Realistically there are not a great deal of tests you can do with an mp3 player / headphone hybrid other than filling it with data and having a listen to it. Obviously this device will perform differently with different types of music and you may find its better suited to some than others. Since this part of the testing is subjective, I would ask you not to take our opinions as facts, and if you’re unsure about purchasing this product, please test it out yourself first.
I will also be testing how long file transfer times are, and how long the battery lasts.
My first stumbling block was powering on the device, as there is no sign of a power button or icon anywhere on the player. Loathe as I was to do so, one quick consultation of the manual informed me that I had to press and hold the play button for a total of two seconds (which I had tried, but obviously for not long enough!). This done and the device sprang into life with the customary nuclear blue LCD displaying ON in a font reminiscent of old bedside alarm clocks, which I didn’t take to be a good sign.
Sadly my expectations were correct, the player is lacking in many ways, not least of which is the arcane ‘menu’ system, which is accessed by holding the Menu button for 2 full seconds (I was learning!). The word "menu", is slightly exaggerating the interface you’re given to configure the device, as in actual fact this just lets you rotate through one of 5 options: an arrow pointing left, an arrow pointing left with a digit 1, the same arrow with ‘All’, the same arrow with a loop and finally a fading line under the word ‘Pre’. I would love to tell you what these symbols mean, but as neither the player or the manual gives any indication then I could only hazard a guess. The manual does state these are the order in which the tracks will be played from the card, such as root folder first then other folders in alphabetical order, but gives no indication of which symbol is which. Pressing left on the controls scrolls right through these options, and vice versa which is a bit strange. Tapping the menu button once again while these selections are flashing, allows you to select the audio style from; Normal, Pop; Jazz; Rock and Classic. There ends the options and controls you have to play with, there are literally no other configuration or menu options on the player.
Selecting what to listen to and skipping through the tracks is done via the 4 way rocker (similar to early iPod players) with left and right skipping tracks and up and down changing volume. The centre button acts as both play and pause (and power if held). Though the controls are straight forward enough, they can be somewhat difficult to use accurately when wearing the player as earphones as it is designed to do, often clicking pause while trying to hit the button to skip to the next track.
That said, selecting the tracks is a bit of a hit and miss game anyway, as the device does not present any of the ID3 information, directory information, filename information or basically any other way of identifying a track than the track number in the current directory; a glaring omission that even the cheapest of players manage to include usually. Powering off the device results in it starting again next time from track 00 in the root of the player, even making this unfeasible as an audio book listening player as it lacks the capability to automatically pick up where it left off, as most players do.