94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2012
I was looking for a cheap player that would basically do the same things as my old creative zen (sadly lost) and that would play all the audio formats i would be likely to throw at it - .flac included. Due to budget constraints i could not stretch to a directly comparable unit to my old zen. As this was priced at £28.99 for the 8gb Kubik Evo when i bought it, this won over the slightly more expensive but better trusted sansa fuze+ (the touch pad was getting a lot of moans in the reviews). As has been remarked, the unit is very light and made of plastic with clicky buttons that click like buttons on an old mobile phone - not actually as bad as some of the reviews are making out. what do they expect for this price?. Because of this i also purchased the leather effect wrap fronted case, which looks and feels very nice, adds crucial weight so you can feel it in your pocket, and protects it from drops and bumps. It does this very well IMO and is a worthy extra purchase - i don't expect the unit would stand too many bumps and drops if not in a case/protector.
I was expecting operation of this device to be confusing based on some of the reviews saying it is not intuitive. I found no problem at all and controls were easily worked out from first operation. To answer other reviewers quibbles about not being able to pick up at the point where it was switched off on previous operation, these people obviously arent using the breakpoint player correctly. If the user scrolls to breakpoint player in the main menu and presses select (central button)the player will start from the last point.
I was expecting the earphones to be a lot poorer than they are. they are in ear type and seal out outside noise. sound, although obviously not as good £20-30 earphones, is pretty good considering the price for the whole package. The sound of the player itself is crystal clear, and for what it is it's great. In addition to multipresets and user changable EQ settings there is a setting for added bass and one for MS "3D" sound. the extra bass sounds slightly muddy compared with my old zen players but the 3D sound option on the jazz preset is sounding just great for music i'm throwing at it. I have heard better sound on mp3 players (my creative zen was fantastic sound-wise) but then this is a budget all rounder and it more than suffices. i suspect sound would be improved through better headphones also.
Battery life on this is great. I'd played it for an hour after charging and fell asleep with it on. I didn't think to check it when i woke as it had slipped off my head and it was still playing at lunchtime the next day (18-20hrs thereabouts). Charging is a doddle and only takes an hour or two. I like the fact that this is just like a plug and play flash drive so you can drag and drop files to it like any folder on your PC, it makes for super simple operation.
When it comes to the other functions i can't comment much as i bought this primarily as a music player to take to the gym and wear out and about on journeys until i can afford something really fine like a Cowon i10 or a 160gig ipod. The screen is simply adequate and i wouldn't like to watch a film on it - i wouldn't want to anyway, surely you'd buy a different player if you wanted to more than simply play about with it's other functions. The tetris type game could be useful for train journeys but again i wouldn't use this as a game system as the buttons could possibly wear out (they feel fine but are plastic and i wouldn't want to tempt fate).
Hope that little summing up helps anyone struggling to make a decision with this one. personally i'm glad i took the chance on it.
If you're looking for something cheap that does the job as a music player for the gym, or you're looking to buy one for a child that's not astronomical pricewise (the little buggers do have a habit of getting things broken - it's nice that these also come in a girls pink and white aswell as the black and orange)the Kubik Evo could be the mp3 player for you.
98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2013
1. The sound quality is excellent.
2. Good battery life. I listen to it on the way to and from work and it lasts over a week.
3. Good volume - I've never got to maximum.
4. Good, clear display.
1. Weird multi-function controls. To increase the volume, for instance, requires 3 button presses - press the large M button in the middle then the volume button then either the forward or back button to change the volume.
2. It doesn't remember where you were when you switch off. I is possible to get round this by using the 'breakpoint player' function, but it's a real faff. Press the M button, then the pause button. Then hold down the M button to get back to the main menu. Then press 'music'. The the back button and select the breakpoint player option. Then you can turn it off = but not with the on/off switch - you have to hold down the pause button until it goes off.
3. There is no keypad lock. Pity the on/off button couldn't have been a keypad lock instead.
4. There is about a one second gap between tracks, which is a pain if you're listening to an album where the tracks segue into the next - like a live album, for instance.
5. If you just copy your files over, you'll find that they're not sorted into any sort of order. Even if you view them by album, the tracks aren't sorted into the right order. Again, this can be a pain if you're listening to an album where one track segues into the next.(If you use a Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu), you can sort them using the fatsort utility, but you have to do this each time after you download more music.)
There are probably more bad points which I can't remember at the moment, but will tomorrow when I come to use it again. But despite this, I'd still buy another in preference to my previous Sansa Clip, because the sound quality knocks the socks off of it!
If you're the sort of person who downloads lots of music, puts it on shuffle play and just listens to whatever comes up next, it's probably ideal.
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2013
(UPDATED May 30th 2013)
The unit does have a lock function! You press and hold the 'Standby' button (top-right on the face of the unit) with the 'main' button (center of the unit) -hold for about 3-5 seconds -and the unit will lock! Great. Now I have finally figured out how to lock the MP3 player it is a perfect item and I am glad to bump my original rating from 4 stars to 5. I hope more people can read this review to 'unlock' the potential of this surprisingly resilient and reliable piece of kit!
*THE GOOD* excellent price/capacity ratio. 12 month manufacturer warranty.
**THE BAD** no 'lock' button. **UPDATED: it does have a lock function!**
***THE UGLY*** bizarre button layout.
Two important notes:
(1) POWER ON: turning your unit on is a two-step process: (i) push the ON/OFF button to ON, (ii) now push and hold the 'Standby' button for 3-5 seconds. The 'Standby' button is the top-right button on the front of the unit marked as 'Play/Pause'.
(2) SAVING SETTINGS: to save your settings you must: turn the unit off using the Standby button. Push and hold the 'Standby' button for 3 seconds to turn the unit off. You only need to do this once to save your settings.
A player with potential let down by an appalling button layout and interface. The price:capacity is very competitive as is the ability to expand upon the 8GB capacity with its built-in Micro SD slot. However you will be left frustrated if you are using this unit on a regular basis, more than once a day, as the software and button layout are counter intuitive. Once you are past the design quirks, however, the unit can be relied upon for decent sound quality and features adequate playback and repeat modes to satisfy most MP3 collections.
The unit is let down ultimately by a bizarre button layout. The 'Back' button, most of the time*, is the 'Volume' button. *However, the 'Volume' button becomes the Volume toggle** whilst a track is playing. **The main 'M' button serves as 'Back' [to menu] when music is playing, and the volume (control) is toggled on/off and then controlled via the 'Previous track' and 'Next track' buttons... sound confusing? Yes, it is, and serves as the basis for how the rest of the menus work too -using the lower left and right 'Previous track' and 'Next track' buttons to navigate 'up' and 'down' the interface menus.
The software could be better, too. The software designers seemed to forget the units' primary purpose: a music player. Instead, it takes you many clicks just to access your music library every time you power on. I would be happy to give the unit 5 stars, despite the odd button layout and shortcomings, if it gave you quicker access to music once powered on. As it is, the unit in my opinion, would be too infuriating to use more than once a day.
In use, the MP3 player provides adequate sound quality. The absence of a 'lock' button loses the MP3 player at least one star in my opinion as to me this is of importance: I do not want to be walking, commuting or working out to then be interrupted and having to concentrate on the unit's bizarre button assignments to navigate back to where I should be. That said, the buttons are quite 'clicky' so given enough pocket space or fastenings I doubt the player would succumb oftenly to accidental button presses. I do fear that the 'Power On/Off' (side button) could be pulled to 'off' though.
The supplied earbuds look quite impressive actually, though sound muffled, close and tinny in use. The headphone cable is pretty robust, not feeling too cheap but does tend to knot easily. They were quite comfortable in the ear, though they leaked quite a lot of noise. I purchased the Sony MDREX50LPS earbuds to use with this unit instead, and combined they sound quite good giving adequate bass and space. The unit does provide several Equaliser presets and the ability to create your own -of which I chose to use the "MS Play FX" preset.
*** In Summary ***
It is disappointing that so many 'design' choices have not only flawed its use but resulted in so many negative reviews -of which some are simply incorrect. Many criticisms such as the inability to 'save' settings are simply untrue, whilst Power On/Off issues I fear may be due to users not having read the User Manual. Once all of these quirks are understood however, the Kubik Evo 8GB MP3 player can be seen as a reliable, extremely well priced unit. Fatally, the Kubik Evo 8GB fails on two accounts: (1) does not have an ability to remember 'where' you were when you power on/off and, (2) does not have a 'lock' button.
I would only recommend this unit to people who use their MP3 player many times a day or whom fear they will need a lock button. Otherwise, the Kubik Evo 8GB makes an excellent casual-use MP3 player that is dependable and includes a 12 month warranty.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2012
Others have commented on the good points about this MP3 player, and I won't add to those. I bought it partly on the strength of those reviews, so, for those who are thinking of buying this, I have (very quickly) found a few drawbacks.
1. It does not honour the Track Number tag in the MP3. Instead, it plays MP3s in the order in which it finds them, and the order in which it finds them is the order in which they are copied to the player. Modern operating systems rearrange file order for display, so when selecting files to drag and drop it's important not to drag and drop a whole folder (which will copy them in the order they are on the disk), but rather to select the individual files (which will copy them in the order they are displayed). Even then the copying can sometimes go wrong and the tracks appear on the player in the wrong order. As a last resort, tracks can be dragged and dropped individually, which will put them in the order they are dropped.
2. When arranging MP3s by the album (ie.the Album Title tag), it seems to use only the first few characters for comparison. I've found that items tagged as 'Beethoven - Symphony No 9', 'Beethoven - Symphony No 7', 'Beethoven - Symphony No 6', and 'Beethoven - Symphony No 3' are all placed in the 'album' labelled 'Beethoven - Symphony No 9', which now has 17 movements!
3. When listing, both by album and by Artists, each track is listed by the name of its MP3 file, not by the Title tag. If for some reason these are different (eg. you've ripped from a CD and added tags afterwards), you can end up with a lot of 'Track 1's! The tag is correctly displayed when the track is playing, however.
4. It pauses between tracks as it plays them, and this pause cannot be removed or its length changed. This usually doesn't matter, but sometimes (eg Beethoven's Violin Concerto) one track is supposed to flow into the next without stopping, and in these cases the result is disconcerting.
Many people will be able to live with these drawbacks, but those who can't should look elsewhere.
128 of 137 people found the following review helpful
UPDATE Jan 2013: Not sure if the new units have changed much since I bought mine (2011), but the prices do seem to have increased quite a bit. I broke the screen on my one quite some time ago. In fairness, this was my fault, not the products, although flush design certainly wouldn't have helped.
Have only been using this unit for 1 week so cannot comment on long term reliability (will revisit review if it misbehaves). I do not spend big money on items like these which are losable, pinchable or breakable.
At current standings, cannot find any other player out there that offers this kind of £:GB ratio, and it even comes with an FM radio tuner. Amazing. Have had many MP3 players in the past, so not worried about sticking with a particular brand. Only wanted this unit for music storage: cannot conceive of viewing photos and videos or reading books on this size of screen (not with my eyesight at any rate!). Have not tried recording facility in a lecture room, but this is an additional bonus. This amount of storage is great, but the option of expansion via micro SD card is welcome, although I have yet to work out how to access the extra space.
In terms of aesthetics, software, functionality and user interface, yes it does have shortcomings - but I'm after a usable and competitive item, not an iPod challenger at 2-3 times the price. That said, I have had branded alternatives that were considerably bigger, more expensive and had less logic behind their button selections for accessing data; it really doesn't take long to learn the most frequently used keystrokes (or some more advanced ones, for that matter).
Has been an absolute breeze to transfer/delete music files either directly through Windows Explorer or Windows Media Player (just remember to select the 'Update Library' function next time you switch it on), and you can search by song, artist, album and genre as long as that structure is already in place in the location you are transferring from. It has maintained all my ID3 tag data. When you plug it in via USB, it will go into supercharge (Zap charge) mode for the first 15mins, which will offer about 1hr of playback after 1min of charging if that's all the time you've got. Useful feature, but I haven't tested out the claim.
Having the radio tuner is great, although the sound is not amazing. Supplied ear buds are usable but pants IMO. I've had worse, but even an alternative cheap pair I have sound better. Very subjective issue. Generally the sound is perfectly good and the preset equaliser settings are sufficient to actually register a difference. I'm pleased that EU firmware requirements haven't completely wrecked the maximum volume setting on this unit, but you'll need good ear buds to make the most of what's available.
Very good value, and if it's still working this time next year, I would re-qualify it as exceptional.
187 of 203 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2010
The kubik evo is a rather nifty little number, which like the other kubik edge models is cheap and cheerful. For 8GB of space £35 is rather reasonable. The battery life is also quite impressive, and the earphones are a little better than the usually tut supplied with players. There are also a couple of nice functions which you don't get on the most basic of players, like shuffle, (they call it random setting or something), a photo viewer and a radio. The whole thing is pretty small- ipod nano sort of size, (there are some good pictures of it next to a credit card above).
Of course there are a few points to be improved; when files are put onto the player they are automatically sorted into file name order, (why?- they never did this on any of their other products). And despite a lot of trying, I couldn't get my videos to work on the player, using the software suggested, or otherwise. The weird thing is, the sample videos work perfectly. Perhaps it is only meant for short videos? Still, I only wanted the player for music, and if you're serious about video playback capability, you'll want something with a bigger screen.
However, I found that to get around the auto file sorting, you need to access the way windows media player, (or any other software) puts the music on the device. In the sync options of WMP, it is possible to change the settings for the player. If 'create folder hierarchy' is unchecked, then the music will be put on the player in the order you choose.
So overall its a nice little player, at a reasonable price- of course its not as flashy as an ipod, but if you just want to play music, it's perfect. Just don't rely on the bells and whistles.
59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2011
It's a good player for the price.
Some key points.
Sound Quality is excellent, compared to some other players for the same price, and most mobile phones.+2
Interface is weird to get used to, but still gets the job done. +1
Software sometimes bugs/glitches with converted files. So if your downloading songs from Youtube sometimes you might notice something like delayed songs. -2
Has a game for when your bored and rocking out to songs, that doesn't interfere with your music. +1
Battery is LONG Lasting. I actually left it on in my locker at work for 4 hours and it only burnt half of its battery.+1
Hope this review gonna make you buy this one since its really good considering the price.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2013
Had this product for a few months, had trouble at first getting it to work, now it has totally broken, product feels and looks very cheap, I am very unhappy and would advise people against buying this, terrible!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2012
this is a simple item, nice color, nice shape and the battery lasts forever (a week for me using it everyday).8go of memory is a perfect size for me but it depends on how many songs you want.
however, therea are couple of little negative point which makes the item not nice to use.
I do not like the layout of the button which are not intuitive at the first place (menu research, volume ...) even if they become eventually an habit.
There is no 'lock' option which can be annoying when running, the item is very slow on turnin on, the navigation between the diferent options is slow as wel.
I read the product reviw before to buy it thinking that these negative point were not important, but at the end of the day, I think it matters.
To conclude, it is very usefull cheap mp3 but not nice or handy to use with some advantages and some inconvenients.
I hope this helped
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2013
UPDATE: had issues with a button (the skip back) not working after a year. A year of travelling and use, but not exactly hardship, which is a shame.
I got this for around £30, and for this price it has been really excellent. The only major problem I've had is organising my songs, and that seems to be a general MP3 file issue rather than one specific to this player.
It came with okay headphones, but I already had nice ones to use, and the sound quality and volume it could pump out were both very good.
The hardware is amazingly light, and very small. The buttons have a nice click-y feel, they don't tend to get accidentally pushed in the pocket and it has a master-off for when you don't want it on. I think it would be a tad better if it had a "sleep" off button to disable the buttons on the front, but like I said, they are well designed and don't seem to get accidentally pressed.
The interface isn't quite up to an iPod standard, but is more than good enough. It does videos and picture and "e-books" (they are just .txt files like notepad uses displayed on the screen. It comes with "The Complete Works of Shakespeare" pre-installed!). It's really too small and low-res a screen for videos, reading or pictures, but the option is there and it handles them well.
The only issue I have with the interface is occasional slowness on start-up and the fact you have to navigate all the way to Options to switch shuffle on and off. Generally though it is very good for an MP3, IF you can organise you collection (see later).
The expanded memory is fine and it works a treat for big collections, like mini-cassettes full of music! The 8Gb included is also not too shabby.
The battery life is superb. I can't get over how long it lasts, it goes for ages, particularly if you follow the instructions for power saving in the instruction book. I've got well over 24 hours, and it doesn't deplete much while not in use. It charges over it's connecting USB cable. Charging is quick, and it has claims to have a "flash charge" that always heavily charges for a few minutes when first plugged in. I can't tell how well this works for sure, but it really seems to charge well if I forget to charge for a trip and grab a quick charge. I do worry it might lower the battery life over the years, I may update this review in the future if it does.
The biggest problem I've had is organising songs. Uploading is easy, either via Media Player or just by dragging and dropping files in windows. You can navigate through the folders on the device to a specific song if you wish. However, as your collection grows you will want it organised by artist and album etc so you can shuffle without playing the whole MP3's contents.
This is done with file headers, and this is where I had many massive issues. When uploaded certain headers just wouldn't translate. Media Player wouldn't have it organised the same way and it just became a disaster.
The best fix I could find was to move files on in Windows Explorer (the folder screen), and then click-drag select the MP3s in the album/for an artist. Then at the bottom of the folder window, there is a list of feature (Album name, Artist, Genre).
If you re-write these here in Windows (even if you use the same name!) and click "Save" it seems to make it a format the MP3 recognises for certain. Otherwise it's a gamble, and some music will always end up clumped under "Other".
This is a massive pain, and my only complaint about the player, but given the wide range of headers it supports, I suspect it is really the fault of a lack of standard header types for the file and not the machines.
Overall then, a great device, for a great price that works really well. You'll just need a bit of persistence if you want your music nicely organised!