|Item Weight||2.6 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||5.5 x 3.4 x 1.8 inches|
|Item model number||EHD-00001|
|Discontinued by manufacturer||Yes|
|Power Source Type||Battery|
|Number of Items||1|
Zune HD 16 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)
- IMPORTANT PRODUCT INFORMATION: To get started using Zune HD, download the latest software to your PC from zune.net/setup and charge your Zune using the supplied cable for at least 30 minutes before use
- 16 GB capacity for up to 4,000 songs, 24 hours standard definition video, or 5 hours high definition video
- 3.3-inch OLED screen with 480 x 272 resolution and 16:9 display
- HD Radio gives you access to many local stations with crystal-clear digital sound at no extra cost
- Watch supported 720p HD movies, TV shows, and videos in high definition
- Buy, stream, and update your music, download free games, and surf the web via a Wi-Fi connection
- NOTE: In order for headphones to work properly, insert jack into device port until it clicks into place
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Zune is the premium digital experience that gives you access to the latest in entertainment and technology, allowing you to enjoy, connect, and discover content in a whole new way the way you like it. Browse, stream, buy, and play all you want, including music, HD video, podcasts, games, and much more. Gain the freedom to enjoy your entertainment. Zune brings your content up front, so you're always in control.
Zune is the premium digital experience that gives you access to the latest in entertainment and technology, allowing you to enjoy, connect, and discover content in a whole new way--the way you like it. Browse, stream, buy, and play all you want, including music, HD video, podcasts, games, and much more. Gain the freedom to enjoy your entertainment. Zune brings your content up front, so you're always in control.
Instant entertainment that you control. Click to enlarge.
Browse, stream, buy, and play all you want, including music, HD video, podcasts, games, and much more. Click to enlarge.
With a 3.3-inch size and vivid 16:9 display, truer and brighter entertainment is at your fingertips. Click to enlarge.
Weighs just 2.6 ounces and is only 8.9 mm thick. Click to enlarge.
Instant Entertainment that You Control
- HD Radio Technology: More Stations, better sound, no fees
- HD-compatible Video: High-quality video on the go or on your HDTV
- Internet Browsing: News, email, traffic? It's all in your pocket.
- OLED Touchscreen: Wide view with a special touch
- Games: More games, more fun
The new Zune HD wireless media player takes you closer and connects you to a whole new world of entertainment. With a built-in HD Radio receiver, HD-compatible video, multi-touch navigation, OLED screen, and games, Zune HD delivers the next level in music and video experiences.
- Zune HD 16 GB: holds up to 5 hours of high-definition video; 24 hours of standard definition video; 4,000 songs; or 25,000 pictures. Available in black.
HD Radio Technology
- The new Zune HD gives you access to many local HD Radio stations with crystal-clear digital sound at no extra cost. Receive additional channels from your local stations and get more of the content you love, including sports, news, and music, in various genres and formats.
- Like something you hear on HD Radio? Song tagging technology allows you to buy the song if you are connected to a Wi-Fi network or to tag it for later purchase.
- Click here for more information about HD Radio.
- Watch HD movies, TV shows, and more on your HDTV directly from your Zune HD. Just connect via the Zune HD & AV Dock to your HDTV (both sold separately) to watch 720p HD video. The Zune HD also will play your videos on the go in its sharp, brilliant OLED screen. Videos on the player are downscaled to fit the screen at 480 x 272--not HD resolution.
- Get instant access to your stuff with shortcuts to favorites, recently downloaded or played music, videos, and more. Quickplay cuts through the clutter and brings up front the content that you care about most.
- Loaded with multi-touch and accelerometer, the Zune HD player makes portable gaming even more exciting. Download from Zune's catalog of free games and popular titles--play them all to the sound of your favorite music.
- Get instant access to your content with multi-touch navigation. With a 3.3-inch size and vivid 16:9 display (480 x 272 resolution), truer and brighter entertainment is at your fingertips.
- Zune HD allows you to buy, stream, and update your music--and download free games--wirelessly via a Wi-Fi connection. Feeling entangled? Wirelessly sync your Zune HD to your home PC via your home network. You also can stream millions of songs over Wi-Fi directly to your Zune HD and turn it into a portable digital jukebox.
- Surf the web anytime, anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Enjoy your favorite websites with a well-featured web browser, including tap-to-zoom technology, built-in accelerometer, and touchscreen QWERTY keyboard.
- Download free Zune software to access Zune Marketplace from your PC. Download or stream new music, rent the latest movies, buy TV shows, and watch free trailers and previews--plus thousands of audio and video podcasts. You also can download from our catalog of free games including classic and other popular titles.
Expand Your Entertainment with Xbox 360
- Zune features movies, TV shows, and more in both high and standard definition. Browse and watch from thousands of titles for rent, or purchase available instantly through Microsoft's Smooth Streaming technology. Buy videos once and watch on multiple screens: on your Xbox 360, Zune player, and PC. See www.xbox.com/live for system requirements. The convenience of on-demand, only on Xbox 360.
Accessories (Sold Separately)
Zune HD AV Dock
This all-in-one package enables Zune HD players to charge, sync, and play supported 720p HD videos on HDTVs. Send music to your home audio systems and control it all via a wireless remote.
Zune Premium Car Pack
Charge and play music, podcasts, and HD Radio stations from your Zune HD while you drive. The FM transmitter/car charger auto-seeks the best available frequency on your car stereo. A USB port located on the transmitter/car charger allows you to charge a second Zune player simultaneously.
Zune Sync Cable
Charge your Zune player and sync with your collection on your PC.
Zune Charge Pack
The Zune AC Adapter fast-charges your Zune player up to 70% within an hour. Folding blades make it easy to travel with. Use the included USB cable to sync with a PC.
Zune Power Pack
Connect your AV cable to your docked Zune HD to play music, HD Radio broadcasts, and audio podcasts through your home audio system. The HDMI cable connects your docked Zune HD to HDTVs to view movies and videos. Also includes Zune AC Adapter; Zune HD player and Zune HD AV Dock sold separately.
Zune Sync Dock
Connect to your PC and sync your collection while you charge your Zune in style. Control from a distance with the included wireless remote, which gives you full access to your Zune player from anywhere in the room.
Top customer reviews
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I'll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)
Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It's very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.
Points of comparison:
- Brighter OLED screen with more vivid color and better contrast
OLED screens can wash out in direct sunlight more than others, but in almost any other situation they are clearly preferable, and have a marvelous eye-catching picture that needs to be seen to be appreciated. The screen has slighly lower resolution than the iPod Touch, but is also slightly smaller, so in the end video looks a little less pixellated when viewed closely, and very vivid.
- HD Radio
If you live within the reception area of some HD radio stations this can be a surprisingly nice feature. For me it's not so much the slightly better sound quality as it is the additional streams of content that make this fun. For example, if you tune into an FM station, then it's playing what you here, and if you don't like it too bad. With an HD station, you may tune in and it will be shown with up to three signals to chose from labeled HD1, HD2, and HD3. HD1 may have whatever is playing on the FM version, HD2 may be news, and HD3 might be some alternative music w/ a different theme. For example one of our oldies station in the Boston area broadcasts a love-song themed selection on HD3. One caveat: if you don't have a strong enough signal, these HD versions can cut in and out, making them frustrating to listen to. But, when the signal is strong enough it's very enjoyable.
- 720p video output via (an over-priced) dock. When transferring video content to the Zune you can specify if it should be sized appropriately for playback on the Zune or TV, so if you do plan to just watch on your Zune you won't have the video taking up huge amounts of storage.
- Zune Pass subscription service
This is my favorite feature that will keep me using a Zune until it's pried from my my desperate grasp. For $15 a month I get 10 DRM-free MP3 songs to keep, and unlimited access to millions of songs. As long as you would have bought at least 10 songs anyways that means you're paying only $5 for that access. It's better than Pandora, Slacker, LastFM or other services because you can listen to full CDs, specify playlists and tracks in the exact order you want, AND can either stream this music or store it on your Zune to listen to later, even if out of wifi range. Lots of people present subscription services as something you do INSTEAD of owning music, but at this cheap a price there's no reason you can't use this as a supplement to whatever purchases you make. It's not either/or, it's a wonderful "AND", especially if you're the type who likes to explore and enjoy a broad range of music.
Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.
- Wireless sync
In addition to wireless net access, you can sync your Zune to your PC wirelessly, which can be quite convenient on occasion. The new Zune HD seems to have better wireless reception than my prior Zunes.
- Smart DJ
Rhapsody first popularized a playlist construction service with its 'Channels' feature, and Apple followed with its 'Genius' feature. The idea is that you specify a song or artist, and the service will construct a playlist of similar music of both familiar and new artists for you to enjoy. The prior Zunes had a 'Channel' feature too, but I found it lacking in sophistication and accuracy. The 4.0 Zune Marketplace upgrade (the Zune equivalent of iTunes) now has a 'Smart DJ' feature that is a much improved version of the old Channels. I actually find it very useful now, and what's even better is that if you have Zune Pass you can specify whether it should pull music exclusive from your collection, from the Zune Pass selection, or from a combination of both. It's wonderfully flexible and lots of fun.
- Web Browsing
The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.
- App Store
Hands down, Apple's app store wins by a mile. It's a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I'm not sure I'd want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.
- Zune Marketplace and iTunes
This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.
The HD's UI was a bold move that paid off. It may look cluttered and overly busy in screenshots, but to see it in action is to appreciate the design. It isn't always obvious, and the provided documentation is sparse, but a little experimentation will show you a UI with lots of flexibility, like a menu of favorites, newly added music, and a user-definable set of shortcuts to your favorite playlists, artists, HD Radio stations, etc. One quibble: it takes one too many clicks and touches to bring up the now playing screen after the display has 'gone to sleep' while you're listening to it. Other than that, the UI is delightful.
The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it'll do even better in those areas, but for now it's a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod's strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.
If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you'll know which is right for you.
- Current Zune Owners
(See, I didn't forget you! I think owners of any of the older flash players will be delighted at the upgrade, as long as money isn't an issue. Don't hesitate. Those who value the higher capacity of the 80gb or a 120gb will have a tougher choice. If you can't afford both, then you'll have to weigh the ability to be able to have all (or at least most) of your music stored on the device vs the HD radio, better display, and sleeker than a seal UI. As I said before, this new Zune is surprisingly small and light, and you should find one to get a feel for in person too, because then you can really evaluate how compelling those new features are to you. Oh, and don't forget it has an Equalizer if that matters!
Keep in mind: Microsoft has made it clear that the HD line is the future. They were great about giving new features to the older models in the past, but we're seeing a clear signal with the 4.0 Marketplace. Most of the cool new stuff is only going to the new kid on the block, and I think that will continue to be the case. They won't cut you out entirely, but if they're going to concentrate on making the HD succeed, then I suspect that is where most if not all of their future focus and effort will go.
Sorry for the huge review, but I'm really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.
***UPDATE October 2011***: Much has happened since I originally wrote this review. The Zune HD is still a great bargain, but some of its advantages are not as unique any more, the Zune Pass service has changed somewhat for new users, and there is talk of the Zune HD being discontinued. Details:
- At the time I wrote this Zune Pass was one of the few music subscription services out there. Now there are a plethora of choices, although the field will probably be consolidating over the next few months: Spotify is now the 800lb gorilla of these services, there are new and well regarded services like MOG and rdio, and at the time I write this Napster has just been bought by Rhapsody and all its subscribers are being folded in with them.
Why is this important to people considering purchasing a Zune? The greater variety of choices, and the increasing popularity of smartphones mean many people have many more choices when it comes to subscription music. If your main reason to get a Zune is to enjoy subscription music, but you already have a smartphone or iPod Touch, then you have many more excellent choices than back when I first wrote this review. Spotify, MOG, rdio, and Rhapsody are all very strong services, and all allow you to download and listen to fairly high quality bitrate music on one or more mobile devices. These services all cost $10/month for streaming to PCs, smartphones, and other devices like iPod Touches, iPads, Xooms or Galaxy Tabs, TiVos, Sonos, Roku, Google TV, Samsung Smart TVs, etc.
In response to this competitive pressure the Zune Pass service has morphed, and instead of being $15/month and offering 10 free songs per month to keep as part of that, it now costs only $10/month like these other services, but no longer has the 10 free songs. Existing Zune Pass users are "grandfathered in" at this time and can continue enjoying their 10 songs per month, but anyone subscribing going forward will not have that option. On the other hand they will only pay $10/month. One nice plus: they are offering a $99/year subscription that works out to $8.25 per month. Only Napster offered a discounted year subscription, and once they're folded into Rhapsody that option will be gone (at least in the US), so this will make Zune Pass one of the most inexpensive of these services if you're willing to subscribe for the year.
Finally, there are increasing rumors that Microsoft is discontinuing the Zune line. Since there were some postings on Microsoft sites these are more substantial than most, however at this point Microsoft is officially denying they have discontinued the Zune HD. However one thing is clear: even if they do stop manufacturing more Zunes, they are certainly going to support the Zune Pass service indefinitely going forward. It is increasingly integrated into their XBox platform, and while it may be rebranded it's most likely that anyone who uses it will continue to have it available for many years to come. Also, the whole Zune HD interface became the prototype for their "Metro" UI used in the latest generation of winphones, which also can use the Zune Pass services (as well as others!).
So, should you still buy a Zune HD player? If you have an android, iOS phone, or other portable device that can use any of these subscription services then it's less compelling these days because you have these other options for music subscription services and having lots of portable music available to you. BUT, if you don't have a smartphone, and/or want a dedicated music player that has better sound than most if not all smartphones, is light and well-designed, then one of the Zune HD players may still be a nice choice for you, especially at the steadily lowering prices.
First, I'll weigh in on the stuff that has been mentioned elsewhere in depth:
The Zune wins hands down for screen quality, and in my opinion physical aesthetics. The back is matte, which doesn't show fingerprints or scratches nearly as much as the chrome (ugh) back of the iPod. I'm not sure of actual size comparisons, but I will say this feels even smaller than the iPod Touch in my hand. And again, the quality of the OLED screen is amazing. Holding them next to each other makes the iPod look really horrible.
The Zune has no apps to speak of. It's a shame really, it has quite a nice processor, but MS didn't feel that opening the device up to app developers. The iPod of course has hundreds of thousands of apps. Not a big selling point for me (I feel apps are more important on a phone vs a dedicated mp3 player)
Ok, now on to stuff that I feel hasn't been covered as much, but is more important than the above:
First off, it sounds great. I'm not one to tout expensive cabling or equipment to get good sound, I just want my music to sound good to my peasant ears, but I will say I could tell the difference between the iPod Touch an the Zune. The Zune sounds much cleaner, fuller, and the instrumentation more pronounced, and yes, I used the same headphones on both (some $25 sony earbuds which I love by the way)
Finding and playing songs on it is VERY intuitive. I don't think MS has gotten enough credit for their interface design on this thing. It really is a fresh design that not only looks cool, but is MUCH nicer to use than anything else I've experienced, including the iPod.
The Smart DJ feature is similar to another feature (forget the name) on the iPod Touch, but for my library I've found the Zune's version to work better. Also, there are artist info pages with pictures, bios, etc.. This is actually very cool in my opinion, and the way the interface is set up, it doesn't get in your way, but is there when you want it. WAY COOL..
I like the song rating system (blank=neutral, heart=like, broken heart=dislike) as it's very simple and always available for rating, which has made it the only rating system I have ever actually used enough to make it valuable.
The iPod has physical buttons for volume, the Zune does not. Neither have physical play/skip/etc buttons. In theory this is a problem for both players, but in practice I have found that I don't really care. The Smart DJ feature is so good that I don't need to worry about skipping around as much, and I have a volume slider on my headphones.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and the Zune handles them almost as well as iTunes/iPod. Getting them set up at first was a bit awkward, but now it's just as good, remembering listening points, auto marking as played and deleting them, etc. iTunes is still a bit better and handling large amounts of subscriptions, but only a small bit.
Now on to the software. At first I thought the software was a bit bloated and 'flashy' for my tastes, until I started using it regularly. Again, MS is not getting enough credit for the interface design. It is a completely new idea for the interface, so it's a bit jarring coming from iTunes or other software, but it WORKS WAY BETTER in practice. Playing music, picking music, videos, etc, is more intuitive.. it's easier to find stuff in the store that you want to purchase, the now playing screen looks AWESOME, and again the Smart DJ is very impressive. You can auto-fill missing metadata and album art, etc. This is now my favorite music player on my PC, and I have given up both iTunes and Winamp (goodbye old friend, you will be missed.)
I wish they would use the Zune software interface on the Xbox 360 for the media playing stuff. WAY better than what is included.
I am a VERY detail oriented person (borderline OCD literally) and am VERY picky when it comes to personal electronics. I pick out every flaw and complain about it to my girlfriend. That being said, I have found NOTHING to complain about with this player, aside from the lack of apps. I can't stress enough how truly unusual this is. Another unusual thing is that Microsoft actually got something right, by taking a unique approach! It is so good in fact that I am holding off on buying a smartphone until Windows Phone 7 comes out, which will include the Zune music software.
I really can't stress enough how much quality there is with this player. Give us some apps and physical controls, and it would get an absolute 5 without hesitation.
As far as the player itself it is excellent. Set up the play list on your computer, sync it up and your are good to go. Even with a cheap pair of ear buds I had lying around this thing sounds great. I plan to use it with the docking station and mobile speakers in my shop.
I needed a new mp3, and I thought it would be cool to get a touchscreen one. I got the refurbished Zune and it only cost me 80 bucks (it beats paying 235 bucks). It was great...for a month. Then one day it just shuts off just like that even though it wasn't low on battery. Nothing but a black screen. It wouldn't come on even when I put it on the charger. The next day it mysteriously comes back on when I put it on the charger again then things went back to normal...until the black screen of death came back a week later. I could still hear my music but I couldn't do anything (pause, skip forward, etc.) Then suddenly the music stop and of course the black screen was still there. I swear, if I didn't have this problem I would gave this product five stars.