In today’s review, we’re going to take a look at a very cheap MP3 player, the RCA Jet 1GB Sport Media Player with FM Tuner. This inexpensive player is found today in various outlet stores and closeout web sites at a very good price, occasionally dropping below $10. In this review, we’ll take a look at how it performs and if there are any serious compromises built into it.
Review continued below…
First off, let’s take a look at the stats for the RCA Jet Sport Media Player S2001. This digital music player was built from the ground up with the workout market in mind. The outer case is rubberized and it’s water and sweat resistant. There’s also an arm band for workouts. And, something unique in MP3 players, it has an integrated Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator and a stopwatch with lap time. Other than that it’s your fairly typical, lower end, flash memory based MP3 player. It has 1GB of memory, FM with presets, MP3 and WMA/Protected WMA playback and recording. It does not have video or picture capability and it does not support subscription WMA music. The display is monochrome text and has adjustable brightness. It is powered by a lithium rechargeable battery.
Let’s first consider the sound quality of the RCA Jet MP3 player. I would give it average in this department. The EQ settings don’t really do a lot for my ears, especially when playing through a car interface rather than earphones. The sound is kind of flat, unlike what I’ve heard from Sansa and other players. With headphones, it’s a little better although the provided clip-on headset phones aren’t very good. As always, I recommend getting a better pair of ear buds.
The user interface of the RCA Jet player is rather difficult to navigate. I’m used to the more intuitive controls on the Sansa and iPod and I found this one rather obtuse in comparison. Another annoyance is that the player doesn’t seem to have a means to pickup playing again where you stopped. So, if you turn off the player you have to scroll back to the song you were on, provided you remember it.
Battery life for the RCA Jet is advertised at 15 hours but, from what I saw in practice, it was about half of this. Of course, I was testing a returned unit but I’ve heard similar reports from others.
Lastly, the durability and quality of the RCA Jet Sport MP3 player is a bit questionable in my mind. For a player that’s supposed to be for workouts, it seems to get a lot of returns for failed buttons or other problems. It seems like the actual buttons behind the rubber sleeve must be a bit too cheap.
All in all, the RCA Jet 1GB Sport Media Player S2001 is a super cheap MP3 player that is far from perfect. In fact, you might call it a disposable MP3 player, especially if you can get it for under around $15. Just bear in mind that it probably won’t hold up long and some of its built-in annoyances might have you slamming it up against the wall, resulting in a premature demise.