updated 09:45 am EST, Fri January 11, 2008
Cowon iAudio U5 in America
Cowon today added to its steadily growing portfolio of US players with the shipment of the iAudio U5. The Korean firm's exported player is designed to undercut the iPod nano, Zune, and other players in the class by offering a handful of features that are not found on the higher-profile players, such as a voice microphone and an FM radio tuner with scheduled recording for listening to shows after they air. Where other players' audio equalizers only offer presets, the U5's settings are fully customizable, Cowon says. A 1.8-inch screen keeps the device comparable to the Zune 4/8 in size.
The player supports MP3, WAV, and WMA (including protected store WMA) audio and lasts as long as its immediate Apple and Microsoft rivals, running for 24 hours between charges. Cowon is selling the iAudio U5 at $120 for a 4GB white model and $160 for its black 8GB sibling. Availability at retail stores is unknown.