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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great improvement ove the S9
Well,up till now I've had the Cowon S9 32GB and it was excellent but it was getting full, therefore I decided to upgrade to the Cowon J3 32GB version mainly because of the prospect of having a MicroSD card slot, so when the 32GB is finally full I can add a 32GB MicroSD card and that will give me a total of 64GB, which is superb. The Cowon J3 does support full integration...
Published on 30 Jun 2010 by Mr. T. MUCAJ

versus
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars amazing item
As an iPhone and iPhone touch user I moved to Sony MP3 players - to avoid iTunes. My Sony was getting full so I looked around and based on reviews here decided on the Cowon 32Gb. What an excellent choice, really good display which puts all others to shame and the sound quality really does blow the iPhone away. The operating system is a little different to use, not as easy...
Published on 16 July 2010 by Kevin Ratcliffe


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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great improvement ove the S9, 30 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. T. MUCAJ (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Well,up till now I've had the Cowon S9 32GB and it was excellent but it was getting full, therefore I decided to upgrade to the Cowon J3 32GB version mainly because of the prospect of having a MicroSD card slot, so when the 32GB is finally full I can add a 32GB MicroSD card and that will give me a total of 64GB, which is superb. The Cowon J3 does support full integration with the external MicroSD card as I tested it with a 4GB MicroSD card.

DESIGN
In contrast to the S9's beautiful curves the J3 looks like its been working out to achieve that slim and beautiful body, making it very sleek indeed. I also like the fact that Cowon have kept the physical buttons for play / pause, volume, next / previous track and power / lock, while the USB connector holds down the final slot on the bottom next to MicroSD card slot. However, I was a bit disappointed that Cowon have still kept the proprietary USB connector; in other words, you can forget syncing / charging the J3 without the special cable that comes bundled in.

SCREEN & SOUND QUALITY
The J3 still has the AMOLED 3.3in 480x272 screeen as found on the S9, which is gorgeous to look at and consumes a lot less battery than a normal LCD screen. Videos look superb, images are unbelievably sharp and bright. I won't go into much detail about the sound quality as everyone knows that Cowon is the undisputed champion at that. And the support for a huge variety of audio files, from MP3 to APE and FLAC; TV out (with optional cable); Bluetooth; an FM radio tuner; plus, finally, the bonus of support for Flash games with its nifty embedded Flash player, just makes it that extra worthwhile. The J3 also has proper full playback support, unlike the S9 which had a moment where you could hear the split between the ending of a song and the beginning of the next one.

INTERFACE
Now here is where the S9 suffered a bit and was not as intuitive and easy to use as say the Ipod Touch or the Zune HD etc. However, the same cannot be said for the J3. Cowon have listened to their consumers and straightened out some of the S9's usability issues. With the J3 you get a much more improved capacitive touchscreen and nippier performance, which will have have you skipping from one view to another with iPod-like rapidity. I am very impressed, the difference is like day and night, honestly.

The J3 has more scope for customisation than before. You get the traditional icon grid joined by a customisable widget desktop view and a lovely vertically scrolling text view. The latter comes complete with slick accelerometer-enabled animation - tip the player on its side and the words fall gracefully from one side to the other. Picture browsing, meanwhile, benefits from pinch to zoom multitouch support and can be a bit slow at times if you have very high resolution pics.

All said, the J3 is an impressive piece of kit, and its definitely a huge improvement over the S9. Its nippier, slicker and expandable - and a better all-round player than an iPod touch or nano.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous, 11 July 2010
By 
K. Jamal (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Having been seen with the 32GB version which I bought recently, a member of family decided to buy the 16GB version. The review for the 32GB and the 16GB is basically the same, except for storage capacity of course. Already have a Cowon S9, so learning how to use this was quite easy, though newcomers to Cowon may have to play around a bit to see all the possibilities. That is fun in itself anyway. Firstly, unlike some versions of the S9 which because of a design fault which partially obstructed bluetooth broadcast, on this the bluetooth actually works and works really well with external Bluetooth speakers. I have managed to pair it with 5 different devices and the J3 has managed to keep information on them all.
For those with a large collection, there is the joy of being able to add micro SD cards to increase capacity. Another great advance is that once the micro SD card is in, the player sees them together, so the whole collection can be seen seamlessly...not having to move from the internal storage to the external. 8GB micro SD cards are now quite cheap, 16GB is affordable; 32GB is way too pricey but I expect the prices will head down rapidly. When that happens, you can have a 48GB player if you wish. You can store your videos and other stuff which you may not use that often on separate cards and insert them when you wish.
The amoled 3.3 inch screen on the J3 is quite fantastic. I guarantee you won't see any better. Touch on the screen is hugely responsive and needs the merest of touches. Pictures and icons run smoothly and video quality is quite amazing. Videos default to widescreen but all other views...such as album list and art respond to how the J3 is held. Very quick changeover too.
The legendary sound quality of the Cowon continues. It puts everyone else to shame, especially the most famous of all. It seems to playback just about all audio formats from the obvious Mp3 to Flac. The equalizer gives untold options, including 4 which are customizable. There are physical buttons on the side of the player to advance or change tracks and change volume. There isn't an independent way to create playlists, which is a shame, but you can add tracks to a favourites list which goes to a total of 256 tracks. Playlists can be created on a PC and the MU3 file transferred to the root folder of the J3. I use winamp to create playlists.
Battery is claimed to last on audio for 64 hours and video for 11. As we all know battery usage is measured playing music at 128 Kbps, so I expect playing 256 or 320 encoded files will reduce this time. But it is still an extraordinary improvement on all other players. However, when Bluetooth is used, the battery lasts a fraction of this time. This is not a fault with the player. Unfortunately Bluetooth itself takes quite a bit of power.
Picture browsing is excellent. The usual zoom option is on the screen but you can also pinch and enlarge a picture by using thumb and forefinger to stretch it out.
The J3 has its own speaker, mono though, not very loud, but perfectly adequate with decent sound quality for what must be tiny speakers.
This player does not do apps or have wifi. No concern to me as I simply want the best audio and video player. These additions cost money and to add them and keep prices low can only mean a reduction in quality in other departments.
It weighs a lot less than more famous brands, sits beautifully in the hand, having ditched the curve of the S9 and reverting back to a fully rectangular shape. But I must admit I did like the curve of the S9. It made it unique.
Sadly, the world is never perfect and the only gripe I have with this is that the opening for the speaker is a slit on the back of the player. When you lay the player down, unless you place it face down, it obstructs the slit and reduces the volume. It should have been on the side or at the front. Extraordinary how advanced design can be and yet so often the simplest of things are missed. Still, it is small gripe.
The 16Gb J3 is cheaper than the 16GB S9 when it first came out, so I think it is great value. Available in all black or partly white, I love it and challenge anyone not to once they hold it in their hand..
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect Audio, Upgradable Memory,Sharp Display,Long lasting-Nuff said, 16 May 2010
The Positives:
Sound quality is def above the average mp3 player esp above most ipods, esp with a decent set of headphones(included are not so good)
Incredible Battery Life (aprox 64hrs+ for music)-Major Selling point!
Sharp colourful display(new OLED touchscreen display)
Touchscreen is quite responsive (capacitive) but not quite as easy to use as ipod
Drag and drop onto cowon as an external drive on pc so no need to mess about with unresponsive provided software(better than encrypting like ipod/sony)
Memory Expandable/Upgradable(Put in a micro sd for instant extra capacity.-ie add 16gb card to get a 32gb player and more in future)-Brillant
Wide range of video formats acceptable,eg divx(but not all and Not ipod mp4 video files!)
Supports flash but don't have clue how to do anything with that??-def nothing like an app store
Light and ok quality build for an mp3 player, display does smudge but its glass so cleans up easy
Actual physical buttons on side of player, which means you can use in your pocket, unlike other touchscreens
Digital radio and photo viewer as standard, plus recorder, from radio or inbuilt microphone, so good for long lectures/meetings

The Negatives(which lose a star)
Display, while exceptional + sharp indoors, is almost unwatchable in bright sunlight, and def. dimmer in comparasion to ipod on brightest settings
However over 10 hours video so better than most.
As said, does not support ipod/psp movie format (yet?)-Big let down for anyone with a sizable movie library.
No wifi, or internet browser if that matters to you, but is bluetooth.
interface is not great as sometimes hard to find way to what your looking for, but not too bad and you do get used to it.
Included software not very clever, but will convert other format movies to divx, but really widows media player is better.
screen is little small(3.2" when most videos are heading for 4" now)
No home button which is tricky for a touchscreen, but holding play button does the same
in built speaker is a litle quite on max volume, but still pretty good.
Build of device does seem a little plasticy and cheapish on the back, despite the metallic edge round the glass screen on the front,all metal be better
Instructions non existant and some options almost a mystery to figure out, with button images no help-(or fun if you enjoy experimenting?)
For same money could buy ipod touch with bigger brighter screen and still decent audio and battery life and wifi and web browser(Big Negative)

Conclusion.
Using this just as an mp3 player and occasional video player,this device is perfect really, as battery life is very decent compared to others and pretty perfect audio playback, for those with normal human hearing, and better than compared to ipods and sonys had before. As a video player its not quite as good as others,perhaps sharper than ipod touch but def not brighter-esp in daylight, however longer lasting so maybe up to you to chose which you prefer.Nice if bit bigger. The other features are little sparse as photo viewer is standard for most now, and even nano has inbuilt video recorder, but as yet cant figure how to get games on it and as with touch dont generally like prodding a screen or balancing it to play games on, so not really bothered. Anyway, audio is the focus on this so it excels there and too much other stuff might distract.The ultimate and interesting point is the upgradable memory part, as in 2 years the micro sd cards could have doubled or tripled which ultimatly future proofs this high quality player, at least in capacity terms. Can't see major audio developers like apple/sony following this(maybe sony if their smart)Could be improved in a few ways.Perhaps a swappable battery might help but ok. And if drag and drop is too easy, maybe a better software from cowon and def an all metal body as feels rather cheap and light.

So Summary, light, bright, long lasting upgradable memory capacity with great sound quality. Other little niggles can be mostly ignored, in my opinion.

-Update after 2 months use, only to add that audio still impresses and a 32gb sdhc card is now available, and contary to my earlier comment, found supplied software ok once you get used to weird interface and has benefit that will actually let you add apple format mp4 videos,(so ipod movies you have not wasted!)-and also converts video files if not suitable- so big plus. Only negative now is that the white back of mine looks very grubby after a few weeks in pocket, so would probably recommend the black one.Still highly recommended-hope that helps.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars j3, 20 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Start with the minus points.The headphones are a waste of time ditch them.cx200 are on offer for 9.99 great value.The screen is unwatchable in sunlight no good for the beach.The provided softare is rubbish better to just drag and drop.Forget all thesse defects,with a good set of headphones the sound is wonderful.Far better than i pod or creative or sony.To get the best out of this machine take the time to adjust the jet30 to your prefrence .The rock setting is excellent.Also rip your favourite tracks to flac files about 8 times the memory space but well worth it to hear tracks as they were meant to be.The memory card files appear in the main memory so this is a big advantage over creative where you have to come out of music and then back into memory card.Have had this for a month now and love it. Finally battery they say 60 hours or more have used this for 20 hours plus and only got down to 50% charge playing on the highest Quality.If you just want something to listen to at work spend less if sound quality is your priority then cowon are worth the money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just wow., 24 Aug 2010
This review is from: Cowon J3 32GB MP3 Player Colour - Black (Electronics)
What an amazing player. I'd been hungrily eyeing up the Cowon S9 for some time but by the time my Iriver E100 bricked they had brought out this little beauty. The video quality is stunning, and videos require no tinkering - just stick em on & they will play.

But that's just a nice toy useful for long flights, IMO. What really sold me on this player is the sound quality and it really doesn't disappoint. Listen to any twisted electro, dubstep, orchestral music: anything multi-layered and dynamic that you're familiar with, and you will hear stuff you've never noticed before. The EQ is incredibly customisable and some of the settings will blow you away - the BBE Viva Machbass 3 setting is unbelievable if you're listening to drum & bass or dubstep.

Put simply I've never heard a player that sounds anywhere near as good as this. It's simply in a class of its own. The Iriver was supposed to be good (certainly better than the ipod), but it sounds like a wonky old cassette player compared to this. If there's a criticism, the navigation takes a little getting used to, but that's such a minor niggle it's barely worth mentioning. An absolutely outstanding player - by far the best I've ever owned.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Player, But . . . . ., 3 Oct 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the Cowon J3 because my iPod Classic was playing up and I wanted a replacement. I went and bought an iPod Nano (5th Gen) because I had read some excellent reviews for it, but was totally underwhelmed by the sound which was nowhere near as good as my Classic. Fortunately, I was able to return it to the shop for a refund and bought the Cowon instead.

What do I like about the Cowon J3?
(1) The sound quality is excellent. If music quality is a priority for you, buy the J3, plug in your favourite headphones and prepare to enjoy your music. You will not be disappointed.
(2) Video quality is very good. The Amoled screen is extremely good and watching movies on such a small screen works surprisingly well.
(3) The option of adding MicroSD cards is really useful. I have added a 16Gb card.

But if it is so good, why am I only giving it 4 stars?

The downsides are:
(1) The bundled software is horrible. I hate to say it, but iTunes is much better. I have used MediaMonkey and got it working fine now, but even this is not software that you would want a novice to use. Yes, you can use WMP or just drag and drop, but that creates other issues that are not always easily solved.
(2) The UI is OK but inconsistent. When you are used to the simplicity of Apple products, the J3 feels clumsy.
(3) Managing podcasts is a pain. Listening to podcasts makes up almost half of the time I use my mp3 player and the J3/MediaMonkey combination is nowhere near as good as iPod/iTunes.
(4) Now that the Amazon price has gone up, the cost of the 16Gb J3 plus a 16Gb MicroSD card is much the same as a 32Gb iPod Touch. Mmmm . . . .

One tip: Although the J3 can play AAC files, it will not use the tagged information properly. Before syncing the J3, convert any AAC files to MP3 and you will find it all works much better.

In conclusion, you will love the J3 for its music and video capabilities and - hopefully - this will allow you to forgive it its minor drawbacks. However, if you are hoping for the simple, user-friendly experience you get with Apple products, you may be slightly disappointed and frustrated.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Audiophile's wet dream, 1 July 2010
By 
B. McCaig (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Let's not beat about the bush if you want THE BEST IN AUDIO and video then the buck stops here. If you want to play kids games and surf via wifi then get another 'seriously inferiour mp3 player'. If you really demand exceptional sound quality this stunning music player is IT. Buy
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous, 1 July 2010
By 
K. Jamal (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cowon J3 32GB MP3 Player Colour - Black (Electronics)
I couldn't wait for the 32 GB version to be released in the UK and snapped it up the moment it was available. Already have a Cowon S9, so learning how to use this was quite easy, though newcomers to Cowon may have to play around a bit to see all the possibilities. That is fun in itself anyway. Firstly, the main improvement is that the bluetooth actually works unlike the S9 32 GB version. Because of a design fault which blocked the signal on the S9, the range of bluetooth was no more than a couple of feet and practically useless if you wished to use it with external bluetooth speakers. The J3 has now resolved this problem. And of course, for those who either encode at higher Kbps than 128 or have a large collection, there is the joy of being able to add micro SD cards to increase capacity. Another great advance is that once the micro SD card is in, the player sees them together, so the whole collection can be seen seamlessly...not having to move from the internal storage to the external. 8GB micro SD cards are now quite cheap, 16GB is affordable; 32GB is way too pricey but I expect the prices will head down rapidly. When that happens, you will have a 64GB player. You can store your videos and other stuff which you may not use that often on separate cards and insert them when you wish.
The amoled 3.3 inch screen on the J3 is quite fantastic. I guarantee you won't see any better. Touch on the screen is hugely responsive and needs the merest of touches. Pictures and icons run smoothly and video quality is quite amazing. Videos default to widescreen but all other views...such as album list and art respond to how the J3 is held. Very quick changeover too.
The legendary sound quality of the Cowon continues. It puts everyone else to shame, especially the most famous of all. It seems to playback just about all audio formats from the obvious Mp3 to Flac. The equalizer gives untold options, including 4 which are customizable. There are physical buttons on the side of the player to advance or change tracks and change volume. There isn't an independent way to create playlists, which is a shame, but you can add tracks to a favourites list which goes to a total of 256 tracks. Playlists can be created on a PC and the MU3 file transferred to the root folder of the J3. I use winamp to create playlists.
Battery is claimed to last on audio for 64 hours and video for 11. As we all know battery usage is measured playing music at 128 Kbps, so I expect playing 256 or 320 encoded files will reduce this time. But it is still an extraordinary improvement on all other players.
Picture browsing is excellent. The usual zoom option is on the screen but you can also pinch and enlarge a picture by using thumb and forefinger to stretch it out.
The J3 has its own speaker, mono though, not very loud, but perfectly adequate with decent sound quality for what must be tiny speakers.
This player does not do apps or have wifi. No concern to me as I simply want the best audio and video player. These additions cost money and to add them and keep prices low can only mean a reduction in quality in other departments.
It weighs a lot less than more famous brands, sits beautifully in the hand, having ditched the curve of the S9 and reverting back to a fully rectangular shape.
Sadly, the world is never perfect and the only gripe I have with this is that the opening for the speaker is a slit on the back of the player. When you lay the player down, unless you place it face down, it obstructs the slit and reduces the volume. It should have been on the side or at the front. Extraordinary how advanced design can be and yet so often the simplest of things are missed. Still, it is small gripe.
The 32Gb J3 is cheaper than the 32GB S9 when it first came out, so I think it is great value. Available in all black or partly white, I love it and challenge anyone not to once they hold it in their hand..
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars amazing item, 16 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cowon J3 32GB MP3 Player Colour - Black (Electronics)
As an iPhone and iPhone touch user I moved to Sony MP3 players - to avoid iTunes. My Sony was getting full so I looked around and based on reviews here decided on the Cowon 32Gb. What an excellent choice, really good display which puts all others to shame and the sound quality really does blow the iPhone away. The operating system is a little different to use, not as easy or logical as the iPhone, but once you have used it there is no problem.

I use mine mostly for language learning so I have material arranged in folders for different languages, the Cowon system is easy to navigate around for this. The only slightly negative for me is because I use it for spoken word and keep stopping and starting (pausing) it the buttons on the side are tiny. They are easy to use but I often need to look for it because it is flush with the casing and small it is not always obvious.

On the whole the hardware is brilliant, the operating system good once you have had a play with it and the video and sound quality completly out of this world. If you don't need iTunes and want better quality then this is the one.

Update - I have reduced 5 stars to 3 stars. I have used the device and it is excellent as described - BUT - having put around 12Gb of music and spoken word onto it anything else I add comes up as 'no file' and so will not play. From the website it states it is capable of -

up to 12,000 folders / 12,000 files (music/video file: 8,000 + others: 4,000)
MicroSD card: up to 12,000 folders / 12,000 files (music/video file: 8,000 + others: 4,000).

In reality this seems to mean that once you reach around 12Gb you need to use the micro SD card. The device is ok if you have some big files, like video files but if you want to use lots of audio it is restricting. In retropect I should have bought the cheaper 16Gb device and use micro SD cards. I use the player for spoken word and language courses and the intention was to update from a 16Gb Sony to the better 32Gb Cowon so I could have all the files in one place. Please consider this if you are buying this device.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MP3 player without restriction, 10 Aug 2010
Cowon J3

I love this gadget. Sound quality is the best. AMOLED screen is beautiful. In direct sunlight it is hard to see but that will be true to most screens.Although the brightness can be increased and improve this a bit.
Nice conversion software, music or videos. I love the idea that it allows me to access my music with any OS, application. No need to use the software that it comes with if you choose not to. It could improve in the playlist support. A way around this is to transfer your music using the device as mass storage and then creating the playlists with winamp or similar in MTP mode. Windows Media Player can be used to manage the device but do not recommend the use of it, WMP will litter you music collections with unnecessary files, among other annoyances.
Interface very intuitive and easy to learn. The manual is electronic, PDF, but quite clear.
Headphones should be replaced, not very comfortable in the ears, not too bad in the quality of the sound but not good either.
Battery life is beyond excellent. The design is well thought, quite practical. It has a very responsive touchscreen and it also has real buttons.
great format support including ogg and flac.
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