I travel almost everyday and everywhere I go, there’s bound to be music — the FM radio being played on the bus, the novelty songs on TV or the jingles being repeatedly played in malls. They are all “music” but to me they are considered as NOISE. Anything that doesn’t appeal to my ears is noise.
I bought my own awesome headphone, a rare amplifier then I used my PSP as my Digital Audio Player (DAP) — so I can save myself from being irritated by the noise around me. Unfortunately, my PSP died and I badly needed a new DAP. My mobile phone is a good choice but it doesn’t entirely block ambient noise and the cable that came with it also has a loose channel.
I cannot stand traveling without listening to my playlist! Good thing it’s payday so I passed by the Robinson’s Appliance Center and bought a new DAP — the Philips GoGear Spark.
CNET marks it as the “diamond in the rough” because of its features and compact design. It’s so small that it’s just about the size of my amplifier.
- It has preset equalizers (Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop, Classical, Jazz, Techno, Pop) and an extra option to customize it.
- If the equalizer cannot produce the preferred output, the FullSound™ can be selected instead. It’s a plus for bass-heavy music.
- The 1.5 inch (128×128 dpi) color display screen shows the album covert art of the song currently played. If there’s none available, it shows the wallpaper.
The font size on the menu is readable, unlike most DAPs wherein you’d have to squint a bit to see the small letters.
- The response-time is quick. Each click brings up the selected option immediately.
- Sound quality from this DAP is at par with its competitors.
- Battery life is up to 27 hours!
- It’s easy to carry!!!
- It comes with free firmware upgrades/updates.
- The earbuds that came with the package are sub-standard. Match this DAP with your cans or earbuds of choice for a better listening experience. *wishes for an AKG K701*
- The DAP is inaccessible while it’s charging.
- It can only be charged via a USB port. If a PC is not available, buy a Universal USB Charger.
- It only supports MP3, WAV and WMA sound formats.
- Only songs that are currently played can be added to the preset playlist(s). You can’t create your own playlist.
- The screen is prone to fingerprints.
- Chappy FM radio tuner (don’t need this anyway)
- Hissing sound on recorded audio (don’t need this too)
- People with large hands may be frustrated with the volume, power and lock switches found on the side of this DAP.
- First-time users may find the navigational keypads “challenging” .. We though it was using the touch-screen technology. It turned out that they were near the edges of the display screen and I have to click them to use the DAP’s menu. The sales guy and I took ten or so minutes to figure that out! We had to ask assistance from another salesperson who attended a seminar conducted by Philips. Damn noob-moment! LoL!
I finally figured out how the playlist works!!!
Beside the 3.5mm headphone jack, there’s the OPTION button. While a song is being played, click it and there is the option “Add to Playlist” . LoL!
Overall, it’s a good gadget once you get used to it and it’s worth the money.
I have no regrets buying my own Philips GoGear Spark.
UPDATE: January 4, 2011
My DAP has been acting up for the past few weeks.I was very frustrated because I lost my receipt and I cannot take it back to the shop where I bought it.
- It fails to power on. I have to press the power switch several times before it boots.
- It doesn’t play the songs in a random order even though the “Shuffle” option is on.
Thank goodness for the Internet! I read a couple of articles indicating that Spark users also have problems similar to mine. I visited the Philips official website and there’s a walkthrough on how to resolve these. I had to reset my DAP to its factory settings and reinstall the drivers and firmware updates. After I did those, my DAP is back to normal.