Cowon's iAudio 7 is a small, feature-packed MP3 player that boasts an incredible battery life of 60 hours. This is the perfect device for power users looking for a highly configurable player with stellar sound quality and enough juice to last through a road trip on a single charge.
At the top of the iAudio 7, you'll find the dedicated buttons for volume, menu, power, and hold. On the far left you'll see the built-in microphone for the voice recorder.
Not much in the box as far as accessories go. Headphones and a USB cable is about all there is. The instruction manual mentions a minijack cable for use with the dedicated line input recording port--but we didn't see one.
Still smaller than most cell phones, the iAudio 7 packs music, video, and photos; unbeatable sound quality; line-in recording, voice recording, FM recording; and multiple format support, into a neat little package.
The iAudio 7 lets you record voice, radio and line-input directly to a stereo WMA file with a selectable resolution between 64Kbps and 128Kbps. Line-input recording also allows the option of automatically splitting the recording into multiple tracks when it detects silences between songs.
These things look cool, but they only sound about as good as a set of iPod earbuds. They're not bad, but considering how good the audio quality is on the iAudio 7, an investment in higher quality earphones is recommended.
The iAudio 7's Swing Touch interface isn't as intuitive as the iPod's jog wheel. Once we realized that the touch strip responded in different ways to different gestures (sliding, tapping, and holding), it became much easier to get around.
This looks a little like a Mac vs PC ad, except it's more like Mac vs Linux. The iPod Nano is beautiful and very easy to use, but it's also maddeningly restricted. It's almost as if the iAudio 7 is the result of every frustrated iPod Nano user getting together and designing their own player. Sure, the iAudio 7 can't match the elegance of the Nano, but its feature list would make any iPod cower.