Cowon iAudio E2 MP3 player
The stylish and ultra-compact Cowon iAudio E2 portable music player really impressed us.
- Affordable price, compact
- No video playback (obviously)
The Cowon iAudio E2 is a solid, ultra-compact MP3 player that promises excellent quality sound in a stylish compact form factor at an affordable price.
Price$ 66.00 (AUD)
Coming in eight different colours, the Cowon iAudio E2 is a diminutive screen-less MP3 player that sports a multitude of features under its hood. It comes in two versions: 2GB and 4GB, and it is one of the few micro MP3 players that plays FLAC and Ogg audio files apart from popular formats like MP3, WMA and WAV but no AAC.
Cowon also threw in a bevy of audio enhancements such as the BBE, BBE ViVA, BBE ViVA 2, BBE Mach3Bass, BBE MP, BBE Headphone (1/2/3) apart from Normal. There is no FM radio nor a recording feature of any sort. The player audio output is rated at 12mW per channel on a 16 Ohm earphone. The built-in Li-Pol battery has a rated playback time of up to 11 hours and 30 minutes which is not stellar but average.
The Cowon iAudio E2 player measures 26.6x64.2x7.7 (mm) which is just as big as a cigarette lighter and it is also quite light at 16.6gm. The Cowon iAudio E2's design is simple and the built is solid. On one end the player is a metallic ring, which apart from enhancing the aesthetic eases carrying it around the neck or on a keychain. On the other end of the player is a headphone jack which also is a port for connecting the data cable (for data transfer and charging the player).
It is a bit disappointing that the Cowon iAudio E2 accepts only the bundled proprietary cable rather than the more universal miniUSB. The iAudio E2's back and front are plain black while a square button and one strip button are located on either side. The left side has buttons for power on/off and for skipping tracks whereas the right ones are for shuffle or changing audio enhancements and volume control. It is quite hard to differentiate those buttons on the left and on the right while the player is in the pocket as they are neither clearly labeled nor distinctly shaped or sized.
The Cowon iAudio E2 has voice guidance while changing the audio enhancement. And every time the buttons are pressed there is a beeping sound accompanying the press. The player supports shuffle playback and after updating the firmware to v1.11, it now supports playback by folder which was not previously available. One nifty feature the iAudio E2 also included is the Ear Safe Technology which automatically sets the volume to moderate level when the player is switched on.
This feature makes a lot of sense especially for a screen-less MP3 player where you can't make out at what volume level the player was last played. This is a feature which we think every player should incorporate as increasing volume to one's comfortable level won't be much of a problem than risking one's hearing. Further, the player switches off automatically after the earphone is unplugged for a while. This helps in saving battery life and making sure the player is switched off as it is quite hard to figure out the miniscule blinking LED power on indicator at the back.
Cowon iAudio E2: Performance
After loading up tracks from our FLAC and MP3 collection which has genres across the board, we plugged in the bundled earphones. However, they sounded muffled and lacked resolution. With a better pair such as the Soundmagic PL30/50 and Audio Technica CK1, the sound quality of the Cowon iAudio E2 is clearly superior to other ultra compact MP3 players we tested before.
The mids and the bass reproduction is impressive for the player of the Cowon iAudio E2's size. The bass is taut, rich and deep while the mids have great details and are well-focused. The highs extended well and sounded sharp. Listening to songs like Watch This by Slash from his recent self-titled album revealed that the iAudio E2 sounded crispy rich and detailed for genre like Rock with no compromise on the low end either. Hip Hop and Trance sounded great too with deep bass without sounding boomy. The highs on the other hand despite being sharp and bright lack a bit of coherence when pushing the volume towards the limit. However, this is still way above the average in the ultra compact category.
The player also has good enough power to drive most in-earphones. Even though the Cowon iAudio E2 came with nine audio enhancements, we found the Normal sounded the best. Even though they added depth, presence and soundstage, when it comes to overall sound quality, some frequency ranges always had to give in while others were gaining.
The Cowon iAudio E2 has commendable sound output which is way above the output we heard from players like the Creative ZEN Stone Plus, iPod Shuffle or the Philips GoGear Vibe. The battery lasted for 8 hours during my test which is low by Cowon's standard.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- Sony shows latest high-end Walkman
- Sydney Airport lost property auction: you'll be amazed at what some people left behind
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTDeveloper - Java/J2EEQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- FT.Net Azure DeveloperSA
- TPIteration ManagerNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Transport DomainVIC
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- CCTest AnalystWA
- TPDigital Strategist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- FTIt Security and process analystNSW
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- TPSolution Architect - Office 365QLD
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- TPChange and Communications CoordinatorQLD
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorACT
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC