RMAA: Cowon Plenue D 24-bit
RMAA: Onkyo DP-S1 rubato 24-bit
Report – A case for the Cowon Plenue D
Review: Onkyo DP-S1 Rubato – Dehumanise
Astell & Kern AK380 Review – Headfonia
Review: Sony MUC-M2BT1 Wireless Audio Receiver
Review: Flare Audio Flares Pro – top spot
Review: Apple AirPods – pretentious genius
Small, fast, light, and great battery life: nearly all the hallmarks typical of Cowon. Plenue D even sounds good. Its screen is naff and there’s some UI lag here and there, but this is one of Cowon’s better players, and it’s among a small handful of high-quality compact players out there.
One thing the hiss king really appreciates about the D is that it barely hisses at all. In fact, it makes about as much electronic noise through sensitive earphones as an iPhone or AK380. That’s more than I can say for some players, irrespective of how much they tip the scales above 3000$.
Plenue D hasn’t the greatest stereo detail or separation, but its tighter image makes a lot of my favourite organic tunes really fall in line with what I personally consider ‘natural’. All in all it’s a great, if not perfect-sounding player. And it goes for comparative chump change all while being supported by a brand that knows the game, and which more than many, designs and builds quality gear.
So do I still use it? No, I do not. Even after I paid for a Ryuzoh upgrade. Sure, it performs a wee bit better, but again, I’ve gone wireless. That’s Flares Pro and Apple AirPods, or Sony MUC MMCX bluetooth cable. I listen to higher end stuff at my desk, and in preparation for reviews. But in my free time, I’m all iPhone SE, Siri, and a mix of lossy and lossless audio. And I don’t care.
Plenue D is buried in a desk somewhere. I checked it last week. It still holds a charge that last was injected sometime last year. Wow. Talk about battery fidelity. But where’s my gapless? Where’s my over-the-air update, ala Rubato? Damn, Rubato actually shows up Plenue D in many ways. And costs only a bit more.
I should have done this about Rubato.
Whatever, for me, the D is the walking dead. It’s great- in its niche, it may be the best that exists. But I do not now nor will I in the future use it. Call me Ryuzoh’s patsie. Call me a corporatist. Call me an insincere audiophile. I can take it. Just know my reasons. Oh, and anyone looking to buy a Ryuzoh-modded Cowon Plenue D?
I’ve got one safe in a desk with your name on it.