Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Cowon C2 Review - from a noob :D
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cowon C2 Review - from a noob :D

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

As the title indicates, yes, i am a noob when it comes to online contributions to hi-fi forums :)
I have been following this page very closely in the last few months to match my increasing hunger for pure audio,
so as i look down at my unimpressive bank statement, i say thank you HEAD-FI :D

First and foremost, i am a DJ whose field of work includes mixing different acapellas and instrumentals to create unique songs, and am starting to dip my toes in the water of music production.

..................Boring **** aside.....................

My purchase of a Cowon C2 was unplanned, even though for a few months i had flirted with the idea of putting my Samsung k3 to rest and treating myself to a higher end music player.
a 42.5kg dumbell at the gym made that decision for me.....r.i.p K3

4 GB COWON C2 + GEL CASE: $145 (opted for 4gb only as its cheaper to get micro sd cards than it is to buy the larger capacity versions)

BOX:
Theres no sugar-coating here, it has as much sex-appeal as a bandaid. Very neutral-enviro-friendly box that is excessively deceiving in size. My first thoughts were that i must have purchased a Shure Microphone by accident.
But no - low and behold once the box is opened and the individual compartments removed, there lies a Cowon C2.
In one compartment, a USB cable, what seems to be a USB adapter to alternate size, a booklet with very limited english other than numbers and abbreviations, and some iaudio headphones.
The USB cable seems to be the only relevent item.
In the smaller compartment, is what you spent the money you didnt have in the first place on :)

COWON C2: I mentioned the box being deceiving, well the deception continues. The tiny Cowon, smaller in diameter than a credit card and a bit thicker than a dvd case, is surprisingly heavy (for its size)
The minute you pick it up you will be assured that you have a solid, well constructed, and seemingly durable peice of equipment.
The front interface is made of durable plastic (white in my circumstance) and the back is completely chrome, and seeing as the chrome is reflective, you can expect fingerprints galore.
 
Now......if you are reading this review you have obviously seen what a C2 looks like and the buttons that are around the perimeter of the unit (volume + -, Home button, Power and Lock button, Mic input) so i feel no need to explain the purpose of these.
I will however, touch base on my biggest issue with the design - the STUPID flap that covers the USB input and Micro SD input.
If you have big hands/big fingers, like myself, save yourself the 5minutes that i spent looking moronic and trying to use my non existent fingernails to open it and run for that knife drawer :D
Once open, you have very limited space to try and connect the USB, and even then a proper connection is not gauranteed.
The only way i can get it to connect securely is by connecting it to the computer first, harshly pulling down the flap and connecting the USB and then being extra careful not to bump it so it doesnt disconnect.
Thank f!@# for the extra long battery life :)


*Note* The Cowon C2 comes with a flat battery, best to let it charge entirely prior to using it..

USER INTERFACE: After weeks of self-deliberation between this model and other Cowon models, i decided against other users opinions of the U.I. In reality, everyone will see the U.I in a different light, it may take some longer to adapt than others, but surely it cant be THAT bad can it? Can every "rubbish" "crap" "****" U.I description be entirely correct?
Simple answer NO: The U.I, whilst not Android/Iphone friendly, isnt all that bad.
(Trust me, i even turned mine on and found everything to be in Korean, and still managed to figure out how to navigate around using the icons until English was reinstated)
Upon turning the unit on, you will be greeted with a image that you can alter to suit your mood: Lonely Night, Its a Sunny Day and so forth. Not a hinderance, so i will let you decide if its a cool addition, or an annoyance.
Navigating through screens (in exception to the first screen which seemed to require alot of finger pressure to swipe away) is relatively easy. I recommend swiping down to the last page and clicking "themes" icon, which changes all the icons on the home screen into larger, more readible alternatives.
I chose the COWON C2 for music only as i use my HTC ONE X for videos/pictures/radio etc so i wont go over all the extra features of the C2 and will just jump into what i assume most people are buying one for, the music.

SOUND QUALITY: For the sound "test" i used the following: Shure SRH840, Senn HD218, SennCX215, included headphones.
                            I tried all above headphones with the exact same songs to help differentiate the quality.
                            I listen to mainly hip hop so i chose Eminem songs which have mainly piano keys and giutars for the 
                            instruments, and females (or males who sound like females) that populate the chorus/lead ups.

*note* - To me, the difference in standard MP3 format and Lossless WAV/FLAC/WMA is night and day. Imagine the joy you feel when you have had a blocked ear all week and then it finally disappears and everything sounds so wonderful again, thats the best way i can describe it haha. So for that reason, all songs tested were WAV lossless.
I honestly dont see the point in making a generalisation on the sound, as every headphone will alter that sound so for my review i will base it on the equipment i used only.

Eminem - Love The Way You Lie - without EQ -

CX215 - a tad "thick", treble not as sparkly as i would have liked.
HD218 - Dull and thin, lackluster low-end.
SRH840 - The goldilocks set, just right :), Rihannas vocals are crisp without being overwhelming, the piano keys can be heard fading out before the next key is pressed. Bass is detailed with moderate impact, allowing me to clearly define the low bass, and mid bass. overall sound signature would be best described as engaging.

Eminem - Love The Way You Lie - With noted EQ - EQ given below are the ones i found to be best suited to the headphones.

CX215 - Ballad EQ - Treble detail has certainly increased, mids seem slightly recessed, but the thick low end still exists, although as an overall signature, quite pleasing to an avid hip hop listener.
HD218 - Crystal Clear EQ - The difference this EQ makes is incredible. The trebles are extended, without ever becoming overbearing, the mids are perfectly balanced allowing a great sense of space and an overall airy feel, and the low end (bass) that was dorment during the non EQ testing, has finally awoken and although still a little bit light, it is clean and fast.
SRH840 - BBE Headphone, Hip Hop, Dance EQ - i chose the best three because realistically these headphones blow the other ones away and most of the EQ settings will put a smile on your face :)
To me, the Shures are my perfect headphone for sound signature, so any additional EQ isnt really required, but is surely welcomed. The highs are detailed and crisp, can show some sibilance on poorly mastered recordings, but nothing too dominant. The mids are liquid, like most of the mid-centric Shures, this is where the magic happens, and the lows bring a bass that is never overpowering, but always clear, fast and responsive without ever losing the deep bass rumble you get from IEMs.

At this point the included headphones should be given to a family member as a belated gift, or decorating your trashcan.

CONCLUSION: To those looking to step foot into the market of higher end audio, the Cowon C2 is your doorway. When paired with a great set of cans (either IEM or OEM) Lossless audio formats, and matched with an EQ best suited to those cans, audio bliss awaits. Disregard the negatives about U.I, as most of the time you will be on the music screen and everything you need is basically a button away.

To those looking for a device that plays music, and also lets you play Angry Birds, and comes with a built in flashlight, look elsewhere as there is no glamour apart from exceptional audio quality. (Cowon C2 plays an array of video formats but the screen is rediculously too small to enjoy anything more than music on it)

To those just starting off and cant yet justify spending over >$100 for a player, then more on good headphones, a better alternative would be to invest in a Sansa Clip/Fuze and get some good headphones to go with it. THEN log off to Head-fi before you becoming infected like me and all of a sudden you want everything. :)

PROS: Lossless files + good headphones + Cowon C2 = Incredible Sound.
           Drag and Drop compatibility.
           Amazing battery life.
           Solid construction with sleek design.
           Will power most headphones with ease under 500-600ohms
           EQ range

CONS: Mine come in Korean language, which made it hard to navigate around to fix the issue.
           USB flap and connectivity.
          

Thanks for reading.


 

post #2 of 7

I recently picked up the C2 myself and just love the thing. When compared to my iPod Touch with both units set to flat EQ, I think the Touch wins. But turn on the excellent EQ on the Cowon, and the sound to me is just incredible. Paired with my Klipsch X10's, this is a killer unit for sure. And waaaaay more portable than my other "portable" setup. (iPod Touch, TTVJ Slim, and Senn HD650)

 

I love the Cowon!

post #3 of 7

nice review!

post #4 of 7
I purchased a C2 out of curiosity. It shares a striking resemblance in SQ to Cowon S9. Using the same EQ settings it's hard to pick them apart, if anything the S9 puts detail across a little differently possibly a touch more obvious., though it's only by a tiny tiny margin. The other thing I've noticed is C2 shows a little more energy in it's presentation appearing a touch brighter and alert, this shows in the mid range. They both have that professional Cowon Mach3bass very firm and well separated. At 25 volume switching headphones between players the C2 shows a touch more power and is slightly louder, by about "1-2" presses of the volume.

Anyone looking for a cheap no thrills Cowon player, C2 would be a good choice.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 8/27/12 at 4:48am
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

I purchased a C2 out of curiosity. It shares a striking resemblance in SQ to Cowon S9. Using the same EQ settings it's hard to pick them apart, if anything the S9 puts detail across a little differently possibly a touch more obvious., though it's only by a tiny tiny margin. The other thing I've noticed is C2 shows a little more energy in it's presentation appearing a touch brighter and alert, this shows in the mid range. They both have that professional Cowon Mach3bass very firm and well separated. At 25 volume switching headphones between players the C2 shows a touch more power and is slightly louder, by about "1-2" presses of the volume.
Anyone looking for a cheap no thrills Cowon player, C2 would be a good choice.

 

 

I assume you meant "no frills" rather than "no thrills" because the C2 definitely provides thrills! For SQ alone, it is hard to find a better DAP. :-)

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatNine View Post


I assume you meant "no frills" rather than "no thrills" because the C2 definitely provides thrills! For SQ alone, it is hard to find a better DAP. :-)

Thrills, frills, spills, chills... I think what I mean't to say was good bang for buck! It may not be to pretty sorting through 32GB of music by scrolling and your options are quite limited but once you find that album you want to listen too! You're in for a treat in SQ. All the Jet Effects 3.0 are there and work exactly like an S9 or J3. so music focused it is hard to beat, especially when there's 4GB models going for $105 on ebay atm. Add that with mirco SD card expandable memory you have SQ / storage Ipod killer. Oh did I mention 55 hours playback? wink.gif

Another thing that's great, it's the perfect size to pair up with amps such as E11.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 8/27/12 at 4:52pm
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post


Thrills, frills, spills, chills... I think what I mean't to say was good bang for buck! It may not be to pretty sorting through 32GB of music by scrolling and your options are quite limited but once you find that album you want to listen too! You're in for a treat in SQ. All the Jet Effects 3.0 are there and work exactly like an S9 or J3. so music focused it is hard to beat, especially when there's 4GB models going for $105 on ebay atm. Add that with mirco SD card expandable memory you have SQ / storage Ipod killer. Oh did I mention 55 hours playback? wink.gif
Another thing that's great, it's the perfect size to pair up with amps such as E11.

 

Right on the money! The C2 rocks!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Cowon C2 Review - from a noob :D