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Philips GoGear Muse 16GB review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £150
inc VAT

It isn't cheap, but Philips' GoGear Muse is an excellent MP3 player with great image quality and good video support.

Philips’ GoGear Muse looks and feels classier than older models thanks to its brushed metal back. The right-handed design is unchanged, which will put off left-handed users.

It’s one of the few players we’ve seen with built-in noise cancellation. This blocks out background noise in places such as a train carriage or aeroplane so you can listen to music without raising the volume to dangerous levels. It works surprisingly well and is almost as effective as third-party noise-cancellation and isolation earphones we’ve tried, but the circuitry works only with the included earphones. Thankfully, these sound detailed and clear with enough bass, although some instruments, particularly brass and strings, don’t sound as rich as we’d like, so you may still want a third-party set.

If you tire of your own music, you can use the built-in FM radio. Reception in our central London offices was free from static and sounded clear and crisp. Saving a station as a preset or recording a broadcast is quick and easy thanks to the options button and the logically organised menus.

We were also impressed with the quality of the 3in screen. Videos looked bright and sharp, with plenty of detail and contrast. The Muse can play H.264 as well as DivX and XviD files, but it insists on stretching videos with a 4:3 aspect ratio to fill the screen. Sadly there’s no option to override this, but videos with a 16:9 or an anamorphic aspect ratio look fine.

Battery life is impressive. The Muse lasted just under 35-and-a-half hours when playing music with noise cancellation deactivated. When playing videos, it lasted just over four hours. These are good times compared with portable players from other manufacturers, but previous GoGear players have lasted over 48 hours when playing music and over six hours when playing video, so owners of existing models may be reluctant to upgrade.

Nevertheless, Philips’ 16GB GoGear Muse is an excellent portable audio player in almost every respect. It’s a little expensive, but it’s worth every penny.


Price £150
Rating *****
Headphone Rating ****
Award Best Buy


Capacity 16.00GB
Formatted capacity 1.39GB
Interface USB
Storage medium flash memory
Battery and charge options lithium polymer, USB
Size 110x8x55mm
Weight 89g


Device has screen? Yes
Viewable size 3 in
Native resolution 400×240
Memory card support none
FM Radio yes
Audio record options microphone, radio
Video record options none
Supplied with headphones, USB cable

Test Results

Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 35h 25m
Tested battery life (Video playback) 4h 13m
500MB transfer time 1m 36s
Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback Yes
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback Yes
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support No
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video WMV playback Yes
Video MPEG-1 playback No
Video MPEG-2 playback No
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback No
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support Yes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support Yes
Download compatibility WMA-DRM subscription and download

Buying Information

Price per MB 0.9p
Warranty one year RTB

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