This review is not for fans of cropped audio formats. This is the territory of crystal Hi-Fi, for fans of discovering the nuances of musical compositions, listening to music in monstrously uncompressed formats and ready to pay for super-sound.
Rejoice, Cowon Plenue 2 is for you.
Few can afford to pay $ 1600 for a portable player. And why, if you have Apple Music on hand or (sorry, Steve!) Google Music?
And at this time a new star among Hi-Fi players appeared.
It’s a flagship.
Innovations in smartphones and other gadgets are usually simple and clear to everyone: here’s a new camera, a new screen or 3.5 mm jack remained (and thanks for that).
The situation with audiophile devices is slightly more complicated – at first glance it is difficult to understand what the creators came up with and why you should want to buy it urgently or at least feel and listen.
So, the new Plenue 2 is one of the world’s first players, which has a new AK4497EQ DAC from Asahi Kasei Microdevices.
In this chip there are 6 pre-installed digital filters for perfect sound, and the characteristics command respect: the dynamic range is 128 dB, and the coefficient of nonlinear distortion + Noise is -116 dB.
In addition to the stylish appearance, Plenue 2 is the real media center in your pocket.
The front panel is entirely occupied by the touch 3.7-inch screen, the back panel is glass with a textured pattern.
On the left side there are physical buttons of rewind, pause and power. But on the upper edge of the player, the creators made two analog pinwheel things.
With the help of one of these attenuators it is suggested to adjust the volume (140 levels, in 0.5 dB increments), and the second one can switch between the equalizer profiles or one of 6 digital filters.
The player has a built-in memory of 128 GB and supports micro-SDXC memory cards. It makes no sense to list the supported formats – Cowon Plenue 2 easily reproduces almost all uncompressed audio files.
At the bottom of the player you can find two headphone outputs – balanced (2.5 mm) and unbalanced (3.5 mm). Of course, Plenue 2 can be an external USB-DAC when connected to a computer, like most top-end players.
The battery capacity of the player is 3050 mAh and allows you to listen to music in Hi-Res formats up to 8.5 hours.
It looks like a flagship, and sounds like a flagship
It’s a thankless task to describe the sound: to feel the power of portable Hi-Fi you need to listen to it yourself.
But you can trust me – the sound of any composition, any genre will be ideal, because Cowon Plenue 2 has about 50 equalizer settings.
In general, this player is suitable for fans to maximally adjust their “own” sound: first you set one of the pre-installed digital filters, and then adjust the equalizer – and voila!
The player sounds wide even with neutral settings, allowing you to feel a lot of small details, echoes and timbral nuances. The tonal balance is almost perfect: music is perceived holistically, with a deep bass that, however, does not mix with other frequencies.
While listening I used tracks in FLAC format (24 bit / 96 kHz) and I must say that Cowon Plenue 2 is the one that transmits not only the sound, but also the mood of each song.
But there’s one thing you have to know
I just have to write about it, because the Cowon Plenue 2 player is really beautiful in everything – from the aluminum case to the leather case that comes with it.
But Amoled touch screen with a resolution of 480×800 pixels – this is not serious.
No, really, how much does it cost to install the normal most simple HD-screen in the top player that costs $ 1600?
In the back of my mind, I know that another screen will probably consume more power and this will entail the need to increase the battery capacity and so on. But every time I take Plenue 2 in my hand, I want to believe that in the next version of the player this one “not-ideal” element will be replaced.
The minuses are over. Now there are pluses of Cowon Plenue 2.
Player Cowon Plenue 2 is very difficult to describe – it wants to listen. This device with its own character, which can be easily adjusted to itself, thanks to a huge number of settings, presets and the latest electronic “stuffing”.
This player recently went on sale for $ 1600, and I would not be surprised if after a while Cowon Plenue 2 will become one of the reference portable devices for audiophiles.
Listen to yourself, if you don’t believe me.