The Joybee can be used as a recording device, too, either through its built-in microphone or from a source plugged into the line-in port. What’s more, the recording bit rate and sampling frequency can be changed for finer control of the quality and size of the sampled files.
If you don’t have a USB key yet, then you can always use the Joybee 150 as a removable flash drive to back up your data from or to different PCs. However, let’s not forget this little gadget’s main purpose in life, and as a music player the audio quality is clear and crisp. I even hooked it up to my amplifier and was impressed by the sound quality. The supplied headphones are comfortable and plug neatly into the handy wired remote, which offers all the key controls for operation on the move. If you want to tweak the audio, there are equaliser modes for normal, classic, live, rock, pop, jazz, full-treble and full-bass. Although when playing wma files you lose the jazz, treble and bass ones.
Toping everything off is an FM radio with room for 30 preset radio stations. This worked fine providing you’re in an area of strong reception and the wire from the remote control isn’t blocked by heavy clothing.
The only real gripes I have are the transfer speed, and the fixed memory. Granted, the majority of mp3 players conform to the USB 1.1 standard and this is so for the Joybee 150, but I would have loved to have seen my files move across 40 times quicker over a USB 2.0 interface. As for the memory, swapping memory cards with different playlists would be very appealing. If these factors were implemented then I would have no problem awarding an Editor’s Choice. That said, the Joybee 150 is still a feature rich portable music player, with good sound, excellent build quality and an acceptable price. Those alone make it a worthy recipient of our Recommended accolade.
A stylish, well-constructed mp3 player that can record, handle text files, is customisable, and comes complete with FM radio. It’s currently top of my list until I review an mp3 player with these characteristics plus a swappable memory slot and a USB 2.0 port.