13 reviews

Cowon S9 Curve

$200.00 Released December, 2008

Product Shot 1 The Pros:Dual core processor. Affordable and competitive price. Large touchscreen.

The Cons:No third party software. No WIFI or internet browser - included on competitors. Software will not be as modular or as well supported as the iPod Touch software.

Introduced in late August 2008, the Cowon S9 Curve is a powerful portable media device. Including a 3.3" 480 x 272 pixel touchscreen, the device is shorter and narrower than the first generation iPod Touch.

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Product Shot 2 Initially shipping with 8 or 16GB of internal flash storage, a 32GB version will follow after launch. Inside, the device features a 500MHz dual-core CPU, T-DMB digital television tuner, Bluetooth, FM radio, TV-out, and G-Sensor accelerometer. Rumors of a delay were recently dismissed with the first shipments going out on December 15th 2008. Prices were also announced in the press release - undercutting the Apple iPod Touch by $40-60. The 8GB model will retail for $199.99 while the 16GB version will come in at $239.99.


  • Capacity: 8,16 and eventually 32GB SSD
  • Screen: 3.3" LCD Touchscreen, 480 x 272px, 16m colours
  • Supported Audio Codecs: MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, WAV
  • Supported Video Codecs: MPEG-4 SP, WMV9 SP, H.264 BP
  • Battery life: 40 hours audio or 8 hours of video
  • Dimensions: 57.08 x 105.75 x 12.7 mm

User Reviews (16)

Add Pros & Cons
  • 12

    dual core processor

  • 12

    affordable and competitive price

  • 11

    large touchscreen

  • 11

    open source codec support - FLAC and OGG

  • 11

    up to 40 hours of audio playback

  • 9

    includes many extra features the Touch doesn't - such as an FM radio, digital TV tuner, TV-out

  • 9

    amoled screen

  • 8

    Sound quality

  • 7

    smaller and thinner than the iPod Touch

  • 6


  • 5


  • 5

    free apps in firmware

  • 5

    customizable user interface (via Flash 7)

  • 5

    gapless support for MP3, WMA, OGG, and FLAC (as of 2.31b2 firmware)

  • 4

    same capacities as the iPod Touch

  • 4


  • 4

    regular firmware updates and improvements

  • 3

    Extensive codec format support

  • 0

    no third party software

  • 0

    no WIFI or internet browser - included on competitors

  • -3

    software will not be as modular or as well supported as the iPod Touch software

  • -4

    late to market - planned to be released in December

Comments (6)

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Austin Welles
Austin Welles: #cowon_s9_curve This is most likely the best media player out there. It is extremely light and people don't believe at first just how good it it is.I love the beautiful quality of the screen and the screen is very responsive. I never did get to use the Bluetooth on it, though. Sound quality is by far the best out of any player out there and the equalizer is perfect for those perfectionists like myself when listening to music. I listen mostly to techno, rock, power metal, and alternative. On just about every single one of these, there is a level of clarity that I have never heard before. I was astounded by how good they sound with using a pair of $35 SkullCandy Lowrider headphones. Not to mention, this is also one of the loudest players ever. If you want to share your music in a small group of people, they can hear it clearly if using on-the-ear headphones. One important factor is that the original UI that comes with it is trash. You should go to iAudiophile to pick up a new theme where you can customize just about every aspect of the player. Also, the headphones that come with it are pretty lame. You should at least get some sort of replacement above $15 to bring out the quality of the player. I would also personally recommend on-the ear or around-the-ear headphones just because there will almost always be more bass response and clarity to the music. My final verdict: If you know how to customize it right, this is the best media player on the market anywhere. Just take it from my advice that this is not waterproof. It my own fatal mistake and there is no extended or accidental warranty on the product. Mar 11, 10
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avid: #cowon_s9_curve Exactly Acreo... It isn'y meant to be an alternative to i-Pod Touch or i-Phone. The S9 is definitely superior to both of them really. With great sound quality, amazing range of file format supports, awesome screen, customisability, recording options, long battery life etc. are just some of the +ves for S9 over i-Pod Touch.
With the frequent and free firmware upgrades unlike Apple it surely wins there too.
I am deifinitely more than happy without its support for Wi-Fi or other apps. :) Sep 11, 09
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Acreo Aeneas
Acreo Aeneas: #cowon_s9_curve Mattmach33 pretty much has it down pat. The iAudioPhiles forum already has 3 large Flash games packages that bring a total of over 9000 games to the S9 not including all the other ones you can get for the S9 by yourself.

People seem to always compare the iTouch and iPhone to the S9. The S9 wasn't produced to be a alternative to either. It's designed as a better PMP (portable multimedia player) rather than a handheld MID (mobile internet device). Besides the obvious lack of WiFi and custom apps (the ones that involve more than just Flash), I feel the S9 is superior to the iTouch. Aug 10, 09
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mattmach33: #cowon_s9_curve The Cowon is getting a lot more professional level support in Korea, so just join the iaudiophile forums and anything that comes up will normally be posted eg themes, games etc.
And most apps are made by Cowon themselves and released through firmware, and unlike with those orchard players, is FREE. The s9 will also support games from the Spinn, and irivers fans are incredible programmers, so there will most likely be some awesome content for the S9.
The only advantages on the touch are wifi and itunes support, and, in the age of smartphones, few people don't already have wifi, and itunes support is arguably a disadvantage as well. Apps are purely up to the user, if you want to spend the twice the money you spent on the player on apps, be my guest, but I'm not stupid.
The advantages on the S9 however are practically endless: sound quality, file support, customisabiltiy, video quality, individuality, ui, advanced 360 degrees accelerometer, dmb, dvb (freeview), fm quality, line in recording, picture quality, BBE+, Mach3 Bass etc. scene select, dual core cpu, price, style... i could go on. lol Jan 1, 09
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Omar: #cowon_s9_curve It remains to be seen how much developer support the S9 Curve will get. One of the most compelling features of the iTouch is the App Store and related programs and games. The specs on this device are very nice, but if there's no apps to really take advantage of the hardware it's all for naught. Dec 15, 08
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Yale: #cowon_s9_curve One would hope that Cowon's $200/240 vs Apple's $230/300 will make a dent or force the later to drop their prices... but I suspect it won't. Dec 15, 08
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