Cowon iAudio D2+ 4GB - Cowon D2+

By Stuart Andrews



Our Score:


The user interface has had more of an overhaul, replacing the relaxed, blue GUI of the original D2 with one broadly similar to that of the O2 we looked at a few months ago. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan. First, it's built for a stylus not a finger, practically forcing you to use the odd triangular ‘pick' you'll find in the box, which attaches to the player via an elastic loop. Screens are cluttered, fiddly and there are often too many cryptically labelled buttons and indicators on display at any one time.

The menus aren't particularly intuitive and it always seems to take two clicks to find an album or track, when it should take one. If you do plump for one of your own pinkies instead of the stylus you will find it takes a bit of prodding before you get results, but at least you can take better advantage of the sweeping gestures used to scroll through long lists of tracks or albums. Yet even here Cowon knows its market, with the GUI offering features that owners of other players always seem to be crying out for. Dynamic playlists? Not a problem. Want to set how long tracks take to fade in? The choice is yours.

Further, as with many Korean players of late, the D2+ comes bursting with secondary functions. There's a built-in voice record function, and if you're not satisfied with the surprisingly decent results from the internal microphone, it's possible to get a line-in cable that connects to the AV connector and use that to record audio at bit-rates of up to 256Kbps.

We also get a built-in FM radio complete with automatic channel search, a photo viewer application, a text viewer, touchscreen notepad and calculators in both normal and scientific forms. There's even a Flash player for those of you who want to use Flash-based utilities or games. A quick Google search will find compatible ones, though I'll warn you that the general standard isn't very high.

After the O2 - the little player that could play just about everything - video playback is disappointingly a bit of a struggle with the D2+. Only AVI and WMV file formats are supported, and anything with a resolution above 320 x 240 just won't play. You can use the bundled Cowon media management app to convert and transfer other video files for use on the player - preset configurations are provided - but in my experience the results are mixed. Some files converted perfectly, but two MPEG-4 files I tried had serious issues with sound after conversion, with the audio track running at a slower speed and lagging the video by a couple of seconds.

Jawad Mateen

April 26, 2009, 7:56 am

Nice review Hugo...

You were spot-on in saying that this is a DAC not for everyone. And by everyone I mean the iPod-buying masses. Still a 9 for sound is a bit of injustice. Nothin can compete with this little wonder as far as sound quality goes. I've got an S9 too and in many respects the D2+ even outshines this already revered PMP. The interface comes behind every othe major player and the video capabilities are just an additional feature to have... nothing major to get excited about. As Hugo said a 16Gb SDHC card is only 㿊 and added in a 16Gb player that's 32Gb of storage space plus industry-best sound quality

for under 𧶀.

Yeah these were my 2 pesas in an already great review that totally got to the point.


April 26, 2009, 3:26 pm

I loved my old D2, it was a fantastic little player, but personally i prefer the video capabilities of the S9 I now own and am willing to sacrifice a little in sound quality/storage for the screen and flash UCI.


April 26, 2009, 6:16 pm

I have the D2 and I hate it. Battery life and sound quailty are both great but the interface is the worst ive ever used. Its shocking and if artists names are even the tiniest bit different it puts them on their own. So for example 36 CrazyFists and 36 Crazyfists are handled as two different artists. I had to remove my chili peppers albums because it added about 20 artists. I hate it


April 26, 2009, 10:57 pm

How does it compare to the S-series Walkman?


April 27, 2009, 1:55 am

I have been using my D2 for 2+ years and absolutely love it. Battery life is excellent and so is the sound quality. I would like to add that I think cowon are very good with firmware updates, they have improved the D2 vastly with features such as using the volume buttons as next and previous buttons, adding flash, calculator and paint...

@Runadumb it sounds like you should fix your ID3 tags :)


April 27, 2009, 2:44 pm


I don't think you'd find the D2+ any improvement in this area. I've got a fairly standard playlist for testing which I alter and update with new music every few weeks. Most players import it without any problems and the filenames and folders update perfectly. On the D2+ however, a couple of albums are all over the place. I agree with laserlightning that I could probably fix this with some massaging of the ID3 tags, but if other players don't need this sort of treatment, why should the D2+?


It depends what you're looking for. I think the D2+ sounds at least as good, if not slightly better, than the S-Series, and the expandability is a really key factor in its favour. However, the S639F is just so much nicer to use, and I prefer the smaller, lighter form factor when I'm travelling around. At the moment, were I spending my own cash I'd live without the expansion slot and have a S639F or a Samsung YP-P3, but I appreciate that, for audiophiles who want to listen to uncompressed audio, the D2+ might be a better bet.


April 27, 2009, 6:37 pm

It's entirely possible to turn your existing D2 in to a D2+ as the only difference is a firmware update.



May 1, 2009, 5:48 pm

I just can't get past the name. It sounds like someone with a speech impediment (Pontius Pilate anyone?) saying Colon.


August 23, 2009, 9:15 am

I just sold my iPod Touch for a D2, and I'd just like to say that I'd never look back. Maybe for the games, perhaps, but the audio quality and battery life... :D

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