Cowon Plenue D £200
Affordable PMPS need to be significantly better than your phone without costing too much, and compact enough that you don’t mind carrying an extra piece of music-playing kit around along with your phone. The Cowon Plenue D ticks all those boxes. It’s a few centimetres shorter and a little deeper than an iphone 8, weighs 94g and its aluminium body looks sleek and feels comfortable in the hand.
It’s capable of handling files up to 24-bit/192khz in FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, WAV, WMA and MP3 formats, and navigating its menus – via the touchscreen – is straightforward.
Cowon claims that the Plenue D has 100 hours of battery life when playing MP3S, and 51 hours for hi-res files. The sound is impressive. Mozart’s
Sequentia: Lacrimosa comes over with delicacy and sophistication while a 24-bit/96khz file of Michael Jackson’s
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough has great cohesion and a wide soundfield.
The Plenue D is affordable, easy to use and can handle a range of files and sounds better than even the best smartphones.