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Audio Reviews
15,670 Reviews

iRiver B30 review

£179 inc VAT

Manufacturer: iRiver

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The iRiver B30 offers plenty of features that you'd expect in a run-of-the-mill portable media player (PMP). However, it's also one of the first MP3 players to have a built-in digital radio.

The iRiver B30 offers plenty of features that you'd expect in a run-of-the-mill portable media player (PMP). However, it's also one of the first MP3 players to have a built-in digital radio.

The iRiver B30 has 8GB of built-in storage that can be expanded via a microSD slot, which takes memory cards up to 8GB in capacity. It supports numerous file formats, including MP3, WMA, OGG, ASF, FLAC and APE for audio and MP4, AVI and WMV for video. The iRiver B30 also allows you to view images and plain text files. If you like to play games then you’re in luck: the B30 also supports Flash games, but it doesn’t come with any installed.

The iRiver B30’s built in DAB+ digital radio tuner provides almost crystal clear reception for digital radio. There is an extendable antenna to help you tune in to FM radio stations, too.

The MP3 player's design is rather iPhone-esque. However, iRiver B30 is not a touchscreen device; it has a glossy black face with a 2.7in LCD screen and touch-sensitive buttons. It will attract plenty of fingerprints when you use the PMP. The rear of the device has a matte finish and is home to an integrated speaker. At the bottom is the microSD slot, a USB 2.0 port and a headphone jack concealed beneath a pullout flap. A built-in accelerometer (iRiver calls it a G-Sensor) enables the display to switch from portrait to landscape mode depending on how you hold it.

There touch-sensitive buttons don't have text labels. They have icons that illuminate for a short time when they are pressed, although you can adjust the length of time they will stay lit for. Unfortunately the buttons don't use universally understood icons and the control system takes some getting used to. The controls could also be spaced better — the lock button and power switch are so close together that we often switched the darned thing off when trying to lock it!

Yet another design flaw is the back-mounted speaker. When you don’t have headphones plugged in the iRiver B30 automatically switches to the speaker. The problem is that when you have it sitting flat on a desk, the speaker is useless and you can't hear a thing. Having the speaker on the side of the B30 would have been better. The speaker also doubles as a microphone for voice recording.

Audio quality is probably the best thing about the iRiver B30. We tested a wide range of music genres on the iRiver B30 and it handled everything with ease using the supplied headphones. Bass didn't distort at high volume levels and it remained pronounced yet modest, while the treble maintained clarity. Mid-range was spot-on. The bundled offer good audio but are uncomfortable.

 NEXT: our expert verdict >>

iRiver B30 Expert Verdict »

DAB Radio, MP3 player, voice recorder, photo viewer
16GB
MP3 Bitrate Playback: 8-320Kbps, External Aerial
320x240
USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone socket, MicroSD
User Definable EQ
MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, OGG, ASF, AP, JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, AVI, Xvid, DivX, H.264, MPEG4, WMV
Voice Recording
11x110x56mm
85g
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

We have mixed feelings about the iRiver B30. It’s similarly priced to the 8GB iPod touch, which doesn't have an integrated DAB+ digital radio tuner (but offers a bigger screen, Wi-Fi and lots of apps). We’d definitely like the design to be improved; it's pretty much the most annoying thing about it.

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