The Long Awaited Cowon X7 Arrives

cowon x7 main The Long Awaited Cowon X7 Arrives

No, the hard drive player is not dead. Most will be puzzled but and scoff at a manufacturer releasing a HDD based player in a flash memory world, but Cowon is no fool. They do understand the portable audio market very well and do know that there is a niche of people looking for very large capacity players. You can find countless threads in the forums of people looking for alternatives to the ipod classic and aside form Archos’ large PMPs, there are no other options.

The X7 will be released overseas shortly but no word yet on the US release. Here are the specs deciphered from Cowon’s official product page:

X7 specs

  • Screen 4.3″ 480×272
  • TV Out (composite) + Line In
  • Size: 78.6 x 14.5 x 126.9 mm
  • Weight 212g
  • Colors: White, Black, Dark Purple
  • Capacities: 80GB, 120GB, 160GB (They also mention Flash 2GB but im not sure what that means, if its additional memory on top of the HDD or if its a stand alone flash capacity- likely the former)
  • Battery: 103h audio, 10h video
  • Audio: <P3/2, WMA, OGG, FLAC, APE, WAV
  • Video: AVI, DIVX, Xvid, WMV, ASF
  • Bluetooth 2.0  A2DP/AVRCP
  • BBE 3.0, Speaker, FM Radio, Recorder, Pictures, Documents, Flash Player, Dictionary, Notepad, Comic Viewer, Stopwatch, Calculator


Binks on October 8, 2010 5:02 PM

Woot!! Go cowon- 103hrs audio battery life? Thats insane!! That must be a new record; longest I can remember was an old sony player that did 70′ish’ hours. Looking forward to a hands-on, & still waiting for a J3 review guys……

Mikerman on October 8, 2010 5:10 PM

Wow–some actual options for jukebox players! Assuming that this actually comes out and hits the U.S. shores, that is …

Chef on October 8, 2010 8:04 PM

Way to release this 6 months after I give up and get a 32 gig flash… sigh.

RamboKam on October 8, 2010 8:17 PM

This looks nice! Better than an ipod or an archos.

But yeah agreeing with “Blinks,” I’d *really* like to see a J3 review sometime soon…

Zilver on October 8, 2010 11:16 PM

OMG! i was looking a lot of reviews of westone IEMs and noticed this recently. Hope more about this new cowon player, and me too Im waiting for a J3 review and some IEM From Westone.

alabama hotpocket on October 8, 2010 11:52 PM

Spelled MP3 wrong ;)

Seahorse on October 9, 2010 12:01 AM

Arghhhhhhhhh what the hell!?

I caved in 6 months ago and got a 160gb ipod classic since it was the only thing that could hold my collection, even though the sound quality was the worst I’ve ever heard from an MP3 player, the headphone jack cut out in 4 months and I’ve had to transcode all my ape/flac files to get them working..

Now this comes out with an awesome UI, some thought put into not making it sound like a 3 cent piece of ass and support for every format in my library barring the single album I decided to rip in musepack for some reason.

Looks like there’ll be a black 160gb classic up on ebay soon..

Duck King on October 9, 2010 3:41 AM

Damn it, I just bought a Zune 160; now I have to toss it (converting all of my audio from flac to Win lossless is killing me, and don’t get me started on tags and using the Zune software).

Justin on October 9, 2010 4:07 AM

@Blinks That number is just too incredible for it to not be SOMEWHAT embellished… Regardless, sounds like a great player! Now if only I was super-rich and had a lot of money laying around I could blow on this thang… xD

lestatar on October 9, 2010 8:58 AM

Thanks for the sneak preview EnzoTen. Not really a dee-luxe PMP kinda guy, but nice to see Cowon is paying attention with regards to large capacity devices.

One question: When are you getting one? Full blown ABi review! :D

Sreenivas on October 9, 2010 9:04 AM

I don’t understand. Why didn’t they put Android on it? Opportunity missed.

shigzeo on October 9, 2010 10:01 AM

The cowon X7 won’t get 103 hours – that is just the rating. I’ve never used a single cowon that actually hit their advertising claim but they do well anyway.

badMoon on October 9, 2010 10:05 AM

It looks very good. But – I hoped of a new player with wlan because I very often listen to web-radio. I’ve had two archos 5. On my first there was a hick-up in mp3-songs. And on my second the harddrive crashed after eight month. I never buy an archos. So I’ll waiting for the next wlan-player…

(Please excuse me (from Germany) for my bad english)

wat on October 9, 2010 2:40 PM

480×272 on a 4.3-inch is a bit poor don’t you think?

roj on October 9, 2010 4:17 PM

Get Me A Diaper!!

I wonder how much the 160Gb model will retail for here in Canada? This will be my Christmas present for sure!

windspear on October 9, 2010 6:30 PM

the recessed screen on the body kinda scares me, that usually means its a resistive touchscreen instead of a capacitive, if thats the case than its almost exactly like an archos except better form factor and maybe less buggy :S

jack on October 9, 2010 6:36 PM

The V5 and O2 looked good on paper. I hope they don’t mess this one up.

Jake on October 10, 2010 1:30 AM

Why not use the 240GB or 320GB SATA 2platter drive. A large capacity player should be a LOT more than the ipod’s 160GB and that is based on Toshiba’s single platter 5mm drive. There are bigger drives available right now.
Disappointing and most likely not even mod-able to a larger capacity.

Ashkan on October 10, 2010 2:22 AM

I wonder why cowon ain’t going to put Wifi on theire players?!?
I’am so close to buy the S9-32GB!
And i dont know how to choose between S9 and J3!!!!!! HELP ME!

tds01 on October 10, 2010 2:51 AM

I will admit I’m put off by the 2007-08 tech. The screen is resistive and low res (480X272), the video codec support is a bit lacking, it’s bloody HUGE, it’s stated in the specs to have ff/rew, play/pause, and volume controls – but I’m unsure if this is the case.

It will have excellent battery life, good audio codec support (still no official AAC support tho), spectacular SQ, and (I HOPE) great build quality.

Still, looking like an outdated PDA is a turn off,…………………

Mattman243 on October 10, 2010 5:22 AM

Dude, nothing personal, but you need an editor. Someone to check your English before you publish an article.

Looks interesting, but for the price (and size) it’s probably going to go for, I’d rather put my money towards a tablet or smartphone.

T4b on October 10, 2010 9:50 AM

Yeah, why the hell do PMP makers still release products with resistive touchscreens?! i really dont get it.
and 480*272 ?! That’s S9/J3 resolution on an one inch bigger screen!

I hoped for a Wifi player from Cowon.
And PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE let it have an UI that does not look like a 3 year old has drawn it!

All in all i’m kinda disappointed from Cowon. I’ll stick with my S9 / Archos 5 combination…

BruceBanner on October 10, 2010 8:28 PM

After I bought the o2 from cowon and was utterly dissapointed I think the success from this device relies soley on its UI and modability (putting in larger hd’s etc). Lets hope they have learned from their mistakes and its not just another o2 with a hdd and bluetooth :S

Jason on October 10, 2010 9:23 PM

Well, looks like I won’t be abandoning my 5th gen Archos any time soon. I just don’t understand why hard drive based players are so hard to come by. I mean, I understand the functionality benefits of being flash-based, but there are a lot of people out there with more than 32 gigs of music. It’s really frustrating that there are so few options out there when, five years ago, it was no problem at all finding a player that would house your entire music collection.

Daniel Eriksson on October 10, 2010 9:33 PM

Looks good. Also looking forward for the hands on review.


tds01 on October 11, 2010 12:43 AM

I’ve decided I’m getting this in either black or purple the minute it’s released in the USA. I loved my Cowon O2, but the battery life was an issue for me. This makes up for it, and I think I’ll love it. I’m sold – I’m getting me a 160gb Cowon X7 – FTW!!!

Billy Bob on October 11, 2010 4:14 PM

this looks nice, but when will there be a cowon j3 revew??!?!?!?!?! i really want to see what enzo thinks of it

Roj on October 13, 2010 9:09 PM

Why not Android? Because Android doesn’t do squat for multimedia. No gapless. No ReplayGain.

Thank God they didn’t put Android on it – it’s not a panacea for everything.

And why wifi? Thanks but I don’t want another useless wifi peripheral. This is not an app platform like Apple garbage – this is a portable multimedia player. You wanna stream YouTube? Get a Galaxy Tab.

Bingzhong on October 14, 2010 5:57 AM

When will Korean companies realize that a actually touchscreen is better than a stylus-based screen?
The sound quality, I guess, makes up for it.

Jenny on October 14, 2010 12:01 PM

Linux compatible? :(

Pete on October 17, 2010 12:53 AM

Looking for stateside sale of the Cowon X7 that is shown on your web site .. having problems finding a place to purchase this device .. going to the Cowon home page shows everything written in Korean?

jamesc on October 18, 2010 12:36 AM

No android / low res screen =(
otherwise, I would be all over this puppy.

tds on October 21, 2010 10:45 PM

ME IS WANTS J3 review ! Please????? the x7 is great, but the j3? what do u think of it

badMoon on November 16, 2010 9:44 PM

As expected no wifi. He should have to. I will wait for “philips gogear connect”. Although he has no hard drive and only a 32 gb memory, but wifi and android. I hope the player is presented here soon.

sacredchao on November 18, 2010 2:26 AM

I just wish they’d concentrate on making one really good player (kind of like MS has done with the Zune) instead of going for this shotgun approach. Imagine if they took the money it cost to develop a jillion different players and made one badass pmp to rule them all, with an actual functional UI that could actually use flash apps without stuttering like mad and actually hit its battery rating…

jeffmd on November 26, 2010 3:01 AM

Looks like a good basic touch player, but are the $500 prices on google right? that is way to much.

Btw I do question people who load up 160 or more gigs of music. I consider myself abit of a music junky, I’ve been downloading and riping music since l3enc.exe was downloadable. When I got my first 32gb player it didn’t take long to stuff it full.. but then I got really irritated about having to FF through those songs I didn’t like that comes on the albums with the songs that I do like. Currently I one star songs I don’t like and delete all the one star songs when I synch with my pc. I have significantly less music files now. Me thinks those who carry around hundreads of full albums don’t really listen to all that music the begin with.

nybruh on November 26, 2010 9:26 PM

Well, I graduated from to Iriver 20G H120… to the Cowon D2 16G with 16G SDHC card… For me, having 160G is about having variety. Sure all 160G will never all get played, but Im an album person not a singles person… and love all genres of music… as well as having several “permanent fixture” CDs that get a lot of use. I like having room for both. Right now, I listen to albums then delete them so I can make room for more. Id love to have room to load full CDs w/o constantly reaching the max capacity and trying to decide what albums I need to sacrifice to add more. Its about having room to grow, as well as room for many more albums to choose from, should the desire to hear them come up.

matt on December 14, 2010 1:28 PM

Just bought the 160gb white version. It is great although abit chunky. Soundwise it is up with the best(should think so for the price!).Battery life is good but don’t think it is 104hrs!.

Ajdedo on December 23, 2010 10:50 AM


Sometime I go on long trips (3 months+) out of the country and I don’t have access to my entire audio/video library. So it’s good to bring as much music on a small mp3 player as will fit. After a couple months, every gb counts.

Evan on December 25, 2010 11:00 PM

Very low resolution display… bluetooth 2.0 (not 3.0, or even 2.1)… No HDMI output… what is this for I wonder?

THE DARK SIDE on December 28, 2010 10:52 PM

GIVE ME A J3 REvIEW—-oh wait its already made

Kiiski on January 3, 2011 7:56 PM

@ Evan

It’s for MUSIC. A portable MUSIC player, mainly aimed at audiophiles.

Why would you need a high res screen or a HDMI output (or a bluetooth) in a portable music player? If you’re looking for a tool that does everything from high-res videos to ironing your shirts this is not it; If you’re looking for the best portable MUSIC player out there, this might be it.

I have it, and I love it.

Kevin on January 20, 2011 7:00 PM

I would like to buy a COWON X7 but it’s hard for me to do. I’m living in the Netherlands and its not possibele jet to buy it here.
Can anybody advise me?

greetzzz kevin

Kakadu on January 27, 2011 10:18 AM

Why didn’t they put in a 320gb hdd, it would have been just 3mm thicker. Nobody would care about 3mm more in thickness for an hdd upgrade, right? Too bad this device won’t be able to carry my music collection, which is slightly above 170gb. I really hope for a 320gb version. This would be perfect.

Derek on February 22, 2011 1:23 PM


I really dont like being tied to IPOD and was think of moving to the x7 trouble is all 750 of my CDs are in apple lossless. Any idea how i would get around not having to re reip them all.


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