Cowon IAudio X5 MP3 Player Review
When you take out a few Benjamins out of your pocket, and are interested in buying an IPod, you automatically think about the Apple’s IPod. Well I suggest you take another look around and check out the iAudio. It has everything the IPod has plus a lot more. The averages include music playback, a photo viewer, and a top playlists editor, but when you add all of the extras… Video Playback, FM Radio, Voice Recording, Digital Camera Editing, etc. All of that just sounds dandy doesn’t it? In fact the iAudio suffers from a few problems.
The design is a little weird on the iAudio, as the play button in in the front of the gadget, as the other controls are towards the side, which can get a little tricky. Browsing music is a little annoying too, while the overall layout is decent, the controls make it a lot harder to do so, and the photo viewer isn’t too great. If you are great at multitasking, than take a shot at it, but you will have to go through more than one step just to get a picture to show up on the iAudio. Hopefully newer updates will make this MP3 Player a lot more easy to use, but it still is an amazing system.
The size of the iAudio is exactly the same in length, and a little lighter in weight than the Apple IPod. Instead of having a big wheel like the IPod has, it has a small joystick. The IPod wins in this department as the controls are much better on the IPod, but overall features packed in this gadget make this a top contender. Navigating this many files with a small joystick is very painful, and can take a while, so make sure you have the patients. Another weird thing about the iAudio is the extra adapter you need to plug into the bottom of the player to add songs, and charge it. This is not a huge device, but could have been integrated onto the thing. Finally the screen makes this thing look great. At 160 x 128 and 260,000 color resolution this is the top gadget on the market that support this type of graphics. An average setup, but a great looking gadget at most for everyone.
Playing movies isn’t that easy on the iAudio, as you must plug the USB cable into the computer, setup the program, and then convert. This can take some time, but will allow you to play your movies at a very minimal quality, 15 frames per second. The iAudio uses a program called Jet Audio to convert, which is a fairly nice program that ran bug free. One problem is for Mac users, they can’t access the program, so they are out of luck, until another version comes out. This may be an MP3 Player, but in my eyes it is an entertainment player, as it does so much more. As for music, this player supports five different EQ settings, and your various 3D sound settings including… BBE, Mach3Bass, MP Enhance, and 3D Surround. This add’s a whole new generation to how your music will sound to your ears. The FM Radio which holds 24 presets, and can be recorded as a 64 KBPS through 320 KBPS sound file. Not only can you record FM station songs, but you can record your voice, and save memo’s etc. Overall I think you will like the iAudio as the features are near endless.
Going back to viewing photos on the IAudio. The IPod has a better photo viewer on it than this. This lacks the layout, and overall capability that the IPod can handle, and even though this has such a nice picture, the IPod still holds the better edge for photo viewing. The IPod’s controls help it out mainly with feature, so the controls could have definitely been a lot better on the iAudio. Even though it is close, the iAudio still features a nice photo viewer, that if you get used to the controls can really love.
Sound quality was near perfect on the iAudio. We blasted the music to our ears, and didn’t hear any distortion. Unless you place the music on a Bass sound with the highest EQ settings, maybe you will get a tad of distortion, but people really don’t do that, as you will probably blow out your ear drum during the process. When we recorded songs from the Radio, it was like downloaded music, no change literally.
We tested the battery life of the iAudio and it lasted up to around 15 hours, which is pretty standard. I really like the iAudio overall, and plan on purchasing it. I don’t think I will throw away my IPod, but I will most likely use this just as much as I use my IPod.