A leader in portable audio
Written: Mar 14, 2001
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
This Christmas (2000) I found a Philips Expanium underneath the tree. I couldn't have asked for a better gift. I love my music, and I love taking large amounts of it with me in a convenient package. This product definitely delivers.
Granted, it doesn't display id3 tags, but since I mostly just listen to my music on shuffle anyway, that's not an issue for me. Besides, since you are able to fit a very sizable amount of songs on a single CD, I'd get frustrated trying to skip around between songs if I didn't have a full size keyboard. And I know the name/artist of any song I'd select to put on a CD-R (or CD-RW, woo!) so recognition isn't an issue with me either.
The included headphones are not so super, but keep in mind that most portable CD players do not include decent headphones either. Also, people complain that the unit is too quiet when they hook up their huge studio monitor headphones to the unit. It's important to keep in mind that battery life is important, and the unit does live up to what Philips claims it does in battery life. Nevertheless, at times I find the unit to still be too quiet. I suspect that this is caused by the mp3 file itself not being loud enough (I have to turn up the volume on my computer to hear it at the same volume as the other files).
Also, I would have preferred a metal case over a plastic one. Despite that, the unit is quite sturdy and durable (not to mention attractive). I've dropped it from hand level a bunch of times, and shoulder level once or twice (and I'm a tall fellow), and it still works perfectly
Load time for mp3 CDs is a bit long, unfortunately. However, once the CD is loaded, the sound quality is quite good, and almost entirely skip free. I really had to toss it around to get it to skip on an mp3 CD.
You are unable to fast forward and rewind into mp3 files, which can be annoying. Also, when using the "resume" feature, it begins at the beginning of the song (again this is only during mp3-cd playback). Another quirk of the resume feature is that it doesn't preserve other options you had specified (such as shuffle, repeat, etc.).
The button placement is very convenient, and is easy to learn by touch. I always just toss the unit into my jacket pocket, and I rarely have to take it out of my pocket for any adjustments.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with my Philips Expanium. It does have its flaws, but I am more than willing to overlook them for this extremely high quality unit.
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Amount Paid (US$): 199