Cowon's A2 ~ X5 in terms of SQ?
Mar 22, 2007 at 3:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

CD44hi

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Posts
1,050
Likes
12
At the end of last year I got my bro a cowon A2 as a gift. I got the chance to listen to the player for a few days before handing it over. I still remember how good it sounded. It was way, way better than the nano I have around. In fact it was a very good match for the UE-10 right out of the headphone jack.

So I am considering getting one for moi. However I could benefit of a smaller size, but rather keep the sound quality a priority if necessary. I did a quick search and found a couple of posts where it is said that the X5 is as good as the A2. I also came across another opinion rating the X5 as having a better sound quality...

Any thoughts? Opinions much appreciated please. Thanks!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 22, 2007 at 4:25 AM Post #2 of 11

rockin_amigo14

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Posts
2,249
Likes
11
my experience with the A2 is limited to break dancing beats, dave chapelle standup, and techno out of crappy Sony earbuds, but I can assure you the X5 has VERY good sound, especially with all the tweaking you can do to it.
 
Mar 22, 2007 at 4:27 AM Post #3 of 11

The Pieman

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
798
Likes
10
I have an A2 and an X5L and I personally believe the X5 is better SQ wise. There is not alot in it though. There are few other advantages to the X5, playlist management is better, it is alot smaller and if you get the L version extrodainary battery life for a HD DAP. The X5 is also built like a brick.
 
Mar 22, 2007 at 1:37 PM Post #4 of 11

CD44hi

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Posts
1,050
Likes
12
Hey guys, thanks for the feedback.

Is the dac chipset the same in the A2 as that of the one in the X5(L)?
 
Mar 30, 2007 at 1:11 AM Post #5 of 11

CD44hi

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Posts
1,050
Likes
12
OK, so got the X5L last weekend. Did not worked out for me.

-Found the high frequency range to sound as if they were artificially extended almost to shrill levels.

-Bass was nicely present, but lacked control and texture.

-Vocals seemed recessed and sound stage was rather compressed.
Tried the EQ settings/sound modes, to try to compensate the deficiencies, but to no avail. As you can see, I didn't liked the player. I sent it back and ordered an A2 which arrived today.

I held these comments until the new unit arrived and I could listen to it. I thought there was a chance that my recollection of the A2 from back in Nov '06 was just my memory playing games. But not...

The A2 sounds much controlled and neutral. Highs and lows are balanced. The bass has an impressive level of texture for a portable device. Vocals are tangible. Overall not as subtle difference in my humble opinion. The Cowon A2 is a much superior portable compared to the X5L. The earphones used were the UE-10 and the same tracks were loaded on both devices.
So I guess the bottom line is that I am gladly trading in my perceived higher sound quality for the decrease in size and line out, etc on the X5L. But as an added bonus I have the video capability of the A2. The navigation seems a bit more straight forward on the this one as well.

Anyway, it was a good exercise and I am glad I tried the X5, just not my cup of joe.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 30, 2007 at 3:27 AM Post #7 of 11

CD44hi

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Posts
1,050
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by ttnl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi CD44hi, how big is the A2? Is it easy to carry it around? How is the SQ compared to ipod's?


5.2 x 0.9 x 3.1 inches, so it is pretty big in today's standards for portables. And not too tote-friendly, honestly. It does comes with a good case. My main use would be while riding the metro/bus/train or at my bench, thus true portability in that sense was a null factor in my case.

I don't own a full size ipod. A friend does own modded and unmodded ipods. Hopefully I'll be able to do a comparison in the future. I have a nano. My thoughts as expressed in my OP in this respect still hold.
 
Mar 30, 2007 at 8:11 AM Post #8 of 11

mrsmr2

Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Posts
91
Likes
10
How about the new D2?

It sounds good, has the same audio customisations as the other Cowon players, and will also play videos.

I bought mine primarily for the SQ but the video playback has pleasantly surprised me - so much so that I actually do watch videos on it.

It's flash based but the removable SD cards can compensate for the limitation in on board capacity.

It's also very small and light (SQ, portability, and robustness were my key buying factors).
 
Mar 30, 2007 at 9:27 AM Post #9 of 11

dr.morton

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Posts
539
Likes
10
The A2 is a very nice device and I am happy to own one.
But if someone is thinking about buying one right know, he or she should know that the A3 is already in the works.
Although the difference will not be huge, the A3 is supposed to offer more video codecs right away (like mkv etc.) and will be offered with a 60GB hard disc eventually.
 
Mar 30, 2007 at 5:32 PM Post #10 of 11

CD44hi

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Posts
1,050
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrsmr2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How about the new D2?

It sounds good, has the same audio customisations as the other Cowon players, and will also play videos.

I bought mine primarily for the SQ but the video playback has pleasantly surprised me - so much so that I actually do watch videos on it.

It's flash based but the removable SD cards can compensate for the limitation in on board capacity.

It's also very small and light (SQ, portability, and robustness were my key buying factors).



Haven't heard the D2. I would like to though.
I was mainly interested in HD-based. The idea of the SD card is a good one IMO. I may try it in the future.
 
Mar 30, 2007 at 5:37 PM Post #11 of 11

CD44hi

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2003
Posts
1,050
Likes
12
Quote:

Originally Posted by dr.morton /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The A2 is a very nice device and I am happy to own one.
But if someone is thinking about buying one right know, he or she should know that the A3 is already in the works.
Although the difference will not be huge, the A3 is supposed to offer more video codecs right away (like mkv etc.) and will be offered with a 60GB hard disc eventually.



Yeah, I am aware of the incoming A3. If I was only looking for video playback, disregarding the appreciation/considerations for SQ, I would have risked it and waited for the A3. A bigger HD would definitely help in this area. I don't know what dac is going to be included in the A3, and I didn't wanted to risk it, based in my disappointment with the X5. The A2 has a good synergy with the UE-10pro, that is what I was looking for.
smily_headphones1.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top