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Old 03-06-2011, 10:01 AM
Mach Mach is offline
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Default I'd like to buy one of these Cowons: D2+, S9 or O2. Which one? [Solved]

So, after having owned my current mp3player (Sony a828) I'm curious to own another one. I'm only after a Cowon player (this is a must). I'm not expecting to have a much better sound, but maybe a slightly different kind of sound. Cowon is known for having a superb sound, as is my Sony, so my main goal for now is to own both of them, and get the best of both worlds.

So, since I live in Sweden and well, the prices are what they are here, it's boiling down to these three players:
  1. Cowon D2+ (8 Gb) - 116,36 USD
  2. Cowon S9 (8 Gb) - 120,29 USD
  3. Cowon O2 (16 or 32 Gb) - 149,80 USD (16 Gb) / 164,93 USD (32 Gb)

Well, thing is that D2+ and O2 have slots for memory cards which the S9 doesn't. The S9 seems to be most liked player out of the three, right now, but it's "only" 8 Gb. I can live with 8 gb, but it would be nice to have a little bit more. I know you might want to say "Save for the J3 or a 32 Gb S9", but please understand that I'm a student and therefore on a very tight budget. The J3 or a bigger S9 is not possible right now.

I have read the review about O2, but since it's both a bit old (and newer firmwares are ou there) and the price was a lot more than it is now, I still included it since for the price I can buy it, it might still be a nice catch. I'm a computer science student, and very used to complex and stupid UIs (NAV is a nightmare), so the stupid UI of O2 is nothing that scares me off.

MP3 players I already own:
  • Sony NWZ-A828. I love this little player, but a) it isn't really powerful enough to really give that little extra punch b) I'm curious of the "Cowon-sound".

Portable amps:
  • fiio e5 (most probably another one in the future, when and if I can find a good deal)

Headphones:
  • Klipsch S4 (I don't use these so often)
  • Audio Technica ATH-M50 (my main ones I use daily)
  • AKG K412P (to be honest, they are very good sounding despite being more of budget phones)
  • AKG K450 (stopped using these when I bought the M50's.

I will buy more headphones in the future. Most probably a set of Sennheiser IE8, or some other high quality IEMs. I'd also like to buy another couple of good circumaurals, or maybe the AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ. The only thing certain is that I'm looking to have more headphones and IEMs for different kinds of music and situations.

Music styles:
  • Hiphop
  • Electro
  • Pop
  • Rock (think more like maybe radiohead and not metal)

My priorities for a player:
  1. Capacity in terms of putting good sound through my M50. I'd rather not use my E5, but if I need to, I'm not afraid of using it.
  2. Capacity in terms of bytes. 8Gbs is a lot, but 8 or 16 + memory card is a lot more.

I mainly listen to MP3s, but I'm not afraid of starting to use FLAC or OGG. I never watch videos on the go, so video capacity and screen quality is really no concern for me - at all. Tactile buttons are a plus, but I'm not afraid of picking it out of my pocket to change song or volume. Design and having a good looking UI is of no importance to me, and to be quite honest, I love the looks of the D2+ (imo a much better looking player than S9, J3 or D3 which looks more like smartphones than mp3players). O2 is quite nice looking as well.

I guess most will say "go for the S9", but I just to make sure that I'm not losing out on anything by NOT choosing the O2 (with so much capacity in terms of bytes). Surely it can't still be that bad nowadays? Can it?

In short: which one is the most suitable player for me?

Please don't hesitate to ask me anything relevant about my usage of PMPs, gear or music, if I've forgotten anything.

Edit: I forgot to add that the ability of games and other stuff like that is of no importance to me. I have a PSP, if I would want to play games on the go. I have a laptop if I need to write stuff, and so on.

Last edited by Mach; 04-02-2011 at 02:14 AM. Reason: Bought and received the J3
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2011, 10:41 AM
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no9 no9 is offline
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Go S9 or J3. D2+ pales in comparison. And the O2 is just problematic
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:05 AM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no9 View Post
Go S9 or J3. D2+ pales in comparison. And the O2 is just problematic
In what way is the O2 problematic? As said, problematic UIs are not a big deal, since I'm used to bad UI in other areas.

As said in the OP, J3 is not an option due to not having enough money to but it. The only S9 I can afford is the 8 Gb version. But the S9 is that much better than the others in SQ (for M50 and my music styles), that I should choose it anyway?
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:23 AM
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I'd actually say to go for the D2+ if you want more memory options (expandable). The S9 is better....but if memory is important, then expandable is a must-have feature.

Oh and if MP3 sounds good to you then there's no reason to use anything else
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2011, 11:39 AM
Mach Mach is offline
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Originally Posted by McDougal View Post
I'd actually say to go for the D2+ if you want more memory options (expandable). The S9 is better....but if memory is important, then expandable is a must-have feature.

Oh and if MP3 sounds good to you then there's no reason to use anything else
Well, the sound quality is more important, but of course - memory has a significance as well. I'm used to having only 8 Gb in my sony, so it's not that big of a deal. But should the D2+ or O2 be similar in sound quality, and since their mmemory is expandable, maybe they would be better choices for me. I hope I'm making things a bit clearer now.

Sound quality is the primary determining factor, but should the sound quality be about the same (and the ability to drive my headphones without amping), then the memory is the determining factor.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:13 PM
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IMO its very hard to tell the difference between SQ on most common players. I can't really tell a difference between SQ on my Sansa Fuze and iPod Touch 4G, its the Rockbox EQ on my Fuze that makes the big difference for me (although there's the EQu app, but I still prefer Rockbox EQ).

The Cowons are known for their great EQs/sound enhancements (BBE+, etc.). I don't know much about the O2, but I've heard good things about the D2+, and if I remember correctly it has Rockbox compatibility (Rockbox link in my sig).
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2011, 01:46 PM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDougal View Post
IMO its very hard to tell the difference between SQ on most common players. I can't really tell a difference between SQ on my Sansa Fuze and iPod Touch 4G, its the Rockbox EQ on my Fuze that makes the big difference for me (although there's the EQu app, but I still prefer Rockbox EQ).

The Cowons are known for their great EQs/sound enhancements (BBE+, etc.). I don't know much about the O2, but I've heard good things about the D2+, and if I remember correctly it has Rockbox compatibility (Rockbox link in my sig).
Well, I could tell the difference between my Sony and my cheaper MP3 players I've had, for example one of the first Sansas players I know of. There was just something to the sound. It felt warmer, fuller, more "alive" - if I'm allowed to use tose terms. I believe Cowon has the same quality, although it might be somewhat different.

As for Rockboxing, I've read that it's possible on the D2+. However, that there are some bugs concerning SDcards. Not quite sure how accurate this is, but if true, I might not consider rockboxing it.

Another question: should I choose to go another route, such as the Teclast T51 route (seems to be very popular on head-fi), would I regret it? Is it, in any way, a better sounding product than the Cowon players? From my understanding the Teclast T51 has superior specs (on paper), but I'm not sure if those specs are of any worth in the end, or if it's just more of a marketing ploy than anything else.

Edit: yeah, after reading some reviews and forum posts about Teclast T51/Nationite S:Flo2, I can't say that I'm interested in it anymore. Seemed like a marketing scam. So, I'm back to square one: the Cowon players. It seems to me that BBE on the S9 is better than on the D2+, so I think I'm leaning towards it.

Last edited by Mach; 03-06-2011 at 04:16 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2011, 05:52 PM
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I owned a 16gb D2 and had a 32gb sd card. The 48gb capacity was nice but I bought the 32gb S9 and never looked back. The UI is so much better that, even with Rockbox I would never go back to it. I said J3 because if the difference is $20 you might as well go for the J3 so that you can still have the expandability.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:15 PM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no9 View Post
I owned a 16gb D2 and had a 32gb sd card. The 48gb capacity was nice but I bought the 32gb S9 and never looked back. The UI is so much better that, even with Rockbox I would never go back to it. I said J3 because if the difference is $20 you might as well go for the J3 so that you can still have the expandability.
It's really that good? To be honest I've been pretty much into the S9, despite only being 8 Gb, the whole time. I'm just being overly questionable, as this is kind of a lot of money and I want to make the best choice my budget can allow.

However, I believe there has been a misunderstanding of some sort between us. The J3 is still too expensive for me, and the only S9 I can afford is the 8 Gb model. If the difference would've been only $20, I would've agreed with you. The cheapest J3 I can find in Sweden right now is the 16 Gb model, which is 270,85 USD. About $120 over my budget, which obviously is somewhere around $150. Of course, should I find the J3 online for about $150 (new) and they ship to Sweden, I could import it.

However, I don't really know where to look if I want cheap mp3 players online.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:31 PM
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Yeah, I'm in the US and the price difference here is only $20, but unless you know somebody stateside... To me the S9 was a big upgrade over the D2. Even using the Korean firmware, the D2 was the right idea with a sloppy counterintuitive UI. The S9 just does so many things right.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2011, 06:48 PM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no9 View Post
Yeah, I'm in the US and the price difference here is only $20, but unless you know somebody stateside... To me the S9 was a big upgrade over the D2. Even using the Korean firmware, the D2 was the right idea with a sloppy counterintuitive UI. The S9 just does so many things right.
I think I'm going to go for the S9 then. I really like the looks of D2, and I have nothing against bad UIs either. But S9 seems to get so good reviews and people are recommending it everywhere. I don't think I should overlook that fact.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:51 PM
Mach Mach is offline
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As it just happens, my financial situation didn't allow me to buy the S9 now. However, I will have a larger portion of money coming in, in a few months (possibly even sooner) which would actually allow me to buy the 16 Gb version of the J3.

So, instead of the D2+, O2 or S9, I'm going to go with J3, and hopefully a 16 Gb card too.

I feel this is the best player I can buy right now. You guys agree?
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2011, 06:25 PM
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Great choice! Yes...the J3 is the best player you could go for right now, I wish I could afford one
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2011, 07:00 PM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDougal View Post
Great choice! Yes...the J3 is the best player you could go for right now, I wish I could afford one
Yes, after reading most reviews about that player it seems to be the best choice there is out there right now.

They are kind of expensive though. Maybe D3 could drive the prices down a bit though? Even though D3 seems to be a so-so player. Who knows though, if they go with Android 3.0 maybe their problems with a laggy UI and other bugs will be gone. To me though, an Android based player would be unnecessary, since we also have planned for android phones. Having two Android devices would just be redundant.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:20 PM
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I looked at the J3 pretty hard but I listen to lots of audiobooks and podcasts so the J3 was a no go. If they improve support for that I will probably try one out.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach View Post
Yes, after reading most reviews about that player it seems to be the best choice there is out there right now.

They are kind of expensive though. Maybe D3 could drive the prices down a bit though? Even though D3 seems to be a so-so player. Who knows though, if they go with Android 3.0 maybe their problems with a laggy UI and other bugs will be gone. To me though, an Android based player would be unnecessary, since we also have planned for android phones. Having two Android devices would just be redundant.
I'm quite curious about the D3, it looks like its got great potential.....I agree, if Android 3.0 is on there it would be pretty cool . I don't have any Android devices LOL....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Surfer View Post
I looked at the J3 pretty hard but I listen to lots of audiobooks and podcasts so the J3 was a no go. If they improve support for that I will probably try one out.
Well I personally don't use audiobooks or podcasts, so that's not an issue for me......
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:12 AM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Surfer View Post
I looked at the J3 pretty hard but I listen to lots of audiobooks and podcasts so the J3 was a no go. If they improve support for that I will probably try one out.
It's a shame. What format are most audiobooks? If mp3, can't you just re-tag or re-name the files? There are multiple ways of browsing through music on the player.
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDougal View Post
I'm quite curious about the D3, it looks like its got great potential.....I agree, if Android 3.0 is on there it would be pretty cool . I don't have any Android devices LOL....



Well I personally don't use audiobooks or podcasts, so that's not an issue for me......
It's such a shame they messed up the D3. With Android, they could've made a real contender to the iPod Touch. I really don't know how or why they messed this one up, but I'm sure they'll learn from it. As for me, I never really cared about that extra stuff for a PMP. For a smartphone? Well, that's a different story, as they have connection almost everywhere and aren't depending on wi-fi.

Anyway, the real reason for me to update (bump) this thread was to let you know that I have received my J3 now. It sounds fantastic.

I was thinking about posting up a comparison between my Sony a-828 and Cowon J3. Mostly for myself, to get a better view of the differences, and to sort everything out. Then I thought, might as well put it up on the forums, in case there is someone interested in reading it.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:23 PM
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The D3 is not a recommended player - please don't get it unless you love having to trouble shoot you player all the time.

It's still way too buggy - ***fail*** IMO.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:51 PM
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The D3 has been getting better with each update. They've been coming along at about 2 each month. Rumor is the next one will be to android 2.3, which would help tremendously. I can't substantiate that rumor though, as I think it started with a simply request to a JournalDeGeek tech reviewer to wait until the next update in April.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:57 AM
Mach Mach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
The D3 is not a recommended player - please don't get it unless you love having to trouble shoot you player all the time.

It's still way too buggy - ***fail*** IMO.
Oh, don't worry. I have alrady bought the J3, so the D3 is not of any particular interest to me. It's too expensive and now I have a very good sounding mp3 player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olley View Post
The D3 has been getting better with each update. They've been coming along at about 2 each month. Rumor is the next one will be to android 2.3, which would help tremendously. I can't substantiate that rumor though, as I think it started with a simply request to a JournalDeGeek tech reviewer to wait until the next update in April.
That is great news for the D3 owners. I do suspect that the D3 will only get better with 2.3. They also should include the android app store as well. I know there are work arounds, but it's not really okay to release an android device without the andoid app store.

Anyway, as said, I've already bought the J3 and couldn't be happier. I use Aero music player with it, because I find it better to have the equalizer only a few clicks away.
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