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Cowon C2 16GB MP3 Player with Expandable Memory

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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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 por...Read moretable monster!
+ Amazing battery life

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

All in all, 4.5/5.
5 of 5 Stars!
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 manage...Read mored 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.
4 of 5 Stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Date Added: Friday 01 February, 2013
4 of 5 Stars!
The sound quality is amazing
The build and size is good

proprietary 20pin cable which is difficult to find under 10£
Playlist are not editable on the player.
4 of 5 Stars!
1 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 l...Read moreater 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!!!!
5 of 5 Stars!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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...Read more 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.
3 of 5 Stars!
0 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
4 of 5 Stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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 5 Stars!
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 a...Read morend 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.
5 of 5 Stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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 t...Read morehe 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.
4 of 5 Stars!
1 of 1 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 C...Read moreowons 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 :-))
5 of 5 Stars!
3 of 3 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 comput...Read moreer (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.
4 of 5 Stars!
2 of 2 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 v...Read moreiew 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 5 Stars!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful: