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Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory
  • Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory
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Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory

£139.00 £89.00
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Customer Review

Rod Beaver

(12th April 2012)
My new C2 joins my D2 and J3. Listening is via Shure SE535s or Monster Turbine Coppers (well, I DO like my music!). Build is SOLID and this player should last.
Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory
 £139.00£89.00
Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory
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Customers Reviews

Average customers review
4 of 5 Stars! (19 customer reviews)

Adam C(Date Added: Tuesday 05 March, 2013)
5 of 5 Stars!

+ Very compact, solid build
+ Sound quality superb (plays FLACs beautifully).
+ The default theme is clumsy, but there are mods on the web making it a very user-friendly player
+ Extendable memory is a great and cheap way to make it a little portable monster!
+ Amazing battery life

- touchscreen's responsiveness could be improved
- creating a playlist is quite a task!

All in all, 4.5/5.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Sean Gibbins(Date Added: Tuesday 19 February, 2013)
4 of 5 Stars!

The 4/5 score can be further broken down as follows:
Sound: 5/5
Look and feel of the product: 4/5
User interface: 2/5 (yes, that bad)
Amp3 service: 5/5

I bought the C2 to replace my ageing D2+ (which by some strange cosmic coincidence I managed to put through the wash the night before the C2 arrived), having ummed and ahhed over some of the more negative reviews and the lack of the ability to Rockbox it, as I had with the D2+.

What swayed me in the end was the lack of serious alternatives to the Apple stranglehold on music players and the ability to 'overclock' the amount of additional storage it could utilise.

Obviously the first thing you encounter out of the box is the look and feel, and it certainly beat the D2+ on that account with it's curves, chrome back and generally more robust feel. One negative aspect of the case design is the plastic flap that covers the usb I/O port and memory slot: it is a bit of a faff getting the cable into the slot without snagging on the flap, which could do with opening just a fraction more than it does in my opinion. I'm also concerned about the durability of the design in this regard and wonder if the flap will stay the course, although in fairness the D2+ flap seems to have survived in this respect.

Next up in the order of running is the user interface which is, frankly, appalling. If it weren't for the user-designed flash UI makeovers available out there I am not sure I would still be using it a week or two later as I write this review - yes, it truly is that bad!

Fortunately a bit of searching on the Web revealed a couple of drop-in files that replace the home-screen and dire message-of-the-day animation that greets you whether you like it or not, plus enhance the playback screen which displays your status and album art as you play music.

UIs have long been a Cowon weakness and they could do with taking note of the end user makeovers going forward, although I guess the ubiquitous Android interfaces that seem to be taking over will doubtless render that statement moot.

The touchscreen is something of a relic and would have anyone who is familiar with a modern phone or Apple iPod Touch doubled up with laughter. I can only guess that Cowon bought an enormous stock of these ancient artefacts and are determined to use them up before they move on to something modern. I tried to put a screen protector on but that made it all-but unusable so that didn't last long. The official Cowon case (sourced from Korea via eBay) has a sturdy flap that covers the screen so that will hopefully keep the wear and tear down to a minimum.

Now we get to the bit that I am guessing keeps most of us coming back for more despite the oddities of Cowon's design decisions - the legendary sound. Having read this far you'll doubtless appreciate that it would have to be excellent to overcome the gripes outlined above and rally a 4/5 score for this player, and you'd be right.

Even my failing hearing can appreciate the difference between the C2 and the iPod above the whistle of my tinnitus. I was given an iPod Touch 4, which try as I might I cannot bring myself to use on account of the iTunes lock-in. I created lossless files for each and compared them with my SoundMagic headphones; the Cowon won hands down in my opinion, and that was with the Cowon set to default and no JetEffect adjustments.

Another plus for me was the ability to put a 64GB micro SDXC memory card in the player to boost the 16GB on-board storage offered outof the box. There's a bit of faffing involved but a quick search will once again reveal cards work; I did read somewhere that someone had managed to get a 128GB working, which is something I might look into when the price comes down.

Uploading files to the C2 is less of a pain than it was to the D2+, which would wreak havoc with my carefully named-and-tagged oggs and flacs, necessitating booting into Windows and uploading with the Cowon software to overcome it.

The C2 seems content to allow me to drag and drop the files in my Linux Mint file manager, which is a boon, although I gather that I will struggle with the 64GB card on account of it only being seen as the maximum 32GB, therefore necessitating its removal and the use of the micro SD adapter to upload directly via the slot on my computer.

So, overall it seems like the C2 will be my main player for the foreseeable future despite its shortcomings. As such I'd say 'run away' if you are looking for something that just works in a pleasing and faff-free way out of the box - it probably isn't for you unless you have some reasonable technical and googling skills.

However, if you are possessed of a little patience (and having read this far you surely must be!) and basic compter skills, it has the potential to delight you with its gorgeous sound and dinky form factor.

The service from amp3 was, typically, excellent, from the advice I received to the prompt delivery and excellent price.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Ganesh(Date Added: Friday 01 February, 2013)
4 of 5 Stars!

Pros
The sound quality is amazing
The build and size is good

Cons
proprietary 20pin cable which is difficult to find under 10£
Playlist are not editable on the player.

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Ian Weir(Date Added: Sunday 16 December, 2012)
5 of 5 Stars!

I purchased this mp3 player after trying so many others ie apple, iriver, fiio amps etc and have to say this little player has truly stunning sound quality. I partnered this up with soundmagic e10's and e30's to start with and they sounded good but later went on to buy grado igi's which are abolutely superb and represent a big leap forward in sound quality compared to all tha apple mp3 players that I haved owned and there have been a few!!! The cowon does have a slightly quirky interface but you soon get used to it and now everything is second nature, I also purchased a leather case for it but that had to come from Korea via ebay and this really is a good buy to protect this great player, just a shame you cant buy them in the uk, one last thing, advancedmp3players has delivered outstanding service on all the items that I have purchased from them, so full marks!!!!

Martyn Symons(Date Added: Tuesday 04 December, 2012)
3 of 5 Stars!

Having used this player for a few months now, I can honestly say that the user interface is THE most frustrating and illogical I have ever used on any device. It may be OK for a few albums, but I have about 125 albums on the memory card and it DRIVES ME NUTS navigating to find what I want - let alone having a general browse to see what I fancy listening too.

Using the touch screen is a nightmare unless you have small fingers, and I have resorted to attaching a pen top to my headphone lead so I can use the screen

It is such a shame and it really spoils the experience is using this player. Cowon REALLY need to rethink the interface. It is AWFUL.

The saving grace (as with all Cowon players) is the sound quality which outshines the competition, especially in the same price range.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
mike kerr(Date Added: Saturday 24 November, 2012)
4 of 5 Stars!

well it has fantastic sound and is a bit fiddly to get to use, shame there is no case for it
I think for the money is very good value, though initially hard to use thi is its charm; as you get to understand it and get the best out of it

Piotrek Paluch(Date Added: Tuesday 06 November, 2012)
1 of 5 Stars!

Pros- sound, battery life, expandable memory
Cons- interface,
DIED 3 weeks after warranty expatiated. My Sony is still great after 5 years of heavy use.

Save yourself problems and get different player

*only one star because lasted 1 year

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Martyn Symons(Date Added: Tuesday 14 August, 2012)
5 of 5 Stars!

The sound quality of this player is top-notch, as you would expect from Cowon. The number of tweaking options means that you can tailor your listening experience to your headphones and your taste. The headphone supplied do not do the player justice and it may be that Cowon knows people who choose their players will have their own preferred headphones anyway (I use Audio Technica MH50s).

The added advantage of being able to expand the memory means that a largish music collection will fit with ease, and is very good value for money. I use a 32Mb card, so I get nearly 48Mb storage - and for a very reasonable price with all things considered.

I bought the player for music, so have not used any of the other features - which I find a bit gimmicky anyway (video, calculator etc).

The screen is good - very clear. The screen is resistive screen and not a capacitive screen - so if you get frustrated using a fingernail, you can use another stylus like object.

A lot has been said about the user interface. It is a pain to use (especially for large music collections) and it is not helped by the touch screen. It is fairly easy to work out without looking at the manual, but is still frustratingly annoying on occasions, especially for simple tasks like navigating your music collection.

Overall this is a brilliant music player that kicks the competition into touch as far as sound quality is concerned. It is a shame that the user interface is not a bit better - but then it is not horrendous either.

David Baars(Date Added: Tuesday 24 April, 2012)
4 of 5 Stars!

For: Small, lightweight, high quality sound and long lasting battery
Against: Poor interface, reduced power output, terrible manual

I managed to crack the screen on my D2 and when I found out how much it was going to cost to repair, I purchased the C2 instead. I liked my D2, lots didn't, but the folder architecture of the interface suits what I listen to which is mostly dramas and downloads from R4 or R4 extra.
The major problem with the D2 was the size of the text. As a someone with poor eyesight this was awful to read. The C2 is a major step forward here, it has bold and clear text, very easy to read. Nor does it do a maddeningly slow scroll if the text does not fit, it shuffles from side to side - I quite like this.
The C2 has 2 pointless gimmicks. The first is the rotating album art, a complete waste of precessing power. The second is the so called UI screens which you only see when you first switch on, and not then if you were in the middle of listening to a track.Fortunately you can switch them off. (Bet you can't do it first go.)
It also has two methods of accessing tracks or data. I just wish to know why, surely one is enough. Then sometimes you swipe to change screens, other times you have to press a very small button at either side of the screen. One method or the other for my money.

I was a bit disappointed with the power output, a distinct drop from the D2 which was the most powerful small player on the market and easily drove 2 pairs of headphones when the wife and I lazed on a beach listening to Count Arthur Strong. I suspect for this I am going to have to invest in a headphone amplifier or get my Boostaroo fixed.

The worst part of the whole machine is the manual. It's confusing, badly written and actually misses out on how to perform simple tasks. For instance on the D2, to add a track to a Dynamic play list you highlighted the track and then hit the menu button then "add DPL" button. On the C2 it's actually much easier, in list mode you click the little dialogue button then the heart icon (favourites instead of DPL) which highlights all the tracks in that folder / album, the you can individually add each track in any order or all. To add the whole album you just go up a screen, do the same and click the album icon. The problem is, the manual mentions nothing of this, I had to work it out for myself and it took a lot of shouting and cursing at the machine before I discovered this. Good think I did not have it in record mode!
Deleting a file or removing a track is a similar process pressing the dustbin icon first. Here there is another faux pas, the machine, quite rightly asks for confirmation, but you then press the 'O' to delete, not the 'X' which is counter intuitive. Yes, I know where they are coming from, X to cancel, I still pressed the wrong button several times before I realised.

This may sound like a rant against what is a good instrument but actually I quite like it. Volume and power is down from the D2 but the sound quality is not. I have not played with the effects, but I did that with the D2 and eventually put it all back to flat except when playing out though my amp where a bit of bass and treble boost helps counter the losses on MP3.

I know I will purchase a 16 gb card to boost the capacity to 32 gb which I achieved on the D2 by having a lot of SD cards. Not having to carry extra cards will be a definite plus.

Lastly the screen. It's a resistive screen and, as such, needs a positive press to make it respond. Fortunately I have good fingernails and that makes it easier with the sometimes very small buttons. Swiping screens I found works very well. If this product had an AMOLED, capacitive screen and simpler interface I would like it even better and would have paid the extra for those features.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Rod Beaver(Date Added: Thursday 12 April, 2012)
5 of 5 Stars!

My new C2 joins my D2 and J3. Listening is via Shure SE535s or Monster Turbine Coppers (well, I DO like my music!). Build is SOLID and this player should last. Audio output is what you would expect of Cowon - the best, bar none! I have only used my Cowons with .flac audio and .mp3 audiobooks. One disappointment is that Cowon seem not to offer a leather case as they did with the similar D2.
If you want quality audio output instead of some 'fruity' style statement to wave about in front of the great unwashed flock then forget the rest and buy the best! I have not yet used the C2 for video but have been reasonably impressed by the video quality on my older D2. I would imagine the C2 is equal to, or better than the old D2. Battery life seems as impressive as Cowon states. The UI has been heavily criticised by some. Yes, a tad more confusing to me than in my other two models but time should breed familiarity.
I just wish that Cowon would develop a player with just one single function - audio!
If you are swithering then swither no more. Look at the massive catalogue of fantastic Cowon reviews and GO COWON! You will NOT be disappinted if quality is your goal. And no, I am a retired old fart with no connection to Cowon :-))

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Alan Birch(Date Added: Wednesday 04 January, 2012)
4 of 5 Stars!

In reply to Brian Richardson's submission about including album art, before transferring your mp3 file to the mp3 player make sure each album has its own folder even if there is only one mp3 file in it. Have the necessary album picture on your computer (simply simply select a jpg image from google images and save it to your computer. Now cut and paste the image into youile r mp3 album folder and rename it cover.jpg. It will show as a seperate file together with the music files in that album/folder. Now transfer the album/folder to your mp3 player. It should now appear in the album artwork. Each artwork file for each album has to be named cover.jpg. I have found that all editing of album/folder details have to be done on computer and then transferred to mp3 player, so this may involve some cutting and pasting back and forth if you want to update albums already on your mp3 player. Hope this helps.

Except for the rather unfriendly menu functions I am pleased with my Cowon, it is my second, and I find the sound quality extremely good.

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Andrew Manning(Date Added: Wednesday 30 November, 2011)
1 of 5 Stars!

Worst £100 I can remember buying.

First the good: sounds quality is excellent and battery life too.

The bad: navigation, navigation, navigation. This is unbelievably poor to use. relying mainly on using album art (until you find the option to view by other means which is not simple to do). I had a cowon s9 before (until it broke) and I am, well was, a cowon fan. I had hoped the C2 would have improved the user experience but sadly not for me. I thought about just throwing the C2 in the bin- but I'll look for a good cause to give it to. Also, after the smooth experience of the cowon s9 capacitive screen, the resistive screen of the c3 requites more 'poke/pokes'.

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
H Littlejohn(Date Added: Wednesday 02 November, 2011)
5 of 5 Stars!

Already having spent a small fortune on gadgetry alreadythis year (and that's before the kids have passed on their Christmas requests!!) - I was trying to stay within a budget of around £100 or so for a decent sounding MP3 Player. I have a Samsung Galaxy tab, so have no need for my MP3 player to have internet access, or stunning video-playback-capability, I just needed something purely to please my ears.

This brand was recommended to me by a friend who swears by the sound quality of his S9, so I thought I'd give it a go. I must say, I've not been disappointed. Such an accurate, yet natural response, I'm really impressed.

I've read a lot of neagtive reports about its user-firendlyness -or apparant lack of- but I've encountered no issues at all. Although, I did call up to chat with the team, and they sent me a quick guide so I probably did cheat a little bit!

Still though, I'm greatly enjoying using this, I grow fonder of it each day, and I definitely feel it's money well spent.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
H McDougall(Date Added: Saturday 29 October, 2011)
5 of 5 Stars!

Really pleased with this MP3 player, great sound, small and light. The menu takes a bit of getting used to but it is not a big issue and you can change the functions of the buttons to choose how you want to use them.

It was easy to activate Audible for audio books once I figured out it needed to be in MTP mode. I'd recommend downloading the instructions from the website if it doesn't seem intuitive at first.

My only gripe is that it is difficult (or expensive!) to buy a case for this model.

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Michael(Date Added: Thursday 27 October, 2011)
2 of 5 Stars!

I will try and be as informative and descriptive as possible; I purchased this product this summer for my Birthday as a treat and because I wanted a really cool mp3 player. I have never been that into Apple products and don t often buy new technological products so had no particular preferences.

I wanted something that had:

-great sound quality
-expandable memory so as to never worry about it running out of space
- the possibility to ready all formats, including FLAC files and other file types which are a bit richer than mp3 format

I have incredible Sennheiser headphones and I wanted to pair them up with a great mp3 player. I read the reviews and did my homework for days carefully studying the different products out there and all the product specifications and videos on the net. I decided to buy this one and I have been quite disappointed.

The positives:
- the sound is impressive (and this is probably the most important thing)
- has many features (many of which like calculator are present in the oldest imaginable mobile phones so are a bit of a waste of space) some of which like voice recorder are very nice

The negatives
- the whole way you interact with it is absolutely unintuitive. I read about this before I purchased it and I heard a lot of stories about people complaining that they had to press 2 buttons to do something instead of just one. Well, when I read that I thought that things of that type would not bother me and that I am not very fussy at all. Instead after 2-3 months I still make mistakes doing even the simplest things on it, despite the fact I work in my University department and I am usually very fast at picking up things of this type. Searching for a tune or browsing through all your music often becomes a bit of a nightmare and when you give it to a someone else to try it out I need to put a song on for them as they are completely unable to use it.
- It is not advertised very well that it does not work with Mac/Apple products. I made the mistake of trying to recharge the battery with my girlfriend's Mac Pro something something and this resulted in a colourful messy screen appearing which will remain like that forever until you send it away for repair. Ok, put that down as my fault and won't do that again.
- Customer service appears to be non-existent. I had read about this before buying it and despite other people's nightmare stories I was optimistic enough to hope to receive a good non-faulty product and that by treating it well I would not have to experience any of this. I was wrong. 1 week ago the product just stopped working. It is dead and does not charge and the pc and laptop do not recognize it. "This is all very random" I began to think. Like any normal person I went on to google to look for solutions. Apparently this is a pretty normal thing and Cowon give a few suggestions as to how to resolve it. None of these worked and I contacted the customer support. Well, if you expect there to be a phone number you can call and speak to some technical support person you are very much in the wrong. So an email was sent through their website support service. If you would expect a prompt response then once again you are very much mistaken. A bit of a nightmare to be honest
- lastly the touch screen often has to be pressed twice on whatever you want to press. This is because often it does not pick up/detect when you press. Once again, this point is trivial compare to the rest and I had read about this before I bought it and as I am not particularly fussy this does not annoy me, but I realize that having to regularly press on something several times because the mp3 played didn t pick up on it might not be everybody's cup of tea.

To sum up I don't think I would have bought it had I known the ins and outs and many things you learn only once you have something. I would have definitely gone for something else. The music quality is great but it comes at the expense of the frustration caused by spending so much time finding the specific thing you are looking for and often pressing the wrong button and having to start at the beginning. Other than that the product seems to be quite fault prone and the support service that will come to help if anything does happen might not even exist. I have only had it a few months and it has already let me down twice and I hope it will all be resolved soon. Hope this helps.

AMP3 RESPONSE:
Thank you for taking the time to write a product review, though we are sorry to hear you have not been entirely satisfied with your Cowon C2.

A 'general user guide' created by our staff had been emailed to you, so as to help you become more familiar with the player.
Moreover, please do bear in mind that our team can be contacted via email, telephone, through our online-ticketing system and even through our live-messaging system. We are all very familiar with our entire range, and are always more than happy to offer help and advice.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Dr. Jochen Schmand(Date Added: Tuesday 20 September, 2011)
4 of 5 Stars!

Very good sound, as expected from Cowon. In my opinion, for a music player (too) many features and, therefore, kind of confusing user interface with (too) many sub-steps, as expected from Cowon. I really enjoy listening to this little guy (as soon as I worked my way through that da.. UI!). At any rate: I would buy it again (still waiting for a small no-nonsense-approach player with best sound quality and long battery life).

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Magnus Alexander(Date Added: Wednesday 24 August, 2011)
4 of 5 Stars!

Really like this little player.
New to Cowon so impressed with the sound quality. Battery life is great. Well built, small and pocketable. Easy and pretty quick to load up with music as well. And it isn't Apple.
A few minor niggles: the screen isn't great, the flap gets in the way and the non-standard charging/USB cable could be a pain. It's also a bit of a fiddle getting album art onto it. But I may be missing something.
The headphone jack is also very snug - not sure if this is a pro or a con though as although it gives me some concerns about wear and tear it means that dropping the player is less likely as the cable will catch it.

AMP3 RESPONSE:
Thank you for taking the time to write a product review.
Our team have emailed you a brief guide on transferring album art, which hopefully should resolve the teething troubles you've encountered in doing so.
Please do bear in mind that our team are contactable via phone, email and our online-messaging system, and are always more than happy to help with any query.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Sarah Lloyd(Date Added: Tuesday 09 August, 2011)
4 of 5 Stars!

Nice and dainty, this little device is pleasing on the eye, and feels smooth and sleek.
Admittedly the menu system was a bit fiddly at first, but now that I'm used to it it's absolutely fine.
Music sounds much better than my old Ipod Nano, I'm almost glad I broke the screen on that now that I have this!
File transfer was very easy, and I like the fact that I can add a micro SD card.
Thanks.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Johnnie McKellickan(Date Added: Friday 05 August, 2011)
5 of 5 Stars!

It's a Cowon, so it obviously sounds fantastic. Far superior to the nonsense that other brands (the fruity ones and the Japanese ones) claim to call 'music players'.
I'm a long-time Cowon fan, they've always sounded excellent, however their UI's have really come a long way. The menu and playback systems are far more intuitive than the older models.
I think a beginner would get on well with this, as it's relatively simple to use. Plus the 'drag and drop' function makes adding music a doddle.
Quite a good price-point for a Cowon model, OK so it's not as fancy as the J3 or X7 or whatever, but for a music player (I don't care about video or apps), this is great.

What do you think?

Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory

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