Finally, an MP3 player built to accompany the perfect activity–exercise. Nike’s psa play 120 has the same guts as the Rio600. S3, Rio’s parent company, designed the electronics inside, but the psa play features a more palm- and pocket-friendly oval case. In addition to its belt clip, you also get an elastic arm strap with a light, contoured shell that keeps the player secured on those long runs.
This $299 player features 64MB of built-in memory — enough for about an hour of MP3 files encoded at 128 Kbps — and a slot for an extra MMC card. (A 32MB version of the player is also available for $199.) The psa play 120 is a bit expensive, but with its light body; slim, rounded design; and rubberized face with embedded controls, it’s truly the first of its kind.
Unlike other MP3 players, the base unit has no display for track names or time; an included remote with controls and round screen can be connected between the unit and the headphones, but it will eat up your AA battery life. In any other player, I might call this a design flaw, but in a sport player, an onboard LCD seems unnecessary. Raised buttons on the psa play’s rubber panel make changing tracks and adjusting volume a sight-free task, and it’s usually a better idea to keep your eyes on the scenery than on your MP3 player anyway.
The headphones fold up, which is a nice touch, but they’re rather flimsy. Also, they’re the over-the-head variety, so you won’t be able to slip a bike helmet over them.
psa play 120