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  #1  
Old 03-29-2007, 03:31 PM
dhex dhex is offline
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Default Initial F2 impressions

1) Holy crap this thing is really small.



I'll post an honest to goodness review after a few weeks of fotzing with it.

But some more initial thoughts

2) Loads and plays fairly easily, the interface is interesting (but again, very, very small) and i am still mightily confused by why they included any video options. The screen itself is good for what it is but it seems like one of those "we must have convergence" type options.

3) I like a few things quite a bit - included USB dongle type connector, the included screen protection stickers

4) Manual is utterly useless. But this isn't a complicated player by any stretch.

5) They include a male-male minijack plug, which is nice if you're going to use this for silly sampling (i.e. if i want to jack a snippet off of youtube while at work) though my brief test of the line-in makes it seem more like the video option (cute but not serious).

6) It looks a lot less stupid than all of the promotional shots would have led me to believe.

7) Factory EQ setting sounded like, well - in america we call them "bass cars" - usually blasting less than great music at louder than necessary levels. Their tune selection varies by neighborhood and driver ethnicity but the cargo is generally the same. So all you hear is the distortion of the bass and maybe some hats as they whiz on by to do whatever it is people with very little hearing left and a rotted aesthetic sensibility do when they're not annoying the everloving crap out of their neighbors. I'll tweak it a bit more here and there and see what i can get, but flat it sounded pretty good, actually. a bit less boxy on honky than the ipod mini.

8) I am somewhat concerned about build quality. I do take care of my stuff, but again this is small enough to fit on a keychain (hence the handy keychain thingy on the back) and probably won't survive too many drops.

Anyway, thanks again good folks. I'm using a pair of creative ep-630s for now (strange effect on balance and "listening environment" at first, having only used IEMs in a friend's studio for a podcast editing session, but they help make the subway sound less painful) but i also have a friend sending me an extra pair of the unfortunately named Zen Aurvana so we'll see where that's at as well. (bonus tip: officedepot.com/techdepot.com is utterly helpless when it comes to cancelling orders through their automated system, though their customer service was helpful enough)
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2007, 03:37 PM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Lol, excellent honest-to-gawd impressions... negative points sound a lot like "typical Cowon".

I wouldn't worry too much about build quality, Cowons usually are sturdier than they appear.

FYI: Creative Aurvana are overpriced pieces of crap.
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2007, 03:53 PM
dhex dhex is offline
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Good thing i'm getting them for free, eh?

Yeah, 90 bucks for headphones is a bit much for my blood. the 25 or so i paid for the ep-360s seemed right, at least thus far. I like not having to hear so much of the damn subway, but i'm not nearly as isolated as i thought i was going to be out in public. (i.e. i can still hear people and whatnot.)
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2007, 07:51 PM
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Wheres the player in the pic?? Looks like a mini and a cell phone to me..
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2007, 07:58 PM
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The "cell phone" is the F2...
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2007, 09:24 PM
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yup, it looks like a super small cell phone.

one small annoyance is that the usb latch is rather difficult to open. i end up using a business card, myself.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2007, 11:22 PM
dhex dhex is offline
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so it's been a bit. i think i made the right choice. it was the right price, it does all the right things, acts as a usb flash drive and it sounds really great. i've gotten used to the insane tiny-smallness of the player and its wee little buttons.

you do have to spend quite some time messing with the EQ, however, as i think the presets are largely garbage. they're certainly dramatic, however. the player itself is more than loud enough.

i have them paired with the creative ep630's, and i definitely regret not getting canalphones earlier. they wipe out a lot of the annoying subway background but i can still hear announcements and whatnot; plus i almost never play the thing above 12 (out of 40). walking around, 8 is usually sufficient, depending on what you're listening to. (i.e. something soft like ambient era eno or john fahey is closer to 12; venetian snares or genghis tron is closer to 8) the scraping sound while walking can be a bit annoying but i've adjusted to it rather quickly and don't often notice unless i'm booking somewhere.

and the phones now sound good since i've figured out ideal fit and run them through a few dozen hours of playtime. i'd been wary since i'd seen a guy who was rocking some in-ear joints nearly got facetagged by a taxi but i think he was just an idiot and blasting the stuff too loudly. i definitely recommend them for people who ride subways or anything with a lot of brain-hurty ambient noise; i would imagine these are great for flying as well.

i have no idea what the FM tuner or video sounds like. not my thing.

making a playlist is a little awkward, but i'm more of an album guy.

but it's really nice to have a commute where i can hear the bass, and where i don't have to play it as softly as possible because i'm worried about the battery life. it's certainly light enough for a shirt pocket, which will come in handy during the hellacious melting pit of sweaty sadness known as summer here.

cowon needs to drop the "i*" marketing hook. and it's a little stupid looking, but you cannot win them all.

charging question: is this a "keep charged as much as possible" type of battery or a "let it run down then charge it cause overcharging is, like, bad" type of battery?

takes about 3 hours to get a full charge from near empty, at least according to the single time i've had to do this since i got the thing. to hell with apple and their shoddy QC!
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Last edited by dhex; 04-06-2007 at 11:27 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2007, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhex View Post
cowon needs to drop the "i*" marketing hook. and it's a little stupid looking, but you cannot win them all.
IIRC, iAudio and iRiver used the "i" thingie before the iPod already... Cowon dropped it for their video players already... the A2 and D2 are marketed as "Cowon", not "iAudio". I wouldn't mind if they did the same for their audio players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhex View Post
charging question: is this a "keep charged as much as possible" type of battery or a "let it run down then charge it cause overcharging is, like, bad" type of battery?
It's a Li-Ion battery, it's better to recharge often and not letting it run dry completely.
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2007, 05:55 AM
petrovich petrovich is offline
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really nice player.
+
1. it's loud. 30mW per channel is sufficient for using koss porta pro (impendance 60 ohms, sensitivity 101dB, almost zero level of outside noise blocking) downtown. sound is good too, though i'm not an audiophile-type.
2. it's small аnd light. actually, it fits in my "lighter pocket".
3. it has perfect functionality and quite tunable. i'll never use it as image viewer or text reader or video-player or flac-player.. but, well, somebody else will. any case - ums support and bookmarks for the win!
-
1. position and size of buttons is really an issue here. not good at all + some minor menu navigation logic troubles. so, better try before you buy. (also check u3 model)
2. looks pretty cheap, which is more of "+" to myself (..nah, "let's add teh shiny silver thingiezz" design suxx), but it's definitely not a perfect gift for girl to impress.

so, not perfect, but i'll stick it for a while.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2007, 02:37 PM
dhex dhex is offline
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Quote:
IIRC, iAudio and iRiver used the "i" thingie before the iPod already... Cowon dropped it for their video players already... the A2 and D2 are marketed as "Cowon", not "iAudio". I wouldn't mind if they did the same for their audio players.
yeah, i'm aware of the weird history of the "i" prefix, but i am somewhat amazed that cowon would continue to use it when they're trying to break into the market. maybe there's a cultural divide, but at least in terms of american marketing, it seems a bit crazy to try and blend into the ipod jetstream (which also means calling schenanigans on sandisk's design choice, since it looks a little too nano-y without the extra smooth design form)

oddly enough, i think the "isheep" campaign was a good hook (dunno if that existed in europe or not) but it was discontinued a little early and probably didn't get the kind of reaction they were looking for. but for a corporate "viral" campaign it's one for the textbooks, and was probably the right track for major cities where fashion and social trends are so heavily intertwined.

Quote:
It's a Li-Ion battery, it's better to recharge often and not letting it run dry completely.
that is very good to know - definitely don't think the instructions are as solid as they could be (i.e. that should be in the ATTENTION USER bullet points at the beginning of the manual, rather than re-selling someone on the features list. it's a very personable hook.)

thanks again!
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