Review: Is the Cowon iAudio E2 a Good Workout Companion?
A design that's convenient for the gym.
Headphones tend to slip off with high momentum.
A good buy for fitness enthusiasts looking for a conveniently designed workout mp3 player.
No matter which smartphone you’re sporting these days, it can’t be too convenient while working out. The reason – It’s either too clunky or too delicate. Anyone who’s lost ipods/iphones to a treadmill’s vibrations will tell you that it’s an exercise in futility to expect that the next one won’t suffer the same fate. No such troubles with Cowon’s iAudio E2.
If you’re looking for the perfect music companion for your gym workouts, Cowon’s iAudio E2 is the right mp3 player for you. Take your pick – as a keychain or a pendant - the small, slick, light, and convenient iAudio E2 fits in snug as a bug. And at a cost of approximately Rs. 3000 for the 4GB iAudio E2, Cowon beats the 2GB ipod shuffle’s Rs.2646.
For a slightly higher price you get more music to choose from even as you enjoy the fact that the iAudio E2’s design includes a stainless steel ring to make it more personal and convenient. This ring lets you slip the iAudio E2 into your palm, so that it fits snugly around a finger for that extra grip. Or you could carry it in a small wrist or waist pouch, just big enough to hold the iAudio E2, your house keys, and some loose change.
Some special features we like:
- Price – the 4GB iAudio E2 is selling for Rs. 3000 on cowonindia.in and for Rs. 2908 on Flipkart.com
- Auto on/off – Unplugging the earphones switches the iAudio E2 off – heaven sent for people like me who forget and drain the batteries.
- Metallic ring – Especially great for runners who can loop it around a finger or chain.
- Sound – Louder is better.
- Audio commands – A lovely voice that tells you which function you’ve pressed, since you could be fumbling with the controls during that last running stretch.
- Playback versus charging – After charging the iAudio E2 for the catalogue-recommended 1.5 hours, we did indeed get 8-10 hours of playback, which was sweet.
- Earphones – The iAudio E2 comes with earphones that fit well enough, although these aren’t very suitable for high-tempo cardio as they do slip off. We tried the iAudio E2 with ipod earphones, and creative’s ep-660s. The sound quality remained pretty much the same. So if you must change the earphones, then go for ones that fit you well as opposed to those that give higher outputs.
- Colours - Available in sky blue, lilac silver, white, orange red and black.
A useful tip: Since mp3 players aren’t convenient for song selection, and since the workout is what you’d buy such a player for, check out some workout playlists. Websites like steady130 offer some convenient workout mixes to keep your workouts live and kicking. Download these and load as complete 1 hour workout playlists on players like the iAudio E2.
Bottom-line: Before you critique the iAudio E2 for its screenless existence, keep in mind that it isn’t competing with your smartphone or ipod. It’s an accessory to workouts, a buddy, a companion. And in that function, it gives you the basics in a neat little convenient package – load playlist, play song, skip song, disconnect.