HOME / PRINT
Cowon iAudio E2 DAP
In the realm of the unique, outlandish, ridiculous, chic or even off-beat technology designs, Cowon’s iAudio E2 can be categorized as any one of the above. It’s just a matter of your own preference and taste. But nevertheless faceless Mp3 players i.e. those without displays, are quite popular. It isn’t about the looks though in this segment, it’s about how much audio quality, volume and battery life the device can dish out at this low a price and this is what I think of the E2.
I can’t say I like or dislike the E2’s rather odd styling. I’ll admit it’s unusual and I was quite intrigued by the Circle and Square shape when I first heard about it. The player itself is tiny and very light weight and also quite easy to misplace. I found out the hard way. Take a look at the specs.
The large silver ring at the top serves no purpose whatsoever, unless you can get a really cool strap for it and loop it round your neck. It’s a fashion statement, no more, no less. The rectangular body, that’s available in a slew of colors, isn’t square at all although the symbols in the ads seem to showcase it as a Square + Circle design. Not that that matters. It has a 3.5mm earphone socket at the bottom and Cowon’s bundled earphones are extremely comfortable as well as capable of providing excellent tone quality.
Volume keys are located on one of the slim sides just underneath a tiny button that controls the EQ presets. You can adjust the presets by just pressing the button and a voice will announce the setting that’s been selected. On the other side is the power key that can also be used to pause audio, followed by the skip/forward or rewind keys.
The design is, to be brutally honest, simple and quite elegant in that simplicity. But in my opinion, the circular portion could have been designed to pop open so it could be used as a clip or a keychain so it becomes even easier to carry and you won’t have to worry about leaving it around. Too bad they didn’t think of that. It’s the price you pay for fashion I guess.
Features and Performance
The E2 is designed to be nothing more than a 2GB or 4GB device that plays music. It has no other features. The good thing is this singular feature makes it easy to use. So functionality is a breeze, even a child could use it. What you’d need to think about if a child is planning on using the E2 is to keep the volume at a safe level as the E2 can dish out quite a high decibel level.
The audio quality is superb. All tones are very well balanced and the dynamic range of audio is well adjusted with all the EQ presets. Cowon has included a total of 9 presets featuring their BBE+ technology. They make quite a difference depending on the genre of music you’re listening to. There’s a very clear thump in the bass line to have your feet tapping if you’re listening to something that has a hard backbeat. The E2 also reads FLAC and OGG file formats making quite a versatile player.
The battery life is a disappointment. With non-stop playback it raked in just 8 hours and 30 minutes. The company claims that the E2 can deliver up to 11 hours plus of playback, sadly it falls a little short.
The Bottom Line
The iAudio E2 comes in two models viz. 2GB and 4GB. They’re priced at Rs. 2,950 and Rs. 3,500 respectively. Now that may seem like a bit pricy, I’ll admit, but the kind of quality this device provides makes it well worth it. The bundled earphones are great, the overall design is neat but like I said, it’s easy to lose considering how small and light it is. The audio is brilliant but the battery life just doesn't cut it.
UPDATE - The Circle at the top isn't a clip by itself, however Cowon has a clip attachment that fits into the circle so it can be used as a clip.