Tune in this week if you want to hear Donald and Jasmine talk about pretty much nothing. Also, Donald huffs bourbon throughout, Jasmine rants about Lady Gaga headphones, and both try to insert a little bit of news before the holiday break. But mostly, it's nothing. Be sure to check out CNET the week of January 4 for all the CES goodness, including a live podcast broadcast at 3PM on Friday, January 8.
This week, Donald will just not_shut_up already, so Jasmine tries to impose a word cap on his ramblings (it fails). Items that are babbled upon include the overly bass-heavy Dr. Dre Beats Solo headphones, a potential Zii war between Nintendo and Creative, an itty-bitty $9 MP3 player, and a potential HD video player from Cowon. Also, Donald shoots Jasmine with lasers, and we drool over an ultraquiet vacuum with a built in iPod speaker.
Some people just can't stand the iPod. Maybe an iPod Mini ran over their dog or burned down the family farm, or maybe they just feel fundamentally offended by the idea of using iTunes. Whatever the rationale for rejecting the iPod, companies such as Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Creative, and others are all jumping at the chance to be your iPod rebound.
And then there's Cowon. A small company whose products are often available only through online retail channels, Cowon has maintained a niche following with customers who value sound quality and extensive format compatibility above all other concerns.
Cowon's latest portable media player, the iAudio 9, is the company's spin on the Apple iPod Nano. Sharing the Nano's same basic shape, with a 2-inch screen and 8GB ($129) and 16GB ($169) capacities, the arrival of the iAudio 9 probably won't be giving Apple any heartburn, but audio connoisseurs have good reason to take notice.
You can read up on my previous blog posts if you're looking for spec info. For the remainder of this piece, I'll just be giving my initial personal impressions.
Right out of the box, the first thing I noticed about the iAudio 9 was how light it feels. At just 1.4 ounces, you can barely tell this thing is in your pocket. Another impression I got right away was how much more masculine the iAudio 9 looks next to the latest candy-coated, rainbow-hued line of iPod Nanos.… Read more
This week, Donald and Jasmine discuss the firmware fix to the Zune HD, which can now count itself a feature short of one-upping the iPod Touch, thanks to a new Gigaware remote that adds HD radio to the omnipresent king of MP3 players. We also get to spend a little one-on-one time with the slick-but-confusing Cowon E2 and the boring-but-shuffletastic Haier America Video MP3 Player. Plus, we direct you to a couple of how-tos you may find worth your while, and we address some listener questions about earphones, podcast management, and iPod speaker docks.
Proving that good things come in small packages, the 4GB Cowon E2 MP3 player ($64.99) delivers outstanding, iPod-crushing sound in a space no larger than a key ring. In fact, the big metal ring built into the top of the E2 can literally attach to your key ring. It can't clip, though, so fitness types will need to find a way to get the E2 on a necklace, wrist strap, or carabiner (none are included).
Is the iPod Shuffle just a little too boring for you? If you like your MP3 players small, cheap, and stylish, but prefer actual buttons to Apple's odd headphone-clicker voice navigation, the iAudio E2 from Cowon may be just the thing--that is, once someone can explain to us how it works.
On sale for the first time today, the 4GB iAudio E2 is priced at $64.99 from Jetmall. The key-ring-shaped MP3 player is 1 inch wide by 2.5 inches tall by and 0.3 inch thick, and is meant to be worn on a necklace. Like the … Read more
If last month's teaser of the Cowon iAudio 9 portable media player left you frozen in a state of awe, then we have good news. Our sources at Cowon have confirmed that the iAudio 9 is headed for U.S. shores in a matter of days.
At launch, Cowon will have one color (black) of the iAudio 9 on sale in the U.S., available in 8GB ($129) and 16GB ($169). No, it's not a tremendous savings over the Apple iPod Nano, but if you're looking for something that plays nice with FLAC, Ogg, Flash, and XviD … Read more
Donald and Jasmine discuss potential issues with the Android-based Archos 5...namely, why does the sucker keep crashing on everyone? Also, a look at the freshly posted reviews for the Monster Turbine Pro and JayBird Tiger Eyes earphones, as well as the old-school appealing Altec Lansing inMotion Classic. Finally, big ups to SanDisk for its straightforward approach to an audio issue with the Clip.
Jasmine's back, and she and Donald tackle the Android-based Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet that just landed in the office--with plenty of unboxing goodness. Also, a new Cowon player is teased in Asia, and Jasmine rants uncontrollably about the sweet new Japan-only Walkmans that she's dying to get her hands on. Finally, no MP3 Insider would be complete without a sojourn into iPod Touch/Zune HD territory, which is exactly where the updated CNET Prizefight comes into play.