on September 6, 2012
So, this was my first cowon player and I was excited to get it. When I did receive it, I was visually impressed. It's a solid player that feels good in the hands. It might me a bit of a problem to operate with one hand because of it's width, but it's definitely doable. The volume and the track controls buttons on the outside are a definite plus.
Moving on to the interface. It's serviceable. That's the best way I can describe it. You have your basic artists, genre, album view but there is a bit of a issue here. Two disc compilations albums were not in order when I browsed them in the album view. But when I went to the folder view, they were in order. There is also a album grid view, and I had the same order issue through that view. The screen quality is not the best, but everything is clear and I had no issues reading the track names. All is all, the UI could be a bit more organized but it does do the job.
The screen itself is a resistive touch screen, meaning that there needs to be a bit more pressure involved when touching it. I took me a bit to get used to but I had no issues after a couple of days. Sometimes, it selects something that I don't want to, but it works for the most part. It definitely takes getting used to though.
Sound quality is out of this world. Seriously, it is. Flat out extraordinary. I could hear layers of songs that I could not before. And there are so many presets that you can choose from. And furthermore, you can customize your settings individually. One of the best features of this, and other cowon, player[s].
Another extraordinary feature is the battery life. When I got the player, the battery was fully charged and it's been a week now and it's only half drained. This thing will last on long trips. So, for those who want long battery life, this is the one to look for.
There is one aspect of this player that made me not keep it: no gapless playback. Most of my music is DJ mixes and there was a noticeable interruption between each song. This was highly unfortunate, as I was really planning to keep the player. Note: I was using MP3 format. You might have better luck on other formats, such as FLAC.
So, in the end, it's a great player, no doubt. I hope gapless playback gets added into it in the future. For someone who does not have DJ mixes in their collection, I would highly recommend this. Long battery life, drag and drop system for songs and it also supports a microSD slot, so the total space can be 64 GB. Price could be less expensive considering the screen technology is not that great but it's not that bad of a deal for $223. Give it a shot!
on January 20, 2013
I was looking for an MP3 player for my audiobooks and oldtime radio shows. My primary needs where a few...
- The ability to play low bitrate mp3 files.
- Resume mp3 files in conjuntion with a sleep timer.
- Long playback time in between charges was also a concern.
After searching around on the internet and reading reviews I decided on the X9. It plays low bitrate mp3 and avi files no problem. I can resume mp3 and avi files also. The player also has a very long battery life between charges. I don't use the other funtions on the player so I can't comment on them.
- The external speaker is loud enough if there isn't too much ambient noise.
- File transfers are 5.30MB/s via usb 2.0. You can also delete files and folders.
- Large 1mb images take several seconds to load.
- External controls are nice. Play, Pause, Fastforward, Rewind, Skip tracks, Volume and Sleep. Quickly pressing the power button twice turns the display off while still allowing access to external controls.
- Mp3 bitrates are 8-320kbps. Mp3's resume where you left off whether you shutdown manually or through the sleep timer.
- DivX v5 and XviD v1.03,v1.20 .avi video files play fine. AVI's resume where you left off whether you shutdown manually or through the sleep timer.
- Through the bookmarking system I can bookmark mp3 and avi files. From there I can resume where I left off anywhere within the file(s).
- The battery life between charges is 110hrs for mp3 files which is very long.
- The (display off) timer settings are 10sec, 30sec, 1min, 3min, 5min, 10min.
- Quickly pressing the power button twice turns off the display. To turn the display back on quickly press power once. External physical controls still function with the display off.
- The (auto off) timer can be set for 1-5min, 10min, 20min, 30min. The player will automatically turn off at that time during in-activity.
- The (sleep) timer can be set for 10min, 20min, 30min, 40min, 50min, 60min, 70min, 80min, 90min, 100min, 110min, 120min. At this time the player will go into sleep mode. If you were listening to an mp3 or watching a video the player will resume but pause until you push play next time you turn the player on.
- I purchased and installed an additional 32gb micro memory card. The card is read as an additional but seperate storage space. Both on the player and in Windows.
Two things of importance I think should be mentioned.
If you install an additional memory card it will not be shown under system information. The BIOS version [2.02], total physical memory and free space of the physical memory is displayed. This is only for the initial on-board memory. However, the additional memory card is addressed and can be used. You do this using Windows Explorer or something similar. You can make directories and files and get physical info from the additional memory card. Once you copy your files to the player you can access them using the players file Browser. From there you can choose what to play. A simple BIOS update will solve the incorrect system information with add-on memory.
Also, communication with Cowon is impossible it seems. I've sent them several emails regarding positive comments on various things plus the add-on memory issue. No return emails have been recieved. Others on the internet have had similar problems communicating with Cowon. It's interesting to note that their website is void of any forum. The non communication issue might be a problem if warranty issues ever come up.
Those two issues don't really bother me as I can easily deal with them. A novice user might have a problem that's why I gave the player 4 stars instead of 5. Overall I'm very pleased with this player because it meets my needs and then some.
on October 14, 2012
The cowon x9 has great sound quality and great support for almost all sound formats including FLAC which is great for audio enthusiasts. The support for micro sd cards is a great addition for storing those larger file sizes too.
The UI is useable but not perfect, and the screen is partly to blame for it because it is resistive touch. The resistive touch has a suspended layer that you essentially push into and while its responsive 90% of the time once in a while touching the corner doesn't work, which is where the menu button to exit applications are and to go back to the music listings while in the music application. Also since the cowon x9 is a little bit bigger than other mp3 pushing the music listing button is harder than it should be one handed because it is in the upper left hand corner.
Other than that it has a great battery life, i only have to charge it every 2 weeks and i use it everyday. I have yet to have any software issues or crashes and the build quality is excellent. I would recommend getting this, but i advise the 32 gb version because you will be switching less sd cards if you have alot of music like me. I would also highly advise this over ipod if you value sound quality at all.
on March 20, 2013
OK, first off, i want to say that i don't consider myself an audiophile guy however, when it comes to music, i want the best listening music experience i can get be it clean highs, clean mids, and clean tight/low bass. My philosophy is, if the mids/tweets/bass are present! i better hell be able to hear it!!!
While looking for an MP3 player to replace my crappy SONY, i was geared towards the Galaxy player 5.0 and also an Ipod! At this point! i cared less about what i get as long as the quality is great! After reading tons of Ipod fans and Galaxy fan battles...i decided to look else where. And that is when i stumbled upon the COWON X9! I know there are many other greater players out there..i just didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for it! i needed something in my price range! and the COWON X9 was perfect! I always want to hear before i buy...so this time i took a huge gamble! After a few weeks of more researching, i decided that yup, i am going to take the plunge!
After getting my Cowon X9 Player! i was like boy! this thing is a beast!....
Results of my experience:
- Super long battery life! stayed on for about 10 hours and batter hasn't even budged.
- Heard things/music instruments in my music Ive never heard before!!
- Bass has lots of power! Also lots of options on what type of bass you like. I like it around 70-80 htz and plays them just how i like it!
- I don't care about the touch screen, Its meant for music! thus the outside buttons are great!
- EQ is super customizable! something IPod and Galaxy can only dream of having!
- Very powerful built in amp!
- Powers my Sennheiser HD800 Perfectly!!! Ive never seen them so happy before :D
I also have a great killer car audio and home theater. for home i have Pioneer Elite receiver, Klipse all around speakers and woofers. And for my car, Eclipes 8443 head unit, MB quarts all around for speakers, Dimaond Amps and Illumapro subwoofers! its all about SQ for me! And i have to say! I am so happy i can add the COWON X9 to my list of awesome collection! couldnt be more happier!
Ive listend to many Ipod and Galaxy players...and I have to say...coming from a guy who enjoys music....COWON X9 was def the perfect choice! this blows Ipod and Galaxy out of the water in terms of SQ!!!!
on January 26, 2014
Yo Cowon!!! This is the best MP3 player. An ipod can be for casual listeners, but Cowon is for the real music fan. You can get alot of bass and sound quality is speechless. BBE Mach3Bass mode is insane with nice bass that doesn't effect the quality of the track. If you want more bass, you can try X-Bass mode at a cost of sound quality. Ipod has no bass whatsever even with apps installed. There is also this mode called BBE headphone 1 which has high sound quality. I like BBE Mach3Bass.
The device looks nice and looks even nicer than any MP3 player even the Ipod touch. I still like Ipod wheel though, still think they are the best. But, who cares when you get best sound quality and bass at the same time. One thing Cowon failed to master is the touch screen. It's terrible. Terrible terrible terrible. I actually use my 3DS pen to choose tracks. It recognize your finger when clicking on anything, but try sliding the screen, it's a torture. Thats why I use a pen on the screen. Remember when touch screens were released on different devices? Unresponsive. That's how it feels with the X9. It's just the sliding that's all.
Pros: Sound quality, bass, best looking MP3 player, different modes (EQ), battery life
Cons: touch screen (sliding) errrrr
on January 15, 2013
Got a "like new" used one for an unbelievably low price and I'm in love with it's great music playback and how you can pick the sound enhancement from a wide selection. Probably the BEST mp3 player I've had in a long time (and I've used almost all name brand players - ipod, zune, zen, sansa, sony, etc.). If the rating was only for a music player - this would rate a 5 star.
However, this unit is very expensive and sold as a multimedia player. The rest of the functions are not very good or very elementary (calculator, stopwatch as examples). The biggest flaw is the video playback capability which is nonfunctional for any higher resolution video files and there is no support for widely used mp4. When you attempt to play a video that it can't handle, the unit will freeze with no way out except to do a reset (holding the volume -and + sides down together until it shuts off). So, basically you're paying a high price for an important component that does not work very well.
The menu is a step back from all other players that have a far more simple and intuitive structure. There's 2 pages of menu (accessed by pressing menu option 1 or 2). None of the navigation functions are clearly explained and it takes some experimenting to be able to properly work the unit. Although you'll learn to navigate thru the menu structure after a while, it just isn't set up cleanly. One saving grace is that you can use Windows Media Player to sync and can even create playlists this way (otherwise creating playlists is virtually impossible to figure out).
Some people complain about the resistive screen but I find it sensitive enough - it works better with some sort of stylus than your finger but stylus is not provided nor is there a place to hold it. Also, I really like the fact that the screen goes dark to save on power (you can adjust timing for this) and doesn't light up when you use the nicely positioned buttons to adjust volume or skip back or forward on music.
Finally, the battery life is AWESOME - longer than any other player I'm aware of. The unit has a proprietary connector which can be hard to insert. Do not force the plug into the unit - line the thing up and it slips in easily initially with a final push needed to firmly connect. It takes some force to disconnect so I'm a little concerned about the longevity of this connector but so far, no problems.
If (actually WHEN) the unit freezes, reset the unit by pushing the volume button - and + side down together. Do not do this while the unit is connected to the computer (it won't work). Do it when it's disconnected or connected to a external power source through a wall charger.
GREAT music player with LONG battery life, basically unuseable video playback functionality, so-so for every else. Not worth the full retail price but great buy if you find a clean used one for under $150, if you are particular about your music.
UPDATE of Feb, 2013 - the more I use it the more I'm blown away by the sound quality and ability to customize the sound almost infinitely. I've set up 4 seperate personal settings (yes that's easy to do) with exact sound customizations for different moods.This player definitely blows all others out of the water when it comes to music playback. Also I've found the casing to be extremely durable - I've dropped the unit couple of times with not a mark on it. Seems the casing is not just a cheap plastic but some high-tech molded plastic/ceramic combination. My negative comments about it's menu structure and video playback capability still holds but , dang it, it's an AWESOME music player, I'm keeping mine until it falls apart (which probably will not be anytime soon).
on January 23, 2013
I honestly wanted to like this product. I like the screen size (especially in comparison to my C2), I like the touch responsiveness (Takes getting used to, but it's fine), and I like the audio effects. The problem is the hardware.
To start off, the connector that came with it didn't work. It wouldn't even fit into the player! It was impossible to connect with the connector that came with it. I had to use my C2's connector. From there, it gets worse. Out of the box, you couldn't even slightly tap the device while it was connected, or it would lose connection to the computer, and reconnect. This was definitely the device, my C2 does not have this problem at all. To top it off, a few times while it was just sitting there and I was doing my thing it still reset randomly.
The music sounds amazing, it does, but I have no faith that the product will be chargeable by next week. I returned this item in less than 12 hours because of how fidgety the connector was on the device itself. I felt like tomorrow it wouldn't be working.
I thought about leaving this as "Nearly DOA", but considering other reviews complaining about the same exact things, I do not have any trust that it will continue to work, which is sad because it barely does now.
on October 1, 2014
First off, the sound quality is phenomenal, which is what has made this experience so painful. My previous mp3 players have lasted me years, but this one started to degrade almost immediately. The screen would register touch an inch(!) or more from where I was actually touching and eventually even the sound started becoming imbalanced and it was almost impossible to find a good position for plugging it into my pc. No big deal, defective copy, I'll just send it back and buy a new one. SAME PROBLEM with the screen, in under 2 weeks. Started mild one morning, completely gone by the next day. Very weird, and their tech support is incompetent and possibly non-existent, honestly. I think this is my first amazon review. If this thing can go down hill so fast in 2 weeks, I don't want to know what kind of fiendishly random and maddening defects it has in store years down the line.
on June 7, 2013
- Pretty good audio. I am still playing around with the EQ configurations and different sets of headphones, but the audio quality is pretty high. I only play FLAC on the device. I got it because I wanted an audio enthusiast level experience and I would say it delivers.
- Battery life is astounding. I've never really had to put it in for a dedicated charging session. I just plug it in when I add files (which has been about once daily) and the battery meter has never budged. I probably use it about an hour a day. I've been using it for about two weeks.
- Feels solid. The plastic body has a soft texture to it that is nice to the touch and doesn't pick up fingerprints.
- It does lock up. I tried to play a FLAC file that may have had a corrupted or non-standard header on it. The GUI became immediately unresponsive. I tried to plug it into the laptop to prompt the sync menu but it didn't work. I tried to hard reboot it by pressing the audio up and down keys at the same time. Now the thing is unresponsive with the screen off. It is "on" because when I plug it into the laptop it makes the chime like a USB device is connecting. I read online that someone had a similar issue and just let the battery run all the way out, plugged it in for a charge, and it booted back up. It looks like I'll be waiting for that to happen now. I guess that makes the battery life a con? :P
* UPDATE * - It was a 4800Hz FLAC file that locked it up. I ran it through media monkey conversion just to make sure it was clean and it did the same thing. Luckily, I had just plugged it into USB after the battery had run out. I was able to let the battery drain quickly and get it to boot again. Also, the letting the battery drain works. I didn't try until 3 days later, so I don't know exactly how long it too.
- I'm not a fan of proprietary connectors. A standard USB cable would have been nice.
- This isn't your smartphone's touchscreen. It is functional, but it will take a minute to re-adjust to 1997 level touchscreen performance.
- The interface isn't straight forward. Again, it's functional, just not immediately intuitive. You will spend a little bit of time learning it. I had to, at least once, manually tell it to update the library.
- I bought the x9 case. It's not quite a hard case and not quite a gel case. It has a slight yellowish tinge that reminds me of plastics from the 70's for some reason. You don't get a good feel for if you press the power button through it. The other buttons are fine, though. You get a satisfying, small tactile feedback that lets you know you pressed it.
- I got the screen protector. It's just a screen protector. It didn't change the performance of the touchscreen and was easy enough to install if you have done a few before on other devices.
- I haven't had the USB cable issue others have reported. I push mine in until it clicks and it just works. I don't have to push it abnormally hard and nothing feels loose or cheap.
- I haven't had the 64bit OS problem one person reported. I have used it with Win7 and Win8, both 64 bit with no issues.
- I bought a 64gig micro SD card, but haven't really used it yet. I put it in the device knowing it was formatted exFAT expecting to be able to format it to FAT32 in the device. I found no option to do so. When I plugged the x9 into my Win8 machine with the 64gig card formatted exFAT it showed up as 28gig. I was about to format the card to FAT32 on my linux machine and put it back in the device but the x9 locked up before I was able to perform that experiment. I guess I'll find out if it will support all 64gig cards after the battery discharges and I can boot it again.
- My rating reflects that I read reviews before purchase and was expecting this might happen. If this blindsided me I would probably be upset.
- With a solid firmware at this price point I would probably give it 5 stars.
on January 29, 2013
EDIT: Since I have had this player a little over a year now, it has lost 2 stars. Sound quality still phenomenal, when it actually works. I have had to send it back to the company twice already and about to send it for a third time. The first two times the product was completely unresponsive. Sent it into the company and they claimed that it worked fine and there were no problems with it and it was probably just a dead battery. I'm not stupid, I know how to charge a battery, that definitely was not the issue. Now the screen won't respond to my touch. The player still works other wise but I can't use the touch screen at all. I'm about to fill out an RMA to request a new player. Its ridiculous that it breaks this often. I'm hoping that they are able to send me a new one because when it works the player is the best I've ever had, but I'm sick of having all these problems.
I can honestly say this is the best mp3 player I have ever owned. The sound quality is great, love the BBE+ as well as the fact that you can create custom EQ settings (still can't believe iPods and a lot of other players don't have this feature). I listen to a little of everything, excluding only dubstep, and it all sounds phenomenal. Especially love the micro usb slot for expandable memory. So, why only 4 stars? Well for starters the advertised 110 hrs. of battery life simply isn't true. I've used 2 full charges now and kept track of how long I used it. With volume at roughly 50% (occasional times at 75%) I am getting roughly 60 hours of battery, so a little more than half the advertised. Granted, I do have the BBE+ on which I am sure kills the battery, but they had to have known that if it is offered, people are going to use and probably should have included an average time for when BBE+ is being used. But, 60 hours still better than any iPod or most any other mp3 player available, so, again I'm not really that upset about it. One other problem is the user interface. The screen is pressure sensitive as opposed to capacitive so you have to touch exactly the right spot. Sometimes the calibration seems a little off. Also, it's menu system is a screwy. Not the easiest to navigate when trying to find a song while driving. Overall though, I am very happy with this purchase. I am a big fan of Cowon products. Before this I had a C2 as well as the Z2, although I did return the Z2 because it claimed a 24 hour battery life and again it got maybe half that. But this one here is perfect for me.