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iRiver B30 8GB review

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.

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

Capacity 8.00GB
Formatted capacity 7.53GB
Interface USB
Storage medium flash memory
Battery and charge options Li-ion, USB
Size 57x11x110mm
Weight 98g

Features

Device has screen? Yes
Viewable size 2.8 in
Native resolution 320×240
Memory card support microSD
FM Radio yes
Audio record options microphone, radio
Video record options none
Supplied with headphones, USB cable, carry case

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 30h 11m
Tested battery life (Video playback) 6h 42m
500MB transfer time 1m 22s
Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback Yes
Audio AAC playback No
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback No
Audio WAV playback No
Audio Audible playback No
Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support No
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video WMV playback Yes
Video MPEG-1 playback No
Video MPEG-2 playback No
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback No
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support Yes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support No
Download compatibility WMA-DRM subscription and download

Buying Information

Price per MB 1.7p
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk
Details www.iriver.com

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