But it’s not just jazz this player is comfortable with. Feed a bit of classical through it and you’ll find it deals with orchestral strikes as well as it does virtuoso saxophone solos. Try a bit of guitar-based heavy rock and it’s just as good – a session with Six by Seven’s highly complex album, The Closer You Get proved that beyond doubt, giving the hard driving rock a real sense of grandeur and scale.
The only weakness is a slight lack of power. It’ll go loud enough to power most smaller headphones to deafening levels, but owners of larger headphones with lower sensitivity and higher impedance might be a little disappointed with its slightly quieter than average top volume.
However if you don’t already have a set of good phones you’ll at least be able to start enjoying the vibez’s capabilities straight out of the box as it comes with about the best set of earbuds you’re likely to find bundled with any player – expensive or not. They’re made by Sennheiser and, while at the budget end of that company’s range, they reproduce the bass, mids and the highs commendably well.
It’s tempting to pitch the vibez directly against the iAudio7, the iPod nano and other flash-based players such as the iRiver Clix 2 and Sandisk Sansa e200 series and point out that it offers more capacity for your money. That’s undeniably the case, but in truth it wouldn’t be comparing like with like. That’s because the vibez isn’t a flash-based player. It has a micro drive inside and so isn’t quite as indestructible or workout-proof as the solid-state players. Nor is it a direct competitor for the larger, hard disk-based iPods, with less capacity than the smallest iPod Video and no video capability.
Nonetheless, if you want a player that offers both OGG and FLAC support and enough capacity to cope without running out of space in approximately a nanosecond (no pun intended), there aren’t many other players out there offering competition at this price.
TrekStor’s vibez has a really easy-to-use interface and the wheel works as well as any iPod. There are plenty of features to play with, plus there’s wide file format support, superb sound quality and excellent bundled earbuds. If you don’t need video playback and don’t want to buy an iPod it’s a worthy contender for a place on your shortlist
Score in detail
Sound Quality 9