USB Brando Stainless Steel MP3 Watch
Posted by: Archer on: 01.06.2007 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
This is where we get a bit technical: When connected for charging purposes the MP3 Watch displays a tiny RED LED light as shown above, this lets you know you are connected and charging is in process. This really pleased me to see Brando have included some sort of lighting display letting you know what the player is up to, without these built-in LEDís and no display you would have to control the player by sound alone but these LEDís give you some indication of what is going on.
Positioned in a discrete place not taking anything away or spoiling the fantastic facer the Brando MP3 Watch has, if you didnít look close enough you would probably not notice they where there.
When fully charged which took a little over an hour the Red LED will go off and the Green LED will be displayed meaning you can stop charging, the Watch is fully operational. Once you have disconnected from either USB port or AV adaptor the LED lights will go out and you are just left with the sleek black facer that is readable in day light and in the dark with the glowing clock. All these LED lights indicate different functions the player is up to i.e.: when in record status the Yellow LED will be displayed but more about that later.
Once I plugged the device into my PC it recognized it straight away as a removable hard disk but this MP3 Watch can be used as flash memory U DISK device as well so it should. This player supports MP3 (MPEG 1/2, Layer3), WMA and WAV formats, you can drag and drop all your music files over and your ready to go, the Red LED light will glisten when performing this process, switching to Green when all copying is finished.† As this device has a memory capacity of 1GB I was able to fit roughly around 240 songs on to the MP3 watch but it all depends on how big your music files are and using the 2.0 USB these files copied in a fast speed.. If youíre running windows 98 you will need to install the supplied driver CD.
The Watch has four buttons that we saw earlier, you can use these to control the device when in MP3/Record or FM status. The Play button turns the watch on or off into MP3 status by holding it down for 2-3 seconds which is indicated by the LEDís flashing. When the Watch is in MP3 status, by pressing REW/VOL- or FF/VOL+ you can switch the mode from MP3 too Record, indicated by the Yellow LED light or switch to FM mode indicated by the Red LED light with the same action.
I found using the buttons not to difficult to get the hang of over time as I got used to using the MP3 watch, switching between modes was quite easy going and turning the music sound up and down was a pleasure using the quick press feature. As the buttons have been spaced out fantastically I didnít find myself pressing two buttons at once for example that can become extremely annoying.
Once the watch is in MP3 status the all the buttons around the clock facer come into play. This device has 5 different EQ modes: Normal, Pop, Classic, Rock and Jazz, I found the best one for me as I was flicking through the mode while listening to different types of music the Rock setting as this had more depth and better sound quality was produced for my tastes. The sound produced was clear and sharp, a little bit tinny in places but overall a really good sound device that would match and beat some MP3 devices out there and with more then 6 hours continuous playback time it more then fits the bill.
I put this to the test, when on my travels I managed to get 9 hours out of the MP3 Watch until I had to charge it again using my AV adaptor but this didnít stop the clock from working only the MP3 status.
Using the VOL- and VOL+ buttons was a bit tricky at first, instead of turning the music up or down I was FF or REW to the next track, I released I had to press and hold for 2 seconds to turn the volume up or down. When you pause the music the Green and Yellow lights flash slowly indicated in pause mode and when in playback mode the Green light flashes.
When in Record status the Yellow LED light will either stay on or flash depending what the player is doing. When the yellow light is flashing the watch is playing a recorded file that you have recorded using the Player or you have stored on there yourself. When the Yellow light stays on you are in record stand-by mode, by pressing the EQ/REC button the device is ready to start recording. Pressing and holding the EQ/REC button again will start the recording by this stage the Red LED light will be displayed and your device is now recording sound, when your recording is finished the Yellow light comes back on and you can listen to your recording straight away by pressing Play/Stop button.
The Recording setting worked excellently and so easily accessible, formats are stored in WMA/WAV and MP3 32 Kbps at a rate of 20 Hz-20 KHz too a maximum of about 4-6 hours. The Record feature is a great tool to have in such a small device at the touch of a button for all those important moments in life you want to treasure.
When in FM mode the LED lights switch to Red indicating the watch is in the status of playing FM. By pressing the EQ/REC button the Watch will start a new search of radio channels but there are 10 channels stored in advance to the player. Simply press the Play/Stop button to play any channel and by pressing FF/VOL+ or REC/VOL- you can browse though the stored channels. The Earphones act as an antenna like all portable MP3s do, I got the best results by letting the wire hang free to get the best reception but I found this could become a problem when you have the wire hidden under your clothing when out and about.
The Red light also comes on when you are shutting down the player by just flashing twice. Another highlight to this stainless steel watch is that when the Earphone cover is attached the Watch becomes waterproof, so the manual says but I wasnít about to drop the watch in deep water is case some did leak though but what I can tell you is that when away on a trip the watch did get splashed with some water and has continued working.
Rounding up on the second most important part of an MP3 review and that is what sound quality this device produces from the included standard Ear. The watch has a built-in 4 pin arrangement port so the headset provided has to be of the smaller size of 2.5 jack, now normally I would rant on about how many users out there have a favorite pair of headphones which have a 3.5 jack but Brando have come up trumps and provided with the watch a 2.5 to 3.5 mm adaptor pictured below so that if your not completely comfortable with the set you can swap and change them when ever you like.
As you can see this little adaptor is attached to about 5cm of extra wire, not many of these type of accessories can be brought in the shops, believe me Iíve tried but they are available online. The Earphones have plenty of excess wire to play with, more then enough to fit from the watch up your arm to your ears giving you no restrictions what so ever, weather that being walking around or excising.
Brando have also supplied with the Earphones foam padding for extra comfort, because letís face it the headset does look and feel a bit on the hard plastic side of things and when in your ear that can become a problem. The sound transmission wasnít outright outstanding or fantastic though using this included headset so given that Brando supplied the 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor I was really interested to see how the MP3 watch performed using a high end set of headphones.
Let me introduce you to the SkullCandy ďSmokiní BudsĒ, delivering to you the frequency range and response found in a full-size headset in a direct-to-ear package that isolates you from external haze.† Designed in such a way that they fit so snug into your ear that you can hardly feel that your wearing a set of headphones, the Ear Gels come in three different sizes to cover every different ear shape, they really are the most comfortable headset to wear.
They truly block out any outside noises using an ingenius eliminating sleeve which allows this to be achieved fantasticly. The best set of headphones I have had to date are the ďSmokiní BudsĒ, the frequency ranges they produce is outstanding and the fast responses will blow your mind from something so small.
These improved the sound quality a lot and I was surprised with how much, Brando should look into supplying the mp3 side of things with a quality set of headphones as these made the player sound a lot better. We will be using the Smokin Buds in future mp3 reviews to compare against the standard ones supplied, as you can see from this review they made a good player great!
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