When you see or hear MP3, what’s the first thing on your mind? iPod? Perhaps 😉 We have to admit that iPod is very sensational in terms or brand awareness. For sound quality, I think we easily can see others MP3 player with same or even better sound quality.

I just visited Samsung’s factory yesterday and got their new MP3 player, Yepp YP-U2 fresh from the oven. FYI, this MP3 was built here in Indonesia. I saw myself the production of this player, but simply it’s out of our scope to discuss it.

Expensive look and great design
Yepp YP-U2 is a nice MP3 player. I think Samsung put YP-U2 head-to-head with iPod Shuffle (due to size, capacity, and price). She is very light, around 28 grams on the spec sheet (I don’t have to measure her weight, but trust me, she is light – just imagine an USB stick). The case was made from plastic with gloss finish. Very neat and gorgeous (mine is black).

On the front, you will find and LCD. This is an advantage over its competitor like Shuffle which offers no LCD (but most Chinese/Taiwanese MP3 player also offers LCD). The resolution is quite good, 128×64 pixels and configured in invert mode (white text, black background), it may display up to 4 lines of text (very useful to manage your playlist). There are 5 button on the top and few on the side. A lock button also provided. One unique thing is you can find a reset button. I don’t know the function but perhaps you can use it in case your player is crashed or something (blue screen like Windows eh?)

This player also use no external batteries. She uses internal Lithium Polymer battery. She will charge herself automatically when plugged in to USB port. So, she will draw current from your USB port. I forget the capacity exactly, around 280 mAh I think. Assumed with this spec and no current limited circuit, you can fully charged this player less than 1 hour (around 40 minutes) with your PC’s USB. Samsung also provide a USB connector cap to protect the USB connector from dust or something. Uniquely, this transparant cap will show a light blue because there are two LED near the USB connector. You can adjust the LED behaviour via configuration menu inside the player.

Inside the package, you will find a nice earphone (also with black gloss gorgeous finish), pair of earbuds, a CD, and warranty cards. No extra neck band, strap, or something. The package design is also “expensive look”, with matte black cover and transparant plastic to show the YP-U2 inside.

Other functions supported are FM tuner and voice recorder. This player also support WMA, OGG and WAV file formats (beside MP3 off course). No AAC supports here.

Sound quality
Without have to wait any longer, I plugged her into my laptop’s USB port. I copied few of my files. I didn’t record the transfer rate, but I think the reading speed is quite fast, while the writing speed is a little bit slow (maybe I have played too much with 200x USB stick eh?)

The sound quality is excellent. The high is crisp and detail. Mid is good. You can’t expect too much bass since this is an earphone not headphone (you can adjust the bass level from 0 to 3). The earbuds also can be used to seal your ears better (and expect extra bass). But overall, the tonal balance from the headphone is ok.

The other awesome thing is Samsung provide you with 9 octave/band EQ (63 Hz, 125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 4 kHz, 8 kHz, and 16 kHz). This makes a very flexsible customization of your sound taste. Samsung also provides its own DNSe surround effect. You can select from dozens of presets available lize Jazz, Pop, Rock, etc. Just choose that your ears feel the best. There is also one 3D option with choice from 0 to 5. I don’t like the effect of this option and decide to turn it off (set it to 0). You have to try yourself, perhaps you will enjoy this 3D effect rather then myself. I prefer to set the mode to Normal (means no effect). For me, she sounds the best with this option.

I also measure the frequency response of this player. The overall frequency response is quite flat. On the bottom end, this player reaches 20 Hz with no less than -0.25 dB and the lowest is 8 Hz at -0.5 dB. Roll-off started at 10 kHz (-0.15 dB). On 18 kHz, she reaches -0.55 dB, on 19 kHz at -1.5 dB, and on 20 kHz she reaches about -3.25 dB. Some ripples found and started at 8 kHz but less artifacts in the high end. As I’ve said, the overall is quite smooth for such MP3 player on her level.

The overall frequency response measured on “Normal mode, means no DSP used” is quite smooth. Some ripples found, but not much. This is the result of good circuit implementation I guess.

Market acceptance: What do you think about it?
We will try to guess whether this player is going to have good acceptance on the market or not. Well, I think this player has the potential. Good design, good quality, and affordable price are the three main keys. The rest is about promotional and marketing effort to convince that this is a good player. Not easy to erase the “iPod” brand from the customer’s head. It takes times, money, and energy.

The selling point or key aspect is not all people need 20-60 Gigs of audio/video player that will cost you hundred bucks. Some people will just need a 512 or 1 Gigs of player (like Yepp or Shuffle). Surely this is a huge market and potential. Yepp has advantage because she provides LCD to manage your collection (if we compare it with Shuffle). I think the marketing team should highlight this advantage.

It also nice if Samsung can provide a portable USB charger (optional or maybe included inside the sales package). Such device will cost you less than $5, I guess, but it’s gonna be a nice addition for customer if they have it inside the sales package (so I don’t have to power up my PC or laptops just to charge my Yepp).

In my opinion, Samsung is little bit too late to enter this MP3 player (Yepp is an old brand, but maybe Samsung didn’t push play too serious in this MP3 player field few years ago). But surely there is chance to win though you are not the first comer 😉 Again, good marketing effort is mandatory to educate the customer about this new good stuff.

Below are some additional pictures of the player. Just enjoy it 😉

The main interface when playing your songs.

Impressive 9 band equalizer.

Select mode. You may see up to 4 lines from its display. Horizontal scrolling will be done automatically.

Nice pair of earphones. Built from plastic with gloss finishing. Some metal on the top to give gorgeous look.

A reset button? Hey, it’s not a PC! But, I wonder when this player needs this button 😉