JVC XA-HD500

General Information

The XA-HD500 was released in 2005. It came with a charging cradle with a line out and also a wireless remote control. It had a 6GB microdrive HDD.

Latest reviews

Pros: Great SQ, wireless remote included
Cons: Outdated design by today's (2010) standards
This MP3 player was released by JVC (Japan Victor Company) in 2005. It was available outside of Japan, but the supply seems to have been very limited. I managed to find mine in Japan in 2010. I got the silver version. I would have preferred the black version, but it seems to be even more rare and expensive.
Listening to the XA-HD500 and comparing it to my Kenwood HD20GA7 and my Cowon S9, I feel that the XA-HD500 wins. This is however by very little, as the Kenwood and the Cowon both are great. They are all very detailed, but it is when it comes to the lower end that I feel that the JVC wins. The Cowon S9 has got a bass roll off as most other Cowon DAP:s. EQing will help, but I cannot get away from the bass sounding slightly flat, i.e. without any real depth. The Kenwood has got a much deeper bass sound than the S9 and overall sounds very musical. Compared to the JVC, the Kenwood's bass sound ever so slightly more "muddy". It is not in a bad way, though, as this gives the Kenwood a very musical and engaging sound. The bass on the JVC has got the same depth as the Kenwood, but it is crystal clear. Overall, the JVC feels less bassy than the Kenwood on the same tracks, but the bass is very easy to separate from the other instruments.
 
Anyway, if you are curious about older and obscure MP3 players and do not mind monochrome displays and average UI, give the XA-HD500 a try! It might not be the best sounding one released, but quite good sounding to my ears. Also, you will probably be the only one in your area owning one.

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