The headphones, on the other hand, are noticeably poor – as bad as they always are with iPods. The sound is as thin as a piece of tracing paper, lacks in punch and is woefully short on volume and body. If you’ve any sense of hearing whatsoever you’ll be upgrading them with a better pair in the not-so-distant future. File format support is as unimpressive as it always is with iPods with just MP3 (up to 320kbps and VBR), AAC (up to 320Kbps) and Apple Lossless on the list for music, and H.264 and MPEG-4 video types supported. The nano also has no FM radio, microphone or line-in record facility. The battery life, on the other hand, is fine at 24 hours for music and five hours for video and an improvement over the second generation nano.
Finally to the price, which Apple has increasingly got right in recent times. It’s not bad; not bad at all. In fact at around £116.70 for the highest capacity 8GB silver version it’s downright good value for money, especially if you compare it to devices from the likes of Cowon, iRiver and Sony. It’s not the cheapest 8GB player around or the best specified, though – you can still buy a SanDisk Sansa e280 for around £85 if you want the ultimate bang for buck – but it is bigger and not half as nicely put together.
All in all I’d say that the latest nano is another success for Apple. The design is absolutely lovely, the screen is excellent and the Cover Flow interface is an effective addition in terms of ease of use. Audiophiles will probably pass it by, as will feature fiends, but for the majority it’s a good player at a great price and another feather in the cap of Apple Inc.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 7