You love having your music at your fingertips’ reach, so here are some of Metro’s picks for MP3-related gizmos that will keep the beat going this holiday season:
Sirius Stiletto 2 satellite radio & MP3 player
$299.95 + subscription fee
Combining the portable practicality of an MP3 player with the vast possibilities of satellite radio, the Sirius Stiletto 2 is one heck of a cool gadget. The small and sleek player streams music from more than 120 commercial-free music channels broadcast by Sirius’ satellites and can even record up to 100 hours of content so you can listen to your favourite channel or commentator when you have time (or aren’t in the office when the censor-free commentary starts to fly). The Stiletto also plays MP3s and WMA files so you can keep your music collection with you for those times you just have to hear We Are The Champions one more time. An optional home and car dock can be picked up for the player as well. For people already subscribed to Sirius, the Stiletto 2 is a no-brainer and for the rest, it makes a very solid case for jumping on the bandwagon.
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Smartphone & MP3 player
$199.99 on select three-year plans with Rogers
While it’s technically a phone first, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is so well geared towards playing music that it outshines a large number of MP3-only players on the market. The built-in stereo speakers that provide surprisingly good — and loud — external sound should be the first tip-off that this gadget is a lot more than your average MP3-capable phone. The 5800 features a touch screen and memory capacity for MicroSD cards up to 16 gigabytes in size, plenty of space to load up on your favourite songs. Nokia has purportedly shipped almost 10 million of these things in the year since it came out and with good reason — it’s a great music player with unique appeal that still works as a solid phone.
Panasonic Ergofit Noise Isolating Earbuds
Earbud headphones are one of the hardest components to get right because fit, sound quality and price always seem to trample over each other along the way. That’s what makes the Panasonic Ergofit Noise Isolating Earbuds such a standout — they manage to hit all three points very effectively. Available in three sizes (S, M, L) for varied ear shapes and in a requisite variety of colours, the Ergofit buds are also attached to a practical tangle-free cord slider. Panasonic touts the buds as providing high-quality sound performance due to “virtual cavity technology,” something that’s probably not nearly as vulgar as it sounds. While there are plenty of good-quality buds that are expensive, and many bad-quality ones on the cheap, these little guys are, for once, the right quality at the right price.
Pioneer iPod Digital Video System
Not for the weak of wallet or faint of heart, Pioneer’s powerful iPod docking station is the iPod dock to end all other iPod docks. While it’s certainly not cheap, this high-end offering will let you go beyond simply pumping up the volume on your iPod’s music playback by turning your iPod into the primary entertainment device in your home. Besides the great sound quality from the 2.1 channel full range speaker system with subwoofer, the station can also be connected to an LCD or Plasma TV to share movies and photos stored on your iPod. You can even transmit music to the station wirelessly from your iPod as well, meaning you can play DJ from any room in your home. Pioneer has a great reputation for sound quality and the iPod Digital Video System does not disappoint.
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