Season’s greetings techies!
Digital Audio Players (DAP) or MP3 players as most like to call them are those devices that offer just audio options for the avid listeners. You’ll find nothing more than the basics viz. an MP3 player for music, an FM radio for those who like to catch the waves and perhaps a few extras thrown in which could include a .TXT reader or a voice recorder. Here are my choices for Tech2’s Gadget of the Year in the portable music player department.

DAP of the Year – Sony Walkman NWZ- B143F –

4GB – Rs. 3,950, 2GB- Rs. 2,850

Sony’s B143F follows the company’s long traditional line of audio products bearing the Walkman branding. It’s a wee bit bulky albeit masculine device because of the shape. The best part about players like these is that they come with a built in USB port so there’s absolutely no need for a separate wire. The B143F offers quite a bit in terms of audio enhancement from presets to a customizable EQ setting and Sony’s Bass Enhancer via a quick access key. Sony has also incorporated their Zappin audio technology for those who don’t have time to search for tracks manually.

Good – The B143F has great audio quality
Its on board voice recorder has pretty good range
It’s also capable of providing users with a much better than average battery life
Bad – The only drawback is that the FM radio’s reception didn’t seem too great
Rating – 4.5/5

Runner up – Cowon iAudio E2 –
4GB – Rs. 3,500, 2GB- Rs. 2,950

When it comes to stylish yet odd shaped designs the iAudio E2 from Cowon takes the cake. With its trendy circle and square (more of a rectangle) styling and no display, the E2 is the simplest device in this category. It offers quick playback via drag and drop of files and a very user friendly navigation system. Cowon has also included a set of their BBE+ EQ presets that can be accessed by a singular button and a very pleasant voice will let you know which setting you’ve selected. It’s a very light weight device making it really easy to tote around. A separately sold clip attachment fits into the circular area so it can be hooked onto something.

Check out our contest where you can win an E2 DAP, just click here and answer the simple question.

Good – The E2 is an extremely simple to use device
It’s capable of providing users with excellent audio quality
Cowon has made sure that with their bundled earphones you won’t need any others
Bad – The battery life is a bit average
The E2 should have come with the clip attachment.
Rating – 4/5

Best value – MobiBlu A7 –
4GB – 2,750
MobiBlu’s A7 is a chic looking device with its dark glossy display area and silver paneling. It has plenty to offer users from an e-Book reader that reads .TXT files and EQ presets that also include a five band customizable setting. It’s also equipped with a voice recorder and an FM radio of course with an option for recording OTA (Over the Air). The navigation system may take a little getting used to but on the whole it’s a well rounded device that’s also capable of providing really good audio and for that price for that amount of storage and the range of features it’s equipped with, it’s definitely great value for money.

Good – The A7 has good Audio output quality
Its display is clear enough to read .TXT files
The A7 is loaded with very relevant features
Bad – The radio’s reception quality was not good
Rating – 4/5

All the prices quoted are MOP. Stay tuned for more of Tech2’s Gadget and Games of the year as we close in on the end of 2009.

Tags: , , ,