Cowon D2 Plus review: Cowon D2 Plus

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Cowon D2+ touch-screen MP3 player offers rich sound, long battery life, and seamlessly integrated memory expansion.

The Bad There's no AAC support on the D2+, most videos require conversion, line input and video output features require extra cables, and menu scrolling can be tedious.

The Bottom Line The Cowon D2+ is a sturdy little touch-screen MP3 player with flexible sound enhancement settings and useful features, but it hasn't changed much from the original version we saw in 2007.

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Cowon's original D2 MP3 player from 2007 quickly earned a reputation for outstanding sound quality, a long-lasting battery, and cutting-edge touch-screen technology. Two years later, the Cowon D2+ refines the audio quality and touch-screen interface that made the original model so compelling, and includes a reasonable price tag of $139 (8GB) and $179 (16GB).

Design
Physically, the Cowon D2+ is nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, measuring the same 3 inches wide by 2.2 inches tall and a relatively chunky 0.65 inch thick. The D2+ is manipulated mostly through its touch-screen interface, however, controls for power, menu, button hold, and volume remain on the top edge of the player. Audio, USB, and peripheral connections are located on the left side of the D2+, and an SD/MMC/SDHC card slot is tucked away on the bottom.

The screen on the D2+ is a 2.5-inch TFT LCD capable of displaying 1.6 million colors at a 320x240-pixel QVGA resolution, and looks comparable with the iPod Classic screen in both size and image quality. The look and feel of the D2's graphic touch-screen interface has been overhauled for a cleaner, more modern look. Functionally, however, the interface is identical to the original D2, which means that scrolling long lists of music takes patience, and some operations are better executed with a stylus than a clumsy finger.

One of the only hardware design tweaks that distinguishes the D2+ from the model we saw in 2007 is the absence of metal trim along the front and back of player. Instead, the D2+ uses an all-plastic design that--though lighter--feels a little less substantial than the original.

Features
The Cowon D2+ is no slouch when it comes to features, offering music, video, and photo playback, along with an FM radio, voice/radio recorder, text reader, Flash player, and a ton of little extras. If you're willing to shell out a little extra on cables, you can also enable features such as line-input recording and video output.

In spite of the extensive spec sheet, generous screen size, and two years spent back on Cowon's drawing board, the most prized feature of the D2+ is the same feature we loved on the original D2: outstanding audio playback. In fact, one of the only concrete advantages the D2+ offers over its predecessor is the inclusion of the latest BBE+ suite of audio enhancement settings.


The Cowon D2+ (left) offers a larger screen and more features than the Apple iPod Nano, but it's nearly three times as thick and can't pull off tricks like Genius playlists, Cover Flow, and tilt control.

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About The Author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.