Cowon iAudio X5L or Archos Gmini 202S

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by kokoshka, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. kokoshka

    kokoshka
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    Does anyone have any experience of either of these players? They form my short list, based on reviews, and the fact that they're both Mac friendly (absolutely essential for me). I've chosen them over the iPod because they appear to offer quite a lot more for the money, the Cowon for example has a 35 hour battery life, lots of formats, line-in recording, and 30gb for around £245. The only minus that I've read about, is that it can't search by genre etc. I've never owned a digital player before, so I don't know how important this is. The Archos has a 17 hour battery life, 20gb, on the fly editing, and all for around £142. A seperate battery pack can be bought for about £11, increasing battery life by around 70%. I'm not a fan of iPod design, they remind me too much of blood glucose monitoring devices (I'm diabetic, and probably a little over-sensitive!). But friends who have them complain constantly about poor battery performance. I don't want a player for looks anyway, nor for video capabilities...just sound, capacity and battery performance. I'd be grateful for any advice.
     
  2. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I have the earlier Archos XS200 which looks much the same as the XS202 although battery life is shorter and it doesn't charge through USB like the updated model. I've dropped mine twice and the case has a few dents but works fine. Sound quality is excellent using PX100 headphones but the supplied headphones are fairly poor although not as bad as ipod headphones but not much better. My Archos claims 11 hours battery life and by some miracle actually seems to last 11 hours?!?! This is rare for me as normally I don't get anywhere near the claimed maximum as I use high volume and high bitrate mp3s. However thinking about it with a hard drive based player most of the battery power will probably be used by the hard drive and not by the mp3 decoding chipset and amp so I suppose they will be less effected by bitrate/volume. With my Archos I never got any case or strap. I found the small digital camera case from Tesco's for £1.97 absolutely perfect. It has a belt clip and the player fits snugly inside. There is a bit of space on top which could be used for holding in ear headphones as well when not in use. As I say though I use PX100s which are banded headphones. 20gig is a massive amount of storage and its absolutely brilliant that you can carry so much music around in such a tiny little player. Build quality is excellent.
     
  3. kokoshka

    kokoshka
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    Thanks Bonzobanana, that's very helpful. Reviews that I've read of the Archos suggest that for once the manufacturer's battery life claims are accurate, and even modest. What bitrate do you use? I've read that 192 is about right for 'not noticing the difference'. How is navigation? Thanks for the Tesco case info as well, the price is music to my ears.
     
  4. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    The bitrate of my mp3s varies enormously. Many are only 128k bitrate, 192k is about the most common but I also have a fair percentage of 320k. Recently many of the files I've been playing have been 320k or vbr and thats when I worked out the battery life was pretty accurate. Volume wise I tend to have it on 87-93 which is near maximum of the 99 setting.

    Navigation is pretty easy. The search speed through music could be faster though. Mind you the XS202 being a later model may have revised/improved features over the XS200.
     

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