There are masses of MP3 flash players on the market. Most are bland, insipid devices made by companies we’ve never heard of. Many more only aspire to reach this level. In fact, you can almost count the number of consistently impressive manufacturers on one hand. Thankfully, iRiver happens to be one of them and it has just upgraded one of the best flash players of 2004.
In a pleasantly logical branding exercise, the wearable N10 – which we awarded nine whole points – has been replaced by the N11. It retains the same eye catching design and ultra portable dimensions (2x x 6.3 x 1.3cm, 22g), but adds an FM radio into the mix, Ogg Vorbis format support (Genius!) and sticks two hours on the battery life bringing it to 13 hours.
I’m tempted to start singing Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon, but that’s a truly hideous audio experience that nobody on this planet deserves (apart from Dotun Adebayo for his condescending and inane ramblings presenting Up All Night on BBC Radio Five Live. It’s Rod Sharp all the way, baby! Thanks for the support in this Ben!). Still, you can probably tell I’m impressed and excited by the N11 and it is certainly makes intelligent improvements to an already cracking little player.
The proof of the pudding will be soon as the N11 graces shops from September. Expect prices of around £80 for 256MB and £100 for 512MB. No word on whether there is a one giger, but despite the tiny size I’d expect so this time around. Either way, the N11s will stamp all over the iPod Shuffle and flush its head down the loo when finished.