it to your computer and listen to it directly.

The device supports the USB 1.1 standard, and although it offers limited speed compared to the USB 2.0 standard, the speeds are acceptable considering the size of the memory. To copy 128MB of data from your PC to the Neon 4 in 1 MP3 Player, you will need approximately 4 minutes.




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