iAudio CW300 MP3 Player Review

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Product Requirements:
Windows 98, 2000, ME or XP

Early this year, I reviewed JetAudio’s iAudio
CW200 MP3 Player. I found it to
be a great small form factor player, that had enough extra features to
overshadow the fact that it was not expandable (no memory card slot) and could
not play WMA files. JetAudio’s latest model is the CW300. What new features and
/ or upgrades does this model have? Read on…

Hardware Specifications

Bit Rate Supports – MPEG1/2 – Layer 2/3 (MP3)Supports whole range of 8Kbps ~
320Kbps and VBR
Memory – 128/256/512MB according to model
PC Interface – USB
File Transmission Rate – Maximum 6M bps
Battery – 1.5V (AA) 1 unit (maximum 30 hrs of continuous playback)
LCD Display – 128 x 16 Bitmap
S/N Ratio – 95dB
Audio – 8mW + 8mW (16 Ohm earphones)
Output Frequency Band – 20Hz ~ 20KHz
Size – 1.57 x 3.25x 0.73 inches (40 x 82.5 x 18.6 mm)
Weight – 1.48 oz (42g) : without battery

Like the CW200, the CW300 is small. However, the new CW300 has slightly
increased in both size and weight. This increase mainly due to the fact that
instead of using a AAA battery, the CW300 uses a AA battery. This change is
actually the biggest feature difference between the two models. Instead of
getting 9-12 hrs of battery life from one battery, the CW300 can play for up to
30 continuous hours! Wowza!

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The CW300 feels good in hand. It is solid, and has a quality weighty feeling.
It passes the Gadgeteer creak test with flying colors. No squeaks or flexing.

It is made of plastic and aluminum. The main shell is made of charcoal
colored plastic, while the front and back have a silver aluminum shell.

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User interaction is achieved by two spring loaded rocker buttons, a sliding
hold switch and a record button. Either side of the player has a silver spring
loaded rocker button. The left button controls Volume up / down and activates
the Menu when pressed in. The button on the right side controls Previous, and
Next tracks, as well as Play and Pause. This button also is the power switch. By
holding it in, the player will toggle power.

The hold switch is located on the back of the device. When slid to the lock
position, key presses will have no effect on the player. This keeps the player
from inadvertently powering on in a pocket or purse.

The LCD display is virtually identical to the CW200 in size and clarity. With
the blue backlight, you’ll have no problems queuing up your favorite tunes in
dim light or total darkness.

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On the bottom of the player is the battery compartment and USB cable
connector (small format).  The included USB cable is slightly longer than 4
ft. Since the CW300 has no memory card slot, this cable is needed to transfer
MP3s directly to the device. This is accomplished using the included JetAudio
software which has an easy drag and drop interface.

A voice record button is located at the bottom front of the player. Not a
great location in my mind, since the microphone is located at the top of the
device. A more natural position for this button would have been on the left
side, under the volume control rocker switch. Not a big deal though…

Located next to the microphone is a lanyard strap attachment point, and the
earphone jack. The CW300 can be purchased in two packages, with Cresyn AXE 599BL
ear buds, or Sennheiser MX 400 ear buds. The Sennheiser packages are $10 more
than the former. My review package included the Sennheiser ear buds. For me, the
choice of ear buds doesn’t matter as the majority of them are uncomfortable to

The CW300 has all the same software and hardware features as the CW200, as
well as a few extras. One such added feature is the ability to save files other
than MP3 files into memory. This allows you to use the CW300 as a storage device
as well as an MP3 player. The CW300 also comes with a nice assortment of cases.
Included is a small suede like drawstring pouch, a silver play through belt clip
case, and a smaller play through case that can fit on the included adjustable
armband. The armband is a great accessory for people that like to run, jog, etc.
with their MP3 player.

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Of course, the most important feature of any MP3 player is the sound quality.
Like the CW200, the CW300 is excellent in that respect. There is even a built in
equalizer with presets such as Normal, Rock, Jazz, Classical and User. The user
setting allows you to individually adjust the bass, treble, loudness, and
dynamic bass. Speaking of bass, for a little device, this player has a nice
thump to it!

Bottom line, the CW300 is a nice upgrade from the CW200, if only for the huge
gain in battery life. That alone is pretty much the main selling point for this
new model. At only $10 difference for each memory configuration, it is worth it
in my opinion. That said, this player will never usurp my
iPod, but
it makes a great player for active people who want a very small player with a
built in radio and voice recorder.


Price: $149 – $299 depending on memory capacity. Check for lowest prices here.

30hr battery life
Included arm band and belt cases
Built in radio and voice recorder

No memory expansion slot


Product Information

  • 30hr battery life
  • Included arm band and belt cases
  • Built in radio and voice recorder
  • No memory expansion slot

8 thoughts on “iAudio CW300 MP3 Player Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I’m looking for a very small & light MP3 player that will sync with my PC so I can download books from audible.com for my wife. It needs to be simple to use with the ability for her to hook it onto her arm as she walks around. The Ipod seems a little large.
    1) Any suggestions for a PC user?
    2) Is there something better than the CW300 that has a larger LCD screen to see? My wife’s eyesight isn’t too good.
    3) Is there a better source to download books than Audible.com?
    [email protected]

  3. I have a pile of books that I have downloaded from Audible.com over the past two years.

    For listening, I use three setups.

    I have the old Rio 500 that was sold by Audible. It is old technology but it came with bookmarking. It plays format 1 files.

    For those who need larger fonts, the Pocket PC is a good option. You can use it as a PDA, an MP3 player, an ebook reader, and an Audible book device.

    For myself, I have converted a number of my Audible books to MP3s and use my IHP-120 player and my Iaudio CW200 to listen to them.

  4. I noticed that under audible.com that they offer a free Otis MP3 Player if you sign up with Audible.com for a year.
    1) Is the Otis MP3 Player any good?
    2) Does it come with an armband?
    3) If not, where could I buy an armband? My wife wants to walk around the house listening to taped books.
    4) Is there something better than Audible.com for book downloads?
    5) Is $14.95/month reasonable for one downloaded book?
    6) Are we allowed to share these MP3 files of a book once we have downloaded the book?



  5. I have no experience with the Otis player, but there is a full review on http://www.cnet.com. Just search for the words “otis mp3”. They write that “Audiobook enthusiasts will love this specialized MP3 player.” The reviewer notes that this player is designed for Audible books and can play music, too. They rated it an 8.0.

    Considering that you get a “free” player with that deal, it seems worthwhile. CDs and tapes at the bookstore cost a lot more. If you “read” a lot, the two book a month deal is much better.

    The proprietary Audible compressed format for speech is highly efficient compared to MP3s. It takes less than half the space compared to MP3s. Audible content is encrypted so that you can only use it on your registered PC or Audible device, so getting a “free” player is almost mandatory.

    At your public library, you can often find interesting audio books on CD, which you can borrow and rip to MP3 format to listen to at your leisure.

  6. Rob,

    1) With only 64mb on the Otis MP3 player, how many books can be downloaded to it?
    2) On this Otis MP3 player, it is not clear whether it uses the MMC and/or SD memory card to add memory?


  7. According to the Audible.com devices page, the slot is a MMC/SD slot that can handle up to 128MB.

    If you use Audible format 2, you can fit up to 17 hours of audio book on the Otis. Books range from 3 to 20 hours per book depending upon whether it is abridged or not. If you add a 128MB SD card, that will add more than 34 hours for a total of 51 hours per Otis.

    Most of my books are in format 1, the most compressed format. The sound is barely acceptable. Some users don’t like anything less than format 4, but that is four times the size of format 2. Fortunately, you can download whatever format your device will support. You can even download more than one format of the book you purchased.

    Back when I worked with a dial up ISP connection, it took a long time for a format 1 file to download. Now I have a few dozen Audible books and they take up a lot of disk space.

    Wow, this is really off-thread.

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