The 2U4U connects to the PC via its built-in USB interface. Its box claims a MAX of 4 Mbits per second, and it stays true to the claim. In fact, the transfer rate holds at 4 Mbits and never seems to drop below the mark, resulting in a four to five second transfer time on average per song.
Recording Quality: Not Too Shabby
The most boasted feature of the player is the ability to record WMAs in real time, be it from the internal mic or the direct line-in.
The microphone quality is surprisingly good. From across the room, the mic picked up voices fairly well, better than most mics of the same form. At the 8 kbps, from around two feet away, the WMA recording was a little noisy, but definitely clear enough for practical use. At 128 kbps, the microphone recording was clear with a few sound artifacts from the compression.
The quality of the direct recording through Line-in was as expected. To test the WMA recording quality, I set the recording bitrate at 128 kbps, so that I could compare it against the same audio track encoded on the PC at 128 kbps in MP3 and WMA formats. I connected a CD-player to the Line-In port of the 2U4U and recorded a track in real time. The resulting 128 kbps WMA file was of lesser quality than the 128 kbps WMA I encoded from the same audio track on the computer. The WMA file recorded in real time contained more artifacts and was a little bit noisier than the PC-encoded version. Though the artifacts were a smidge distracting, the overall quality was acceptable.
Compared to the MP3 recorded on the PC, the real time-encoded WMA file was of lesser quality. The PC-encoded MP3 was cleaner, and had far fewer audio artifacts. The PC-encoded MP3 and WMA tie in terms of quality. The MP3 was a bit quieter, but played clearly and had very little noise. The WMA, however, had a brighter sound, but had more audio artifacts than the MP3.