x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Technophile: Affordable, no-fuss MP3 players

Curt Brandao reviews three affordable MP3 players that each offers a little extra something for users.

Creative ZEN Style M300 4 GB MP3 and Video Player with Bluetooth and FM Radio Playback
Creative ZEN Style M300 4 GB MP3 and Video Player with Bluetooth and FM Radio Playback

SanDisk Sansa Clip+

How it looks Not long ago, the phrase "low-end MP3 players" would have been an oxymoron, as anyone listening to music off a flash drive was considered nothing less than avant-garde. Now, however, players such as the five-centimetre-wide SanDisk Sansa Clip+ are basically high-tech, affordable miracles hiding in plain sight.

What it does The Sansa Clip+ comes with 4GB of storage and can hold about 1,000 songs, more if you make use of its expandable microSD slot. Its tiny OLED screen helps you navigate through the tunes - it even manages to cram in a digital FM radio tuner and voice recorder.

Who it's for Joggers and gym devotees will appreciate its ability to snugly clip onto their clothes as they run or gyrate - however, some may find the microSD feature more trouble than it's worth.



Creative ZEN M300

How it looks Only a bit larger than a matchbox, the Creative ZEN M300 is an unassuming black MP3 player that you'll barely feel in your pocket. Its small touch screen makes it look like a tiny digital photo frame.

What it does The M300 boasts 4GB of internal memory, a microSD slot, an FM radio tuner and a voice recorder. But it can also connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device, including computers, speakers and headphones.

Who it's for Music lovers who want to spend more time listening to music and less time untangling headphone wires.



Apple iPod Shuffle

How it looks The almost perfectly square 2.75cm-wide iPod Shuffle comes in a rainbow of colours.

What it does It doesn't make phone calls, or play YouTube videos or keep you connected on Facebook. It also has no radio, voice recorder or touch screen, though its simple, round wheel of buttons allows you to control up to 2GB of iTunes music on the go without looking down. It's VoiceOver feature will also announce the title, artist name and battery status between songs, if you wish.

Who it's for Apple fans who secretly yearn for a cheap, simple device that does one thing well, but want to keep their reputation as brand loyalists above reproach.