-- Cowon iAudio 7 review -- with lots of pictures (no blurry cell phone shots)
Jul 7, 2009 at 8:55 PM Post #106 of 123

GreatDane

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Posts
12,470
Likes
34
Location
Virginia
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sonny /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Just ordered iAudio7 16GB.. The player will be delivered within 3days. I'll post my experience with this player.


Congrats! Mine just won't quit.
darthsmile.gif
 
Jul 19, 2009 at 12:24 PM Post #107 of 123

johnni

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Posts
1
Likes
0
Does the menu system of the i7 allows for titles to be organised by the artist like with Ipods and not filename like iRiver.
I like to have all my tracks on the title menu and scroll through to a certain track without having to look at the screen to choose a seperate artist folder.
By this i mean titles are organised by artist e.g track '05 - Radian' by Air will be before track '01- I Have Seen' by Zero 7?
On my iRiver the Zero 7 track will be first in the list as it's filename is 01 comopared to 05.
 
Jul 21, 2009 at 3:46 AM Post #108 of 123

CHRIS7509

Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Posts
65
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by EEXO /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Finally my i7 has arrived!
Loading songs atm (slow transfer speed though)
Hopefully I will like it
smily_headphones1.gif



The I7 it's one of the fastes ive seen on tranfer mp3's ( from the few players i've seen ) it's just memory no HD.

I've seen a place where there was a fix for the slow tranfer rate on the I7, i can't really remember but do a online search, i remember reading it, it tells you how to fix that, i never go that problem with mine though.
 
Jul 21, 2009 at 8:03 AM Post #110 of 123

Sonny

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Posts
21
Likes
0
The slow transfer rate problem is with only iAudio7 16GB versions. Check it out if you have one of them.

My iAudio7 is just brilliant. I got the free leather case and ac charger all under $180 here in India, with free delivery.

And the player sounds amazing. Its superb!
 
Aug 8, 2009 at 12:20 AM Post #111 of 123

SundayDriver

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Posts
39
Likes
11
Location
NJ
After several faithful years of fairly heavy use, my Rockboxed iRiver H120 finally died a few weeks ago. Looking for a replacement, I ended up buying the 16 GB Cowon iAudio 7. I chose it mainly for the FLAC playback, but also for the extra long battery life and small size. Also, many people climaied the Cowon units are known for good sound quality, even though I had never heard of Cowon.

I have to admit that I am quite impressed- with a little bit of tweaking in the EQ, this unit sounds excellent. It definitely sounds better than the H120, and may even give my Sony RH1 Hi-MD a run for the money! I haven't noticed the gaps between tracks either. The USB transfer speeds are a little slow, but the preamp in the Cowon is amazing, as it seems to be able to drive a stronger signal than the old iRiver.

The only thing it didn't sound so great on were my Sennheiser HD201 headphones, but perhaps it's time for an upgrade anyway.
 
Aug 8, 2009 at 2:38 AM Post #112 of 123

GreatDane

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Posts
12,470
Likes
34
Location
Virginia
First post
beerchug.gif
Welcome to Head-Fi SundayDriver...sorry and all that stuff.
evil_smiley.gif


I'm glad you like the i7. I was just listening to mine with HD 650 using P-51. Even though there is no "line out", amping the HP out sounds very good. I used no EQ or any sound enhancements...although I do if using unamped.

My i7 even gets my HD 650 moving decent with no amp...volume up at 35+
 
Aug 8, 2009 at 5:17 AM Post #113 of 123

Booda

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Posts
188
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by ka-boom /img/forum/go_quote.gif
[size=medium]Why I chose the Cowon iAudio 7[/size]
Well, here is a brief summary.

Years ago I bought my first mp3 player - a Cowon U2 when they first came out. Loved everything about it, but 1GB wasn't large enough as my music collection grew.

Bought a Creative Zen 16GB. After about 10 months with the Zen I broke out the old U2 and fell in love with the Cowon sound again. The difference is that big, so I had to get another Cowon. Just HAD to.

Bought the D2 16GB. I had it for almost 2 weeks and returned it. I will explain why later on in the review.

Bought the iAudio 7 16GB version (FW 1.17) and there is no looking back.

5aouu1.jpg


2077tll.jpg


[size=medium]What comes in the box[/size]

Player, USB data transfer cable, software, ear buds, manual.

Truth be told, I've never touched the software, cable, or the manuals because I don't need either. I have about a half dozen USB to mini-USB cables laying around. This is the great thing with Cowons - the simple, almost universal USB plugs. I love it. The earbuds are just typical stock buds, with a foam shielding around each. Nothing spectacular.

efnu9u.jpg


[size=medium]First impressions[/size]
Coming straight from the D2, and even comparing them A/B/A/B the i7 is without doubt the better sounding of the two players. My first impression physically was that the i7 was about the size as I expected from the pictures; short and compact and a lot like my U2. Pictures of the D2 online do not portray how small that player is in real life, the i7 looks the same online and in real life.

Right out of the box I figured out the menu and interfaces in about 5 minutes. It's not exactly rocket science, but knowing Cowon's interface will shave a couple minutes off your learning time. While not the most cleverly laid out menu, it works for me and is NOT overly complicated like some reviews suggest. If they say otherwise, they take you for a big idiot.

I like the small form factor, it's a bit pudgey compared to wafer thin players like the Nano or the Zen, but I prefer the extra "heft". Besides, I'll gladly give up some size for a bigger battery life. Cowon mops the floor with Apple in that regards, more on that later.

It's also nice to have the FM radio on my mp3 player, but chances are I will never use it unless I'm at a ball game.


[size=medium]Screen, controls, buttons[/size]
Look, the screen is very small, there's no question about it. It's only about 1.25 inches, so don't bother buying this player if you're going to be watching movies on it. You'll probably go cross-eyed. The screen is sufficiently clear for being so small. Aside from the album art, I've loaded a couple pictures I've taken with my Nikon D300 on it and they look nice, not great.

301mxpc.jpg


I didn't buy this player for watching movies, displaying pictures, or staring at album art so I turned the album art off so I just have white text on a simple black background. The text itself is very small, but there is a "fix/patch" on ABI to make the text bolder. I haven't installed it.

2nupslx.jpg


mrtnw6.jpg


The "swing touch" is a breeze to use, and SO MUCH better than the D2 touch screen. The swing touch is a little sensitive right out of the box but you can adjust the sensitivity, mine is at LOW and it works flawlessly. I can cruise through the menu and lists effortlessly now, and much faster than any other player I've owned. You can move your finger up and down on the slider and the menu scrolls accordingly. Or, you can just press and hold one end of the slider and the menu scrolls and scrolls until you release your touch. This makes scrolling through an entire library VERY easy and quick. It really makes Apple's circular scroll look silly, sorry Apple fanboys.

The touch buttons are: fwd/rev or ffw/rwnd or scroll up/down, and a play/pause button. There are 3 tactile buttons on top: power, menu, and volume +/-. There is a mic hole on top as well. The power button has a "hold" function so you can lock out the swing touch from accidental moves. This is nice for the gym. On one end is the headphone out port and the other end is the charging port.

2mwffbk.jpg


nfr91u.jpg



[size=medium]Why the i7 is better than the D2 (for me)[/size]
Build - I returned the D2 because physically, it wasn't for me. Although it looks swank and fancy with it's new age touch screen it was just too delicate for my needs. I was constantly afraid I would damage the screen by either puncturing it or scratching. I just can't throw the D2 in my pocket with my cell phone - I can with my i7. Plus, the D2 is larger than the i7 which makes it less portable to use in the gym, for example. I would never think about using the D2 at the gym because I would be too afraid of putting it in my pocket and the sweat/moisture ruining the screen, or other damages. The touch screen on the D2 just isn't "all that" like I was expecting. It wasn't as accurate as I was hoping for. I have average size hands and I was extremely annoyed with it. Trying to navigate the D2 while driving is a NIGHTMARE.

I'm also an avid mountain biker, I would never consider bringing the D2 as I hit the trails - it's just too delicate. I can throw my i7 in my pocket, stick it in a pocket on my Camelback, and not worry about it. Hell, if it fell out while riding I still wouldn't worry. I would have a stroke if the D2 fell out onto the trail. I bought a clear hard case for the i7 and think it looks great, and protects nicely.

D2 vs. i7 sound - To my ears the i7 sounds much warmer, fuller, and more robust compared to the D2. Before I bought the D2 I read many reviews that said it has a "cold, analytical" sound and to their credit - they're right. Even with all the BBE and Mach3Bass turned on it never sounded as good as the i7. The i7 volume goes to 40 but I never go above 22-25.

I think the i7 has more "oomph" in the sound, it's more lively and "meaty" for lack of a better word. Although they are both Cowons, they do not sound anything alike. I usually flip between the ROCK and my own Custom EQ settings with BBE and Mach3Bass at about 4 each and it sounds perfect. Flat EQ is boring to me, I like a little thicker low end and warm mids compared to some. All of the pre-set EQ options sound terrible in my car's Bose soundsystem, but the Custom EQ settings sound great. Go figure.

-- I don't have "bass roll off" graph charts or anything like that, I don't wear a pocket protector or live in my parent's basement - but the i7 sounds excellent in every regard. Clear highs, nice weighted bass, sparkling acoustics. Strictly audio sounding, there is nothing I would change about it. There is a very faint hiss on some albums, but nothing to even consider. (these are usually crap 128kbps files, or almost ALL Jefferson Airplane)

D2 vs. i7 battery - D2 claims "up to" 52 hours audio playback, while the i7 chalks up 60 hours. Both of these stats whip the snot out of Cowon's competitors. Apple claims "up to" 24 hours on the Nano [insert hysterical laughing and pointing].

To be honest, I use my i7 for 3-5 hours a day on average with some days over 8 hours and I charge my i7 about once every couple weeks.

2e66aft.jpg


[size=medium]File transfer[/size]
If you've ever transfered a file onto a USB thumb drive, you can transfer a file to the i7. It's that easy. When you plug it into your PC it is recognized as a removable drive, so just copy and paste the files into the music folder, or pictures/movies into their respective folders.

No silly propreitary software to use, no annoying syncing, none of that. If you like doing circular thumb exercises while being forced to use lame-o software to move your files around, the Cowon i7 is not for you. The notion of being required to use a propreitary software just to move MY files onto MY player is insane and insulting. Copy. And. Paste. In your face.
wink.gif


I choose to browse by File Name, though the i7 does support ID3 tag browsing. I also browse by Folders which makes things so easy. I don't use playlists so I cannot atest to that. I have a FOLDER named "workout songs" with a couple hundred songs on it that I play in SHUFFLE mode that works really well. You can also set the boundary of your shuffle from single, folder, or sub folder.

[size=medium]In closing..[/size]
The i7 is the perfect player for me. 16GB is plenty of room for me, it's small yet durable, incredible battery life, fast interface, simple file transfer, multiple file formats, and sounds amazing. FLAC sounds awesome one it. Most of my mp3 and WMA are 320 or 192kbps files (with a few ancient 128kpbs) and they sound beautiful.

This is the best sounding player I have heard. This includes listening to my wife's 120GB ipod classic, her 4GB ipod mini, my brother in law's ipod touch, my co-workers Sansa Clip, and my own players. It goes without saying the i7 has far more customizable EQ settings that ipods can even dream of, and to top if off, it just sounds better. The U2 is the second best, but a distant second place. (the U2 sounds a LOT like the Clip to my ears)

If you are considering the D2, think hard about it. For some, the lack of a memory expansion slot is a deal breaker. The i7 is probably up your alley if you're not sure about touch screens or you want a small portable player. I solidly recommend this player.

Update: Quote from page 2 here that needs mentioning:





I am surprised that you have the same attitude to the touch screen. You are right that the big screen have many potential concerns. such as easy to be broken, or insensitive after long time using. This is why I gave up SONY X 1000 and picked up AMP3 which have only 1 inch OlED which is enough for me for I never watch Vedio with DAP.
 
Aug 10, 2009 at 12:17 AM Post #115 of 123

SundayDriver

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Posts
39
Likes
11
Location
NJ
Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane /img/forum/go_quote.gif
First post
beerchug.gif
Welcome to Head-Fi SundayDriver...sorry and all that stuff.
evil_smiley.gif


I'm glad you like the i7. I was just listening to mine with HD 650 using P-51. Even though there is no "line out", amping the HP out sounds very good. I used no EQ or any sound enhancements...although I do if using unamped.

My i7 even gets my HD 650 moving decent with no amp...volume up at 35+



Hey, thanks! Do you like the HD 650 a lot? I know everyone recommends the Sony MDR-7506, but after owning the MDR-V150, I never want to buy another pair of Sony headphones again.
 
Aug 12, 2009 at 4:44 PM Post #117 of 123

Sonny

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Posts
21
Likes
0
iAudio7 is absolutely amazing player. It surely is the best when you need a small tough and great sounding player. I was regretting why I didn't get D2, but then I felt maybe I don't need that large display anyways.

The only regret for the moment is unavailability of RockBox on iAudio7. Daniel and recently Vitja's work has shown some light, but the fully working version is highly awaited. In some corner maybe I'm still regretting getting the D2.
 
Aug 31, 2009 at 8:50 AM Post #118 of 123

paulr

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 8, 2008
Posts
45
Likes
0
Why are there what looks like two headphone jacks? Is one of them a line in or something?

I have a D2 but am intrigued by the i7, which seems to be discontinued. Some stores still have them, so if you want one, buy one now. The main thing stopping me is I really hate players with internal non-replaceable batteries and bought the D2 with quite a bit of reluctance and only after determining that I could replace the battery myself with a Nokia E71 cell phone battery if I had to (there is a thread on iaudiophile about how to do that). I do like the D2's expansion slot and I have a 16gb unit with a 16gb card in it right now.

My previous player was a Sansa M260 with limited 4GB capacity and not-so-great SQ, but I loved that it ran for 15 hours or so on a standard AAA cell. Being able to swap in a fresh cell any time I want is much more attractive to me than a 60 hour internal battery that I have to charge up for hours once it goes flat.

But, I agree with you about the D2's fiddliness and vulnerable screen, and I like the i7's chunky compactness. If the i7 had 32gb (or an expansion slot) and ran on an AA or AAA, I'd surely buy it. As it is, I'm a little bit tempted but will keep trying to resist.
 
Nov 26, 2009 at 2:49 AM Post #119 of 123

SundayDriver

New Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Posts
39
Likes
11
Location
NJ
In July of this year when I originally purchased my iAudio 7, I really thought it was a great, stable, well designed device. My opinion has since changed completely. Here's why.

It all started one day when the unit refused to turn on out of the blue. I have no idea what caused this, as I had just used the unit previously that day and it worked fine. No matter how long you held the power switch to the left, nothing happened. The battery had just been charged. I finally managed to get it to start, but odd menu options were coming up, and my computer wasn't recognizing it. I managed to get to a point where I could update the firmware, but still could not get the regular menu to operate properly. And then again, sometimes it wasn't starting up at all. So, off it went to CA for Cowon to fix. I was very clear in the RMA on why it needed to be fixed.

In a few weeks, a small box came back with my iAudio 7 wrapped in a small sheet of bubble wrap. No e-mail notification, no paper notification...nothing. I take it out of the box, turn it on, and to my absolute shock nothing had been fixed. I still receive some odd red/white menu screen with radio buttons, or just two white boxes on the boot-up screen, and my computer fails to recognize it. It still wasn't even turning on intermittently. Immediately, I contacted Cowon who informed me that they tested the unit for a week before sending it back to me and found nothing wrong with it. You could have fooled me. Finally, the electronic chat support person (yes, that's ight, good luck trying to reach Cowon technical support by phone) claims they would send out a prepaid UPS packing label for me to send the unit back to them under a new RMA. I received an e-mail confirming this and thought everything was fine.

There's just one problem. A month passed by, the device sat unusable, and I never received that UPS shipping label. It got so bad, I ended up buying a used iRiver H120 which I will add has been working flawlessly with Rockbox.
regular_smile .gif
Low and behold, I contacted Cowon again in yet another "chat" session to which the support person informed me that a "mistake was made", but wouldn't elaborate further. I told her that Cowon seems to have a track record of making mistakes, and asked her how you can make mistakes in support for a device that costs over $100. She ignored me and asked if I had any further questions as she was going to "send out another UPS label". It gets better. I asked her what the summary of my new RMA was as there was no way I was going to have this device come back broken again and I intended on being blatant in the problem description. She copied and pasted. It was of course 100% wrong and didn't even make sense. Amazing! They couldn't even get that right.

That's where I am at right now. I am willing to bet money on the state my unit will come back in after its trip back out to California from NY. I'd say there is about 50% chance of it actually being fixed, and that might even be generous.

Never again.
 
Dec 27, 2009 at 12:53 AM Post #120 of 123

Ashmedae

New Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Posts
28
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by qusp /img/forum/go_quote.gif
ever heard of rockbox?? and can you please explain the advantage of flac over ALAC??


Name one DAP that supports ALAC (that isn't an Apple player). As far as I know, there aren't any. I'd rather not be forced to use a certain DAP because of a format.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SundayDriver /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In July of this year when I originally purchased my iAudio 7, I really thought it was a great, stable, well designed device. My opinion has since changed completely. Here's why.

It all started one day when the unit refused to turn on out of the blue. I have no idea what caused this, as I had just used the unit previously that day and it worked fine. No matter how long you held the power switch to the left, nothing happened. The battery had just been charged. I finally managed to get it to start, but odd menu options were coming up, and my computer wasn't recognizing it. I managed to get to a point where I could update the firmware, but still could not get the regular menu to operate properly. And then again, sometimes it wasn't starting up at all. So, off it went to CA for Cowon to fix. I was very clear in the RMA on why it needed to be fixed.

In a few weeks, a small box came back with my iAudio 7 wrapped in a small sheet of bubble wrap. No e-mail notification, no paper notification...nothing. I take it out of the box, turn it on, and to my absolute shock nothing had been fixed. I still receive some odd red/white menu screen with radio buttons, or just two white boxes on the boot-up screen, and my computer fails to recognize it. It still wasn't even turning on intermittently. Immediately, I contacted Cowon who informed me that they tested the unit for a week before sending it back to me and found nothing wrong with it. You could have fooled me. Finally, the electronic chat support person (yes, that's ight, good luck trying to reach Cowon technical support by phone) claims they would send out a prepaid UPS packing label for me to send the unit back to them under a new RMA. I received an e-mail confirming this and thought everything was fine.

There's just one problem. A month passed by, the device sat unusable, and I never received that UPS shipping label. It got so bad, I ended up buying a used iRiver H120 which I will add has been working flawlessly with Rockbox.
regular_smile .gif
Low and behold, I contacted Cowon again in yet another "chat" session to which the support person informed me that a "mistake was made", but wouldn't elaborate further. I told her that Cowon seems to have a track record of making mistakes, and asked her how you can make mistakes in support for a device that costs over $100. She ignored me and asked if I had any further questions as she was going to "send out another UPS label". It gets better. I asked her what the summary of my new RMA was as there was no way I was going to have this device come back broken again and I intended on being blatant in the problem description. She copied and pasted. It was of course 100% wrong and didn't even make sense. Amazing! They couldn't even get that right.

That's where I am at right now. I am willing to bet money on the state my unit will come back in after its trip back out to California from NY. I'd say there is about 50% chance of it actually being fixed, and that might even be generous.

Never again.



Sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I've had my iAudio 7 since it was first introduced. I'm having to replace my iAudio 7 because one of the buttons no longer works (I've dropped it one too many times apparently). I was looking online for another DAP to replace the one I currently have. I was thinking of either the Samsung P3 or the Cowon S9...but I think I'll just get another iAudio 7 instead.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top