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Samsung Yepp YP-55V Review

Highs

  • Integrated FM tuner
  • can be used as a storage device
  • can record from multiple sources

Rating

Our Score 9
User Score 8

Lows

  • No USB 2.0 support
  • lacking Ogg Vorbis playback capabilities
The YP55V is certainly one of the most fully featured MP3 players on the market.

Summary

The YP55V is certainly one of the most fully featured MP3 players on the market. In fact an MP3 player is a poor way to describe the YP55V since it is also able to record from 3 different sources. Certainly I can’t think of any other features besides expandable memory to add to the YP55V without having to reclassify it.

Introduction

Samsung’s Yepp series MP3 players have always been hot sellers due to their large memory capacity and unique features. However with MP3 jukeboxes slowly gaining in market share and dropping in price, Samsung has an even larger challenge ahead if they are going to offer a Flash memory based MP3 player. The Samsung Yepp YP55V offers larger-than-average storage capacity of 256 MB compared to other MP3 players, yet is still much more affordable than going the MP3 jukebox route. With features like an integrated FM tuner and USB hard drive capabilities, the YP55V stays true to the Yepp roots.

Design and Features

From pictures the YP55V looks a lot smaller than it really is. Don’t get me wrong, at 2.2 ounces it’s hardly a brick, but it’s heavier than I thought it would be. However with the extra size and weight come some cool extra features. Besides playing MP3’s and WMA’s the YP55V is a portable USB hard drive, a voice recorder, FM radio, has the ability to record sounds to MP3 format from other source’s line level out or the FM tuner and has upgradeable firmware.

The YP55V takes a single AAA battery and should last around 15 hours according to Samsung. Our testing puts the battery life closer to 10-12 hours of performance; more than adequate enough.

The screen has a blue backlight with 2 rows. The first row displays the time and track number while the second displays about 10 or 11 characters of the track name information.

There is a stop play button right beside the LCD, recorder slider on one side and a music effects button on the other. To fast forward/rewind or skip forward/backwards just twist the head of the unit. There is a digital volume slider which has a mode button in the middle which is really confusing to use if you haven’t read the manual.

To switch between MP3, voice recorder and radio modes you must stop the unit and then press the mode button to select. The backlit display will show the MP3 ID tag while playing or the channel that the FM preset is on.

As I mentioned you can record other sources or FM broadcasts to MP3 and voice recordings to .wav files in real time and then download them to your computer. Recording is really straight forward. To record your voice switch the YP55V to voice recorder mode and slide the record switch. To record FM radio broadcasts just listen to your favorite station and then slide the record switch. Recording from other sources via the line level in is really easy, connect the supplied cable, start the source and the slide the record slider.

There are 4 music sound modes; SRS, Trubass, WOW and EQ. SRS changes the way the music sounds so it’s more spacious sounding. Trubass increases the bass level while WOW is just both SRS and Trubass at the same time. EQ has 5 built in settings and 1 user setting. The user setting allows you to select 10 different levels for bass and treble separately.

There is a file feature which allows you to manage files stored on the YP55 whether they are MP3’s, voice recordings, etc and because the player is firmware upgradeable, there is no telling what Samsung may decide to add to the YP55V in the future.

You can adjust features like scroll speed, backlight time, power off time, default volume,encoder bit rates, etc…

Besides the player itself the YP55V comes with a USB cable, direct USB adapter, earbuds, manual, CD, battery, neck strap and carrying case.

The included ear buds have a fairly short cord (since Samsung wants you to wear it from your neck). If you prefer other types of headphones the YP55V’s jack is a standard 3.5mm mini jack.

Sounds, Software

No matter what you’re musical tastes are the YP55V does a fairly good job catering to you. If you like very neutral sounding music you can just leave all the special effects and EQ settings alone.

If you prefer to process your music to death there are a lot of presets, special effects like SRS and Trubass and user settings. With the included headphones the YP55 is capable of producing incredible levels of volume with no distortion until you reach about level 27/30.

Like most newer USB devices the YP55V is a Mass Storage class device which means you don’t need a special driver to connect it to Windows XP, ME, MAC OS 9 or higher or Linux 2.4 kernel computers. This also means you don’t have to install Music Match or any other music program. I tested the YP55 with Windows XP. When I plug the YP55V into a USB port Windows automatically detects it and within seconds I can copy music files to it using Windows Explorer.

The YP55V was able to copy a 15MB file in about 20 seconds which is pretty fast. Given the size of the YP55V it would have been nice if the USB connector was built right into the player instead of having to lug a USB connector around. I’m happy to report that when connected to a computer the YP55V draws power from the USB port so it doesn’t matter if you’re low on batteries or not. Also included is some CD ripping software which is simple to use but proprietary to the player.

Conclusion

The YP55V is certainly one of the most fully featured MP3 players on the market. In fact an MP3 player is a poor way to describe the YP55V since it is also able to record from 3 different sources. Certainly I can’t think of any other features besides expandable memory to add to the YP55V without having to reclassify it.

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