iAUDIO E2 MP3 player : Part – 1

I am a tech enthusiast. Having moved to a new job in Mumbai, meant that I had to plan my fitness regime. I started the daily walk/jog routine and I think we all know how boring this can be! Hence I started listening to music to enjoy what I was doing – even more. I started using my Zune 30 which needs no introduction.

It is a first generation MP3 player from Microsoft which is very bulky and not suitable for jogging. (fine for brisk walking though)..Later I switched to my Nokia E63, which is no audiophile device.

The built in equalizers don’t work for god sake…The phone was lighter than the zune but still was bulky to carry for a jog. Then I borrowed my friend’s iPod Nano which even had a arm band for the fitness freaks.

Nano however didnt please me because its controls were very messy. The famous apple click wheel is not the best of options while you are walking jogging. With these three trials in mind, I decided to go for a new MP3 player – which really was an excuse to buy a new gadget! The same way, buying the E63 was an excuse when I had a decent phone already! But hey, the E63 did give me a lot of functionality which I really dig. But more about that in a separate article.

Coming back to the MP3 players, I visited two stores to see the options. eZone and Tata Croma.

They all had a plethora of devices ranging from simple players to advance PMP like the iPod touch and the like. My intentions were clear from the beginning. I needed something small, minimalistic and having display was really not necessary. I had three options in front of me.

a) Sony Walkman with a USB connector built in.

b) iPod shuffle

c) A seemingly unknown player which had plain looks – the iAUDIO E2 player (which was only available in Tata Croma)

In the first couple of visits I ignored item #3 because it really was not appealing. I even forgot the brand name and googled for “iriver player” only not to find any player which I saw in the store.

As with many things in life, I decided to eliminate options to narrow down on my selection. The survival of the fittest kind of principle. I eliminated the Sony because it was long and seemingly bulky. But its weight was really not an issue. Its just that the form factor seemed dated and I really didn’t find it appealing to start with.

I really liked the looks of iPod shuffle. The clip was a practical feature in the player and could have been the perfect companion for me during my workouts. But it so happens that the player really has no buttons on it. Yeah, you read it correct. Instead apple has moved all  the controls on the earphone. This means two things.

1) You have to grope for the earphone cable and press the right button without even knowing which is which….

2) (this is my biggest gripe) – you cannot use your standard earphones with the nano !!

So this was out of the picture as well.

That left the iAUDIO E2 player in the race. I wasn’t very convinced about the player. The sound quality, the order in which it played the songs and many such questions remained unanswered.

My friend and I tested the player with a set of creative earphones and the sound quality seemed pretty decent. When we asked the sales person about the order in which the songs are played, he remarked that it only plays them in a shuffled mode! This was a deal breaker because I wanted flexibility in what I listed to. I am not a big fan of randomness. I guess no one except mathematics is.

So we did a last minute product review online (thanks to the E63) and found that the playback can be customized to be either random or regular at a touch of a button. This is all I needed to hear. I picked up a black E2 player with a capacity of 4GB.

2GB price = 2499/-
4GB price = 2999/-

More detailed review in Part  – 2..Stay tuned.

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Posted by on Apr 21 2010 Filed under MP3 Player. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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