Feeds

Ten... sub-£50 budget MP3 players

Sound choices

Boost IT visibility and business value

Sony Walkman NWZ-B152F

RH Numbers

Other than a long battery life and the benefit of being a non-cable USB key, the Sony B series is disappointing, mainly due to its low output volume. The sound is smooth and rounded, but venture to a place with any background noise and you may as well forget it.

The jog-wheel used to change tracks can be fiddly, especially one-handed and, unless you've switched Hold on, its buttons are too easily nudged. Consequently, tracks are accidentally paused or the annoying Zap function comes into force – a somewhat pointless feature that plays a few seconds of each track before randomly moving on.

The voice recorder and FM radio are nice inclusions, but neither compensates for the volume problem. With format support for just MP3 and WMA, the B series Walkman comes with mediocre headphones and appears poor value for money. You’d expect more from Sony, really.

Sony NWZ-B152F

Sony logoReg Rating 55%
Price £20 (2GB) £40 (4GB)
Format Support WMA, MP3
More Info Sony

X-Mini Happy

RH Numbers

The X-Mini Happy is the ultimate accessory for sodcasting chavs that now infest the nation's buses and painfully show off the noise they believe qualifies as music. It’s wicked, innit!

RH Recommended Medal

The single tweeter on top, supported by a powerful sub-woofer inside, delivers crisp audio at high volumes. Sure, its spherical shape isn’t as pocket-snug as most MP3 players, but the X-mini is comfortable enough to carry and the sound is incredible, albeit slightly distorted at maximum output. There are other downsides: as there’s no display, the volume resets itself each time it’s powered up, and you can’t fast forward through any tracks. Limited format support is also a drag - MP3 or WMA only - and the battery life is a mere five hours.

Despite this, the X-Mini MP3 is an excellent piece of kit, and comes with a removable 2GB SD card along with some of the best supplied headphones I’ve seen. Each device can be linked to other X-Minis to create a chain of speakers and intensify the volume even more. The streetz may have already waved goodbye to days of boomboxed shoulder pads, but a new era is here: X-mini necklaces.

X-Mini Happy Speaker

X-Mini HappyReg Rating 85%
Price £40 (2GB)
Format Support WMA, MP3
More Info Advanced MP3 Players

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?