Disclaimer: The star of this weeks’ picture Sunday is the Cowon Plenue J. This post is a part of our Picture Sunday series.
On a scale of sleek from 1 to Plenue J, the gold Plenue J is a Plenue J. It is pretty, slim, easy to control, and machined as well as I’ve seen in any player at any price. I’m reasonably sure that my glasses aren’t rose tinted, but its gold is ever so daintily tinted rose. Pretty!
It came snug in a small box, and two bolts keep it snugly fit together. Like Sony’s ZX300, its back is clad in non-stick rubber; through that the Plenue logo pokes through. Unlike the ZX300 the non-slipness of that non-slip surface is academic. Its stereo jack housing, whose raised walls prop the Plenue J up on metal rather than rubber bits. Its non-stick parts rarely touch anything. Consequently, on slippery surfaces it slips as much as an iPhone or Astell & Kern AK70/ii.
Best and most slick of all is its playback interface, wherein a flick forward or back will track in the corresponding direction. It’s navigation and volume buttons are linked, and despite being much smaller and even more tightly spaced, easier to use than the ZX300’s. They’re a bit psychotic, though: the up tracking button moving to the previous rather than next track. Volume, on the other hand, works as labelled: up to raise, down to lower. Okay…
It screen is kind of a downer, being similarly washed out, dull, and low resolution to the Plenue D. Of course, at this price point that’s pretty much par for the course. Onkyo’s DP-S1 is just as bad. It’s just that you’d think that newer screens would be much better than early AK100 screens from six years ago.
I never synced the 66GB of music I thrust into the Plenue J’s micro SD card slot. Wordlessly, soundlessly, and without hassle, the J synced the entire thing, seamlessly merging internal and external libraries so that Cydonia, Disintegration, and Galore-1997 on the 200GB micro SD card show up right next to RMAA and square wave test albums internally installed. Brilliant. And hi-res albums play without a hitch. Long-time Cowon features: AB playback, BBE effects, parametric EQs, and even reverb effects apply as they have always. Its myriad effects make your music really yours. If you want to know how it performs check this out: RMAA: Cowon Plenue J 24-bit.
Plenue J sports battery life that lasts a couple of days, but not as far into the work week as the Plenue D. It is slicker, and more responsive, and ultimately more sexy than the D.