Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post just about everything that isn't directly related to Spring here!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Caydr
Omnidouche
Posts: 7179
Joined: 16 Oct 2004, 19:40

Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Caydr »

Back in the good old days I advocated a player by Samsung with a long name made primarily of numbers and consonants. I said that it was a good alternative to an iPod, for people who don't want to be labeled "trendy fags".

In other words, if you're one of those people (like me) who don't want to have the exact same thing everyone else does, and never wore those black pants with the two white stripes up the side when they were in style, this would be a good player for you.

It was a decent player, but TBH, it does not stand up in terms of features to a modern iPod.

But recently, a true iPod-killer has arrived on the scene from renowned PMP (portable media player) maker Cowon, which they call the S9. Let me tell you, this thing makes iPods, Zunes, and Zens look like toys.

Featuring a large, goregous AMOLED screen, and available in capacities up to 32 gb (typically for $100 or so less than the equivalent-sized iPod Touch), this player is basically the culmination of mankind's efforts to put large amounts music in their pocket.

From the main screen you have access to your onboard music, videos, AM/FM tuner, pictures, flash apps, and settings. Cowon is legendary among portable music enthusiasts as having incredibly good sound output quality, and the S9 is at the top of its game when playing music. The music is absolutely distortion-free you don't hear any hiss, beeps, bops, or boops as it does its thing.

One major complaint people have with the iPod Touch is that absolutely everything is touch-based, which Cowon thankfully took into account. The most important functions - volume, track skip, power, hold, play, and pause, all have hardware buttons on the top and bottom of the unit.

Most everything on the S9 can be tweaked in some way. If you have a hard time selecting items from the touch menu, you can adjust the font size freely. You can skip tracks by shaking the S9 one way or the other, or if you don't like that feature, turn it off. Backlight brightness, sleep time, and pretty much everything else you can imagine is customizable in one way or another. You can also download custom skins that replace the entire UI, or even make your own.

The S9 also features an impressive array of custom sound effects to make your music sound great on any device. I personally use the Headphone 2 setting, which makes up for my not owning the greatest headphones on the market by adding bass and correcting for common headphone weaknesses. It also makes it sound great in my car, which has CRAPPY speakers only a tone-deaf mother could love. If none of the preset sound effects suit you, you can make custom settings by tweaking the equalizer, bass boost, and other effects.

By this point, I imagine most of you are saying "SOLD!"... but I'm just getting started!

The video mode is outstanding. The S9 has built-in (currently) unofficial support for H.264 video, as well as official support for XviD. On a 16gb S9 you can fit approximately 50 hours of top-quality video. The Cowon S9 employs cutting-edge AMOLED screen technology which Sony also uses in its latest walkman, and Microsoft will be using the same or a very similar panel in their Zune HD later this year.

AMOLED basically means that each pixel produces its own light. There is no backlight, which means great things for battery life, but by far more imporant is that there is unparalleled contrast on this device, better than a CRT display. You can have absolute black right next to absolute white and there is no bleeding or problems of screen uniformity. In North America, it would not be an exaggeration to say that this is literally the best-looking display money can buy currently.

It also has superior off-angle viewing to anything you've seen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64SKiLc80o

Protecting your goregous AMOLED display is a thin sheet of... plastic? No, glass. And not just any glass, this is Corning's state-of-the-art "Gorilla Glass". You will have an extremely hard time scratching this display - users have reported that razor blades won't even touch it. It's also extraordinarily flexible for glass. See how it handles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syPOPmky ... re=related

Finally, one more point: the battery life. The battery is rated at 55 hours for audio, 11 hours for video.

The Cowon S9 is available in specialty store in North America, I recommend it strongly.

Various Youtube S9 videos:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... type=&aq=f

edit: One more thing, the S9 allows you to use DRAG+DROP FILE MANAGEMENT. You know, where you don't have to use some asinine "sync" program in order to put anything on it?
Last edited by Caydr on 25 Jul 2009, 18:55, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

User avatar
Spawn_Retard
Posts: 1248
Joined: 21 Dec 2006, 14:36

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Spawn_Retard »

Whats the point? unless you have the newest model Ipod, you arnt trendy, your just getting a decent reliable MP3 player.

In my eyes, if you buy an ipod a + year old your not gay, and or conform, they are actually usefull.
0 x

User avatar
Caydr
Omnidouche
Posts: 7179
Joined: 16 Oct 2004, 19:40

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Caydr »

It's to do with the image, IMO. In my mind at least, when I think of someone with an iPod, I think of a guy holding a basketball saying "yo, sup dawg" with pants that are falling down past his crotch and underwear showing and his hat turned off-angle as if to say, "I am hip, I have the hat to prove it".

Maybe this just has to do with the fact that if all you want is a "decent, reliable mp3 player", there are better choices than iPods at any price point. All iPods have that the others don't is a name.
0 x

User avatar
knorke
Posts: 7971
Joined: 22 Feb 2006, 01:02

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by knorke »

imo all handys and mp3 players with lolsized screen for HD pr0n are mainly prestigeobjects.
0 x

User avatar
Comp1337
Posts: 2434
Joined: 12 Oct 2005, 17:32

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Comp1337 »

Caydr wrote:It's to do with the image, IMO. In my mind at least, when I think of someone with an iPod, I think of a guy holding a basketball saying "yo, sup dawg" with pants that are falling down past his crotch and underwear showing and his hat turned off-angle as if to say, "I am hip, I have the hat to prove it".

Maybe this just has to do with the fact that if all you want is a "decent, reliable mp3 player", there are better choices than iPods at any price point. All iPods have that the others don't is a name.
you are just envious he gets more pussy than you
also, where are the decent players in the 100+ GB range?
0 x

User avatar
Caydr
Omnidouche
Posts: 7179
Joined: 16 Oct 2004, 19:40

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Caydr »

Come on, 32 gb is tons. 300 songs at near-lossless is like 2.5 gb.
0 x

User avatar
SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by SinbadEV »

Caydr wrote:Come on, 32 gb is tons. 300 songs at near-lossless is like 2.5 gb.
But I could only fit like 8 seasons of a various shows on 32 GB, which would mean I would need to remove shows to make room for new ones!!!
0 x

User avatar
rattle
Damned Developer
Posts: 8278
Joined: 01 Jun 2006, 13:15

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by rattle »

I have a Cowon D2 16 GB and am happy with it... crashes occasionally cause I put a hacked 2.59 firmware on it to dual boot rockbox. Also the battery really lasts for about 52 hours, who would've thought. Wont ever use it for video playback, though, and I'm not gonna buy the S9 either. It was too expensive back then and I don't need a replacement yet. I guess the S9 isn't much a difference to the D2 except for a slightly different looking firmware and the obvious hardware specs.

100 GB storage: if you like players with harddisks feel free to get one, I definitely don't. They weight too much and can't be dropped to the floor as often.
0 x

User avatar
Caydr
Omnidouche
Posts: 7179
Joined: 16 Oct 2004, 19:40

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Caydr »

Cowon's probably got a HDD player, but as Rattle says, the durability is IMHO questionable for something you will probably carry with you a lot of the time.

For sure I won't buy anything but Cowon from now on though.
0 x

User avatar
Comp1337
Posts: 2434
Joined: 12 Oct 2005, 17:32

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Comp1337 »

Just checked the prices here in Sweden, the cowon s9 32 GB is $440, and the ipod touch 32GB is $428

Compare that to the ipod classic 120GB: almost $260

dude man

edit: of course this is the cheapest i could find across stores
0 x

User avatar
Spawn_Retard
Posts: 1248
Joined: 21 Dec 2006, 14:36

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Spawn_Retard »

I still have the the 30 gb 3rd generation ipod. (which has buttons for pause, rewind,forward ect.)

Its as thick as a brick, but it does the job, and doesn't make me look like a raging gay.


if anything, i would give someone more respect for having the originals than any competitor.

Actually, i think the last person that came up to me and told me about his zoon being the thing to take over ipod (Sony competition lolz.) And it had to be the gayest thing i have ever looked upon.


really, ipod is not a war we need to win as they are value for money, and the original product.
0 x

User avatar
Peet
Malcontent
Posts: 4382
Joined: 27 Feb 2006, 22:04

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Peet »

I like my $20 1GB piece of junk.
0 x

User avatar
SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by SinbadEV »

I use my PSP if I have to, it's big and battery life sucks, but I can play games on it and the screen isn't puny.
0 x

User avatar
aegis
Posts: 2456
Joined: 11 Jul 2007, 17:47

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by aegis »

SinbadEV wrote:I use my PSP if I have to, it's big and battery life sucks, but I can play games on it and the screen isn't puny.
my ipod touch's battery life *doesn't* suck, it's really slim, I can play pretty good games on it, the screen is close to the same size, and it actually has more horsepower than the psp or ds.
0 x

User avatar
KaiserJ
Community Representative
Posts: 3113
Joined: 08 Sep 2008, 22:59

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by KaiserJ »

the big turnoff for me about ipods is the "requirement" that you use itunes; i know you can reconfigure / haxor them to behave like a proper usb storage but it seems like a lot of work that could be avoided.

i'm using a RCA 8gb mp3 player, its ugly as sin but its tiny and loud and has a slot for micro SD cards, i've got a 16 gig card in there; ends up being about $50 bucks counting the card; i think you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal in terms of storage space.

and of course, the money that i saved, i plowed right back into giant pants and sideways hats.
0 x

User avatar
ChaosMonkey
Posts: 180
Joined: 06 Jul 2009, 21:21

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by ChaosMonkey »

ipod touch is so much better quality music than the original ipods, after listening to music in the ipod touch i just cant even listen to my normal ipod any more cos its so shit but my pc speakers/headphones will always produce the best quality music :-)
0 x

User avatar
Neddie
Community Lead
Posts: 9406
Joined: 10 Apr 2006, 05:05

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Neddie »

I like my Sansa Clip 4GB. With 2.4 TB of music and almost 4000 CDs still waiting to be ripped I'm not going to be able to bring my whole collection with me for a long time, so I just have a media player for exercise.
0 x

User avatar
Spawn_Retard
Posts: 1248
Joined: 21 Dec 2006, 14:36

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by Spawn_Retard »

ChaosMonkey wrote:ipod touch is so much better quality music than the original ipods, after listening to music in the ipod touch i just cant even listen to my normal ipod any more cos its so shit but my pc speakers/headphones will always produce the best quality music :-)
This is a dumb post.


Your speakers are what changed the quality, unless ipod has changed the compression for ipod touch only, then you maybe right.
0 x

User avatar
JimmyJ
Posts: 84
Joined: 21 Dec 2005, 05:52

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by JimmyJ »

I've got a free 4 gig zune I got because the touch pad's buttons are wonky, it's a piece of shit, I'd never want to buy one. This S9 thing sounds really great.
0 x

User avatar
aegis
Posts: 2456
Joined: 11 Jul 2007, 17:47

Re: Hardware Review: Cowon S9 Media Player

Post by aegis »

Spawn_Retard wrote:
ChaosMonkey wrote:ipod touch is so much better quality music than the original ipods, after listening to music in the ipod touch i just cant even listen to my normal ipod any more cos its so shit but my pc speakers/headphones will always produce the best quality music :-)
This is a dumb post.


Your speakers are what changed the quality, unless ipod has changed the compression for ipod touch only, then you maybe right.
the decompressor can actually make a difference.
0 x

Post Reply

Return to “Off Topic Discussion”