Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: NewKube MP3 Player

Bluetree Electronics, a maker of next generation audio technology, has introduced the newKube to the Philippine market.  It's the world's smallest MP3 player that delivers great audio sound. 

The newKube is actually the third generation of the renowned Kube family of compact MP3 players that deliver clear, crisp audio playback of music optimized by genre in a tiny device with a long battery life. A fully charged newKube offers a non-stop audio experience for six hours without running out of battery power (as the manual indicates).

The newKube has a new design, comes in new colors (red, black, pink and white), and offers a number of new features not available on earlier generations of the Kube family of MP3 devices, including:

Lock button - to prevent accidentals
Repeat button - lets you to playback the same song, all songs in sequence or in random; not found in comparable simple MP3 players
Jump Folder - allows you to get to the specific song location, also not found in simple MP3 players
EQ Pre-sets - lets users select music settings for optimized playback of Pop, Rock, Classical music and other genres.

The newKube measures in at one cubed inch (the size of a small ice cube or dice), is easy to use, and offers up to six hours of continuous playback in a single hour USB charge. The newKube offers a removable microSD slot making music capacity adaptable based on the size of the installed memory card instead of pre-defined internal memory. 

When I got hold of the NewKube, I was kinda skeptical.  I thought...really, will this work? But it sure did! The all-around sound was awesome! The NewKube comes with a pair of earphones. There was really nothing special with the earphones, but when paired with the NewKube, it felt so light that I barely noticed that I have something hanging around my neck. The package shows a different set of earphones being used, so I guess you can use a higher-quality earphones or headphones, for a more rewarding sound experience.

The package also comes with a charging USB cable that you must plug on your computer. Charging time takes around one (1) hour. The same cable is used to transfer music to the unit.  It also includes a 2GB Micro SD card.  Audio format supported - MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI.  Check the manual HERE.

The downside - Because it's made of plastic, it seems so fragile that I always felt I need to be extra careful in pushing the buttons.  And since the shape is square, 'though tiny, it protrudes on the pocket of my skinny jeans.

The newKube is available in selected Astrovision and Astroplus stores at a reasonable price of P1599. For more info, please visit

I'm giving my readers a chance to get one of these via a blog giveaway, so watch out for it!


  1. I want to have this :) i will enjoy listenin' and enjoy every beat

  2. Great review! You've got all the info that I need. It makes me want to have this gadget right at this moment. More power Manila Shopper! =)

  3. Reading this review got me interested enough to learn about the product some more. I've been to the site to look up its specs ( and I'd have to say, I came away impressed. Up to 32 GB external storage capacity? 18 Hz to 22,000 Hz frequency range? Great. Not necessarily wow, but great.

    My problem is that I'm not a casual listener. Sure, I listen to music on my phone mostly while I'm on commute, but I still like it to sound as if I'm listening to it live on a studio. And I have the necessary apps (Neutron Music Player, Noozxoide EIZO-rewire) and equipment (AA HP550, FiiO E11 amp) to ensure that. And I think newKube, while cute, will never displace even an mp3-playing feature phone based on what it delivers now.

    newKube doesn't have a display. For a player that supports up to 32 GB, you're restricted to a repeat button and a jump folder button to navigate through your music. If I were to consume all 32 GB of space in a microSD card, something I am fully capable of given the sheer number and the format of the music I listen to, I would necessarily organize my songs into folders and subfolders. Navigating through them would be tricky without even a basic display.

    Battery life could be longer. Few people would listen to music for six hours straight, but people are always on the go and it usually takes a while to find the downtime to sit down and charge a gadget. That's how the real world is, and six hours' playtime runs out too quickly. And because the battery is built into the unit, it's not as if you can carry around extra batteries ready to use when needed.

    Regarding file types, at least it plays WAV files. But I was hoping it could play FLAC files too because while both WAV and FLAC are lossless audio formats, WAV files are needlessly too big, and WAV files do not support metadata info. That could be a problem when you have to move your audio from your desktop library to your newKube - in order to enjoy the same lossless audio quality, you have to convert your FLAC files into WAV and lose all the tagged info, as well as bloat up the file sizes.

    Finally, the design. I don't know if it's meant to be worn around the neck. More people will still stuff players into their pockets or bags, because hanging the player from a neck strap requires headphones or IEMs of a certain lenght. While they are available, they are not standard and are quite hard to find if you have to replace the ones that come with the unit. If you use regular-length headphone wires, they can easily tangle with the neck strap especially when you're using it while jogging. Its square body can also be a bit annoying. A square design works well if you're using it as a paperweight also, but you won't.

    Overall, it's a cute little toy, but not the kind you would want to have if you really like to listen to music.

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