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Philips GoGear Muse 16GB review

Alan Lu
13 Nov 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

It isn't cheap, but Philips' GoGear Muse is an excellent MP3 player with great image quality and good video support.

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Philips' GoGear Muse looks and feels classier than older models thanks to its brushed metal back. The right-handed design is unchanged, which will put off left-handed users.

It's one of the few players we've seen with built-in noise cancellation. This blocks out background noise in places such as a train carriage or aeroplane so you can listen to music without raising the volume to dangerous levels. It works surprisingly well and is almost as effective as third-party noise-cancellation and isolation earphones we've tried, but the circuitry works only with the included earphones. Thankfully, these sound detailed and clear with enough bass, although some instruments, particularly brass and strings, don't sound as rich as we'd like, so you may still want a third-party set.

If you tire of your own music, you can use the built-in FM radio. Reception in our central London offices was free from static and sounded clear and crisp. Saving a station as a preset or recording a broadcast is quick and easy thanks to the options button and the logically organised menus.

We were also impressed with the quality of the 3in screen. Videos looked bright and sharp, with plenty of detail and contrast. The Muse can play H.264 as well as DivX and XviD files, but it insists on stretching videos with a 4:3 aspect ratio to fill the screen. Sadly there's no option to override this, but videos with a 16:9 or an anamorphic aspect ratio look fine.

Battery life is impressive. The Muse lasted just under 35-and-a-half hours when playing music with noise cancellation deactivated. When playing videos, it lasted just over four hours. These are good times compared with portable players from other manufacturers, but previous GoGear players have lasted over 48 hours when playing music and over six hours when playing video, so owners of existing models may be reluctant to upgrade.

Nevertheless, Philips' 16GB GoGear Muse is an excellent portable audio player in almost every respect. It's a little expensive, but it's worth every penny.

Details

Price£150
Rating*****
Headphone Rating****
AwardBest Buy

Hardware

Capacity16.00GB
Formatted capacity1.39GB
InterfaceUSB
Storage mediumflash memory
Battery and charge optionslithium polymer, USB
Size110x8x55mm
Weight89g

Features

Device has screen?Yes
Viewable size3 in
Native resolution400x240
Memory card supportnone
FM Radioyes
Audio record optionsmicrophone, radio
Video record optionsnone
Supplied withheadphones, USB cable

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback)35h 25m
Tested battery life (Video playback)4h 13m
500MB transfer time1m 36s
Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackYes
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackYes
Audio WAV playbackYes
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 supportYes
Download compatibilityWMA-DRM subscription and download

Buying Information

Price per MB0.9p
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://shop.philips.co.uk
Detailswww.philips.co.uk

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