Home » TVs & Audio » Portable Audio » Archos 605 WiFi 30GB

Archos 605 WiFi 30GB review



  • Recommended by TR
Archos 605 WiFi 30GB


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

There's a lot going on in the premium MP3 player market at the moment. What with the launch of the iPod touch, classic and nano, and a pair of DAB radio-based flash players from iRiver and Cowon appearing in the past week or so, it's beginning to feel a bit like the kitchen in a one-bedroom flat at a late night party.

Just when you thought that no-one else could possibly squeeze themselves in, along comes the Archos 605 Wi-Fi, sidling its way into the room. And it quickly becomes apparent that it's here not just to listen in to the conversation.

The 605 WiFi comes from a long and distinguished line of video-enabled players. In fact French firm Archos has been making hard disk players for longer than most other companies have been selling plain flash-based music portables, and while others are only just beginning to incorporate video into their products, this is its fifth generation of players.

It looks like a product that's evolved over the years, too. Its sharply-dressed aluminium chassis is slim and that brushed finish is a lot more practical than the ever-popular gloss finish of some products. And you'll notice a host of other practical touches before you even turn the thing on.

There's a kick stand built in, so you don't have to hold the player in your sweaty mitts for hours during extended viewing sessions. The row of controls on the right of the player are rocker switches instead of standard buttons, and they're large too, which means they're easy to control without having to use your fingernail to stab tiny buttons. And the headphone socket is sensibly placed away from the controls in the bottom left hand corner.

But the beauty of this product is not just skin deep. The list of capabilities, specifications and abilities you get for your money is simply staggering. The 30GB player reviewed here can be had for a mere £165, which is cheaper than either of the DAB radio flash players we reviewed last week, yet it can boast a gorgeous 4.3in widescreen, with a simply fabulous resolution of 800 x 480. At that size you can watch movies in complete comfort with no eyestrain at all. It's so good you'll even be able to see compression artefacts in highly-compressed video files.

Next page


October 17, 2008, 3:09 am

I must disagree with this report. I received a 605 for my birthday as a present the Archos froze on the first day of use and despite all attempts to Repair, Re Format, Reset and Complete System Reset the machine refused to co operate. Thanks to Curry's excellent after sale service the device was exchanged for a new one. I again got busy but the Archos was continuosly freezing but would rectify itself with the difficult to use reset button, I took to carrying a tooth pick around to operate the reset button. The very poor cover included in the package was replaced for a much better after market cover from ebay because the Archos is smooth and easily dropped. The charging method via usb is slow and I found the battery life in normal use to be very poor. However, I downloaded my music files, photos and home movies, but began to regret this gift as the features are inferior to my 8 gig ipod apart from the bigger screen. Access to the internet requires add ons which detracts from the purchased package, i.e. (metaphorical batteries not included). I never got to the wifi point because the fragile nature of the device ensured that this second machine also froze from which I could not retrieve functionality. I may have taken drastic action but I smashed my Archos 605 in disgust and placed its usless remains in the bin. If anyone would like a leather cover please email me and you can have mine free of charge. In conclusion I would rate the Archos 605 as fragile, temperamental, slow to boot, user unfriendly, requires extras to make full use of and generally unfit for purpose. Its general bad design makes portability a risky proposition. A disappointed Archos user.


November 17, 2008, 5:33 am

I'm in dispute with both Archos and the vendor (I will not say who until after they've actually refunded my money). The Archos 30GB WiFi does not perform as advertised. The 17 hour playing time for music only is a huge overstatement - I'm lucky to get as much as 8 hours from mine. It's been back for "repair", but they appear to have done nothing to it at all - just claimed that they found no fault. My advice - steer clear of this player. And pray you never have to deal with Archos technical/customer support, because they're next to useless. I have been given three different values for the battery life (8.5 hours, 17 hours and 25 hours), so even they don't know what the performance should be. Plus they fail to answer emails and telephone calls.

David Pride

December 10, 2008, 10:08 pm

Well - I am going to stick up for the Archos 605 as it seems to be taking a bit of a battering here! I bought one a fair while ago and have never had a problem with it. I certainly couldn't describe it as anything other than a superb device. I have also heard the control system referred to as 'archaic' - total nonsense. This is incomparable in both price and usability to the ipod touch. I have a 16gb ipod touch that cost twice this - and it sits in the draw unused whilst the archos goes away with us as a matter of course. Totally open to play divx / avis etc - once again kicking the ipod into touch.

Nick 8

December 29, 2008, 4:50 pm

I have had the 160GB version for nearly a year now and am very pleased with it. Yes it is not perfect- very occasional rebooting, the add-ons and the slightly awkward user interface, but once you get over these you have yourself a highly decent media player that kicks all iPods and a Cowon or two into touch.

I use my device every day to alleviate the boredom of commuting, and have given my Archos a fair old beating- regularly synchronizing my sizeable music and film collection without a hitch.

Sound quality is excellent, but as with all devices it is better if you have a decent pair of 'phones (like Shure SE530 which cost me as much as the unit itself!)

Picture quality is as perfect as you are gonna get for a screen this size and have not had any problems with eye strain even after watching a couple of films back to back whilst stuck in traffic.

I highly recommend the Archos 605 to anyone who wants something that will do much more than just look pretty.

James McMorine

June 30, 2009, 3:30 am

I am on my 2nd archos, firstly i had the 504 80GB, and i have to say that i loved it. The only bad point i would say is the already mentioned add-ons (plug-ins), but other than that i had no problems with it what so ever. So i recently upgraded to the 160GB 605 Wifi and i have to say im really impressed, its quite abit smaller than the 504 80GB i had before and the kick stand is a nice addition, but the wifi is the real reason i opted for this player and i have say im impressed, especially as it handles video sites such as youtube etc, which my PSP cant.

The only thing that i found a little disapointing is that you cant use the 3.5mm headphone jack as a TV-out socket anymore, which i could on my old 504 80GB, this was a feature i really liked as i could take the player round to friends and watch my videos on the TV without needing to take the DVR station with me. Other than that though its a fantastic player and is way ahead of the iPod in my opinion.

Eric Friend

September 10, 2009, 2:36 am

I have had 605s since they first were released. Initially I had the 30Gb model which was excellent and when the 160Gb model came out I passed the 30Gb model on to my son. I have never had a single problem with it, the secret being to keep the software fully up to date. I have added all the plug ins and I have found the Web TV Radio plug in especially useful enabling me to effectively have a portable radio and TV with access to over 10,000 TV and radio stations worldwide. With the docking station I can move films, TV programmes etc from my Sky+ box when that gets full and store them either Archos for viewing or move them again via USB to my PC and external hard drive. It is still working perfectly after a couple of years. In all a cracking little device!!!

comments powered by Disqus