Hands-on with the Cowon E2
CNET's Donald Bell get his hands on Cowon's small, budget-priced E2 MP3 player, an alternative to the iPod Shuffle.
Proving that good things come in small packages, the 4GB
Aside from the lack of a built-in clip, the Cowon E2 further distinguishes itself from the
The buttons are handy compared with the iPod Shuffle's headphone remote, but Cowon didn't exactly go out of its way to distinguish the buttons from one another. Beyond a few faint, gray icons, there's practically no way to tell the buttons on the left side of the E2 from the ones on the right. Without squinting directly at the device, something as simple as a change in volume has a 50 percent chance of turning into a track skip.
Compared with the iPod Shuffle, the inclusion of Cowon's phenomenal EQ presets (eight in total) offers a distinct advantage in sound quality. In a nod to the iPod Shuffle's VoiceOver feature, each EQ preset is announced in a pleasant recorded female voice. Unfortunately, the same voice feature doesn't apply to song information, so the track, album, and playlist navigation available on the third-generation iPod Shuffle (or any
All in all, though, the Cowon iAudio E2 packs great sound into a stylish design that's sure to turn some heads when people see you listening to your key chain. A rated battery life of 11.5 hours is just about what we'd expect from a player this small. We have abelow. Stay tuned for a full review.