Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: Not quite dead, nor alive yet.

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Well, as the title says…  Now, to the gears.

Buy.com had a sale (maybe still does) where you can score NW-S703F for $50ish, this compared to the list price of $169.99.   A 1GB color display MP3/WMA/AAC/ATRAC player for $50 is a rather big deal, since the next closest competitor in price (Zen Stone) lacks a display and has a rather lackluster battery life.  But, consider this: the 703F packs in a NC cancelling headphones (more on this later) based on the MDR-EX90 (A Damaged Gears top pick), well, makes this almost a no brainer.

Buy why the almost tag?  For one, you still have to wrestle with SonicStage.  Yes, it’s not that hard to deal with, but it is slower and stupider in terms of organization.  With a larger library, it really struggles whereas the iTunes, MediaMonkey, WMP, and other jukeboxes.  Oh hell, with the intelligence function of the Artist Link and what not, it really struggles, as if you’re running a modern jukebox program on a 486 (for those of you not hip with what a 486 is, well, take your dual core CPU, remove a core, then another core, then for good measure, make the remaining core impotent, and you get the picture). 

Another problem is that you can’t use the NC Buds with other players.  Granted, the buds would be fairly useless when the NC Functionalities are disabled, but at the very least, one should be able to use the buds sans NC functionalities on other gears…  However, the NC Buds are limited strictly to the 703F, and vice versa.  While you can use other headphones with the 703F, the NC functionalities are disabled with other headphones.  Well, you can’t win them all.

If the Buy.com deal is still active, jump on it, you can’t get a better MP3 player for the price.  If you have to pay full retail, however, it’s a bigger gamble.  Frankly, that’s one gamble I’d rather not take.

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Written by Damage

06/18/07 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Soapbox

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