Miniscule Music Monster
Cowon’s always been preferred by music lovers on the go for one reason—sound quality. Their PMPs have always been regarded as works of art, and the iAudio 7 is true to the heritage. A piano black (smudge magnet!) finish, four beautifully backlit buttons on the front bezel and a host of attractive matte-chromed buttons on the right side add to the looks and retain total functionality. The tiny iAudio 7 feels solid in hand—build quality is exemplary.
A 1.3 inch, 18-bit colour (262 K) screen allows for 7 lines of text and looks crisp, but a video player this is not—in our opinion a video player needs to have a much larger screen. There are numerous little features—direct line-in recording from multiple sources like CD players, TVs etc, a clock with alarm and support for scheduled recordings, FM radio and lyrics display support.
The music quality is—in a word—terrific! With great clarity and deep bass that sounds tight, mids and highs are also very prominent. Most PMPs have a tendency to highlight bass and mute trebles—not here. The iAudio 7 brings out the best of instrumentals and we thoroughly enjoyed out sessions with Vanessa Mae and Kenny G—in fact the iAudio 7 is very suitable to classical stuff—all Bhimsen Joshi aficionados take note. Vocals are well defined too—we tried a variety of artists from The Doors to Alan Jackson and Charlotte Church. No complaints, except you’d better get yourself a good set of earbuds—like Creative’s EP630 or Bose’s Intra Ears—maybe even a noise cancelling set. The default earplugs are better than most regular stuff—and easily kill the IPod’s bundled earplugs—but the mid-range seems a touch recessed. Of course how much you want to spend on cans depends on how serious you are about your music. This tiny player drives most headphones—except for audiophile grade headphones which are real high-impedance stuff.
To be honest, we’d reckon Cowon’s own D2 and Apple’s iPod Video and Nano would just squeak ahead on sheer music quality—but the difference isn’t much.
At Rs 10,000, the iAudio 7 is costly—especially since the new iPod Nanos are significantly cheaper.
Features : 3
Performance : 4
Build Quality : 4
Value for Money : 3
Overall : 3.5
Output rating 52 mW (26x2), 3.5 mm jacks (in and out),
Contact : Lipap Systems Pvt. Ltd
Phone : 022—28743457
Web site : email@example.com
Price : Rs 10,000