Normally, $300 for an mp3 player wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows. Maybe it’s on the high-end side with a ton of storage space, right? Well, this $300 mp3 player is made for kids, and has a capacity of 2 GB. The Hörbert has some explaining to do.
The Hörbert is a hand-crafted, wooden mp3 player designed to be kid-friendly. The frame is made of wood, but the Hörbert also contains anodized aluminum and stainless steel. The key to Hörbert is its 11 multi-colored buttons found on its face. The top nine buttons can be programmed to play music or audiobooks that parents can upload, while the bottom two buttons are dedicated to fast forward and return to beginning.
The upload software for Hörbert is compatible with both PCs and Macs. Content is actually uploaded to a 2 GB memory card, which is then inserted into the back of the device by the parent.
Child safety and comfort is also considered. The Hörbert is very simple to use – the only controls are those buttons, a volume knob on top, and an on/off switch. The whole device weighs only a little over two pounds, but the wooden construction should prove sturdy enough to withstand at least a little bit of childhood punishment. Rather than relying on external electronic parts for power, the Hörbert opts for four AA batteries that are placed within the mp3 player. The extra cost of batteries might be an annoyance for some, but the design does make it a little safer for children, since the batteries are tucked away and out of sight.
For an extra $12, the Hörbert can be customized with an engraving on the front of the device. The whole device is awfully expensive, but it is more child-friendly and easy-to-use than just about any other mp3 player out there. The 2 GB memory card is lacking by today’s standards, and it’s unclear whether or not a larger memory card can be substituted after purchase. You can buy Hörbert for about $300 after July 2nd, for an especially lucky child.