The market for digital audio devices continues to grow and is becoming saturated with so many brands it is difficult to know which to buy. Do you want to get something that looks great and sounds great, with a lot of features, and is not going to cost more than a TV? If so, you may want to check out the new iAudio CW300 Digital Audio Player from JetAudio.
At first glance, the CW300’s gray and silver housing is sleek, slim, and sexy. A thin vertical strip of blue backlit LCD makes the player look very high-tech. All of the device’s features are controlled by two main jog buttons on either side of the device with the exception of the voice record feature which is activated by a separate button on the front panel.
The CW300 comes in two “flavors”: a 128 MB version which holds about two CD’s worth of music, and a 256 MB version which holds four. MP3 files are transferred to and from your computer via a USB cable which is provided at a blazing fast 6 Mbps. A single AA battery powers the device for about 30 hours. Also included in the package is a CD with JetAudio (an MP3 player for your computer) and JetShell which is used for transferring files to your device.
Sound quality is where this player really shines. With a 95db signal-to-noise ratio and fully customizable EQ settings, the CW300 is easily one of the best sounding MP3 players out there. It’s powerful too! This player can blast tunes at incredible levels before distortion occurs. Included in the package are some Cresyn AXE 599BL earphones which offer fantastic frequency response across the entire spectrum of human hearing.
JetAudio didn’t skimp of features. The iAudio CW300 offers many more features than the average MP3 player. Since the player is also an FM tuner and voice recorder, JetAudio decided to allow users to use the voice record function to record FM or AM broadcasts. A program called JetVoiceMail, included on the installation CD, allows you to take recordings such as this and turn them into EXE files which you can for emailing to your friends. Virtually all of the player’s features are customizable from the length of time the LCD backlight screen stays on, to the animated image that appears when you first turn on the device.
The player’s only serious drawback is that it is not compatible with Windows Media Player or Windows Media files. This is a big problem to users of buymusic.com’s new digital download service who will find that they will not be able to transfer the music they’ve purchased online to their digital player. [Testing also revealed that the CW300 cannot play MP3 files over 320 kbps. – See Retraction] However, the JetShell program included on the CD allows you to convert virtually any type of music file to a compatible MP3 format.
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Product SpecificationsBit-rate: MPEG1/2 – Layer 2/3 (MP3)Supports whole range of 8Kbps ~ 320Kbps and VBR
Memory: Built-in memory (128 / 256MB)
PC interface: USB 1.1
File transmission rate: Maximum 6 Mbps
Battery: 1.5V (AA) 1 unit (maximum 30 hrs of continuous playback)
Button: 2 Jog Levers (PLAY, FF, REW, VOL UP/DOWN, MENU) and REC button
Display: 128 x 16 Bitmap (indicates track info) / Icon (battery level, mode, volume, album, track, elapsed time, repeat, memory usage,equalizer)
S/N ratio: 95dB
Output frequency band: 20Hz ~ 20KHz
Maximum output: 8mW + 8mW (16 Ohm earphones)
Dimensions: 1.57 x 3.25x 0.73 inches (40 x 82.5 x 18.6 mm)
Weight: 1.48 oz (42g) : without battery
Microsoft® Win98SE/ME/2000 Pro/XP Home/XP Pro
Pentium 200MHz or higher
32MB Available RAM
20MB Available hard drive capacity (recommended)
Warranty / Other Information
1-year limited warranty from Cowon Systems for body.
6-months limited warranty from Cowon Systems for components.
At $199 for the 256 MB version and $149 for the 128 MB version, the iAudio CW300 is a great buy. Add to that its amazing sound quality and long list of features, and it becomes almost irresistible. The iAudio CW300 is by far one of the best MP3 players released this year.
One of the best-sounding portable players available
More features than average
Compact slim design
Fully customizable settings
No Windows Media support
Quality: 10 out of 10
Features: 9 out of 10
Price: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10 out of 10