MobiBLU DAH1500i Synopsis:
The packaging is a cube too... ain't that clever...
Walmart.comgot it to me in a week. Apparently they've been flying out of the warehouse-- I was only able to get the 512 MB version when I ordered. Since then they've been in and out of stock. There's no telling how long it will take for sales to stabilize, so try to check the site daily if you insist on buying a particular color. [UPDATE 1/14/2007: Wallyworld online is totally out of stock-- try Amazon instead]
Amazonnow carries the 2GB mobiblu cube as well, worth buying if you don't update your songs every day from your computer.
The unit comes with a USB-to-headphone-jack adapter needed for both battery charging and file transfer, so don't just toss it in the Shoebox of Entanglement with other generic cords. The provided necklace/ headset is of remarkable quality, though the white and silver decor (standard despite the color of the unit you order) is a bit overstated. No matter, the unit plays fine with any headset, including the headset-as-FM antenna feature.
Finally there's the manual, a 'cube crate' ostensibly to protect the player if you drop it, and a mini CD. The CD has a firmware update on it, but there's a more recent one available online at the MobiBLU America website.
How small is it?
MobiBLU ® claims that the DAH-1500i is the world's smallest flash mp3 player, and I've been unable to find anything to dispute that. Prior to purchasing it, I looked at the few photos I could find and tried to envision the 24mm size with a small ruler. With the thing in hand, all I can say that it's really, really tiny. Maybe the coins in the image will help to illustrate.
It's way smaller than my cellphone, which lives comfortably in my pocket for most hours of the day.
It's excellent. The SRS WOW surround sound feature is great, I never had that in a portable before. The volume is displayed on the front of the OLED screen. It goes up to 30, but it becomes painful just above 25. My last two flash mp3 players got nowhere near this loud. I appreciate the option to court deafness should I desire it.
The display is bright and clear, but it does hurt battery life if you set it to 'always on'. My photos don't do it justice... in the second shot you can see it's still visible even with a strong light in the background. The song title scrolls pretty fast because I set it that way prior to taking the photo, so it looks a bit blurred. With such a small screen, a faster scroll speed is required.
Some messageboards have comments about the controls being difficult to use. The buttons are fairly straight forward, but admittedly small. Each surface of the cube is 24 X 24mm, so there's really not a lot of space to mount hand controls. Still, I'm able to orient and manipulate the controls blindly (in a pocket) after only a few minutes with the player.
DRM, MP3, etc.
The US version of the machine (the one with the i at the end, DAH-1500i) plays both MP3 and WMA formats. If you want it to work with iTunes, you're out of luck, but you probably knew that once you explored the limitations of your last iPod, right? There's a load of WMA based music vendors out there if you're still the type who only wants a couple of songs from an album. Indeed, a lot of artists will not sign on with certain online music outlets, but at least WMA DRM sites provide alternatives and competition vs the one-size-fits-all iTunes store. The CUBE 2 handles licensing the same way.
Actually, regarding the US vs Other versions of the DAH-1500, MobiBLU has this to say: There are currently two versions of the Cube Player being sold in the world today: The DAH-1500 and the DAH-1500i. The DAH-1500 is being sold outside of the US market under the brand name JNC with the model numbers SFF-8100, SFF-8005, and SFF-8002.The JNC Version are not THE AUTHORIZED PRODUCT FOR THE US MARKET. The DAH-1500i is the only version authorized for the US market and it adds two very important features: USB 2.0 and WMA DRM (Digital Rights Management). The USB 2.0 provides much faster file transfer speeds and WMA DRM means that the device is compatible with major music download sites (pay per song).
...so approach ebay sellers with caution, you'll likely get a substandard non- i unit.
AUDIO FORMATS MP3, WMA, WMA DRM BUILT-IN MEMORY 512MB / 1GB ANTENNA Headset/ Earphone Antenna BIT RATE MP3: 8~320Kbps WMA: 32~192Kbps HEADPHONE OUTPUT POWER 16 O / 15mW AUDIO OUTPUT FREQUENCY 20Hz ~ 20KHz AUDIO SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO 90dB RECORDING TIME 520Min Voice Recording (256MB, 64Kbps Recording Mode) OPERATING TEMPERATURE -5C ~ 70C FM FREQUENCY 87.50MHz – 108.00MHz / 76.0MHz ~ 108.0MHz FM SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO 50dB PC INTERFACE USB 2.0 DOWNLOAD SPEED 25Mbps POWER SUPPLY Built-in Li-Polymer BATTERY LIFE Approximately 10 hours DIMENSIONS 0.94" x 0.94" x 0.94" 24mm x 24mm x 24mm WEIGHT 0.63 Ounces (18 Grams)
More info, features, from the factory
Self Emitting Blue OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) Display combined with Blue letters brings new beauty to the unit. OLED provides superior sharpness, and a bright, easy to read display.
WMA (Digital Rights Management)
Now you can download and play purchased music from several popular music download sites.
FM Radio Receiver and Recorder
Enjoy FM radio listening as well as digital music files (MP3/WMA). It can also record your FM Programming which allows you to listen to it over and over or to save it on your PC.
USB 2.0 FLASH DRIVE
By connecting the product to PC, the Windows system automatically recognizes it as a removable disk. No additional software needed to load your music files over the blazingly fast USB 2.0 connection. It can also be used as storage for other types of files.
Built in high quality microphone allows you to record your voice.
Preset EQ modes plus one User-Set EQ mode
Features 5 preset equalization modes; Normal / Rock / Jazz / Pop / Classic / and you can also customize equalization to suit your sound.
SRS WOW - Surround Sound
3D Surround and superior Bass enhances your music listening experience.
File Navigation System and Unlimited Folder Capacity
The player can play MP3 files saved in multiple folders. Those files and folders can be selected and played as if in a Windows environment.
Easy & Convenient Clock
The built in clock keeps you on time.
Built-In Lithium Ion (L-Ion) Battery
No extra battery or external charger is required. This advanced battery system is easily recharged by connecting into the USB port on your PC.
Previous user settings and track location are automatically restored when the unit is powered ON in case of sudden power down.
Mobi blu firmware is easily upgradeable to new features and functions.
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