Since the day of that entry I wrote that included briefly my M:Robe 100, I have gotten surprising response and replies both on blog and off-blog, some even requesting me to make blog-reviews on that mp3 player. With such overwhelming feedback, I guess it would be nice to dedicate an entry to my lovely companion. Furthermore, I strongly believe that m:robe is a very rare thing in Malaysia, since Olympus (yeap the camera giant) did not seem to be interested to market it in this country, for whatever reasons only God knows. M:robe however has been rather well known in other contries, America, Australia, and virtually everywhere else, except Malaysia.
Why do I need an mp3 player you ask?
For those people who know me well enough, they can tell that I am, well... "was" is the operative word now, an audio-enthusiast. I am turned on by anything audio, name it, Hi-fi, home theatre systems, subwoofers, oooohhhh... those things are my passion. Portable devices like walkman and mp3 player are just part of the huge audio entertainment category. I am deeply attracted and enchanted by high fidelity sound quality.
Mp3 player is like a companion to me. I use M:robe to wake me up in the morning, blasting LOUD music into my ears, yeah, that kinda works for me. I use m:robe while I walk (I walked a lot in Perth), taking public transport to far away places. And most importantly, I am the kind of person who seriously need music in my ears while I do my work or studies. I do not know how or why, but with music it just keeps my mind going and going and less stressful at doing whatever I am doing. It has become a habit I guess. With the 5Gb hard disk of m:robe, I virtually have my entire needed music collections with me while I was studying in the library, or elsewhere. I can study at the most unGodly places. Just read here (click) to find out urself.
Why did I choose m:robe over other mp3 players available out there? I-pod is gay. Very gay, all of them... nano.. mini.... video.. GAY. Creative... well.. their designs sucks. Other brands like i-river? errmm... design sucks too. Alright I admit it, the main reason why I went for m:robe is because of its looks. Looks looks looks only. It is damned sexy weeeeeiiii... damned sexy... slurrrrppppp....
The frontal face of m:robe is flat and extremely black, yet reflective. That gives you the sense of elegance and touch of class. The entire control and navigation of the device is done by touch, baby, no buttons, all purely touch screen. Touch the body and they will light up in glowing red-excitement. The back of the body is milky smooth white, complimenting in contrast with the blackness of the front. The positioning of the controls, especially the hold and power switch are a little odd, and I would say somehow the person who designed it intended it to be used by left-handers. Not that it is a major inconvenience or anything, just a little off. Other than that, the design of m:robe 100 is near perfect, every part of it. The finished built is of high standards, you can feel the quality even just by holding it on your palm. It is something that you will scream out loud like a monkey if you so ever drop it off your hand accidentally.
Tonnes of preset equalizers, also have custom preferences...
The sound quality? As a non-professional and not so experienced mp3 player, I rate it above average. Tested with my JVC in-ear closed type earphones, the sound reproduced seems very close to those of good standard loudspeakers. Having the wide-open sound that provides enough sense of space, and yet not losing the focus on each details in the music. Treble is sufficiently vibrant and crisp, not being overly possesive and sharp-cutting, but pleasently fine with a hint of brightness in the higher end and comfortable throughout long hour use. The mid range has nothing spectacular to shout about. The bass however is lacking punch and weight, even with a closed in ear type earphone. However, I am not one of those guys who would be overly crazy about bass and bass alone in the sound quality. Bass is just one part, an important part of the sound, but it should not be prioritized and there are many other major deciding factors that precedes the significance of powerful bass.
On the whole, I am quite satisfied with the performace of m:robe, though not entirely thrilled and amazed. Nevertheless, I would like to note this, my taste of good sound is extremely different from normal people, and I certainly would rate the sound much higher than other similar players that I have tested. In general mp3 player category, m:robe has one of the best sound quality there is surpassing even Ipods in general.
My JVC In-ear closed type earphones..
I am glad with my purchase of m:robe, and have always been enjoying it all this while. I believe as I am blogging my m:robe, it is already extinct in Australia, and should be selling at very low price everywhere in the world. This model is considered obsolete, so yesterday, and every store is getting rid of it making way for newer players. Despite its huge success, Olympus has stopped the production of m:robe, and ended the line of mp3 players there. As old as this player may be, I still think its pretty cool, even by today's standards.
So, anyone else in Malaysia has an m:robe? Do voice yourself up and maybe we can start a club or something.