Published on December 24, 2008
1. Coverage can be found online at: http://www.bcchardware.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=4403&Itemid= 40&limit=1&limitstart=2 2. Reviewed: Article by: Jason “Fujitsu” Schneider Product was submitted by: Samsung Canada Introduction: In the world of MP3 players, there isn't a whole lot that hasn't been done, and these days every new MP3 player on the market really doesn't have any new quot;never-been-donequot; features, most are just the same features in a different package, well Samsung has release a new model in their MP3 player lineup that looks to change this. Today I'm going to take a look at Samsung's K5 MP3 player that includes a built-in speaker, yup you read that right, this portable music player has a built in speaker. Let's not waste any more time, let’s get right into the review... What's in the Box: Samsung K5 4GB MP3 Player Bass-Enhanced Headphones Samsung USB Cable Quick Start Guide, CD with User Guide & Additional Flyer Inserts First Impressions: 1/9
As soon as I opened up the K5 package I was almost confused, honestly I was expecting since the K5 featured built-in speakers that it would be in a decent size package because if it’s got speakers it’s going to be a big MP3 player.... Well, I was wrong, it actually came in the same sized box that the Samsung T9 (which we reviewed here), actually its pretty much exactly the same box, so at first glance I thought they'd sent me the wrong player, but after pulling the K5 out of the box I was quite impressed at its small size (remember, I was expecting something quite a bit bigger), sure its not as small as some other MP3 players, but for one that has built-in speakers, its impressively small. Front of K5 (Speaker Open) Front of K5 (Speaker Closed) Back of K5 (Closed) Back of K5 (Speaker Open) Side of K5 (Speaker Open) Close-up of OLED Screen Headphone and USB K5 Sliding Open Power Button Connections 2/9
K5 Power Off As I'm sure you can tell from the pictures this is a pretty nice looking unit, the OLED screen has a very nice picture and the glossy front with no physical buttons (touch buttons) makes it a pretty cool looking unit. Only problem that the K5 has is that its glossy front becomes a huge fingerprint magnet, you’re not going to want to try and use this while eating a nice greasy pail of KFC, otherwise you'll be wiping smudges off for a week... I also wanted to show the size of the K5 compared to other MP3 players, so I took a couple pictures with it and the Sansa e270 we reviewed a while back (Reviewed Here) Sansa e270 vs K5 Sansa e270 vs K5 As you can see its a bit bigger than the Sansa e270, but not by much, especially for a unit that has built- in speakers. 3/9
Samsung K5 Specifications: Taken from Samsung.com Memory Type Flash Memory Memory Size 4GB Display 1.82quot; TFT LCD Battery Rechargeable Battery (Li-Poly) Playback 30 Hours Earphones / 6 Hours Speaker Time Colour Black MP3 Yes WMA Yes OGG No Compatible File Format Secure WMA Yes JPEG Yes MPEG4 No Auto EQ by Genre 5 Preset EQ Settings Sound Mode Special Effect DNSe 4/9
Music Management ID3 Tag System Folder Play Shuffle, Repeat, Normal Play list On PC (SMS or WMP) Functions List By: Artist, Album, Genres, File Navigation Playlist, Title Clock Clock Display/Sleep Timer Function Alarm User configurable Alarm Display JPEG Photo Slideshow Upgrade Firmware Upgradeable firmware Software Samsung Media Studio Yes USB 2.0 PC Interface Supporting Operating WindowsXP System Earphone Yes Jack Type DC In USB Port Earphone Yes Accessories USB Cable Yes Installation CD Yes Model Code YP-K5JAB/XAC Product Dimension (mm, WxHxD) 42.2 x 89.8 x 11.4 Samsung K5 Testing: The Samsung K5 comes with Samsung's very own quot;Samsung Media Studio 5quot; software, its similar to most music software on the market and is pretty straightforward to use, and has the ability for you to buy music from Samsung's music store as well as other tasks such as burning CDs, etc. I'm not going to get too in-depth into the software, but I found it easy enough to install and use, I really had no issues with it whatsoever. 5/9
As for testing, I've broken it down into a couple different sections. Music Playback: Music playback on the K5 is very good, I really have no complaints. Using headphones the quality is very good, and when using the speaker the quality is also very decent. Now the sound from the built-in speaker isn't going to make you want to sell your set of computer speakers and just use this, but compared to other travel speakers I've used, the K5 easily keeps up. It’s got great volume for such a small unit and if you set in on your desk during the day, you can easily hear it without having the volume anywhere near cranked. The K5 has 5 different EQ settings (Normal, Vocal, Bass Boost, 3D Sound, and Concert Hall), the different settings are noticeable different and I found them to be decent, the K5 does not have any adjustable EQ settings though, you have to settle with one of the 5 presets, so all you EQ- Adjusting-Addicts aren't going to be able to come up with a custom setting. The included headphones are very interesting; they are pretty big and really didn't even fit into my ears properly, anytime I tilted my head they fell out. Now, I must also tell you that I have a very hard time finding ear buds that are comfortable for me, so chances are good if you enjoy earbuds these might work just fine. Sound quality was average with the included earbuds, they are supposed to be bass-enhanced however I really wasn't blown away by the bass they produced. Personally I wouldn't use these earbuds much, and I'm pretty sure that the majority of people buying a new MP3 player already have a favourite set of headphones that they will want to use anyways so chances are these will just sit in the box for all eternity. Overall these included earbuds are adequate, some people might enjoy the fit of them, but personally I wasn't overly impressed. As you can see in the pictures below they also look a bit strange, like they were beamed down off some spacecraft, quite frankly I was a bit worried that they might suck out my brain or something, but luckily they did not. . . Included Earbuds (1) Included Earbuds (2) Included Earbuds (3) One other weird thing I found with the K5 is that if you want to use the radio, you have to have the headphones plugged in (you can use the speakers to listen, but the headphones have to be plugged in). I'm assuming this player uses the headphones as some sort of an antenna, because without them plugged in all you get is static. Kinda strange, but worth noting, because when I first tried to use the FM Radio without headphones I couldn't get any station, and just assumed the reception was crappy, but later realized it worked just fine if the headphones are plugged in. 6/9
Photo Playback: Photo Menu Photo playback is good enough on the K5, as good as viewing pictures on a 128x160 pixel screen can be. Honestly this is a feature that I've never used outside of testing on any MP3 player I've ever had, but hey, it’s an included option so I played around with it. The OLED screen on the K5 actually has very good resolution and the picture quality was pretty good, I was happy with it and really can't complain about it at all. I'm not sure what else to say about the picture playback, and chances are pretty good that you’re not buying the K5 just for picture playback anyways. 7/9
Other Features: The K5 isn't as feature-rich as some of the other players we've taken a look at in the past, but aside from your normal music playback the K5 also features a built-in FM Radio as well as an Alarm Clock. Now the FM radio isn't too out of the ordinary and most MP3 players on the market have this built-in, but the Alarm clock was a feature that really peaked my interest. Now if you’re on the road you can set up the K5 and have it wake you up with your favourite Britney Spears.....ERRRR....Metallic s ongs Samsung K5 Final Thoughts: In the world of MP3 players, it seems like almost everything has been done, and lately I haven't really seen many new MP3 players with new features that really impressed me, well at least until I took a look at the K5. The K5 is really a neat idea and when I first saw it I was sceptical of how it was actually going to work, because lets face it, most small speakers don't sound very good at all. This truly is an exception to the case however, it sounds great. Now when I say it sound great I'm not saying its going to keep you neighbours awake with eardrum shattering volume or rattle you pictures off you walls with bass, but compared to most travel speakers/docks this sounds great (especially when you consider its size). Majority of the time that I used it I had it sitting beside me on my desk and quite frankly the quality and volume were good enough that I was easily able to hear it with the volume around 50% in a room with normal noise going on, its got an amazing amount of volume for such a small unit which surprised me, but of course like with any speakers if you have it cranked to 100% the quality goes down a bit, I found that anywhere up to about 80% of its max volume provided the best quality. When I first saw pictures of the K5 I assumed this was going to be a larger MP3 player that probably wasn't going to be designed for easy portability, however once again I was pleasantly surprised when I received it and realized it’s pretty small, about the size of a cell phone. Sure its not as small as other MP3 players on the market, and might not be the quot;Joggersquot; first choice for a MP3 player, but really I don't think its marketed towards that sort of use, this is really a MP3 player for someone who wants a MP3 player that they can easily stick in their pocket, but also wants a player that they can sit down on the desk or table and be able to listen to it without headphones and not have to mess around with carrying a separate set of travel speakers or a MP3 player dock. The sleek look of the K5 is also very impressive, it only has a physical power button, all the other buttons are touch sensitive, which can sometime be a little tricky, but overall I never really had too many issues with the touch interface. Navigation is quite simple; its menu system is quite similar to other Samsung players that I have used in the past. Battery life is also very decent, if your using headphones your going to get up to 30 hours of playback (In my testing it lasted about 28 hours), which is very decent. If your using the speakers your going to lose a bit of life (Full Volume on the speakers lasted about 4.5 hours, 70% volume lasted almost 6 hours), which isn't too bad especially since you don't need to be pumping AA batteries into an external set of speakers. Sure this MP3 player isn't for everyone, but if you normally carry around a set of little speakers so you can listen to your music at work or wherever you might be, then this might just be the perfect MP3 player for you. It feels very well-built and comes from a long line of quality Samsung MP3 players, and if these are some of the features you would like in your next MP3 player, then you can't go wrong with the Samsung K5. Sure this MP3 player might not be without flaws, but at the end of the day I have no problem awarding it our quot;Top Pickquot; award. 8/9
Pros: Great Sound Quality from a small set of Speakers Good Battery Life Built-In Alarm Very Sturdy Construction Cons: Glossy Front hard to keep Clean BCCHardware.com Rating Quality: 10/10 Performance: 9/10 Software Pack: 9/10 Stability: N/A Features: 10/10 Value: 9/10 Total Score 9.4 I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for allowing us to take a look at the K5 . If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the quot;Commentsquot; link below. 9/9
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