Disclaimer: my Cowon Plenue D seen here was purchased from e-Earphone in early February. It goes for anywhere from 250$ USD to 300$ USD. You can find out all about it here: Cowon Plenue D.
Note: this article is a follow-up to the short RMAA analysis I made of the Cowon Plenue D on 13 February, entitled: RMAA: Cowon Plenue D 24-bit.
Plenue D is the player for the mains-fleeing urbanite. In fact, despite doing my damnedest to kill it, I won’t finish my fourth 100% – 0% battery run down before this review is done. As I pen this article, there are probably 10 hours left on its battery, which is about double what a fully-charged Calyx M gets. In AK Jr terms, it’s a full charge and then some.
Marathon battery life pulled me toward the Cowon D2 in 2007. But its fiddly controls and overall poor performance kicked me back out to the world of iPods. But we were talking about battery life.
The numbers ran down like this:
My first unloaded AAC run through lasted 51 hours, 42 minutes, and 19 1/2 seconds. My second unloaded run through stopped at roughly 86 hours and 2 minutes. That was playing MP3 files. My third ran through lossless files, and thanks to a recurring Photosho/Wacom error, I lost my Sound Studio timer info, but got more than 40 hours.
Finally, the battery indicator has gone red. The same source files used in the initial run down couple with the load of my perrennial test earphone: Earsonics’s SM2. The counter reads 47 hours, 35 minutes. Likely I will finish this article before my Plenue runs out of juice. And while it’s unrelated, I should also praise the battery life of my Fujifilm GX680III, whose shutter has fired several thousand times over three commercial shoots – on the same battery pack. The Plenue D is the Fujifilm GX680III of the portable audio world.
Let’s face it: a player that can’t even get through the work day of an entitled millennial, is as portable as your access to the mains. Two fatigued work days of listening should be the norm. Good sound should be a foregone conclusion. And the Plenue D sounds just fine.
It hisses about as much as an AK380, which is practically nothing. It is stable, dynamic, and reasonably low distortion.
RMAA summaries @ ohm-image.net:
Unloaded, and at volume levels at which no one not named Chase Emory would listen to music, AK Jr leads on the whole, but only just. Loaded, it’s somewhat of a wash: Plenue D suffering orders of magnitude less distortion, but clunky stereo crosstalk.
Now, let’s take a look at how each player performs volume matched to what, for me, is just too loud through the Grado GR10. Note, Plenue D at a volume setting of 20 roughly equates the volume of the AK Jr at a setting of 27,5. There was 0,4dB difference between them, in favour of the AK Jr. It was impossible to neutralise the difference.
Volume-matched test results and more after the jump: