Philips GoGEAR MP4-spiller SA2MUS32S Muse 32 GB* med FullSound™ is rated
Rated 4 out of
Huge potential as a product with one or two niggles
The product looks great and several months into my ownership, it still looks great. The build quality is excellent (yes, I have dropped it while in the gym a few times - no issues) so it does give you a sense of confidence in using it.
In terms of features, the stand-out for me is the battery life, which is miraculous when used for audio only, and very good when watching video. Combining both as I do, I find I usually have to charge it once every couple of weeks and that's with daily use down the gym. There's plenty of space in the memory too, very generous and I've yet to find the limits.
The device uses a straight-forward menu-tree based system for navigation with a single "Home" hard-button on the front that brings up the main device menu. It took me a little while to remember to use the Home button (everything other than power and sound button is touch-screen) and so I did get frustrated early on looking for a touch-screen way to the main menu, but now it's really easy. Most of the menus are context sensitive and so I've always found that the things that I want to do tend to be there when I need them and sensibly labelled.
The screen is clear and bright with a wide range of brightness adjustment. Pictures look great on the screen and are big enough to enjoy and share. Navigation is the usual "finger-swipe" and I've always found it responsive and accurate and, for reasons I don't understand, it doesn't seem to attract finger prints which is a huge bonus.
Sound quality is excellent and I find that an upgrade in headphones really lets the quality of the FullSound feature shine through. I normally don't believe in using equilisers or sound processing, but FullSound really does work and I feel it adds to almost all of the music styles that I listen too, including classical. If you don't like that then you can create a manual adjustment using a five band equiliser or a number of different music style presets. Do yourself a favour and try FullSound first, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
When watching movies there is a "Surround for Movies" option too that creates a much wider sound field (to my ears) through the headphones than standard. I find that there are some films that really benefit and others where I prefer to switch it off, but a nice little feature.
I'm an avid Audible speaking books listener and having this feature is fantastic. The bookmark feature and speed control were unexpected bonuses that work really well.
The bundled music management software (Songbird) is very easy to load and get started with, but isn't the best software in the world to navigate through. The transfer of music to the device is really quick and problem free, even where I've been transfering BBC iPlayer content which I thought would be complicated, it's not.
A great feature is the HDMI connection that allows output of video and photographic content to a compatible television. In a neat trick the device, once connected, becomes a touchscreen remote control for the content being displayed on the screen. The remote covers all of the basic functions and works well, though some more advanced controls would be really welcome in any future software upgrades.
After a few months, what would I ask Philips to improve? I now have so many albums and songs on the device that a faster search function would be great - it can take a lot of scrolling to find a song now and there's no "search" facility. My preference is to view my tracks listed by artist first followed by album name. This works fine however the software seems then to only list the tracks for each album alphabetically, which means that they play out of order. I'm not sure why it does that, but it is a downside.
Finally, the product wasn't supplied with a slip-case, which I found really strange. Although it's robust I think it's really important that you find your own method to protect it. Do so and I think you'll be very pleased with your purchase.
Date published: 2011-10-02