Rio Karma MP3 Players

4.5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $399.00

Product Description

20GB drive can carry over 5,000 songs. Powerful tools include cross-fader, 5-band parametric equalizer, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC support, and a huge, backlit display capable of visualizations, animated menus, and 16 shades of gray. USB 2.0 provides fast transfers while the included docking station also adds drop-in charging, RCA Line-Out, and an Ethernet port for networking. (40GB also available)

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by bertran a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Grat sound, compact, but competent feel. Over all a very nice product with efficient software. Vav wheel a nice touch, but backlight options could be better.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $198.00

Purchased At:   eCost

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dubes a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 31, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This is my first hard disk-based portable music player, and I am very impressed with the job the folks at Rio have done. This device has the same footprint as my Sony minidisc player (that means it's darn small), but it's thicker than, say, an Ipod. On the plus side, the battery lasts about 2x as long as the Ipod's, which may explain the extra thickness.

The user interface is fairly easy to use. There is a navigational wheel (which I admit I never use) and a pointer stick, as on laptops of old (which I use exclusively; it's just a matter of what works for you). There is a fairly extensive menu system that let's you choose what you want to listen to by artist, album, genre, etc., as well as options for using the built-in equalizer.

What sold me on the Karma, besides the sound quality, was the RioDJ software. With RioDJ, you can let the Karma choose what to play for you, based on your listening patterns and any criteria you choose. I love the feature because the player can "surprise" you by choosing something you like but hadn't listened to in awhile--or by choosing a selection you didn't even know you had!

The Karma supports all of the current music playback options except for Apple's proprietary AAC format. That means it won't play music downloaded from the I-tunes store, but it will play music from any of the Windows-based music stores, like MusicMatch and Napster. I have already begun re-ripping my CDs into Ogg format, which sounds incredible compared to MP3s encoded at the equivalent bitrate.

I should note that I do not use the included earbuds. Instead, I use the Sony MDR-7506 when I'm listening at home and the Shure E2 when I'm on the go. Good headphones really show off the capabilities of the Karma.

All in all, I've been very pleased with the Karma and the level of support available from Rio engineers at places like If you're looking for a hard disk-based MP3 player with excellent sound quality in a tiny package, you should try the Karma. Keep in mind that hard disk players are not designed for intense physical activity; for that, you're better off with flash memory players because there are no moving parts.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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