Guidance needed on what model to choose

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by kav, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. kav

    kav
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    Hi all,

    I am coming very late to the party, but have finally decided to get a decent portable music player. I was hoping to find some sort of comparison thread in this forum, but haven't turned anything up, so I'm asking for advice instead.

    Initially I thought my requirements would be satisfied by an iPod Classic - solid and stacks of storage. However, the lure of internet access got to me, and that led me on to thinking about the iPod Touch - and once I started thinking about getting a Touch, I thought well why not go the whole hog and just get an iPhone? :suicide:

    My requirements (in order of what I want, but not necessarily what I need):
    1. Music player/Radio
    2. Video player
    3. Internet/email Access
    4. Phone
    My budget is ideally no more than £200, so that probably rules out an iPhone right away. Since I'm a bit of an iPod virgin, I would be grateful if you could provide me with some advice on best buys, things to avoid, etc? It might be that an iPod isn't even the best choice for me - I wouldn't rule out getting a Creative player, for example.

    I have been keeping an eye on the classifieds to see if I can pick up a Touch for a bargain but nothing's been quite what I'm looking for yet - I want to make sure I get the best VFM for my needs. Thanks in advance for any guidance.
     
  2. andrew markwort

    andrew markwort
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    IF you get an 18 month contract with e.g. Carphone Warehouse, you can get an iPhone either free or at a hugely reduced cost (depends on which contract you take out). This will enable you to get an iPhone for well under 200 quid, but you then have the rather larger cost over the next 18 months as you'll have to honour the contract. This is fine if you can make use of the contract (I have one and for me it makes financial sense), but otherwise it's an expensive option - a VERY expensive option.

    Oh and one thing - the iPhone doesn't have a radio. You can either get a clip on device that acts as an FM receiver, or you can download a programme that gives you access to internet radio stations (fine, provided you're in a strong reception area).

    But don't be too enamoured with internet access. It can be fiddly and really frustrating if you're in a weak signal area. And don't even think about taking it abroad as the charges are eyewatering - you can easily run up a bill of a couple of thousand quid even with very casual surfing over a single week [honestly!]

    Unless you have a strong practical need for internet and phone access [as opposed to just fancying the idea] I'd say go for something that's more dedicated to music and video. You can save a lot of money. As for which make, Apple lead the field and all of their kit is nice. But have a look at some of the other known makes - the one thing to avoid is anything with no brand name being sold cheap and offering all the facilities of a known brand name product. Some of these can work really well and are bargains - but most aren't. E.g. I can remember my nephews a couple of Christmases ago heartbroken on Boxing Day after their rip-off copies of iPods had irretrievably broken down. My brother-in-law thought he'd made a real killing getting these piles of ordure from a guy he met in a pub who assured him they were extra copies secretly made at the plant making official iPods. Yeah, right - and tell me when Elvis gets here.

    One other thing - ditch the headphones that come with the machine; they're nearly always pants. You can spend very silly money on headphones, but even some of the cheaper Sennheisers (circa £25 - though beware of expensive models being offered as 'bargains' at this price - they're almost certainly fakes) will produce a drastic improvement. The in-ear models are popular because they're unobtrusive, do a good job of insulating you from the world around you (whether that's a good or bad thing is debatable) and tend to leak less noise. However, as you might expect, the sound field tends to be 'in the head'. Conventional headphones give you a much more open sound field, but leak sound to everyone else and are far more obtrusive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  3. kav

    kav
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    Thanks, great advice. I appreciate that.
     
  4. Hillskill

    Hillskill
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    Fancy seeing you here !

    Just thought I would have a look at alternative Mp3 players after having several ipods over the years. After sitting playing my xbox for the last 8 months its starting to look like I will be commuting into London again so in the market for something all singing all dancing.
    At the moment I am looking to overhaul my entire home setup and its tempting to get something that will fit in seamlessly with the Media Centres I'm likely to be putting in at home. However.....the touch does look a really nice bit of kit and I very at home with itunes software. I'm not sure the internet on the move is something I'm that interested in and it appears to be the only real advantage of having a touch. Coverflow and Genius are all very nice features but I tend to be of the school of thought that If I want to hear it.....I play it.....job done.
    Picking up a touch with a decent disc capacity is going to be a push for £200, 2nd hand is an option but scratches would bother me.

    One thing I have found with all my MP3 players is you can never have too many Gbs !!
     
  5. andrew markwort

    andrew markwort
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    Very true, but I don't think it's quite as big a deal when you're regularly at home. It's a pretty simple matter to dump your current playlist and upload a fresh one if you have a big stock of mp3s on your computer. Of course it's a different matter if you're going to be away from a computer for a long time and so need a big playlist with you because you can't replace the playlist quite as often.
     
  6. kav

    kav
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    Cheers lads, I think all things considered I am going to go for a Classic or the equivalent. After reading up the forums there are other brands with excellent reputations for SQ (cheaper too!) so I am going to look in to them a bit more before I splash out. :thumbsup:

    By the way Steve, I've been transferred into a new role which means I will be London-based two or three days a week - mainly in Canary Wharf. Would be good to meet up for a beer some time, if you're around/up for it?
     

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