Samsung YP-K5

Samsung YP-K5
  • Samsung YP-K5
  • Samsung YP-K5
  • Samsung YP-K5
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Attractive design, Excellent playback quality, Alarm clock feature, High quality FM Radio

Cons

  • A little expensive, rather bulky

Bottom Line

With innovative features and a great design, the YP-K5 is a high quality audio player that will make your friends envious

Would you buy this?

The current portable media player accessory market is packed with all manner of speaker systems, ranging from cute and compact attachments to massive Hi-Fi docks. Samsung's response to this has been to create theYP-K5, a 2GB music player (4GB also available) with an attractive design, intuitive operating system and funky control interface. Its most unique feature however is a pop-out speaker which, surprisingly, pumps out rich audio - even at high volumes.

The speaker slides out from underneath the unit and tilts upward, forming a stand. The design of the speaker compliments the aesthetic of the unit with a polished chrome finish. Behind the grill, two small speakers produce the K5's rich audio. We fully expected them to perform like poor laptop speakers but were surprised at their range. The bass levels were good for a device without a subwoofer and the treble range was impressive considering the lack of a tweeter. As we pumped up the volume, we experienced no distortion but found that the maximum volume wasn't quite as loud as we would have liked. An anomaly that warrants a mention is the way that the volume switches between the headphones and the speakers. The volume you are on when using the headphones is carried over to the speakers when engaged. However, the reverse does not apply; when switching back to the headphones, the volume is reduced to default settings. This isn't a major problem but we did find it a little frustrating.

As a music player, we found the YP-K5 performed well. The included headphones sounded reasonably good, though using a high-end set would definitely be beneficial. The unit can play back MP3, WMA, OGG and Vorbis files and has support for playlists and full ID3 Tags. It is also Microsoft PlaysForSure certified so your music library can be organised and uploaded using Windows Media Player, the Samsung proprietary software (Media Centre 5) or simply via drag and drop.

More than just an audio player, the YP-K5 also supports FM radio playback, alarm clock and a JPEG viewer. The radio function worked well, finding a wide array of stations at stable signal strengths. We have seen many devices that had trouble accomplishing this. However the alarm is easily the most useful secondary feature of the player. Using either an MP3 track from your collection or a series of alarm tones, you need only set the time and leave it in speaker mode to utilise the clock. It's loud enough to rip you from your dreams and depending on the track you choose, can offer a boppy start to the day.

The YP-K5 has a black matte finish on the sides and rear and a glossy piano black finish on the face. The controls are lit in neon blue, and only become apparent when the unit is powered up. They work like a touchpad and are rather sensitive and prone to accidental presses. Thankfully, the power switch can also disable the buttons when set to "hold". The screen is a 1.71in LED display and looks stunningly bright and colourful. When the speaker is employed the screen orientation changes from portrait to landscape and the directional navigation touchpad follows suit. Things like this seem small but when combined as a whole, they add a touch of sophistication that sets the YP-K5 apart. We also found the on-screen interface to be very simple to use. All the icons are easy to understand and are not only informative but also attractive. The transition between different menus was fast and moving back to previous areas was just as effortless.

Powered by a built-in lithium-Ion battery that is charged via USB, the reported battery life of YP-K5 is 30 hours via headphones and six hours on speaker mode. We discovered this figure to be fairly accurate but also used it under a hybrid of headphones and speaker to and found that it lasted roughly 16-18 hours, which is more than adequate.

It isn't without its flaws, but overall the unit looks great, sounds great and sits at a price point that, while not a bargain, will still appeal.

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