iRiver T6 review: iRiver T6

Typical Price: $99.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Glossy, sleek and very small. FM tuner and voice recording. Easy to use. Great build quality.

The Bad Average screen. Small feature set.

The Bottom Line If you are looking for a slender, sleek and well-made MP3 player, the T6 is a good choice as long as you can forego an extensive feature set. For the casual listener or as a backup player, it's perfectly capable, but audiophiles may want to look elsewhere.

7.8 Overall

Design

For the inner bumblebee in all of us, iRiver has unveiled its latest small MP3 player, the T6. The front is covered in a glossy piano black finish, and each of the control buttons for playback and volume are gently illuminated by a glowing orange backlight when they are touched. The T6 has just one physical switch at the top left, which handles power and locking the device. The headphone jack and mini USB connector are both located at the bottom.

At the back is a brushed metal finish which is rather snazzy if we do say so ourselves, it's a little extra polish that makes the T6 seem like more of an expensive MP3 player than its AU$99 asking price would indicate. All is not perfect though, as the front fascia soon picks up a plethora of finger grease and smudges.

At just 54 grams the T6 can easily slip into a derrière pocket or sit unobtrusively beside your desk. If we compare the T6 with the 4th gen iPod Nano, the Apple zeitgeist does win on weight and size, managing to shave off just over four grams of extra bulk and works out to be just a smidgen smaller.

Features

Although we're assured that the T6 does come with included headphones and a bunch of other paraphernalia such as an installation CD and instruction manual, our unit came with none — just a lonely mini-USB connector and the player itself wrapped tightly in bubble wrap. So, unfortunately, for the purposes of this review we weren't able to test the headphones that should come included in the retail box. Instead, we tested the unit with a number of other headphones.

Inside, the T6 houses 4GB of storage, and in terms of battery life, iRiver claims 28 hours of playback. File support is somewhat limited with MP3 and WMA only (some third-party sources state OGG is compatible but our unit could not play these files). The rather lowly 1.8-inch screen isn't going to win any awards for brightness, though for most purposes it does the job asked of it. You can view photos on the device, albeit at a relatively low-resolution of 128x160 we'd wager that it's not really worth it. Video playback is not included, though to make up for it somewhat, a useful and responsive FM tuner is included, plus a voice recorder. The tuner had no problem picking up a range of stations and signal strengths, from full strength commercial stations to community broadcasters transmitting on weaker signals.

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