We expected the Transcend T.sonic 630 to struggle against big-name players, but Transcend’s three-pronged, advanced digital recording attack, and a cheap price tag was its safeguard. There’s a line-in port for external devices, while one-touch - even when switched off - internal (radio) and external (voice) microphones can be scheduled for use in personal or meeting environments. Voice activation detection ensures quality, gapless, recordings.

We liked the Transcend T.sonic 630’s ability to password-protect a partition for data storage, as well as its lock function when connected to a PC. Unfortunately, these pros are compatible with Windows PCs only.

You can drag-and-drop files in USB mode, while subscription tracks are transferred in MTP mode. You then have all the usual playback options, as well as an EQ with seven presets, an A-B repeat function, and a choice of playback speeds. Volume let the side down, however: at its lowest, it’s quite loud; at its highest, it isn’t enough to annoy fellow commuters.

Build quality is decent, and though awkward to hold in the left hand, the Transcend T.sonic 630’s tiny dimensions, light weight, and easily accessible lock make it a great contender for pocket perfection. It’s a pity Transcend didn’t bundle a protective case for the T.sonic 630, though scratches show up less than on other models here.