Moving on, I kicked off one of my favourite test tracks – Mozart’s ”Requiem” – and here I was a little underwhelmed. The biggest problem appeared to be a lack of dynamics. The maximum volume never seemed to quite be enough to deliver the crescendos with enough power and passion while dealing with the quiet bits with enough substance. I tried some more sensitive headphones – Sennheiser’s CX95 – and it was a similar story; the music just fell a little flat.
This, however, is a small complaint. And with other, less demanding music, the SA2840 acquitted itself well. Muse’s ”Sing for Absolution” was delivered with plenty of life, detail, punch and body. A touch of Metallica revealed no problem with complex heavy metal either, though again I was left feeling I wanted a touch more volume out of the player.
Despite the small niggles, then, it’s clear that the GoGear SA2840 is a highly capable player. Though the control system and screen could be better, sound quality is good and the design is quite good.
Best of all, however, it’s very cheap – at least in its 4GB guise anyway (oddly, the 2GB version comes out at roughly the same price). At £35 it’s less than a Clip with the same capacity, and undercuts the iPod Shuffle with half the capacity, as well as the 4GB Zen Stone Plus. That, in my book, makes this player a great buy and the best alternative to SanDisk’s tiniest player if you want more capacity.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 7