We have seen many phones such as the Dopod 838Pro, Samsung Ultra Edition 8.4mm and the Palm 750v carrying A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile aka Bluetooth audio) capabilities, but other then Anycall’s* SBH-300 which was released earlier in March 2006 (initially launched only within Korean domestic markets), there hasn't been many notable digital audio players (DAP) with such capabilities. Today, we check out the YP-T9B, Samsung’s official shot at a dedicated A2DP DAP.
Even though the Samsung YP-T9B is a slick sliver of glossy black with a sharp dash of silver trimmings along the sides, it exudes a whimsical appearance and doesn’t carry the classy Samsung-look as well as its gadget brethren (the Ultra series, YP-K5, etc). Aesthetics aside, the player offers a 1.8-inch display screen with a resolution of 220 x 176 pixels and a typical 5-way navigation pad below it. A hold button, string of navigation controls that complement the 5-way navigation pad and a shortcut button to record audio decks out the sides of the player.
Navigation onboard the YP-T9B is largely without pitfalls, though we felt that the player favors lefties as they have the luxury of using both index finger and thumb to navigate; right-handers have to get used to accessing both sets of navigational buttons with a single thumb. Powering up the YP-T9B, it immediately showed off its amazing display qualities with crisp text, brilliant photos and sensational video. Funky features such as on-the-fly voice recording and pre-installed games were also included.
Both wired and Bluetooth audio playback with the YP-T9B sounded great and can be made even better with a strong suite of equalizer presets. One of the functions that stood out in its audio options was 'Play Speed'. It allows users to increase/decrease audio playback speed up to three times faster (or slower). Regretfully, Play Speed mode is not available when using A2DP.
Although we noted a slight lag navigating the player when A2DP was on, it did not exhibit any other operational disfunctions. Pairing was a straightforward process and absolutely painless. In fact, we even tested it with third-party Bluetooth receivers such as the I-Tech Clip Radio and Jabra BT320S just to make sure. There shouldn't be any conflicts in this area as the A2DP implementation of the YP-T9B is basically compatible with most Bluetooth 1.1, 1.2, and 2.0 devices, especially those advanced sets that have support for Audio/Video Remote Control (AVRCP), Headset (HSP) and Handsfree (HFP) profiles for added convenience.
Battery-wise, the YP-T9B outlasted our Bluetooth receiver (Jabra BT320S) after six hours of continuous playback with only half its juice drained, so it shouldn't be a worry at all.
Overall, we are pretty impressed with the Samsung YP-T9B digital audio player. It has an amazingly brilliant display screen, good audio quality and a successful A2DP setup that comes without any major hiccups. What is most notable about this device is that it certainly marks the dawn of A2DP DAPs going mainstream and will surely be followed closely by Sansa, iRiver, Apple, Microsoft and many others – which also means that you, the consumer, might want to wait and see what the future holds before making your decision. However, if waiting isn't your forte, the Samsung YP-T9B is an excellent music player for true wireless enjoyment.
At US$270 (~SG$418) for the 4GB version and US$205 (~SG$318) for the 2GB one, the Samsung YP-T9B is pricey, but surely worth its weight in gold at this point being one of the few, if not only dedicated A2DP DAP around.
*Anycall - Samsung's mobile phone and DAP business namesake in Korea.
**The YP-T9 is a Bluetooth-less version of the YP-T9B.