Audiophiles love them, music professionals still use them, and joggers find them useful too: portable music players, or iPods as they were once colloquially called (obviously with reference to Apple’s highly successful product), might not be as popular as they once were, but it’s refreshing to see a new product in the market. It’s called Cowon iAudio E3 and is available exclusively on Flipkart, with prices starting from Rs 5,499.
The Cowon iAudio E3 sits as the entry level offering from Cowon, replacing the highly impressive Cowon E2. But the E3 offers something that music players don’t offer: apart from being a fitness mate which can display and record data like calories burnt and step count, the device’s design makes it a great-looking bookmark too (the actual bookmark that you use while reading books, and not the kind that you save while browsing the Internet). Color options for the E3 include black and white, and it’s available in two storage sizes, 8GB and 16GB.
The E3 comes with a 96×64 pixels OLED display, a capacitive touchpad to control the features, and an onboard battery that allows a playback time of about 11h 30m. It can play a variety of audio formats including MP3, WAV, FLAC, and OGG, and apart from playing music, it can work as a voice recorder too. Given Cowon’s track record of making commendable audio players, the iAudio E3 has large shoes to fill, and in a market where mobile phones and now wearable devices have managed to creep into standalone music players’ market, it remains to be seen how the Cowon iAudio E3 performs. Available on Rs 5,499 for the 8GB version and Rs 6,599 for the 16GB variant, the E3 is surrounded by competitors that offer video playback as well, which is again a downer for the device.