A lot of portable music player owners use docking stations or portable speakers to play their music. Although these products set the mood in parties or gatherings, users would have to drag it along wherever they are going. Creative has addressed that issue by releasing the Zen Stone Plus, a portable media player that comes with a built-in speaker for instant music sharing anywhere.
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Users may be able to find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a My Shortcut/Speaker On/Off button, Play/Pause button, and a built-in microphone on top of the unit. A blue OLED display and 5-way navigation keys can be found up front, while the speaker is located at the back of the unit. There is also a mini-USB port located at the bottom that is used for charging and synchronising data.
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The menu consists of Music, Options, FM Radio, Microphone, Recordings, Stopwatch, Settings, and Lock. Music plays all the songs loaded to the unit, while the Options menu allows a user to browse through the files, adjust the play mode (repeat track, repeat all, repeat folder, track once, shuffle repeat, shuffle once, shuffle folder, normal, and cancel). Users have to hook their headphones to the player in order to tune in to various FM stations, as the headphone second functions as an antenna. The microphone mode allows a user to record meetings, interviews, or press conferences in a WAV file and has a maximum recording time of 10 hours. The Stopwatch function is also a great addition to the player, as it can be used to time laps.
The audio quality of the unit is not bad at all, with its stock headphones being able to reproduce sounds accordingly. And while not as good as other external speakers, the Zen Stone’s built-in speaker is loud enough to be heard (when placed on maximum volume), which can probably set the atmosphere in small get togethers.
Overall, the Zen Stone Plus with speakers is a small portable product that you can bring along but comes with a big speaker function that you can use while you are at the beach, on a picnic, or just relaxing outside the lawn. The product is available now and comes with an RRP of $119.95.
Battery Life/ Playtime: Up to 20 hours for continuous audio playback
Battery Type: Rechargeable Li-Ion Polymer (Embedded)
Display: 64 x 64 resolution blue OLED display
Audio Support: AAC (unprotected .m4a), MP3, WMA, Audible 2, 3 and 4
Mass Storage Device: Yes
Connectivity: USB 1.1/ 2.0
Supported Music Services: Audible (2, 3 and 4)
FM: 32 preset stations
Voice Recording: Yes
Size: 55.6 x 35.7 x 17.5 mm
Creative Zen Stone Plus (With Speakers) | $119.95 | | au.creative.com
For: Small profile; OLED display; Built-in speakers; FM Tuner; Recorder; Battery Life
Against: Some navigation issues made it difficult for us to go back to the main menu.
Conclusion: A portable music player with speakers that can easily share your tunes.