Philips GoGEAR SoundDot MP3 Player (SA4DOT02BN/37)


I recently purchased this mp3 player, as I was looking for a cheap device with long lasting battery; Philips has a nice reputation regarding battery lifetime in its devices so I went for the SoundDot. Packaging contains all necessary stuff (such as multilingual printed manual and warranty info), as well as a pair of headphones. I was surprised to see that the headphones were not Philips branded; instead they are low quality, generic ones.

Operating SoundDot is really easy: One button for Vol (-) and Previous track, one button for Vol (+) and Next track and one button for Power/Play-Pause/Shuffle. Sound quality is really good, but volume is too low with the provided headphones; there is now way that you can listen to music while walking on a rather busy street. I saw a little improvement while using another set of headphones. I also noticed that when the volume reaches maximum, it beeps three times and playback stops for a couple of seconds before it resumes. I am not sure if this is a normal behavior of the player, as this is not mentioned anywhere in the manual.

The Songbird software (free download from Philips) is cumbersome (more than 100MB) and not easy to use. There are a lot of confusing menus and small icons, as well as panels all over the interface. I am working with various types of software for the last 7 years more than 10 hours daily and still find the SongBird software confusing and not easy to use. In addition, it doesn’t work properly with Windows 7 nor with Windows 8. In both cases the SoundDot is identified but it is not possible to check for a firmware upgrade, as I receive a “Connection issue” message all the time, even with firewall disabled. At the same time, Songbird is able to open web pages within the app (e.g. the registration problem) so it is not a connection issue. I finally managed to update the firmware of my Sounddot using another laptop, but still the software is buggy and the volume issue was not solved…

Battery seems to last for more than 4-5 hours but I haven’t tested that thoroughly yet. SoundDot is really use to charge by plugging it directly to a USB port of a computer or a USB charger plugged in a power outlet (no cables needed). It is really lightweight and portable, while the clip is also convenient.

To sum up: The issues identified is the low quality headphones and the low volume level even at the maximum setting. Songbird is also a problem, but I just avoid it for transferring MP3s to Songbird (I just drag & drop my files through Windows Explorer). Since I got it for less than 20 euros I cannot complain much but still I do not consider it as my best purchase ever…  in the meantime I have tried to use the Philips forum in order to ask about these issues but there was no way that I could do so, as I kept receiving an error message about the format of my birthday date (which I have carefully entered…).

Edit 25/8/2013: I finally found out that the low volume limitation can be passed-by, simply by keep pressing the Vol(+) button after the 3 beeps, and release it after you hear another 2 beeps. This signal means that the limit is no longer valid and you can increase the volume by pressing the same button, as usual. Hallelujah! I can now listen to music while walking in a busy street or while commuting by train!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Philips GoGEAR SoundDot MP3 Player (SA4DOT02BN/37)

  1. Hi, I have one too. I am having a problem with it. I copied 2 mp3 files to it. But it does not play. Pressing any buttons only hear beep sound. What??

    1. Well, there is not much to say here; just make sure that the following apply in your case:

      1. the mp3 files are playable in your computer and that they meet the specifications mentioned in the the user manual of the mp3 player
      2. the mp3 player is switched on (you can see the green led light where the headphone jack is) and that it has enough charging
      3. your headphones are functioning correctly in another device

      If you check these and still the mp3 player is not functioning, then you may have a faulty mp3 player in your hands…

  2. Quote:
    “In addition, it doesn’t work properly with Windows 7 nor with Windows 8. In both cases the SoundDot is identified but it is not possible to check for a firmware upgrade, as I receive a “Connection issue” message all the time, even with firewall disabled. At the same time, Songbird is able to open web pages within the app (e.g. the registration problem) so it is not a connection issue. I finally managed to update the firmware of my Sounddot using another laptop […]”

    I have Win 8.1 and had suffered from the very same problem. But finally managed to properly check my SoundDot’s firmware update simply by running Songbird app as an Admin via right mouse button click on a shortcut, as it’s mentioned in the official Philips FAQ page here: http://goo.gl/kpn7yV

    Hope it will still help someone too!

    1. Thank you for sharing the tip; I admit I was not aware of that. However, I do not plan to re-install this huge and laggy software unless a firmware revision for the mp3 player becomes available. Then I will be forced to install it, update the firmware and then immediately uninstall it!

  3. I have one of this, but my pc doesn’t recognize it.I have problems with instaling the program.I can’t open the mp3 folder so I can’t put any songs in it.Any help please?

    1. Hm… hard to say. I have no problem with that; I just plug it in any USB port and then it shows up in My Computer as a removable disk. Then I just copy-paste any mp3 file and I am ready to go. I am sorry I cannot help you with that… 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s