So I decided it was about time I got myself a portable mp3 jukebox. For a long time I figured I'd just get myself a 15gb iPod, but then I started doing some research. Although I love iPods and think they are just about the coolest toy in the world, I couldn't get one knowing there were a couple better options out there.
I settled on the iRiver iHP-120 for a few different reasons. The biggest one was battery life. The iPod lasts about four hours on a charge, and the iRiver jams for at least twelve or fourteen. It's also comes with a remote, it's got an FM tuner, voice recording, and a buttload of other features the iPod can't match. The only thing it doesn't do is play Apple's AAC formatted files, like what you'd buy from iTunes.
So once I settled on what to buy, I went to Best Buy to pick one up. It turns out they don't carry them. So I called around to try to figure out where I can find one of these things. The only stores around here that have them were CompUSA, Walmart, and Fry's, and they were all out of stock (Fry's having sold their last one just before I called). Not only that, but they wanted $399 for one when Amazon is selling them for $336.04. So I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon, and spent part of my immense savings on 2-day shipping. With any luck I'll have my new toy on Tuesday.
So, the only negative thing I ever heard about the iRiver was regarding the earbud headphones that come with it. So I did a little research on those too. I came across this review on the Shure E2c sound isolating earphones. Unlike regular earbuds, you actually jam these things into your head to use them. This gives you two advantages: You have a speaker pointed directly at your eardrum, and every little outside noise is completely blocked out.
I was able to find the E2's pretty easily. Guitar Center was the first place I checked, and they had them for $79. So I picked them up. And I'm quite happy I did! The sound is completely amazing. It's like downloading the sound directly into your brain. I compared them to some regular earbuds I had lying around, and the difference was staggering.
Sadly, I can't say that wearing them is the most comfortable feeling in the world. They come with three different size "flex sleeves." I put on the smallest size, and they still feel pretty tight. I guess I have narrow ear canals. But the more I wear them, the more I'm getting used to them. I'm sure I'll soon be able to pop them in my skull and forget they're in there.
Anyway, I recommend them highly. And I can't wait until my iRiver comes in the mail!
I love toys.