Cowon D2 review: Cowon D2

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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 MP3 player offers a sleek and compact design dominated by a lovely, touch-sensitive screen. The device is packed with almost every feature in the book, including video playback, voice recording, and an FM tuner. The D2 comes with a handy stylus/kickstand, and the sound quality is great.

The Bad The Cowon D2 is pricier than similarly featured MP3 players, and it's a bit heavy. The touch interface won't appeal to all users, specifically active ones.

The Bottom Line If you can get on board with the Cowon D2's PDA-like touch screen interface, the reward is great-sounding audio, a smorgasbord of features, and a fantastic battery life.

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Editors' note: The editors' rating for the Cowon D2 has been lowered from an 8.3 to a 7.3 to better reflect its value as of March 10, 2009. Cowon has also launched a new model of this MP3 player (the D2+), which is covered in a separate review.

Cowon may be a bit of an underdog in the U.S. market in terms of sales, but this Korean company sure does know how to make a quality MP3 player. The latest device to arrive on U.S. shores--or at least, in the CNET offices--is the Cowon D2, a solid and compact player dominated by a 2.5-inch screen. I was able to get my hands on a nearly identical preview model of the D2 at CES 2007 but just recently received the final U.S. version with that ever-important DRM support. Other than that welcome addition, the latest unit isn't much different from the one we previewed in January; it still has a nice, high-quality feel to it and offers a beautiful touch screen as well as loads of features, naturally. That said, you can expect to pay a bit of a premium for this high-end MP3 player. At $189.99 for the 2GB version and $219.99 for the 4GB model, the D2 costs more than the Creative Zen V Plus, which offers similar features but twice the memory for comparable prices.

Cowon D2
The Cowon D2 comes in black or white versions, but the white is only offered in 4GB, whereas the black comes in either 2GB or 4GB flavors.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display TFT
  • Tuner Bands FM
  • Run Time (Up To) 52 hour(s)
  • Capacity 16 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 3.2 oz
  • Supported Digital Audio Standards MPEG 2.5 Audio
  • Installed Size 16 GB
  • Diagonal Size 2.5" m
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type digital player / radio
About The Author

Since 2003, Jasmine France has worked at CNET covering everything from scanners to keyboards to GPS devices to MP3 players. She currently cohosts the Crave podcast and spends the majority of her time testing headphones, music software, and mobile apps.