Cowon iAudio U5 Heads Stateside

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Americans grouchy about the limited U.S. selection of MP3 players can lighten up and scratch one more player off the rather long list of Asia-only releases. Cowon America recently announced that the iAudio U5 flash-based player has hit the U.S.

Originally announced at the IFA trade show in August, the U5 comes in both 4GB and 8GB variants, with a 1.8-inch LCD and size similar to the Zune with the same storage capacity. The U5 uses Cowon’s JetEffect equalizer, which allows users to choose among six preset settings, or tweak their own, as well as play with additional settings like Mach3Bass, 3D Surround, and panning. Other notable extras include an alarm clock, scheduled recording, and sleep timer. The 3.7V battery is expected to last for 24 hours of audio playback. Unlike both the Zune and iPod Nano, the U5 does not play video.

The 4GB U5 comes exclusively in white and sells for $120, while the 8GB comes exclusively in black and sell for $160. Major U.S. distributors of Cowon Audio products have already listed the U5 for sale.