CNET is available in the following editions:
Read our full review
Add your review
Good: The sound which I hear in my ears is superior, and more full bodied than my previous player.
Bad: The adapter which has to be used - The perplexing controls which you are greeted with.
Comment: First sight of this player and I liked it from the word go.
Once I had opened the box and found all the bits and pieces you get with it, I was quite excited. I had all the equipment they had given me already, for example the male to male stereo headphone jack, or the usb connector, but another one couldn't hurt.
I then charged it up (plugging in the adapter at the bottom you must plug in) and at the same time, I transfered my 4GB collection of music from my computer to it. This took around 8-10 minutes. Which to me is a respectable time. This only applies if you have usb 2.0 remember.
I tried to get the hand of the controls and menu's also. This took a little bit more time than transfereing the songs.
I couldn't work out how to get to the menu, or get to the other features. I had to go a long way to get to it. I kept at it and eventually found my way around.
I updated the firmware, and there is a noticable difference in things they have changed.
After a few hours (about 2 and a half) the screen read completed (so it was charged). I pulled it our of the adapter immediatly, and began to use it.
The sound quality is quite amazing. It takes time to get the right sound, but once you have it, you wouldn't want to change it. I had a Zen Touch before this player, and I can say that the settings I have at the moment sound more full bodied. This could be because I have ripped my music at a much higher bit-rate, taking advantage of the Ogg playback feature, or it could be because the sound enhancements the player features. Obviously, it would vary between genres of music. My genre is rock, and I use Shure in ear headphones.
The video playback is great for the size of screen, although you would struggle to keep interested in a movie for more than 30 minutes.
FM radio in my area sounds great too, I was able to record a quick sample of music. I wasn't so happy when I found out I couldn't delete any files. This means photo, music, recording, video.
Voice recorder is good quality too.
I haven't been able to test the line-in feature, although I might do. At the moment, I record music at home through a laptop, and other such equipment. I wouldn't mind seeing if I don't get an annoying hiss through the line-in on this player. Although it would be more annoying, as in order to multitrack, I would have to transfer the music across each and everytime after recording. But there you go.....
The joystick on this player is a little bit suspect, but only for the first 30 minutes of use, as you will accidently do something you don't want it to do.
The player is smaller and lighter than my previous Zen Touch.
The headphone jack on the side is a little bit of an odd place to have it, but it works for me I guess!
One more feature I noticed which was quite nice was the ability to loop a particular part in a track. You press the button once, it will select the begginning of the loop, press it again, it will do the loop end, and it will keep looping until you press it again.
I would recommend this player to pretty much anybody, especially people who love music (obviously), but also want to hear that higher quality.
Good: The sound, Looks and features
Bad: Controls and adapter for line-in/line-out/charger/usb
Comment: It's a superb player.
It takes some time for you to get used to, as the controls are a little complexing at first.
It took me a good half an hour to get the sound I really like, but now I have it, I couldn't ask for anymore.
The video is as good as you could get on a screen of that size.
Props to Cowon for this one, I had never heard of them before!
Log in with your CNET UK or Facebook account to post a user review, or click Join to create an account
Please log in, register or login with Facebook to add a review or comment
Ask your Facebook friends and Twitter followers if you should buy the Cowon iAudio X5 (30GB)
More MP3 Players in Crave
About CBS Interactive
Copyright © 2013 CBS Interactive Limited. All rights reserved.