Written on: 29/11/2002 by Brog.
Neat remote Good sound
Reluctant to play MP3 CD-ROMS Folder navigation system Quality control
My hifi system CD player finally died on me after 13 years of service and I needed a replacement. Since I have a large vinyl collection, this seemed a good opportunity to convert them to MP3 and use them both at home and on the move, so I was looking for a CD + MP3 player. There don't appear to be any specific hifi MP3 players (it isn't really a hifi format, but my ears can't tell the difference) so I bought the MJ3000R from Jungle and it arrived promptly. It played CDs fine, but would only occasionally recognise an MP3 disk and, when it did, it would often pause for 5-10 seconds in the middle of a track. I contacted Kiiro UK, who confirmed that the unit was faulty and so I returned it to Jungle. The replacement, when I received it, had clearly been opened whilst in stock, as the cardboard liner was damaged, the handbook was missing, and only one channel worked on the earphones *but* it would play MP3s so I've kept it - quit while you're ahead!
So, quality control apart, how well does it function? The sound quality is great on the earphones, and the anti-shock cache is large enough that it will take knocks without skipping. The display can be switched between file names and ID3 tags, and it scrolls, so that you can easily identify tracks. The unit ignores your disk's folder structure, and only lists folders which contain files, so if you have several albums within an artist folder, the artist folder will not be displayed. This is good for navigating on the move, as it is easy to change to 'next' or 'previous' folder without having to go 'up' or 'down' a tree, but I would have preferred the tree for use as part of a hifi setup. The in-line remote is an extremely neat unit, which gives all the functions of the panel buttons in a very small unit. It has a female socket at the end, so you can use it with any set of phones. There is a a line-out socket, as well as the phone socket, so that you can connect directly to an amplifier. This works well, with plenty of signal strength, but it bypasses the volume and tone controls, so all adjustments need to be made at the amplifier. Used in this fashion, the sound could be considered a little light on the bass, but it sounds good with classical music.
I still have some problems in getting the MP3 CD-ROMS to register - it seems that they have to be sitting absolutely square on the spring-loaded platter, so giving them a wiggle usually works. Once registered, the tracks play faultlessly.
Would I buy it again? Probably, since it fills my specific need, but I would hesitate to recommend it to a friend because of the problems I encountered. An alternative to consider is a DVD-player, since some of these now play MP3s.
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