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iRiver B30 8GB review

Alan Lu
13 Nov 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
139
inc VAT

The B30 is packed full of features, including a DAB radio, but it's expensive for the amount of storage space.

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iRiver's plain black 8GB B30 looks unassuming, but it's packed full of features.

The most noticeable is the built-in DAB and FM radio, due to the player's telescopic antenna. In spite of this, reception was prone to interference, especially when held horizontally, which is necessary since the otherwise logical interface is oriented horizontally. When reception was interference-free though, audio sounded crystal clear whether on DAB or FM.

Music sounded rather flat both with the included earphones and a better-quality set. It's worth investing in third-party earphones, though, as the included set don't do bass-heavy tracks justice. The battery lasted over 30 hours when playing audio, which is impressive.

The touch-sensitive buttons can take some getting used to, but they work well, especially when to set to vibrate when touched. This haptic feedback helps by making it more obvious when you've pressed a button.

The up and down buttons are used to skip to the previous and next tracks, instead of the left and right buttons as we'd expect. It's a change that feels odd if you've ever used any other MP3 player.

We wish there were a physical set of volume buttons, as it can be inconvenient to fish the B30 out of a pocket and unlock the controls to adjust the volume. The hold switch and power button are also located awkwardly on the B30's lower left-hand edge.

Video looked bright and sharp with good contrast on the 2.8in display, although it's also very reflective. Unlike iRiver's cheaper E200, the B30 can play H.264 files as well as DivX and XviD videos. It can't resume paused videos from where you left off, but it displayed all our test videos in their correct aspect ratios and has an orientation sensor so videos are automatically displayed horizontally. The battery lasted six hours and 42 minutes while playing video, which is almost long enough for a transatlantic flight.

There's a lot to like about iRiver's 8GB B30, but it's expensive. At this price Philips' excellent GoGear Muse 16GB is a much better choice.

Details

Price£139
Rating***
Headphone Rating***

Hardware

Capacity8.00GB
Formatted capacity7.53GB
InterfaceUSB
Storage mediumflash memory
Battery and charge optionsLi-ion, USB
Size57x11x110mm
Weight98g

Features

Device has screen?Yes
Viewable size2.8 in
Native resolution320x240
Memory card supportmicroSD
FM Radioyes
Audio record optionsmicrophone, radio
Video record optionsnone
Supplied withheadphones, USB cable, carry case

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback)30h 11m
Tested battery life (Video playback)6h 42m
500MB transfer time1m 22s
Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackYes
Audio AAC playbackNo
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video WMV playbackYes
Video MPEG-1 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 playbackNo
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportYes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportNo
Download compatibilityWMA-DRM subscription and download

Buying Information

Price per MB1.7p
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk
Detailswww.iriver.com

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