Portable Media Players Guide

Cowon iAudio T2 MP3 Player review

First Looks: Cowon iAudio T2 MP3 Player

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Cowon’s Own Terminator

Cowon’s Own Terminator

Finding the perfect MP3 player is very difficult these days; some have excellent format support but are big and bulky while others offer excellent portability but have mediocre features and audio quality. Now, wouldn’t it be nice to have an MP3 player that is both a competent audio player as well as a fashion piece? Well, look no further than the Cowon T2.

Fashion statement redefined

The first thing that caught our attention was the striking purple flower theme of the T2’s box; this should provide a clear hint as to whom the T2 is wooing. Apparently, the design of the T2 was inspired by black diamonds and this explains why it has an all-round glossy exterior and why it is meant to be worn around the neck. To achieve the latter, the bundled earphones of the T2 was cleverly designed such that it also functions as a neck strap, and there are two clips running along the cable itself that users can use to neatly secure the earphones into place when not in use. Length of the neck strap can be adjusted and users are free to swap stock earphones for their own at any time.

Surprisingly, AC adaptor is sold separately, so the only way to charge the T2 is by plugging it into an unused USB. Connected to one, files can simply be transferred into the T2 without any DRM hindrance as its supports both Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) for Windows as well as the Universal Mass Storage (UMS) mode for instant transfer.

The Audio Power Within

With its set of handy buttons and straightforward menu configuration, the T2 is very easy to use, which is very important considering the T2 has bevy of audio enhancements for you to fine tune your music.

Despite its size, Cowon has packed in BBE sound enhancements, a 40-step volume adjustment, 3D stereo widening, Mach3Bass, MP Enhance, Pan, Play speed, 5-bad equalizer settings and fade-in features. Unfortunately, even though it has an OLED screen capable of displaying up to 65,000 colors, the T2 does not support photo and video files, which begs the question of its inclusion – a cheaper 256-color model would have sufficed. Nevertheless, audiophiles will like the fact that Ogg Vorbis and FLAC music files are supported by the T2.

In terms of sound quality, we found the stock earphones of reasonable quality but that was only after some meddling with sound enhancements on our part. At default settings, stock earphones had difficulties handling peaking frequencies. Plugging in a better earphone such as the Etymotic ER-4P however immediately made a significant difference - although BBE sound enhancement, MP Enhance as well as the Mach3Bass were called into action to raise the clarity of mid-range frequencies.

Final thoughts

The T2 MP3 player is yet another commendable effort from Cowon. Audio quality is good and there is enough style in its design and finishing for users to proudly sling the T2 around their necklines. Prices for both the 1GB and 2GB versions may be uncomfortably close to iPod nano, but the T2 has the edge by supporting Ogg Vorbis and FLAC formats, which means it really is a level playing field for the Cowon T2.