Samsung K5 digital audio player

Whichever way you choose to listen to your tunes, the K5 can deliver terrific-sounding audio

Wrapped in an attractive black case, the Samsung K5 is a flash-based digital audio player has a unique design that integrates slide-out speakers. I tried out a shipping version of the US$210 (street) 2GB model; Samsung also offers a 4GB model for US$50 more.

The K5's 1.7-inch OLED screen displays icon-based menus and photos. For navigation it relies on touch-sensitive, flat-surface "button" controls (rather than on actual three-dimensional buttons that you have to depress) on its front face. But while they look slick and contribute to the player's minimalist design, I found these two-dimensional buttons annoying: Repeatedly, I got unintended results when pressing them--a problem exacerbated by the fact that the buttons are context-sensitive and handle multiple functions, depending on how firmly or gently you touch them. The speakers that slide out from the K5's back turn it into a little jukebox, but they also double the thickness of the player. The speakers' audio quality and volume may suffice in a pinch if you're sequestered in a hotel room, and the 3D simulation effect does broaden the stereo field impressively from its otherwise thin, lacking-in-bass default setting. But I'd rather listen to my music through the included earphones--particularly since the they fit in-ear for effective sound isolation, and supplied fuller bass and louder volume than the earbuds that accompany Apple's iPod.

From a technical standpoint, whichever way you choose to listen to your tunes, the K5 can deliver terrific-sounding audio. In the PC World Test Center's quantitative evaluation of audio quality, the K5 earned the highest score to date on our suite of tests for a flash-based player. The Samsung K5 certainly looks cool--even if it's too thick to fit comfortably in your shirt pocket--but its temperamental touch-sensitive controls overshadow its coolness. Having the speakers built-in is more convenient than toting a separate minispeaker system around, but I'd rather leave the speakers behind when I don't want them, and have a thinner player instead.

Samsung K5

If you don't need a tiny player, the K5 is worth a look for its top-notch audio quality and sound-isolating earphones; its built-in speakers seem gimmicky, but may suffice when you're on the go.

Street price: US$210

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Butterfield

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?