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.
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.
on 8 December 2015
This product caught my eye because on the Amazon website it claims the memory can be expanded by 64Gb using an sdhc card.
I duly purchased this item along with a kingston 64 Gb card and loaded it up with music, all the tracks on the internal 8Gb memory played fine, however it would not play anything from the sd card. it recognises that there is a card inserted it also updates its library when new tracks (in folders) are uploaded to the card but it does let you access them. Having generally messed about trying to solve the problem I went to the manufacturers website where it states that products memory can only be upgraded by 8Gb and they appear to be right.
On further investigation I went back to the Amazon website, oh how I wish I had read a little bit further than I did.
Under product description it says
Ultra low power consumption - up to 20 hours playtime from a single charge
Micro SD Card slot - expand memory by up to 64GB
However under manufacturers description which at first glance appears to be identical it says
Ultra low power consumption - up to 20 hours playtime from a single charge
Micro SD Card slot - expand memory by up to 8GB
So which is it Amazon?
I am not a happy bunny. as I feel that whilst I have purchased a perfectly acceptable (if a little bit fiddely) player it was the expansion capability that I was most interested in.
Make sure you read all the information CAREFULLY before purchase, I will in future.
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.
on 8 April 2016
This is a really good mp3 player, it is light, the battery life is excellent (and charges ridiculously quickly too!) and the sounds quality is great. It is nice to hold, the screen is a good size and I have found it ideal for both plugging into my car and for running with.
Yes there might be one or two issues, but these are mainly solved by reading the instructions (who'd have thought eh?) and by stopping comparing it to products that are over 4 times as expensive.
To deal with the comparisons first...don't compare this to an ipod. It is true that the lightness doesn't convey confidence and the buttons do feel like an old mobile phone (but they are easy to press, I've had ones in the past that are way too fiddly, I can change things easily even when running!), but you can get a case if this bothers you. If you get an 8gb micro sd card for a couple of quid this is a 16gb mp3 player for less than £30...yes you might be able to get a better one for £100+ pounds, but it's not really a fair comparison is it.
With regards to the issues that have been reported, most are covered clearly in the manual, it's just that people seem to have not read it, or expect it to be exactly the same as their previous player...it is quirky, but I got used to it very quickly. To cover the main problems people seem to have...
Headphones - yes these are a bit naff, but I am comparing with the £30 ones I have plugged into it. On the basis that the whole unit was £27, the headphones were only a couple of quid of this and for that price are perfectly reasonable. If you can afford (or already have) better ones, use them, otherwise the included ones are perfectly useable.
SD card size - this is unfortunate, but it seems it can only take a 8gb sd card. But in fairness this is all the manufacturer claims, it's Amazon that has messed up in the description (but is definitely worth being aware of).
Keypad lock - there is a way you can do this by pressing a couple of buttons, but in reality it goes into screen off after a few secs (or however long you want) and then only one button works anyway, so it does a pretty good go automatically
Volume - assuming the screen is on, you press the volume button then turn it up or down, it's ONE extra click that any other player I have used, I'll cope (and actually another reason you don't' need a lock, it's hard to accidentally change the volume).
Remembering where you are - you pause the track, then turn it off...that's it. It's not exactly tricky. Then when you turn it on you select 'breakpoint' (let's call it resume) and it starts where you were. You'll cope...
Copying files - Rather than being random, it seems to have sorted them in the order than I put them on, rather than the alphabetic order usually used. This might upset some people, but might help some of you...you can put your favourite albums near the top etc. and have more control.
Anyway, as always the choice is yours, If you can be bothered to read the instructions and learn how to use it this is a great little player for under £30. If you expect it to work exactly the same as devices you have used I the past or be of the same quality as something that costs 4 times as much you may be disappointed (I fall into the first camp, hence the 5 stars!)
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.
on 7 January 2012
excellent bit of kit .
first the bad news :
feels light and cheap , the manual is poorly written , headphones are not great (recommend replacing) , controls are a bit awkward .
now the good news :
screen is bright and detailed , lots of memory for your money , sound quality is good ( bright and detailed with full spectrum of sound , with excellent stereo imaging ) , light , very good battery life .
IMPORTANT : read your manual before use .. turning on and off by holding play/pause button is unusual as there is a clearly marked on/off slider switch on the side . also once you have transferred your files to the unit make sure to use the update library function (not mentioned in manual) , this allows you to use artist , album , genre to find your music .the adjustable graphic equalizer works in reverse (up is less , down is more) . when you have made your adjustments to the players settings , make sure you store them by holding play/pause button and putting unit into standby .
overall : very good .. lots of functions (adjustable graphic equalizer , radio , memory storage for photos + vids etc and expandable memeory via card.) .. good volume and sound quality .. with a little bit of practice and play the controls soon become second nature .. excellent value for money , have fun .
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.
on 1 January 2014
Sadly not much good for anything else either. This was bought to replace an aging and much loved Sansa Clip+ .....what a mistake!
The control interface/software is horrible. Why two switches to turn the thing on? The rest of the controls are flakey and unintuitive. While desperately trying to get back to a point in an audiobook I found nothing I could do would get the thing out of Volume mode, so all I was doing was turning the volume up and down. Immensely frustrating.
It was bought for listening to audiobooks and here we come to the worst problem, it fails to remember the point you have reached so every time you turn the damn thing on you can't just resume but have to search for the point you had reached at which point you find you are changing the volume instead!
On a plus, the sound quality is good
Item was returned for a refund and the vastly superior Sansa Clip+ ordered instead which is an excellent little device.
on 17 June 2015
My 'new' product was a badly resealed box which upon opening was clearly a customer returned item. This is happening more and more often now and it's just getting embarrassing sending things back. On the plus side, this meant that someone had already fully charged this device for me. Way to go 'ARC UK'!
Well, having spent five minutes with this player I was in two minds whether to take a hammer to it, or throw it in the bin. Let's just say it's unlikely you'll be taking this out of the box and even switching it on, let alone working it out. If you are expecting something intuitive, be warned that the buttons are STUPID. There are two power buttons. There is a direction pad in the centre, which although it clicks up, down, left, right and centre, isn't actually a direction pad, it's a toggle between the file you are playing ( or about to play ) and the relevant menu...I think. So, when you get a list to navigate through, that tantalising 'direction pad' is no use, you have to press bottom right to go down, and bottom left to go up. Play and pause is top right. Top left is back, but not always.
SCREEN: Christmas cracker quality. If you tilt it backwards and forwards quickly you can see a horse running......nah, only joking! I am however too blind to see my tiny sansa clip screen so this size is better, although the writing is fiddly and small. Come back Sansa Fuze with the scroll wheel.....I love you!!!
CONTROLS: You've probably never read an ipod manual, nor a sansa manual, yet you can use those players. Ok, so having read the KUBIK manual and flipping through the menus one could say that this IS useable, once you've spent a few minutes learning its cretinous ways.
PLAYING MUSIC: So far it's playing stuff. Some reviewers have rightly criticised the device forgetting settings and song positions. It seems that the company have taken steps to remedy this is in the latest software. On this 2015 model it is true that you can pause a song and it will remember where you were when you turn on and off, providing you use the top right button and not the power switch to turn off. Why are there two power switches you may ask? Who knows?? It's STUPID remember.
FILE TRANSFER: I have used this for a few hours and I would advise you not to bother expecting ID3 tags to work properly. Luckily this device has a 'folder setting' so you can just play all the files in folders you've dragged and dropped onto the device just like the old days when media players were subservient and unobtrusive and you did everything from windows explorer. Incidentally I used a macbook to transfer files and everything worked perfectly.
SOUND QUALITY: It does seem to be pretty loud, I'll give it that.
VIDEO AND PICTURES: I don't watch videos on 2' screens.
In summary - a stupidly designed device that you'll just have to learn to use. I think KUBIK have done the best they can with a bad product. 'ARC UK' however wont be seeing me as a customer again. As for the device, maybe I'll learn to love it, but right now, if it breaks tomorrow, I won't cry!