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Cowon X7 - Other Features, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

We've already covered the Cowon X7's top features - the excellent audio and video capabilities - but if you're still teetering on the balance there are a few more goodies to cover. It supports Bluetooth, features an FM radio and can be used as a Dictaphone and audio recorder.

Cowon X7

We tried out a set of Bluetooth earphones with the X7 and had no trouble connecting. Doing so is very simple too. There's a separate Bluetooth menu within the main Settings menu, which lists all of your devices. A tap on one will attempt to make the connection.

The FM radio also has its own menu spot, this time on the main menu within the iPod-style interface. Like most FM radios within media players, the headphone cable is used as the antenna. You can record the radio signal with the press of a button and there's a huge 24 station presets to fill up. It is, however, one of the elements that suffers from the resistive touchscreen's lack of sensitivity the most - the frequency selector being a bit too small and fiddly to control without the occasional frustrating moment.

Audio recording from the built-in microphone is versatile, giving you control over the quality of the recording, 32kbps to 256kbps, and volume. To unleash the X7's potential as a higher-quality recording device, you'll need the optional line-in cable, available from Advanced MP3 Players for around ten pounds. This offers the same settings as microphone recordings, but won't be held back by the quality limitations of a tiny pinhole microphone.Cowon X7

The Cowon X7 is the kind of device we didn't expect to see at this point. It's big, too big for many, and offers features rarely seen in a portable media player these days. An iPod Classic is simpler to use, but also lacks many of its best bits without selling for that much less money. They're not all features for techy nuts who spend their evenings tinkering with motherboards either - we can imagine using the X7 frequently as a video player, especially when that 120GB hard drive has enough room for more than a hundred movies, or more than a thousand albums.

Verdict

Cowon has carved out a niche within a niche with the X7. It offers better sound quality and superior video capabilities than an iPod Classic, but it's also much bigger. The sheer size of the player is a tricky issue to scale, but if you can it offers surprisingly good value - with far greater storage than its series rivals, like the J3, at a similar price.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design 6
  • Features 8
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 8

dev

April 28, 2011, 2:11 pm

So tempted, I'm looking for something to replace my ipod classic as I'm bored of the average sound quality...but this thing is just too big and clunky! Is there anything else on the market that people would recommend? I need space, preferably 120gb plus. Not interested in apps/bluetooth or any of that jazz as I have an HTC Desire

Jeff78

June 21, 2011, 8:05 am

With 120gb plus this is probably the only option with good sound quality. The J3 is much lighter ans smaller with up to 64gb (32+32, or more with more micro-sd card in your pocket). The hifiman 801 has good sound and more power to drive cans but is heavy, no internal memory (sd card slot only). Other MP3-Players playing in this league of sound quality?

Lucktnev

January 28, 2012, 1:39 pm

I am absolutely disgusted by the X7. The product called Jet Audio is useless. It adds m4a files to the library which cause it to crash. It does not synch with the X7, and hangs for hours. It is impossible to add album covers to any format other than mp3, though it says WMA are ok. You cannot add album covers to albums, but only at a song level.
The player is so hard to use, with the touch screen needing a degree of skill not available to humans.
The support from Cowon is non existent. I tried to email for 6 weeks and got no reply.
Purchasing this device has been the most unpleasant purchase ever.

voodoo

April 29, 2012, 2:17 pm

An audiophiles portable music player. Yeah it's clunky compared to something like a Touch but I bought this to play music - not Tunes.
Pros - Sound quality. Drives even tough headphones like AKG701 reasonably well but is heaven with Shure SE535's.
- huuuuge battery life, tough durable case (get the leather case accessory), storage capacity, no iTunes!! Plays FLAC natively. Good enough to connect directly to an amp or active speakers without a DAC.
Cons - no 24/96 support. Navigation is clunky if you flit from song to song (fine otherwise). Non standard (Korean) USB connection cable.

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