While Mike and I were at SXSW in Austin, Texas, we stayed at the Austin Hilton Hotel right next to the conference. It’s the first time we’ve stayed at a Hilton Hotel since they have added the MP3 Player Clock Radio. I had heard about it, but I had never seen it.
It’s not like it’s a product that you can go into a store and buy, but I thought I would play with it during my stay. I wanted to see if it was easy to use. I wanted to know if the buttons really did what they said they did. I was curious about it because I had heard so much about it.
Do the buttons really do what they say they will do?
The clock radio has buttons on the top labeled classical, country, rock, jazz and MP3 respectively. I tried them all and each button actually played the genre of music that they were labeled with. I don’t know if that means that some employee had to program the radio stations for each of the buttons, but they DID work. The classical and jazz radio stations were really faint and static filled, but they played the music that the buttons advertised.
I tested the MP3 button with my Treo 650. It easily connects to any MP3 player with its headphone jack that sticks unceremoniously out the back. It doesn’t control the MP3 player, but it does amplify the music (or SXSW podcasts) loud enough to hear throughout the room. Unfortunately, you couldn’t set it to wake you up with the music on your MP3 player.
How does it sound?
If you’re an audiophile, you wouldn’t ask that question because you’d assume that it sounds like crap. So, if you want to know how it sounds, I have to give it a passing grade. It will make your music loud enough for everyone in the room (and even in the next room over) to hear. There is hardly any stereo separation. I tested it with Shellshock by New Order because I played that song so much as a teenager that I have memorized each moment in the song where it plays on one ear or the other. Unfortunately, it didn’t sound as good on this player as it does when I’m wearing headphones. It sounds better than mono, though.
The Hilton Hotel MP3 Player is a pretty cool machine. It looks like a normal clock radio, but if you want to jam out to your tunes without ear buds, it helps you out. Now, you don’t have to pack speakers in your luggage so that everyone can enjoy the music.