Picture Sunday – Cowon Plenue D2

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

There is a thing with Korean DAPs, most of the time they look exquisite. Be it the Cowon Plenue L or the Astell&Kern SP1000M, they both look more like pieces of art than DAPs.

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 !

Picture Sunday – Cowon Plenue D2
4.1 (82.35%) 17 vote[s]

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

    2 Comments

    • Reply March 24, 2019

      John Park

      Is that a Fearless Audio S6Rui I see in the first picture??
      I guess the hype is really spreading!

    • Reply April 1, 2019

      Jungwook

      Just FYI, RAM is not the same thing as storage(ROM). I believe you meant to say that it has 64 GB of storage, not RAM.

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