Cowon D2+ 8GB / 16GB Review


07.06.2009

The Cowon D2+, as the name suggests, is the improved version of the Cowon D2 player that was launched in 2007. It has the same great sound that now can be enhanced using the BBE+ suite of enhancement settings, the battery life is one of the best around and the touch screen has a decent quality.

One disadvantage is the lack of AAC support, but the fact that most of the videos will require some conversion does not help either. Also, the interface takes some time to get used to it.

The device is not bad at all and you will most likely enjoy the high sound quality. The price is this device’s main advantage: $140 for the 8GB model and $180 for the 16GB model.

Buy Cowon D2+ 8GB

Buy Cowon D2+ 16GB

The Design

The Cowon D2+ has the same dimensions as the D2: 3 inches wide by 2.2 inches tall and 0.65 inch thick. The device is a little thick, as you can imagine and figure out from the pictures, but you will learn to get past this minor flaw.

You will use the touchscreen to navigate through the device, but there are also a few buttons for menu, power, hold and volume on the top of the player. The audio, USB and peripheral jacks are placed on the left edge of the player while the SD/MMC/SDHC slot is placed on the bottom edge of the D2+.

The mentioned screen measures 2.5 inch diagonally, is capable of showing 1.6 million colors and works at a 320×240 pixel resolution. The D2+ has a more modern look but the navigation poses basically the same problems and offers the same advantages as the previous version.

Overall, the D2+ is lighter than the D2, but it does feel a little fragile.

Buy Cowon D2+ 8GB

Buy Cowon D2+ 16GB

The Features

The list of feature is quite impressive, with the device featuring music and video playback, photo slides, FM radio (with record), voice recorder, text reader and a lot more. But, despite the number of extra features, the thing you will like the most about this player is the audio quality. You can the same great quality as with the D2, but with the D2+ you can also enhance audio frequencies and the overall tone to suit your preference with the BBE+ suite. You will also get detailed information about the track you are currently playing as well as pleasant, easy navigation through your collection once you get used to the interface.

A disadvantage the D2+ has in front of the competition is the lack of AAC support. It can play MP3, WMA, Audible and WAV as well as FLAC and Ogg, but given the fact that a growing number of people in the US market rely on the iTunes AAC format makes the AAC support kind of a “must have” for the players that try to be competitive in this market.

Another domain where improvements could have been made instead of copying and pasting features from the D2 is the video playback. The D2+ can play AVI and WMV and only if resized at 320×240. The quality is good but there won’t be a lot of you who will spend extra time converting almost every video just so you can view it on a 2.5 inch screen. So far, there is no H.264 or MPEG file support. It seems that it forgot to stay in touch with the most popular file formats for multimedia.

The other features work well for what they are intended to do but FM radios, photo viewers, text readers and voice recorders are present in almost all players for a while now, including the D2.

One of the few new features is the ability to expand your storage capacity by using a SD, MMC or SDHC card slots. And you will enjoy the fact that the content is handled together, without any discrimination if it came from a card or from the internal memory.

Buy Cowon D2+ 8GB

Buy Cowon D2+ 16GB

Performance

As mentioned earlier, the sound quality is probably the best feature of this device. But this quality does not come natively. You will have to set up the five band equalizer, the Mach3Bass settings, the BBE enhancement settings, the 3D surround and Stereo enhancement settings and the MP3 settings. These are a lot of (excuse me for repeating), settings. It is most likely you won’t know what to do with these setting and not use them at all. If you don’t use these enhancers, the sound quality is only average, even with top quality headset. The video quality is decent but not great.

The battery will work for 52 hours of audio playback and 10 hours of video playback. These times rate the D2+ as one of the best players regarding the battery time.

As a bottom line, if you can work without the AAC, H.264 or MPEG support and you are able to set up a bunch of audio enhancement settings and you are looking for high battery times, the Cowon D2+ may be the right choice for you.

Buy Cowon D2+ 8GB

Buy Cowon D2+ 16GB

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