What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 26 Jan 2011, 3:00pm

Cowon X7

Tested at £200

If you want great sound from a large portable library tunes, this X7 will do just the job

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  • Great sound from all file types
  • easy to use
  • bass weight


  • Screen lacks some detail and resolution

The Cowon X7 is looking to challenge the iPod Classic as a roomy source for media.

A 120GB hard disk drive (and 2GB of flash), large, PDA-style screen, and exhaustive features and format support are its key selling points.

It also has an FM radio, sound recorder and image viewer, plus Bluetooth support, a huge battery life and an AMOLED touchscreen.

There's no multitouch – but regardless moving around the clear interface is painless. Loading tunes is a simple drag-and-drop affair.

With plenty of room for high-quality AIFF, FLAC and WAV files – AACs and MP3s work, too – the X7 delivers a balanced and open sound. There's no hint of hardness and plenty of weight to bass.

The 480 x 272 resolution 4.3in screen reneges slightly on its side of the bargain, with video (AVI, WMV and DivX among others) looking fine but lacking detail and resolution compared to the best.

Despite all the features, the Cowon is a simple proposition: a big hard disk and great sound from any file type. Works for us.

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