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★★★★★

“I had a Packard Bell AudioKey for my travels until it...”

Written on: 10/07/2006 by OZCharlie (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Good Dynamic Sound
Size
Colour Screen
Video
Price
Battery Life

Bad Points
Headphones
No Remote
Proprietry USB cable

General Comments
I had a Packard Bell AudioKey for my travels until it died very recently. The earphone jack went and that was that. I've been looking for a an MP3 player for about a week and really wanted an iPod but was scared off by the ghastly memory per dollar ratio I actually decided on the Creative Zen Micro based on the reviews on the web. I got to the shop and saw this little beauty, the iriver E10. What a great bit of hardware! It is a 6GB mini-HD type player with a small iPod Nano-esque size and shape. It has similar intuitive controls but is about two-thirds the price!Bundled you get the iriver plus 2 media library + player package which is fine (in the UK it will be WMP10), a proprietry USB 2.0 cable, headphones, a felt case and the usual CD/Documentation. It charges through USB so no mains adapter. The packaging although superfluous is exceptional and endearing.



+ + +

The sound is great with plenty of scope for preset EQ options or defining your own custom EQ. The headphones have a good frequency response and the bass is hearty and deep for in-ear headphones. Those of you into video will be pleased that it is covered but it doesn't really matter to me so I haven't really explored this side of things yet. It has all the standard play options and nothing stands out as being omitted. The felt cover is excellent for keeping the dust and scratches off. It's good to have it bundled in too. The color screen is cool to look at but if you don't care about video then it's just an aesthetic extra.

The price... Mine was $297 Aussie dollars (120GBP) from JB Hi-Fi in Sydney and for 6GB it was a bargain. The equivalent iPod they wanted $400 dollars for and with a reputation of having shorter life batteries it was an easy choice. Speaking of batteries the E10 is supposed to have 32 hours(!) life. I don't know about that but I've listened to mine every day for a week and it's still registers a full charge.



- - -

I like remotes! I don't want to have to keep going into my pocket and removing it from the felt cover to change songs, albums or artists. Why don't companies do remotes any more?

The headphones are a bit big for inner ear models. I have to push them back in sometimes which is a little annoying.

Giving a non standard cable is a bit lame too. What if you lost it or forget it then you can't connect or charge your player.

To be honest I'm struggling to find much else to moan about really. I was going to talk about the iriver Plus 2 software but it turned out to be user error! The FAQ on the iriver website was useful in finding this out too.



Not really a positive or a negative is that you can use it as a TV remote! I don't know who thought of this but it seems a little pointless to me. Surely there was room for another audio related feature or bluetooth or something.



In conclusion I'm very happy with my new player and haven't left the house without it all week. It was a spur of the moment thing and not like my usual well reasoned purchases but it was well worth the punt.

I would hearity recommend it.

PS It IS early days! I will update after a while.