First things: The BibleStick is a dedicated digital audio player that comes pre-loaded with the entire New Testament in audio. I received the ESV audio version but apparently it also comes in an NIV, KJV, and Kids flavor as well.
Set up out of the box, as expected, was simple and the whole process was much more enjoyable because I didn’t have to fumble around the house trying to find the single AAA battery needed to fire it up. Battery is included. The sound quality of the supplied earbuds is surprisingly good. Paradoxically, the most complex part of the set up was associated with the L and R markings on the earbuds – are they designed for left or right handed people? It must make a difference otherwise they would not have been labeled. If I mistakenly put them in backwards would the audio play backwards? Finally I through caution to the wind and popped one in each ear (which, incidentally, is much more comfortable than sticking both of them in one ear—not recommended) and powered the player on.
The player is small, only slightly larger than a thumb drive or a pack of gum but it has a solid feel. Time will tell, but my initial reaction is that it will endure my innate clumsiness and likely last longer than some of the cell phones, two laptops, and one very small kitten that had the misfortune of falling into (I should say out of) my hands. The volume up/down and next/previous track controls as well as the on/off button are well designed and have a pleasant tactile feel.
As I mentioned earlier the sound quality is good but really the most important part of the entire shabang is the fidelity of the audio to the Bible. In this respect, the BibleStick is excellent. The background sounds, great voice talent, and first class production quality is as good as any available commercial product in my opinion. Given this and the mission of the Faith Comes By Hearing ministry, I will definitely pick up more BibleSticks in the future as gifts and giveaways and have no hesitation recommending it to others as well.
By the way, turns out that reversing the earbuds doesn’t cause the audio to run backwards after all.