What’s more, the sound is very readily customisable, with a fully configurable EQ setting and a selection of SRS WOW processing options that allow you to widen the soundstage or further define the already very crisp sound. As always, these options are best used with caution – go too far and the tone takes on a slightly unpleasant, over-processed quality – but if you can’t get a sound you like from the Spinn then you’re probably doing something wrong.
The good news isn’t over yet. Format support is another strength, with the Spinn supporting MP3, WMA, OGG Vorbis and the lossless APE and FLAC formats on the audio side, with MPEG4 AVI and WMV on the video side. It’s also supposed to work wirelessly with Bluetooth 2.0 headphones out of the box. Unfortunately, a lack of any such item on the premises prevented me from checking this out. Just one final sore point: a non-standard USB connector is all well and good, but it’s more convenient just to stick with the usual mini-USB, if only because you don’t have to hunt around for the right cable every time you want to connect the player up to your PC.
All in all, the Spinn is a strong package; a PMP that can stand proudly with iRiver’s excellent Clix 2 and Lplayer devices. The only thing standing between it and a whopping, two thumbs up recommendation is the existence of those players and the price. Advanced MP3 Players, which will be selling the Spinn in the UK, was unable to give me a final price, but expects the 8GB model to sell for around £149 and the 4GB model for between £109 and £119. The Spinn has a bigger, better screen than the Lplayer, but if you’re more interested in audio rather than video, the Lplayer offers equivalent sound quality and a good, if not so innovative interface at a much lower price. If you want a more versatile but still compact player, however, the Spinn is well worth putting on your shortlist. While the usability isn’t quite perfect, it’s another great player from iRiver.
The Spinn is an excellent an innovative PMP, though it might struggle to find a niche between other compact players and high-end, touchscreen devices like the iPod touch. If you fancy a more versatile widescreen take on the Lplayer and Clix 2, it’s well worth a look.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 9