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I bought this firstand foremost for the possibility of improved sound quality using FLAC.

Does it make a difference? Do bears poop in the woods? I downloaded a FLAC converter for my CD's as I was waiting for delivery but although from one of the more popular sites it was non functional. So when this player turned up I used the supplied CD for the conversion program. Normaly I don't use them but I have to say, top marks to COWON - their converter works like a dream. Okay FLAC takes up more space and is a bit of a faff, but as a compromise of storage space against sound quality it can't be beaten.

I know. I tried FLAC against high quality MP3 and WMA and you can tell the difference almost immediately. And of course COWON have a bit of a rep for great sounding machines, so combined with the FLAC files I was astounded at just how good this sounds. Even with the supplied headphones I was rocked back. I'll buy some top quality 'phones later as well so should sound even better.

Video is excellent and the clarity and brightness of the screen is something to behold. It certainly is better than my Archos and my wife's iPod.

Touch screen is fine when you get used to it. Not sure to be honest how much of a benefit this it apart from being the latest "must have." After all when you have a bright colourful screen why ruin it with fingerprints or dirt and scratches? However it's here to stay and the COWON seems to work fine.

The interface is not as clear as Archos or iPod, but whilst one could moan and groan and drag out the usual "iPod interface is better" argument, the reality is that after a couple of uses like all other players you get a handle on whatever operating interface they have. In most cases you'd have to be a dribbling imbecile to fail to be able to operate any one of the units on the market.

It's small, light and very well made with a high quality feel to it.

Is it an iPod beater. Yes. Will it achieve this? No, because youth targeted marketing has already won that battle. However for the more discerning, less influenced buyer then this is the machine to have.
11 comment|30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 March 2009
The review will summerise the main points of the Cowon S9 and hopefully help make your minds up.

I used to own the Cowon D2 so when i found this little gadget i was very excited, it can be said that the S9 is the next step up from the D2, it has many of the same layouts and functions as the previous but everything has been revamped into this sleak box.

The practical side of this overal is good. Three buttons, one for volume the other to play/stop (can be hard to press) and the other to skip tracks and to advance and retrack through the menu. Some reviews pick up on the menu's being difficult to navigate - though this isn't the case in my opinion, but it might take a few minutes to adjust to.

Something new is the gravity sensor which i found annoying, sometimes its sticks in horizonal mode, then others its flicks between the two when i'm lying on my back. When playing your tracks, horizonal mode has very little use, all play buttons are removed from sight, and all your left with is a ipod style catalog of album art and song titles which is slow to respond and buggy.

The music on the other hand sounds superb, easily one of the best compared to anything on the market today. And with support for a huge array of formats. Only problem is that it doesn't support DRM.

Video has been increased to a max of 480x272 at 30fps with an insanely high bitrate which can make good viewing i have loads of top notch movie clips on mine.

The photo gallery is one of my favourites, those that have the D2 know that to zoom in, or move the picture takes 5-10secs each step, now it updates and loads the image almost in real time. Allowing you to show off your photography.

There are alot more features i could go on to describe but i'll leave it here. All in all i would say for the price and what i does this is a very good buy.
0Comment|24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 August 2009
I can't believe I almost didn't buy one of these. Without going into reams of details: easy to use (don't know why some people think it is difficult at first), sound quality amazing, video player is superb. A great machine and without doubt one of my better buys.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 January 2010
Excellent product, great delivery and a great price. If your disappointed with one of these then you have brought the wrong mp3 player. So do your research and make note of what you want from it. If its the best sounding player out there then this is it. Also great for watching converted films or stuff off bbc iplayer. The screen is a 3.3inch amoled which is as good as it gets until you get a something alot bulkier. The display is amazing at that size there is nothing to beat it atm. Supports lots of formats and theres lots of firmware updates to add/improve features/performance. If you dont want an ipod touch then there is nothing better. I only say that because usually if your a touch lover it doesnt matter how good anything else is. I am not so thats why i got the S9. Excellent.
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on 24 October 2009
I purchased this player after reading other reviews on this page. It was a replacement for a Sony NWZA816B which had got dust behind the screen. In am pleased with the sound of the Cowon which sounds excellent which ever settings you choose, in contrast to the Sony which didn't sound quite right no matter how I tweaked it. I have tried several headphones and although they all sounded different, they all sounded good. I rip my files in OGG format which sounds great but isn't very compatible with other devices, there are however plenty of other formats to choose from using the supplied software.
The video quality is excellent and the supplied conversion software can convert most formats.
The radio reception is also very good.
I don't know if it is better than an Ipod (cos I've never listened to one) but if music and video quality is top of your agenda I can highly recommend this player.
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on 25 August 2009
COWON S9 does not disappoint in the music and picture stakes. An excellent slim multi-media player with a slightly fiddly user interface. Pictures, music can be dragged using your PC and video converted easily. Customise sound to your own taste. I'm still playing with it. Of course there are a few niggles (PC connection required to delete files is one of them). No problem with touchpad control thru a screensaver. The competition is very hot but this product is certainly very warm.
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on 13 July 2011
the sound quality is good, but I am not sure its any better than an Ipod. However, you can play around with the EQ much more. I like the player because its light and the battery last forever. But getting music on to it is a pain. It is not at all intuitive and many of my itunes tracks will not play on this player. the frustrating thing sis that when loading tracks on to the player there is no message saying that they are not compatible, so I only find this out later when i try and play the tracks. it's also very fiddly to use and tiresome to search for tracks. While the sound quality may be better than an ipod the usability is certainly not. Now I think I am going to sell this and buy an ipod- which is disappointing.
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on 28 September 2009
Tried the creative zen, x-fi video player, that was awful, then saw this and thought wow it looks good, got good reviews, lets give it a go.
ordered it and thought wow...then my girlfriend showed me her new samsung jet and this blew it away in terms of sound, touch screen, hd size and overall experience and it was cheaper.
Straight away the cowen iaudio s9 became out of date as it became obvious it does not have the fluid motion touch when you use it.
66 comments|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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