If last month's teaser of the Cowon iAudio 9 portable media player left you frozen in a state of awe, then we have good news. Our sources at Cowon have confirmed that the iAudio 9 is headed for U.S. shores in a matter of days.
At launch, Cowon will have one color (black) of the iAudio 9 on sale in the U.S., available in 8GB ($129) and 16GB ($169). No, it's not a tremendous savings over the Apple iPod Nano, but if you're looking for something that plays nice with FLAC, Ogg, Flash, and XviD files--the iAudio 9 is one of the best bargains around. More than anything, though, you're paying for Cowon's sound technology, which we expect will sound just as amazing as Cowon's other BBE-enhanced players.
The full list of iAudio 9 specifications are available from Cowon's Web site. Aside from the audio format support (MP3, FLAC, Ogg, WAV, APE, WMA) and codec support for XviD and WMV video content (sized at 320x240 pixels), the iAudio 9 also boasts a capacitive touch navigation strip (similar to the iAudio 7), 2-inch screen, composite video output (cable required), Flash Lite support (games), FM radio, text reader, photo viewer (JPG), and voice recorder. Cowan rates the iAudio 9's battery life at 29 hours for audio and 7 hours for video.
What it doesn't have, however, is the iPod Nano's video camera, pedometer, VoiceOver, video rentals, or accessory support--which pretty much ruins Cowon's chances at making much of a stir here. Still, for those who value audio quality above all else, this could be just the Nano-size music player you've been waiting for.
Stay tuned for a full review in the next few weeks. Until then, hit the photo gallery for more eye candy.