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Karma trepidation

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by darrens, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. darrens

    darrens
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    Okay, after sending back my NW HD3 I have now ordered a Karma. It seems to meet all my requirements except a) it's fugly and b) lots of reports of HDD failure.

    I can live with the first and, on the second, I've made sure that I've bought it from a reputable place that will replace within 12 months if it fails. In my experience the duff ones tend to fail in the first few months so if it lasts then I should be alright.

    Arriving next week so I'll post up my thoughts when it gets here.
     
  2. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    I look forward to your views. It's the only mainstream large capacity player I haven't tried or owned so I'm interested in it too, but have been put off mainly by the thickness. Rumours of it's replacement seem to be hotting up, so rather than the Karma I intend to wait for that.


    The HD3 is quite possibly the worst-to-use (albeit really nice looking, long-lasting and small) 20Gb HDD player I've had. I figure the Karma's got to be an improvement in navigation, control and management.
     
  3. darrens

    darrens
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    Apparently the replacement (the Chroma) isn't now due until September at the earliest. I guess it'll be better but it's also only meant to be 20gb and, if the images I've seen are genuine, it looks weird with a capital weird.

    It is thick, but no thicker than my p800 phone so while I'd like it to be thinner it ain't too much of a problem.

    On paper it looks the one - wil post up proper thoughts once I've actually had a play.
     
  4. darrens

    darrens
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    Okay, I actually got the unit on Saturday so I've had a good few days to play with it although these are still initial impressions.

    The look: Well, when you've actually got the unit in your hand then it doesn't quite look as fugly as in the pictures but it still is hardly a work of art. When you compare it to things like the ipod or the HD3 then it can't really compete in the looks department. The only area where it does beat those players hands down is the screen. It's really, really good - large, lovely blue backlight, informative and clear.

    Software: Perhaps the best way I can sum up RMM (Rio Music Manager) is that is is unspectacular. It does the job, and does the job very well but I can't get overly excited about it. However, having had awful experience with Sonic Stage previously it was great to have a piece of software which just did what it was supposed to do. It probably took me a couple of minutes to orientate myself and get used to the tag rather than folder approach of the Rio but after that I was away.

    Rio Usability: I have to say I am very impressed with the interface. It's difficult to explain but everything just feels intuitive and right. All the buttons come easily to hand and the interface is very well designed. There's no real need to read through the manual (although there are a few tricks in there). It just feels like the interface was designed from the outset as one that suits a DAP with thousands of songs. It is certainly much better than the HD3 and I would put it on a par with the ipod. Probably better than the ipod in may regards but the ipod scroll wheel is a stroke of genius.

    Sound quality: I messed around with various file formats (and finally ended up using Ogg Vorbis 192) and I was initially a little bit disappointed with the SQ. It was a bit harsh and thin (like an ipod) and so I decided to use the EQ, which is fantastic. However, it sounded to me like it needed to be run in so I left it for a day playing non-stop and that has made all the difference. It now sounds wonderful although the Senhheiser headphones that come with it don't really suit me. They don't sit well in my ears and so I lose a bit of bass response. I am experimenting with other headphones although I don't have the Sony in-ear ones that people rave about so I may try and get hold of those.

    All in all, I have to say I am incredibly pleased with the player. It sounds wonderful (now it's run in), it is incredibly easy to use and everything about it just feels right.
     

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