Top critical review
74 people found this helpful
Decent sound quality, fake line-out
on January 8, 2011
First of all, although I only give it a 3 star, this player is well worth the money.
I read several bad reviews in RadioShack website just after I ordered this GPX PC800B from Amazon. I almost decided to decline the delivery and return it to Amazon; I am glad that I did not.
1. Sound quality: After all, if you are still listening to a portable CD player in this MP3 age, you are more concerned about the sound quality than the size and portability of the player. This GPX player has quite decent sound. I compared this player with a Sony D-NF400 portable CD player which also had MP3 decoding ability. Overall, the GPX was better than Sony D-NF400, the bass much stronger and well powered, the treble brighter and the orchestra better spread for details, although the Sony sound was a little cleaner. I am surprised that this GPX drove my 300 ohm Sennheiser HD600 pretty well (Like most other portable players, the earbud came with the player is just a piece of junk). Sony D-NF400 gave exploded, broken sound to the HD600 when I used enhanced bass (a sign of insufficient power to drive high impedance headphone). The EQ setting works well, although I do not like to use it at all. If you like pop music, the bass booster or rock setting should be very helpful. Overall, I am very satisfied with the sound quality considering the size and price; and this is the reason I keep this player.
2. Anti-skip: Several reviewers in RadioShack complaint about skipping problem. I have not had that problem at all. I tried to bang the player slightly on the desk, and carried it around my home on different positions, the anti-skip system always works just perfect. I have not, and will not try it in the gym. I think a small Sansa Clip will serve that purpose much better.
3. MP3 playback works fantastic, the sound quality is still much better than any MP3 player could provide.
Now several big flaws that make me give it a 3 star:
1. The line-out output is not real line-out. The line-out is under the volume control, which means it is still an output after internal headphone amplifier, just with reduced currency. I ordered this GPX primarily because I saw a line-out output in the technical description, and had confirmed it in the online user guide. This is the only feature that makes this GPX player standing out among all other cheap portable CD players. However, a line-out after internal amp is just a fake! Why would I want a line-out if it has already gone through the low quality amplifier?
2. No resume function. Any time you push the stop button, everything is gone. You are not able to go back to your previous song, not to mention the previous point of play, nor could it retain the previous volume or EQ setting. I am surprised this easy and convenient function is omitted.
3. Battery life: I am using a pair of rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries that hold 2450 mAh power each. It lasted about 8 hours. It is definitely not as good as Sony D-NF400, which plays more than 50 hours on a pair of rechargeable batteries. It is not a big concern of mine because I use an AC/DC adaptor; however, the short battery life is a big problem to the portability.
4. The background noise was pretty obvious; you can always hear the hiss when there are only a few instruments play at low volume.
Conclusion: If you are looking for a cheap portable CD player with decent sound quality for music at home/office, this is an excellent player. Don't expect to use it for your Hi-Fi system though; and you probably need an AC/DC adaptor.