Top critical review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
Not a 5* product
on 20 December 2013
Superb audio. A very neutral/ balanced/ flat sound.
Able to turn gapless on and off.
AMOLED screen. These are the best, watch video on them and you'll see why.
Dual Micro SD card storage.
Build quality is good. Very smooth, good looking unit. Feels tough.
Multiple playlist creating on the go.
USB DAC with recent firmware update.
Digital in, Digital out with a Optical to 3.5mm converter (few pounds at most as it's only a connector and doesn't actually do anything to the signal)
The battery. Unimpressive.
The buttons just aren't nice. Little circle things.
It cuts off the end of mp3s. WTF indeed. Future firmware update should fix.
This thing is quite block like. Given it's size, i'd prefer an increase in length for a bigger screen and battery. It's also awkward as hell to use one handed. This is personnel preference, but certainly would help with other issues.
The roller wheel volume control is a nice touch, but essentially pointless. It changes volume in half increments, a button can do that just as well/ quick/ precisely. Gets in the way, weak spot for potential damage. (it can be put on hold to prevent accidental use though)
The EQ. Urgh. Ever used a Cowon J3 EQ? If so you'll be disappointed. One single setting available for use, and not as precise due to the small touch screen.
The user interface just isn't that well tested. Little things like having to turn the screen on, to turn the player off are annoying. I just wanted to hold the off button to turn it off.
No "album artist" search. Either Album, Folder, Artist, Genre, Playlist, Most Played.
Searching the Genre gives the list of ALL songs. Not separated by folders/ artists/ or even album.
Doesn't play continuously from folder to folder. It'll stop at the last song.
Small screen as mentioned makes scrolling songs a pain.
Doesn't work so well with a fresh Windows 7 install. I have to plug and unplug, then plug in again for the AK100 to be recognised. I've played with the drivers etc.
The manual says "not to remove SD cards regularly". So you transfer slowly through the USB 2.0 cable instead. Not such a big issue for me, but for some.
Another slight niggle, you can only add songs to a playlist when you're playing the song that you want to add. You cannot rename the playlists.
If you want superb audio at any price, AK100 = win.
If you want convenient digital out in a small device, AK100 = win.
If you want a Walkman or Ipod feature/ style/ usable player, AK100 = loose.
If you want Cowon battery and EQ, AK100 = loose.
For me, too many looses. If i could sell this for £500 cash right now, i would.
Equipment used for sound review:
UMX3s. Excellent. Smooth, controlled, precise. Lack of warmth without EQ which i just then change to another headphone
DT990 premium 32ohm. Increased control, more precise and clear vocals.
M50. Brings out mids excellently. Not heard this headphone perform that well before.
Momentums. Removes the warmth slightly, and increases the control of lower end.
DT1350- Very bright now. Ideal for Beyer fans.
Can't be bothered to remind my myself of other bits the headphones as this isn't a headphone review. Just a guidance.