Creative hopes its latest MP3 player - the Muvo2 will offer a serious challenge to Apple’s iPod Mini. We don the headphones to find out whether Creative has what it takes to challenge the market leader.
At first MP3 players were very small, four or five songs small, then it grew to an album. Then the leap to 10,000-song capacities cut out the middle ground. We were told we would either want only a couple of tracks or our entire collection with us. Creative along with Apple and a few others have decided to fill in the gaps left in the stampede to the memory Mecca.
The Muvo2’s modest 4Gb capacity equates to around 800 - 1000 songs all on a device that fits snugly in the palm of your hand. Borrowing from other players in the Creative range, the unit offers a two-line display to see what you are playing, timings and general track information. The front offers a fast forward, rewind, menu and volume control in a D-pad styled button and as not to get confused; power, play and pause is controlled by a second one. Battery power according to Creative will last 14 hours - some six hours longer than the iPod - and is supplied by the custom made Lithium Ion battery. On the side of the unit there’s the headphone socket, optional radio headphone socket (sold separately), a power inlet and a USB2.0 jack for quick transfer of files. There is one downside; the casing is made from plastic rather than a magnesium alloy like the iPods. This unfortunately gives a rather cheap feel to the whole device which belies the functionality.
In spite of its looks, turn the Muvo2 on and you get a very good sound. There are four equaliser settings on the unit ranging from Jazz to pop and while they do little to improve the sounds you needn’t worry. Bass was handed extremely well through the accompanying headphones, keeping this quality when tested with other banded sets.
The RRP of this player makes it £80 more expensive than the iPod Mini and the premium gives you nothing more. That said this is still a competent player that offers a good sound and if the price were to come down it would be a close call.
For some the easier D-pad styled keys over the invisible click wheel on the iPod will be a very much welcomed, for others the lack of screen space - the iPod mini offers five lines compared to Muvo2’s two - might cause annoyance when trying to find the right song. Either way it’s a shame, even the cheapest price we found on the internet using Kelkoo still put it at £40 more than the Mini. If the price was cheaper this MP3 player might have a chance, as it happens it seems to have priced itself out of the market. Good product just not good value for money without some time in the market for economics to take their course.