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Jon Bentley

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Cowon's S9 is an iPod Touch-beater. Sort of...

Tuesday 03 March 2009

Cowon's S9 is an iPod Touch-beater. Sort of... The Cowon S9 boasts superb sound quality.

This week I’ve been playing with one of the many pretenders to the iPod Touch’s portable music player crown – the Cowon S9 8GB. And by and large I’ve been very impressed, particularly when it comes to audio quality.

Plug in a decent pair of headphones and you’ll be staggered by the S9’s beautifully detailed soundstage – it’s certainly a couple of notches above the iPod’s sonic capabilities.

Another strength is its support for a huge range of file formats (including Ogg and the ultra-high quality FLAC lossless codec), not to mention a fantastic AMOLED screen and the ability to play hugely popular DivX videos – the iPod is much fussier about what it will play back.

That said, the S9 still can’t offer the all-round slick user experience of the iPod Touch. There’s no Wi-Fi, no web browsing and the touchscreen capabilities pale in comparison.

If Cowon can step up to match these in the future, then it might have a real iPod-killer on its hands. Of course, then there’s the whole question of competing with Apple’s multi-million dollar marketing campaigns – a slightly tougher prospect, methinks…

Take a look at the latest Web TV episode for a more in-depth first look at the S9.


Apple iPod Touch, Cowon S9, MP3 player

User comments (12)

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This S9 sounds great but as an iPod touch owner i still think it is the best portable music player

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Leigh Norris

I have one of these and i wouldnt swap it for anything else. Its responsive, good fun and beautiful to look at. The video playback is amazing with an extremely insane bitrate. And i believe it has the better sound of the two even though the EQ settings are rather overwhelming.

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Nice! But I still love my apple gadgets. My new Iphone 3GS is one for all player and reading ebooks and <a href="">research papers</a>.

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I hate itunes as it just doesn't work as well as copying and pasting which means i should like the cowon however apple's internet connectivity just wins it by an edge. (i like the oled screen though...i wish they could join and create the perfect product

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try the samsung YP-P3. I have one and it has absolutely awesome sound! and its about the same price as an iPod Nano for a touch screen, flash playing, bluetoothed mp4 player!

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Lawrence Rayner

I'm still waiting on a view of the best iPod touch Killer; The Zune HD. Admittedly its not officially sold in the UK but it has some impressive specs Hook me up Gadget Show!!

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Has anyone seen the i9 4G its similar looking to a iphone but only £50, i've seen it at with free delivery but im not sure if i should buy or not. it would be a perfect music player and phone if im right?? direct link is here

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Gideon Morley

You should try the J3 instead. How many players can last 64 hours and have superb sound quality to boot!

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How can any device without Wifi be any sort of rival to an iPod Touch, especially one with 64Gb storage. I had no interest in a MP3 player but bought an iPod Touch for my daughter and was quickly made aware of its use for e-mails and the internet. I bought one mainly for quick access to e-mails and listening to internet radio stations. The storage of music files (over 34Gb in use already) is a bonus with good headphones but can't come close to matching the quality of a real Hi-Fi sound. iTunes and MP3s are encouraging far too many to accept the low-fi MP3 sound and are killing off the much higher quality sound systems of domestic HiFis.

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Archos 4.3?that's amasing!

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wonderful put up, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not understand this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers' base already!

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May I just say what a relief to find a person that actually knows what they're talking about over the internet. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people should read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you aren't more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.

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