- Media: Electronics
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Cowon S9 Video MP3 Player 16GB Titanium/Black (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- 16 GB capacity for about 4,000 songs
- 55 hours of audio or 11 hours of video on a single charge
- 3.3-inch, 16-million color AMOLED display with 480 x 272 pixel resolution
- Supports MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, WAV, and APE audio formats; AVI and WMV video formats; JPEG image formats
- 1-year limited warranty
From the Manufacturer
With its stylish, curved-back ergonomic design, the 16 GB Cowon S9 Video MP3 player is quite the eye-catcher--and the perfect way to enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows, photos, and music on the go. With the S9 resting comfortably in your hand, you'll enjoy a vibrant 3.3-inch widescreen touchscreen display, Bluetooth support for wireless devices, a voice recorder with built-in microphone, FM radio/recorder, and plenty more, proving that the S9's beauty is way more than skin deep.
Song control buttons conveniently placed at the top of the S9. Click to enlarge.
The S9's intuitive user interface makes using it a pleasure. Click to enlarge.
Freely adjust the zoom with your fingertips. Click to enlarge.
Get a quick preview of your videos before you watch. Click to enlarge.
3.3-Inch AMOLED Display
The S9 boasts a 16-million color, 3.3-inch AMOLED display with a 480 x 272 pixel resolution. Thanks to the low-power display technology, the screen is viewable from virtually any angle. It looks great in the dark and even in direct sunlight. AMOLED turns electric signals into video 1,000 times faster than the speed of conventional LCDs, leaving no ghost images while playing motion pictures.
Intuitive Touchscreen Interface
Cowon S9's interface has been optimized for its durable anti-scratch touchscreen, with gesture recognition features like zoom-able album art, pictures, and text; TrueType fonts for clear visibility at any zoom level; and more.
The S9 will play AVI and WMV video files, with codec support for Xvid SP/ASP and WMV9 SP/MP. Enjoy all your favorite clips and shows, and just tilt the unit to switch to 16:9 widescreen viewing.
The S9 also makes browsing your content fun and easy. Preview thumbnail images of all your videos before choosing which one to watch. The "Quicklist" feature allows you to preview the files surrounding the one being played--check to see the next file in the queue, whether you're enjoying music or video.
Finally, the S9 features a composite video out for sending your signal to your television.
The S9 is a full-featured music player with support for MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, WAV, and APE formats so you can stick to the format you like.
Get detailed track info on the S9's screen with meta tag support, and view LDB 1.0 and 2.0 lyrics files while you listen.
The S9's track control buttons are conveniently placed at the top of the device for easy access while carrying in your pocket--perfect for use on the bus or subway.
JetEffect Music Enhancement
Dial in the perfect sound no matter what you're listening to, with Cowon's various enhancement tools:
- BBE: clarifies music
- Mach3Bass: enhances low-frequency bass spectrum
- MP Enhance: restores distorted digital music
- 3D Surround: provides 3D sound effect
- 5-Band EQ: customizable equalizer with adjustable band and bandwidth filter
FM Radio and Recorder
Enjoy your favorite FM radio programming, using the S9's unique "jog shuttle" touchscreen control for selecting stations. Store your favorites in up to 24 user presets, and record live radio for later listening.
Photo and Document Viewer
View or share slideshows of your favorite JPG images, and read your TXT (text) documents wherever you are.
The S9 features built-in Bluetooth 2.0 support (A2DP, AVRCP Profile) for use with various wireless devices. Get rid of those cables and enjoy the benefits.
Digital Clock with Alarm
Set an alarm to play your music or FM radio, and use the sleep timer to drift off to your favorite songs. You also can use the clock to schedule FM recording for a particular time.
Record voice memos, lectures, meetings, or whatever else you need for later, using the built-in microphone. The S9 also supports line-in recording, for grabbing audio from external devices like CD players.
The S9 will give you up to 55 hours of music playback, up to 11 hours of video playback, and up to 350 hours of stand-by sleep mode on a single charge.
The pre-installed Adobe Flash Player lets you enjoy Flash games and other utilities, along with the Flash content present on many websites.
What's in the Box
Cowon C9, earphones, USB 2.0 cable, manual CD, and quick start guide.
Top Customer Reviews
Sleek and cool design.
Wonderful and clear screen.
Extra long battery life (once in a week with everyday video and audio playing)
No conversion needed for video files.
No memory extension with a micro SD card.
No 3rd party leather skin (wallet)
No regular usb cable.
No flv (youtube) files compatible (needs conversion)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The UI is not THAT clumbsy. It's not as crystal smooth as the touch, but it's much better than a lot of touchscreens IMO. The UI takes some getting used to, but once you know all the shortcuts, you'll be handling it like a pro, easily getting to where you want to go. With a dual core 500mhz processor, it's more than capable of handling whatever you throw at it, so that's not what's causing the occasional lag, but rather some firmware bugs that will likely be resolved quickly.
Cowon loves the S9 and will be sure to improve it even further than it is now so that everyone can enjoy it. Already people are customizing the interface to how they see fit and soon programmers will fix issues and offer alternatives, so there's no reason not to buy the S9 if you're afraid of its interface being faulty.
The itouch is the jack of all trades, but the S9 is truly the ace of music and video performance. If you're looking for quality over quantity, the S9 is sure to please. If you find the lack of uselessly abundant features a turn off, then feel free to try something else.
What they didn't do was forget it's a media player. Music is best is class. Video is amazing shown on it's 3.3" AMOLED widescreen. Photos follow suite. If you're old enough to need reading glasses the Zoom feature makes apps with text easier to read/see with a simple slide of your finger. File format support is broad. You can drag and drop media directly onto the S9, use Windows Media Player, or use the Jetaudio app that comes included to put media on it.
Now with 32gb capacity you'll have room for movies and photos worth watching on that beautiful screen. Get the inexpensive video output cable and serve up movies to your TV. You'll get up to 50 hours music and 10 hours video playback with one battery charge. Don't forget FLASH game/app support, FM radio with recording, voice recording, and Bluetooth for wireless headphones. There is no Wifi or what it brings, but it's also $100 less than the iPod Touch of the same memory capacity.
Be sure and keep the firmware updated. Cowon is sending updates out each month, and each one has brought significant improvement. Best touchscreen player of 2009 I'll predict.
Excellent Sound Quality
Amazing OLED screen
Infinity tweakable interface
Great codec support
Frequent firmware updates and new features provided by Cowon
Screen difficult to read in bright direct sunlight
Default user interface can be a bit un-intuitive
This is a great player. The screen is absolutely great, except in direct sunlight, which makes it pretty much unreadable. The price is great for the capacity, and the fact that you can run different user interfaces (UI) means that if you don't like the way it is by default (which isn't bad), you can just download one that you like. If you know how to program flash, you can make your own, because Cowon makes it really easy.
The greatest thing is that Cowon is constantly updating the firmware, about once a month. Each one brings new features, such as the latest (as of late July 2009) was gapless playback for many music formats. Just make sure that you rip your music properly.
The S9 has great video format support, including Xvid, DivX, and WMV. The videos look great on the screen, and playback is smooth.
It supports both MSC (Mass storage, like a flash drive) and MTP (media transfer protocol, use Windows Media Player or equivalent to sync), so you can get the best of both worlds.
It's really a good player if you want a nice looking, touchscreen player,and you are moderately good with computers, but you don't want Wi-Fi and tons of other features you may not use. My thinking was that I would rather have something that does a few things really well, like the S9, rather than something that stretches itself too thin, like an unnamed Apple product.
Great form factor. Battery life is amazing -- the unit can go about 2 weeks before the battery runs low. Stellar audio quality. The UI has it's quirks -- navigation for common tasks can require a few presses, but it's still a lot better than other units I've owned. I've been using Media Monkey to manage my music library and sync with the S9, and this has proved to be a winning combination. I splurged and purchased the Pro version. It will take me some time to fix the tags in my MP3 files, but Media Monkey does a pretty good job at most library management that I need, and I have a lot of music. I am very happy with this player, and would still give it 5 stars.
This is the 3rd MP3 player that I have owned. My first was an iRiver HP-120, which was absolutely awesome, but was getting a little technologically dated. I then made the mistake of buying a Zune 120 GB. The capacity, build quality, and form factor were awesome, but the walled garden of MS's terrible software eventually led me elsewhere. Furthermore, the sound quality was just OK (and no EQ settings!), and the battery life was way overstated by MS. The online 'social' was useless to me -- I'm a grown adult, and I own a vast music collection that I started when I was a kid. I purchased a Cowon i6 for my wife about 2 years ago, and she still loves and uses it everyday -- so I thought I would give the S9 a try. I read some encouraging reviews of it, and it's slim pickin's these days for a true MP3 player not aimed at the average teenager. I received it this morning, and let me tell you, this little device is awesome. The sound quality is truly impressive, as others have reported, which is one attribute that Cowon players are known for. The screen is also amazing -- the OLED technology really shows off it's stuff on this thing. The touch screen is actually quite nice, and responds well. Those with small or large fingers shouldn't have a problem here. The dedicated volume, track, play/pause buttons are welcome, and the build quality is high. The selection of materials, the fit in the hand, and the size and weight are perfect. I also purchased a Cowon leather case for mine, which fits like a glove, while allowing full access to all of the important bits. I'm still learning the UI and the various features, but it seems like almost every aspect of the device can be customized. The UI is great, fairly easy to navigate, and the device responds quickly. I can't comment on the battery life yet, but I'm sure that it will be as advertised. The unit charged initially for 2.5 hours on AC when unboxed, and I upgraded to the latest firmware before starting to use it.
In short, this MP3 player looks like a keeper. I feel like an idiot for not buying it sooner. I will post an update to this review as I continue to become familiar with it, but so far, this looks like the one for me. Check one out for yourself -- I think you'll agree.
The slim curved form of the player sure has gotten lots of hype - not undeserving - it feels great in the palm of my hand. The materials (though plastic) have good solid feel to them, as is the glass screen. Titanium color looks great and understated. There are however several issues: due to its curve, its thicker than lets say a P2, thus if you place it on an edge (of a stationary bike, etc) it is less stable. It is also impossible to operate the touch screen while the player is on a flat surface - it rocks back and forth. I actually prefer P2's form factor (though not its crappy build).
The touch interface is very nice - much better than P2, however the glass does not feel as smooth as I expect(maybe some scratch-resistant surface cover on it). Touch UI misfires sometimes, but overall it is acceptable. It is of course awesome that Cowon included hard buttons for all major operations of the player (volume, rev/ffw, pause/play, hold) - its awesome in the gym. Unfortunately the hold/power button is in a terrible position - right next to the phones jack - and if phones are plugged in, it is hard to access the power toggle at times (depends on the plug I guess).
The User Interface is mixed ... the music library browser is excellent, as is ability to zoom in almost any screen. However, I do not think Cowon used an actual usability designer - for example, when playing a track if I want to go back to list of artists, I have to press a soft-button on top left, then another button on bottom left (thus making it very hard to do this one-handed). Curiously there are NO customizations of the interface - NONE! Cannot even set a background! There are two sets of icons you can pick for the main interface that bounce into the main menu - but that bounce gets old real fast yet cannot be turned off. Note - there are now multiple themes available for download (not from Cowon - but from the user community) to address Cowon's shortcomings.
Playback is very good - we have access to file info (bit rate, file type), nice display of album art, and easy navigation. What is truly awesome is a 'bookmarking' feature that not only remembers your place in the file, but also pulls in entire playlist (which is great for mp3-based audiobooks). Unfortunately no dynamic playlists are available (only a single 'Favorites' list). There is also an odd - and extremely lame - coverflow feature. Besides being terribly slow, I have not ever figured out why its useful in a 16gb player. And of course there is no gapless playback (to disappoint fans of Pink Floyd I am sure).
Then there is the AMOLED screen - which is quiet spectacular. It is sharp and colorful, and is simply delight. The possibilities (if ever implemented by Cowon) are endless! The screen flips and rotates using a built-in accelerometer - a feature so annoying I wish there was a way to shut it off! . In reality its only useful for movies, text, and photo. I wish it was disabled in music mode (would be great for it to be a setting one can set: Disable G-Sensor in Music Mode: Yes/No). Update - Firmware 2.07 allows shutoff of the g-sensor in Music mode .
The radio is terrible. Probably worst I've ever heard (its related to the tuner I think - not to the sound quality). The UI for radio is ok, but sluggish 'analog' dial and a total lack of RDS support (that even P2 had!) is a shame.
Bluetooth audio quality is fantastic - and all sound enhancements are available via BT (unlike P2). Unfortunately performance goes downhill during BT streaming - especially in movies. Entire interface becomes extremely sluggish (generally not an issue except when watching movies). Unfortunately, no support for BT transfer is available. It may be slow, but in a pinch it would have been nice - especially transferring photos from cell phones.
So in summary,
- Beautiful Amoled screen.
- Great feel in hand, excellent build quality, and nice titanium/black color.
- Good sound quality and decent number of sound enhancements.
- Well implemented media library navigation.
- File Bookmarking which remembers the playlist.
- Decent electrostatic touch interface.
- Bluetooth with great sound quality (to me at least).
- Support for FLAC and OGG formats.
- Great battery life (I accidentally left it running overnight - it was playing for 10 hours straight and barely lost the juice.
Cons (in no particular order):
- No RDS support for the radio and poor radio tuning quality.
- No Gapless playback.
- No UI customization - not even setting a wallpaper (still nothing from Cowon, though community has fixed some of Cowon's blunders there).
- Somewhat thoughtless UI implementation (I didn't bother going into all the different issues in the review).
- A 20-pin data cable that is hard to find in the USA. May want to order an extra or two online just in case.
- No way to shut off accelerometer (Fixed for Music mode in Firmware 2.07)
- No accessories of any kind (armbands, etc). Update - some accessories are available now - but still no armbands.
- Only a single on-the-go playlist (P2 for example had 5).
- No support for standard playlist files (like .m3u). Playlists not supported in MSC (standard USB drive) mode.
- Performance lag when BT is streaming.
- No BT file transfer support to feed the player.
I sincerely hope that majority of the issues I listed will be fixed by later firmware - but I have my doubts. If they do take care of all this - which they can if they really try - S9 will be truly awesome!
Updated with a few more pros/cons.
Updated on 1/10/2009 due to release of 2.07 firmware.
Updated on 3/6/2009 for BT and a few minor comments.