Today, we take a fresh look a the new Cowon Plenue D2. A neat little player, based on an iconic range of players : the Cowon D series.
Cowon Plenue D2 – The design
The Plenue D2 is on the same path, but at a slower pace. It’s a nice little box, barely smaller than the palm of my hand, yet twice as thick as my phone. The upper side is silver-coated whereas the case exhibits a mat-black colour. This two-tone paint is underlined by geometric wedges, something we are seeing more often since the launch of the Plenue 2 Mark II.
If the Cowon Plenue L could give mixed feelings – brass-tone isn’t adequate with everyone – yet none of my friends were shocked by the Plenue D2. The square design can be seen as plain, or conservative. Nonetheless, combined to the small foot-print, the DAP isn’t so far of the FiiO M6. Both are my actual top choices, if you need a small-yet-powerful player that can be carried in a pocket.
The Cowon Plenue D2 is a bit thick, which is both a blessing and a curse. You grip it tightly and the smooth edges doesn’t hurt your palm and the volume control is right under your thumb (if you’re right-handed). Once you leave it in your pocket, you really feel it bumping through the clothes, it’s only a few millimeters, but you know what they say…
Controls are very comprehensive :
- volume up/down
- one power/sleep button,
- two for pause/play, forward/backward navigation
- one micro-USB port, (USB-C ANYONE ?)
The power/sleep button is nothing short of amazing, visually speaking. The silver ring has been engraved with a neat “High Definition Sound – Plenue”, magnified by a cool LED ring. This LED gives you a quick status update with various colours, it also pulse swiftly when the player is waiting fo you. Personally, I think that’s the coolest quirk of the Plenue D2.
Cowon Plenue D2 – The specs
At the core of the Plenue D2, you’ve got a slightly faster CPU than the previous model. The UI hasn’t changed, so you won’t feel the difference. What makes a real difference is the new dual Cirrus-Logic DAC, 2x CS43131 from the Master Hifi series, nearly the same found in the A&Norma SR15.
The Plenue D2 can output a powerful 4.0 Vrms through the balanced port, more than enough for most headphones/earphones. It’s even more impressive when you know how long the battery can last : 45h with standard quality music, 30h with high definition music. Absolutely insane !
There is 64Gb of ram, embedded with the Plenue D2, and a micro-SD slot to add even more tracks. The Cowon UI now supports search and the touchscreen feels snappy, even it the UI is a bit outdated now. One of the unique features of this little player, is the playback speed control. It may sound a bit nerdy, but sometimes you really want to slow things down, and take your time to enjoy the music.
I/O is very straight-forward :
- 1x 3.5mm TRS headphone jack
- 1x 2.5mm TRRS headphone jack
This is enough for 90% of users but keep in mind there is no line-out, no coax-out or no USB-out. Just, pure, straight, unbiased music.
Of course, Cowon is still Cowon : no wifi, no Bluetooth, no USB-DAC function. Again, just pure music. Review will come soon, so stay with us !