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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2003
I have owned the iaudio CW300 (256MB) player for a few weeks now, using it while running, fixing up around the house, and at work, and can say that it is an excellent, well designed product & worth every penny for its level of quality and features. Most importantly, the sound quality is excellent, with one of the lowest signal-noise ratios out there for an MP3 player. I have the version with MX400 headphones, which give a wide-range bass response that is clear and full. The player, about the size of a flip-top lighter, is able to pump these loud enough for me to mow my lawn while listening to it. One of the reasons I initially chose the CW300 was for its MP3 and FM capability, which does not disappoint--there are 12 FM presets, and I get great reception in my area (southeast VA). I use it primarily for working out, and the two toggle buttons on each side make switching b/w songs or stations a breeze. Furthermore, these buttons allow you to tweak a variety of settings, including 4 equalizer selections, interface appearance, ff-rw rate, amongst others. I own the 256MB version, which can store anywhere b/w 60-90 songs, depending on the quality level I recorded MP3's at.
When I began my MP3 player search I vacillated between a hard drive player (iPod, Archos), which can store significantly more music (5-30GB), and a flash player like the CW300, but my decision ultimately came down to the fact that I would use the player in spurts and not really need to have my entire music collection in my hands. More importantly, those players are larger (can't comfortably fit in pocket), have moving parts (potential to skip while running), and DON'T have an FM tuner or voice recorder. I don't understand the rationale for throwing down $500 for an iPod that only has MP3/WMA capability and whose battery life is approximately 7 hours. Granted, the CW300 is on the expensive side for flash players, but the 30hr battery life and FM tuner/Voice Recorder easily justified my purchase. A few side notes--the software was easy to use, and songs download quickly, about 2-3 sec per song. I bought mine from the website on a Monday, specified U.S. priority mail, and it came (surprisingly) 2 days later on Wednesday. This was my first MP3 player, and am very satisfied with it. This player really is ideal for someone with a busy lifestyle who needs a discreet player for working out, listening to at work, or short trips. If you're choosing an MP3 player I would really think about how you listen to your music and what uses it would be fit for. If you are away from your computer for long periods and need your full collection at hand, and don't plan on taking it to the gym, then maybe go with an Archos (iPods are very overrated and expensive in my humble opinion), but for a great small player with top sound quality that can hold the equivalent of about 5 CD's of music, definitely choose the iaudio CW300 and you won't be disappointed.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2003
Review iAUDIO CW300 256MB
Quotation iAUDIO manual:
?iAUDIO is a multi-functional portable digital audio device that plays MP3 files, which is a new format of digital compression that reduces the size of files tenfold while maintaining CD-level sound quality. iAUDIO can be used to record lectures or meetings, and also for listening and recording FM radio broadcasts.?
This is the description of the player from the manufacturer. It contains the general capabilities of that amazing gadget but of course not all of nice and powerful features.
If you order the iAUDIO player CW300 directly from the JetAudio online store or from a proper reseller, like Amazon or Ebay, the package will arrive with the following components.
~iAUDIO CW300 256MB player (of course ;] )
~Earphones (either Cresyn AXE 599BL or Sennheiser MX 400)
~one AA Battery
~Installation CD (including JetShell / JetVoice Mail / JetAudio)
~Manual
~USB cable
~Pouch
~Neck cord
~Remote Control
At first I will point out some of the PROs and CONs of the CW300.
PROs:
- Superb and unbelievable powerful sound
- Good elaborated and intuitive menu design and also the navigation, with the two jog levers is really convenient
- Upgradeable firmware
- Very customisable regarding album names, equalizer, scrolling speed of track information, display contrast,
adjustable input sensitivity for the microphone and so on
- Really small and efficient design (height 82.5mm x width 40mm x thickness 18.6mm)
- Extremely lightwight (42g without battery)
CONs:
-Low but high frequency sound in tuner mode if the backlight turns on
-Intensity of the display backlight isn?t adjustable
-No line in connector
-No support for an alternative format of compressed music files like Ogg Vorbis
-pathetic remote control
Now I will discuss some critical points of the CW300.
Battery flap:
That?s a point, which is very often discussed, both in the jetAudio forum and other reviews.
I had never really problems with that part. Of course you have to use it gently and without any force, but in my opinion it is well designed for its functionality.
LCD size:
A bit small, just 128x16 dot wide, but it shows a lot of important information (e.g. battery level, equalizer settings, memory usage, album and track number and time). Furthermore, it includes a scrolling line for track information, like data?s saved in ID3 tags.
File support:
That is my pet subject. iAUDIO CW3000 supports the MPEG 1 / 2 layers 2 and 3 and the special format for voice or tuner record SC4. For the MPEG layers, the CW supports all bit rates between 8kbps and 320kbps and also variable bit rate (VBR), like every good player should doing this.
In this case the critical point for me is, there is no support for a proper alternative of MP3, like e.g. Ogg Vorbis.
But I strongly believe in iAUDIO and I hope that the next generation or the generation after next one will support a kind of alternative format.
Remote Control:
The remote control was the biggest frustration of that whole device. Of course, it is doing the job well, but I think it doesn?t suit to the great design of the CW. The iAUDIO has a beautiful matt aluminium body and the remote control has a plastic one and all the buttons are jiggle around.
Playback Time:
Is there anybody who can give me the settings for 30 hours of playback? I couldn?t find the right one. However, It?s a matter of common knowledge that the real playback time is always a bit shorter than the nominal time, doesn?t matter what for a brand.
Furthermore, the CW300 comes with the programs JetShell, JetVoice Mail and JetAudio and I'll give you some briefly overviews about the called components.
JetShell:
That is the software what you require to download or upload files. Except the *.mp3 files, they are just downloadable onto your CW.
It is also possible to encode WAV files to MP3 files or the other way around. If you like to encode directly from CD during the download onto your CW you can do it, with JetShell and the Frauenhofer encoder for MP3. For further information have a look in the manual (available on JetAudio webpage) of the CW where you can find some more information about JetShell.
JetVoice Mail:
This tiny program is as smart as small. You can record some sounds with the CW or with the your computer. Then you can change the kind of sound, e.g. into a similar sound like Darth Vader's voice. After that, you are able to attach the file on an email including a tiny player and send it to your friends. If you feel like to read more about JetVoice Mail check the manual.
JetAudio:
JetAudio is the suitable player for your computer. The current version is v5.18 and is available on the [...] free. If you like to encode your CDs to MP3 or mp3PRO with JetAudio have a look in the online store for JetAudio Plus. For more details about JetAudio check out the manual.
Conclusion:
From my point of view, the iAUDIO CW300 is one of the best player on market and you can enjoy it for a long time (maybe a whole life) with wonderful sound and trustier technology?made in Korea.
The American violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-99) said: ?I am strongly believe, that music extends your live.?
And in my opinion, this is much easier to realize if you are using the iAUDIO CW300, because this precious gadget is really able to enhance your enjoyment of live.
If you feel like to find out more visite the JetAudio forum. We are more than happy to help you!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2003
I have a CW300 512MB and I'm fully satisfied.
... here are my comments:
- Sound Quality: VERY satisfing, all the spectrum is represented without noise. I had to buy the CW300 with Cresyn hearphones (the 512 Mb is not available with MX400 yet), then I went to a shop and bought MX400 for [price]. The MX400 are much better, you easily notice a far better bass reproduction.
- Output Power: with the internal hearphones there is plenty of power. I tried with external hearphones (I have Sony MDR-V3, quite old and I don't know the impedence) if you use the maximum power the sound is loud but tolerable. I would have liked some spare power, just in case you come across a low level MP3 when you are using big hearphones.
- Voice Recording: this was a surprise, the sentitivity of the microphone is really good. If you set it at "high" and if you turn on the volume of your hearphone to the maximum you can hear the faintest sound while recording, even your breath! It seems that your hearing capacity is enhanced by this amplification and the microphone has good directionality too.
Just an annoying little problem: when I touch the controls during recording, the backlight turns on and a high frequency hiss is heard (and recorded) until the light turns off. Maybe mine is a defective device, I'll ask iAudio.
- Radio: good quality but far from the MP3 quality. Here the problem is that once you get used to the very good quality of the MP3 player, it is very easy to criticize the quality of a FM receiver, intrinsically lower. The difference is worsened if you try to record one radio station with the recording functionality because the result is mono only.
Sometime I notice that the scan function tend to be too selective and to skip some good signal radio stations; for receiving all the stations you have to manually find them.
What I would have liked:
- a bookmark functionality to set points in long MP3, it may be useful if you are listening to an audio book and you want to switch to some music without loosing the possibility to come back to the point you have reached.
- you must store all the MP3 in 4 folders and this is good, but you are not allowed to store more then 64 files in each folder. This can be annoying if you have 512 MB of free space, potentially containing 140 songs, because you cannot keep all in one folder if you want to do so.
Overall I strongly recommend this player, everybody should have one (and iAudio and its competitors should lower the price).
...
Marco
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2003
I purchased the CW300 a week ago and I'm very happy with it. This is my first MP3 player and I did extensive research before purchasing this one. I was ready to purchase the CW200 after all the research. After reading many reviews on the CW200 I concluded that I would have to buy new headphones in order to get the best sound out of the CW200. Then I noticed the CW300 had just come out with good quality headphones, battery life that was three times longer (30+ hours) and better quality sound. I think the CW300 is worth the extra cost, since I would not have to buy better headphones and lug around extra batteries. The CW300 sounds great with the good quality headphones; it is hard to believe how good the sound quality is. The radio has great reception and the voice recorder works very well (you can set the sensitivity of the microphone). The software it comes with is easy to figure out. The CW300 comes with an armband, an armband case, a belt clip case, a battery, a USB cable, software and the headphones. I highly recommend the player it has great menu features within the player that allow you to configure the player to your own personal preferences and holds a lot of songs. I also bought the optional remote control for the CW300 and find it hard to use because when you push buttons on one side of the remote it is difficult not to push the buttons on the other side.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2003
Verified Purchase
Like many other smart MP3 shoppers, I read up on quite a few reviews to get some insight into what are the hottest MP3 players out there. Hopefully others will read this review and come away with some good information. I won't get into all the technical features of this player since those are listed under the specs, but I will say that this thing is great! First off the customer service and shipping were excellent. I received the player in less than a week with no snags or problems. I got it home, turned it on, and was able to figure out most of the features by toying with it a bit. I scanned through the manual in about 5 minutes to learn some more in depth features, and was uploading MP3's in no time. The software installation was a breeze, and I had no problems with any of the hardware (which was a suprise because I had previous problems with older MP3 players). The sound quality and features of this player are excellent. The audio is crisp and clear, and you can hear every snare and deep bass/drum hit. The player itself is sleek and smooth, and the blue backlit display puts the perfect finishing touch on the design. The only drawback is that the memory is not expandable (but it is an acceptable trade off since there are so many other wonderful features, and 256 MB is just enough to have a good variety and amount of portable music). I was a little hesitant to drop $200+ on an MP3 player, but after using it for just a couple days, I found that it was more than worth it. Botton line, this is an excellent player with crisp and clean audio and all the needed features. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that is shopping around for an MP3 player.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2003
My first experience with a portable MP3 player was with a Bantam Interactive BA350...what a nightmare! That horrible experience taught me to ALWAYS research a product BEFORE buying it! So, I read, and read, and read all I could about numerous flash players, and the undisputed champ was the iAUDIO CW300. I prefer a flash player over a hard drive player because it's tiny and can fit in your shirt pocket. The CW300 can not only fit in your shirt pocket, it also comes packaged with a nifty armband and armband case, great for walking or running. Mine also came with a leather belt clip case, and even a cool little necklace so you can hang the player around your neck. I chose the option of Sennheiser MX400 earbuds with mine and they sound fantastic. All of the above are more than enough reasons to buy this gorgeous little thing, but wait, there's more!
SOUND QUALITY IS SECOND TO NONE!!!!! I guarantee you will not find better sound quality in ANY other MP3 player of any kind at ANY price!
Oh, did I mention that it also plays FM radio? It does, and reception is very good.
Plus, it's also a voice recorder. You can adjust the sensitivity and it will pick up soft spoken nearby conversations. Who would have thought this little beauty even has clandestine uses. Hardly anyone would ever guess it was a recorder unless you told them, but that wouldn't be any fun ;-)
Bottom Line, if you're looking for the best flash player available, the CW300 is the one...BUY IT!!!!!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2003
I have had this for only a day now and so far it is great. I purchased it to use when working out. It took exactly 7 days for it to arrive after purchasing. Took it out of the box and setup was easy. It took me 30 minutes to one hour to get the software loaded and download 60 songs to the player. It worked great from the start. It is a bit pricey, but this version (CW300 256MB) just came out. I did much research and thought this was the one. So far I wasn't wrong. Sound quality is great and the MX440 earphones are compact and give off great stereo sound. The FM tuner was easy to preset stations and quality for the area was great again. If want a player buy this one. I don't think you will be disappointed.
UPDATE (9 Jul 04):
I have been using my CW300 for over a year now and it is great. To this day I have never had a problem with my CW300. The battery life is amazing and the MX400 headphones give off exceptional sound.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2003
Pros: sound quality, features, ease of use, build quality, battery life, accessories
Cons: earphones uncomfortable, battery door a bit flimsy, ugly belt clip
I've only had this player for a few days, but I'm already very satisfied by it. The other reviews that praise the CW300's sound range and power are dead on. The interface (both software and device) are powerful and intuitive. The product looks good and is comfortable to carry around and use.
However, I do have a few minor gripes. The gripes are far outweighed by the good points, but as a consumer I like to know even the small imperfections, so I'll describe them briefly here. I paid the extra $10 for the Sennheiser earbuds, but found them too big and round to wear comfortably. The cloth cushions fall off easily, and the buds feel too slick and hard without the cushions. Sound quality is good, but I wound up switching to my old faithful Sony Fontopia buds w/ rubber ear surfaces, which have similar audio quality. My advice would be to go w/ the cheaper Cresyn buds, and buy your own pair separately.
Also, I don't mind that the battery door is not attached with rods of steel, but it is kind of difficult to open and maneuver. Again, a minor gripe b/c I don't have to access the battery all that often.
One thing you will notice right away is that the armband and corresponding case are much nicer than the belt clip. I don't understand why the company would produce two cases with such a difference in quality, and would have preferred them both in the style of the armband case.
Finally, I wanted to correct some inaccuracies in other reviews. The player does support four folders, but you are not limited to 64MB in each. The software allowed me to fill the device while staying in folder 1, and playback seems to show that they are all in the same folder. In addition, the FM radio (AM is not supported) has 24 station presets, not 12.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2003
At first I was very happy with this player, but it started malfunctioning after the first time I used during a workout. It took a long time to get a response from customer service (it seems to be handled entirely out of Korea), when the unit was finally repaired, it malfunctioned in the same way a few weeks later. Then the cycle continued (poor response, etc.).
Be aware that the company rewards customers for posting positive reviews on sites such as amazon (they clearly state this policy on their website).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2004
I purchased the Iaudio CW300 (MX400) 256MB mp3 player a couple weeks back and so far have loved it. I did several months worth of research before settling on this one. It is very compact and perfect for taking on runs and working out at the gym. Its about the length of a credit card. I chose this over the CW200 as it takes a single AA battery over the single AAA thus increasing play length. The controls are very easy to use as well as the mp3 software JetShell. I read a review stating JetShell did not run well and had crashes on newer Windows systems such as XP and 2000. I have had no crash issues or problems whatsoever on XP. Sound quality is awesome! As another reviewer wrote you can hear hidden musical nuances. Typically I can fit about 40 mp3's on this player, all of which are in between 192 - 320kbps. If you decide on this player, it is definately worth your investment to purchase the one with the MX400 headphones. I own two Sennheiser headsets now and they have been the best earphones I've owned yet.
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