27 x 17 x 8 cm
Classy, antique and clean design
Vast collection of golden oldies and the Geetmala
FM Radio and Bluetooth compatible
Low quality bass and treble
Lack of an adjustment switch to select particular songs
Saregama Carvaan Portable Digital Player Review
Music has a way of transcending time and across generations. The Saregama Carvaan Portable Digital Music Player will nurture the nostalgia in your heart, bringing a smile to your face and perhaps, a lump in your throat.
Saregama is India’s oldest music label. They have recordings in their database that go as far back as 1901. It owns sound recording as well as publishing rights to thousands of songs spanning over 14 different languages.
Vikram Mehra, the managing director, claims that the Saregama Carvaan’s USP is the way it simplifies how we listen to music. According to a survey conducted by the company, those of the age group above 35 years, find it difficult to access their favourite tracks in this digital era. It has been launched mainly to bring the music back into their lives, effortlessly.
Without much further ado, let’s get into the detailed review.
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What’s in the box?
- Saregama Carvaan Portable Digital Music Player
- USB cable for charging
- Adapter for USB cable
- Remote Controller
Design and Features
This device weighs around 1.5 kg, with 3.5 mm audio jack and 2 USB ports.
It has a beautiful vintage look. It will take you back to the days of transistors with its charming details. It is rectangular in shape with black detailing and a convenient handle to carry it around. The edges are smooth and rounded. There is a fairly good digital display on the front which shows the artist and song being played. It comes in five attractive colours: electric blue, porcelain white, walnut brown, oak-wood brown and charcoal grey.
There are three buttons on the front for Artist, Mood and Geetmala respectively. It also has a large rotary dial, below which, are the “back” and “forward” switches.
The side of the Carvaan has the volume control dial and a headphone out to connect external speakers. On the opposite side lie the “Saregama”, “USB”, “FM radio” and “Bluetooth” buttons. The backside is where you can find the charging and USB ports.
Once you power it up, you are asked to choose between artist, mood or Geetmala. You can change between artists and moods by rotating the dial.
For those of you who do not know, Geetmala was a weekly countdown of top Bollywood songs that used to air on Radio Ceylon and later on All India Radio from 1952 to 1984. The show was hosted by Ameen Sayani and was very popular in those days.
The artists available on the Carvaan player are Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Jagjit Singh, Mukesh, Talat Mahmood and more. The list is exhaustive. There are over 500 songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar alone.
You can also change songs as per your mood: Romance, Spiritual, Sad, Happy, Ghazal, Spiritual, Shakti, Film instrumental, Sufi and Hindustani Classical.
The Geetmala option resonates with Ameet Sayani’s mesmerizing voice. This portable device stores the entire 50 volumes of the Geetmala.
One of the interesting features of this device is that the ‘forward’ and ‘backward’ button plays random songs each time. This generates an element of surprise, similar to effect of listening to a radio.
That’s not all. You can also switch easily to FM channels. Even here, it will tune in to a random radio channel before you can select one for yourself. The Bluetooth compatibility and USB port ensures that you can play your own music from an external device as well.
This device has a playtime of around 5 hours and comes with a 1 year warranty.
How does it sound?
The Saregama Carvaan takes you on a trip down memory lane with its in-built collection of evergreen songs.
The sound quality is that of a vintage radio, so you cannot really expect the performance of a Bose speaker. However it is still loud enough to use as an efficient speaker at a small gathering.
Bass and treble are on the back foot in this digital player, to give importance to the mid-tones which are beautifully clear. Since music mostly focused on the vocals in the yesteryears, this is not a bad adjustment at all.
Music is an experience. The look, feel and sound of the Carvaan will transport the listener to another time, place and emotion. There isn’t a price you can put on that. What it doesn’t have in sound quality and performance, this musical gem makes up for, with heart. The classy transistor design is one of its most distinguishing features. If you’re an old soul, you will fall in love with it at first sight. This is a wonderful gift for a parent or grandparent to get them reminiscing about their golden days.
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