Cowon X7 review

In its X7, Cowon has produced a video player with the ability to rival Apple's finest. It's easy to use, looks good and sounds superb Tested at £200.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

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


  • +

    Great sound from all file types

  • +

    easy to use

  • +

    bass weight


  • -

    Screen lacks some detail and resolution

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test