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Review:RioVolt SP250 CD/MP3 Player (1 Viewer)


Second Unit
May 6, 1999
Having had a first generation CD/MP3 player for a couple of years, I had been itching to upgrade to a newer model with more frills than my bare-bones unit. There have been tremendous strides made in these combo players and waiting for the right unit finally paid off.
What a GREAT machine this is. Prior combo players lacked the detailed display of MP3 'chip' units. But now RIO has put it's backlit LCD display from it's 800 player into this combo player.
The 250 still sucks for playing CDs although it skips less than my first Generation. player. The ESP(Electronic Skip Protection) on the 250 is adjustable but not enough to stop in from skipping while walking. I would assume you cannot jog with it while playing CDs.
I can't make it skip while playing MP3s however. Navigating through the display is very easy once you understand the button sequence. The displays shows the ROOT directory-->Folders-->songs listed in that folder. Highlight the song and press play.
Once playing the display gives the track #,time elapsed or time remaining, media format(MP3),name of the folder, scrolling ID tag of the file playing, battery status, and a choice of channel indicators(bars,waves,etc.)
The display is backlit in a soft blue with adjustable contrast and brightness. Very nice feature.
I was surprised with the quality of the earbuds included with the 250. They are still uncomfortable as hell but they sounded almost as good as my Sony over-the-ear street-phones.
A wired remote with access to all functions is included with the 250. An optional remote, with a backlit LCD display, is also available. The earbuds(phones) plug into a port on the remote which in turn plugs into the player.
A very cool carrying case w/belt clip and shoulder strap and A/C adapter are included with the 250.
I bought it from http://www.computers4sure.com/
Subtotal: $ 148.95
Shipping & Handling: $ 5.99
Tax Total: $ 0.00
Purchase Total: $ 154.94
I ordered it on a Friday, received a shipping e-mail on Monday, and it was at my door Tuesday before 2:00pm.
If your interested in more details check this out: Link Removed
I'm not involved with either of these companies, just a guy who loves these kind of toys and this is one GREAT toy.

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Jan 18, 1999
This is pretty much the same thing I have- and I agree with everything reviewed above. CD playback is seriously lacking- it skips on brisk walking and MAN OH MAN does it eat batteries when doing CD playback!
Hopefully in a few years well have reliable units that can do both... seems odd that only RIO is putting effort into this type of machine. I have a small $30 panasonic CD player and it eats the RIO in CD playback in every category... you'd think Panasonic could add MP3 decoding and have a serious unit!
AIM: VinceMaskeeper
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Anthony Hom

Supporting Actor
Mar 24, 1999
I have the RioVolt SP250 MP3 CD player. I will agree it's CD playback is not up to par with the MP3 CD playback. But then again, I bought it for it's MP3 capabilities.
The nice thing is it's firmware upgrade. I started out at 1.08 and now have 2.1.
After the upgrade, the number of features grew and some of the existing features improved. The backlight doesn't stay on all the time in AC mode, the equalizer has a custom setting, and it will read up to 999 songs on one MP3 CD. It could only do 255 in 1.08.
After this, I think RioVolt is working to improve their machines and if anybody can name a better combo CD player, please do so. What happen to Sony's player? I saw it in a catalog and it was pulled quickly.

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