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Ultra Products 2GB Hydra MP3 Player
Author: Hellfire
Manufacturer: Ultra Products
Source: Ultra Products
Purchase: PriceGrabber
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 5 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
Ultra Products 2GB Hydra MP3 Player
March 02, 2007

Testing and Evaluation:

Putting MP3s on the player is extremely simple, and requires no additional software on Windows XP or Vista. Plug the USB cable in and your computer should recognize it and set it up as a removable hard drive. All you have to do now is drag your files to the player, and when you go to play the music files they will appear. Nothing more! So simple a 6 year old could do it! The Hydra will play back MP3 and WMA files.

Sadly there is no DRM support, so if you use a system like Napster or Urge, you are out of luck. While this isn't required on a MP3 player, it is nice to have.

As shown in the image below, when the Hydra is attached to a computer, it will display a graphic to notify you that it is ready to receive files. This picture was taken while the device's blue backlight was active.

Click Image For Larger View

The biggest thing to be concerned with regarding a MP3 player is how it sounds, which is a highly subjective attribute to analyze. I don't necessary need extremely high quality audio reproduction, but it does need to be clear. I transferred multiple songs with various bit rates (96kbps, 128kbps, 192kbps, and 256kbps). While the lower bit rates had their obvious limitations, they still sounded pretty good. They did not compare to the higher bit rates, but that is to be expected.

The 'generic' ear buds they provide are cheap, but surprisingly sound decent. They don't compare to the Sony or JVC ear buds I usually use, but these are acceptable for "free" ear buds.

Regardless of whether the included ear buds or a better set are used, the sound is clear at mid volume levels. If I turned the volume all the way up there was bass distortion at 27/28, but at 25/26 the sound was crystal clear. With many players I can't stand to listen at the maximum volume, and the Hydra is no different. Granted, the volume of the music will depend on the volume level set during recording. I adjusted the bass settings from very low to full, and found it to be deep and crisp with no distortion at mid volume level.

The battery life is also very good. I have found that even though they advertise an 8-hour play time, the Hydra lasted at least 11 hours with continual use.

To test the "Splash Resistance", I ran the Hydra under the kitchen faucet while it was in operation. While this is more than the player was designed to resist, it continued to operate and did not wind up with any moisture on the screen.

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