RCA Lyra MP3 Player - RCA MP3 Player Review

The Lyra range of MP3 players from RCA has some attractive and functional choices. There is a good selection consisting of -

  • Eight flash MP3 Player Models
  • Three hard drive MP3 Player Models
  • Two Multimedia Video and Audio Players.

RCA Lyra MP3 Flash Player

The flash players range from 128 MB to 1 GB in memory. In this age of 100 GB hard drives and 6 GB flash memory, it's unusual to see 128 MB MP3 players, but three of the eight RCA flash players are this size.

These small players are a good choice for budget-conscious buyers. Even at 128 MB, they can hold about 32 songs, and all of them have a SD/MMC slot for expandable memory.

In the 1 GB flash memory size, RCA has the traditional stick shape player (M1001GB) and also a nicely designed player that places a circular control pad at one end (RD2317). This last model has an optional built-in FM transmitter that will beam the signal to any FM receiver in your car or home. This is a great feature that expands the usefulness of the MP3 player.

RCA Lyra Hard Drive MP3 Player

The hard drive players come in 4 GB, 5 GB and 20 GB sizes. Again a bit on the small side, but they make for less expensive players when compared with large-capacity flash memory MP3 players.

The two cheaper models (list price under $200) come with monochrome displays, but the 20 GB model has a color screen.

RCA Lyra Multimedia Player

Those interested in video playback should take a look at the two video models offered by RCA. The RD2780 has an ample 3.5" screen, a memory card slot and comes complete with a full range of accessories including AC/DC adaptor, cables and a car adaptor kit. It can record analog sound sources and analog video sources, converting them on the fly to MP3 and MPEG4 respectively.

On the audio side, the RD2780 supports MP3, WMA and MP3 pro. This is one of the few MP3 players on the market that supports MP3 pro ? an advanced compression scheme that offers better sound and smaller file sizes than MP3.

The Lyra X3000 has a 3.6" screen, built-in speakers and a 20 GB hard drive and memory expansion slot. Video playback formats include MPEG4, DivX and WMV9, and it can record video directly from a TV, VCR or camcorder.

With a retail price just under $400 the X3000 is a great deal. It has tons of features and is at this time one of the few Personal Video Players on the market with recording functions. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is user replaceable ? a nice touch that puts this RCA player above the Apple iPod in many people's books. Lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan, and usually need to be replaced after about 2 or 3 years. The iPod battery cannot be replaced by the user. The entire unit has to be sent to Apple for battery replacement.

Lyra MP3 players offer great value. Although a bit on the small side in terms of storage capacity the addition of a memory card slot on many models makes up for this. The sound is great and RCA has seen fit to include relatively decent Sennheiser ear buds. These should satisfy all but the most demanding of listeners.

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