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EnCross WaveX WV-400 review: EnCross WaveX WV-400

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The Good Supports DRM-protected WMA files; FM, voice, and line-in recording in MP3; small and light; color screen with JPEG support; strong audio quality.

The Bad Battery charges only via USB; subpar battery life; you pay for all the features.

The Bottom Line The WV-430C is a bit expensive compared to similar players, but strong audio quality and well-implemented features make it an attractive option.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 6

Encross Enterprise WaveX WV-430C (512MB)

There's no single whiz-bang feature to separate Encross Enterprise's WaveX WV-430C (512MB) from its competitors. Rather, it's the solid implementation of all the features we've come to expect from this class of player that makes it worthwhile despite its relatively high $170 price tag.

At 3 by 1.2 by 0.7 inches and a featherweight 1.3 ounces, the blue-and-silver, flash-based WV-430C is ideal for using while working out. The Y-shaped design is a bit unusual, but it helps provide a better grip and allows for easy one-handed control. The vibrant 65,000-color screen adds a bit of pizzazz and displays ID3 tag information. While you can display JPEG photos on the tiny 96x96-pixel screen, there is no support for album art. A five-way joystick near the bottom of the unit lets you navigate, adjust the volume, and select menu options.

The WV-430C's bright, 96x96-pixel, full-color screen helps it stand out from the crowd.

An internal lithium-polymer battery powers the WV-430C, but, unfortunately you must charge it through your computer's USB port. For PC connectivity, the device comes with a USB cable and a removable plug, allowing you to use it as a de facto plug-in player. Unlike most plug-in units, the WV-430C fits nicely alongside occupied ports.

Windows Explorer handles most file transfers to the WV-430C. Along with MP3s, the player supports Ogg Vorbis and DRM-protected WMA files purchased from online music stores. In order to play protected WMAs, however, you have to transfer the tracks with a compatible jukebox application such as Windows Media Player or Musicmatch--Windows Explorer won't transfer the license to the player. Unfortunately, there's nothing in the manual that explains this to novices.

For playback options, you get six EQ options: Normal, Classic, Jazz, Rock, Pop, and a user-defined mode with a five-band EQ. You can also add SRS, TruBass, and WOW effects. Clicking the EQ/Rep button on the unit's right spine lets you toggle through EQ options without wading through the menu.

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