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New Cowon V

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by tiddlywinks, Mar 2, 2018.
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  1. Music Enthusiast
    Thank you so much for reviewing the Plenue V

    I've been wondering whether to get this new DAP.

    I couldn't find much info about its power output on the Cowon Website. It just says output 1.73Vrms - but there's no indication if this is what power you get into 16 Ohms or 32 Ohms so not very useful info.

    I wondered, if by any chance you knew what kind of output the DAP can provide into a 32 Ohm headphones - and how powerful the output is in terms of volume generally.

    I'd be very grateful for any info.
  2. someyoungguy
    Hi Music Enthusiast,

    Yes I agree these power output measurements can be confusing when some manufacturers state a Vrms output and others give a mW output at a specific resistance.

    I'm using Bowers and Wilkins P7s and Meze Audio 99 classics.

    The B&W P7s have 22 ohm resistance, and 111bB/V sensitivity, so are quite easy to drive. I'm using these at about 67-80 volume with the Plenue V (out of 140), depending on the track and situation - I tend to listen louder out on the go to drown out other noise.

    The Meze 99 classics are 32 ohms and have a sensitivity of 103dB/1mW, and use them at more or less the volume as the P7s - probably even 3-4 steps lower.

    So overall there's plenty of volume left for these easier to drive headphones. The thing about output power is to get a good sound it's not just how loud you can get the headphones but whether the quality of the sound is right too. I previously had some Sennheiser HD6XX/650 headphones, which have 300 ohm resistance, and experienced that problem - with some sources I could get them to go loud enough but they would lack a full sound, and come across as thin and missing a bit of life. I sold them before I got the Plenue V though, so can't comment on whether it would be able to drive headphones like those properly.

    The B&W P7s and Meze 99 classics are the only headphones / IEMs I own at the moment, so can't comment on other headphone pairings with the Plenue V. But twister6 has written a few extensive reviews of the Plenue R, which has 1.4 Vrms output, and Plenue 2 which has a 2 Vrms output, where he compares how they sound with a range of different headphones and IEMs. For the Plenue R he notes that higher resistance headphones and IEMs don't quite sound right:
    For the Plenue 2 he doesn't mention any specific problems with higher resistance pairings:

    If you look across those reviews I would imagine the Plenue V at 1.7 Vrms would sit somewhere between.
  3. Blackberry Jack
    I cant get how a more budget model can sound better than Plenue R...Does V has darker/warmer tonality than the PR?
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  4. Raketen
    I find this believable. Even a $50 fiio M3 sounds pretty good all things considered. There are $150 DAPs that use the same essential components as $1000 DAP (where lots of budget goes into "premium" displays & chassis, extra balanced circuitry etc...) - the parts for these things aren't that expensive, and the Plenue R is only an extra $100. Plus, I think subjective evaluations of these things are very influenced by how they match with a persons' headphones than outright SQ.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  5. Blackberry Jack
    I would agree with you if only Plenue R was a much older device, but its not. I can't see a reason why Cowon would release both of these budget DAPs almost at the same time and the cheaper one would sound better - it just doesnt make sense, unless they want to totally destroy their PR sales. Would be nice to see additional reviews on PV, because if it sounds even at least at PR level - its a damn bargain for a 300$ DAP. I like more the design of it either.
  6. Raketen
    Seems like Cowon's strategy is more like throwing a handful of spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks- Remember the the Plenue ---> Plenue M and then the Plenue S ---> Plenue II were both similar pricing situations to Plenue R and Plenue V (and Plenue R is already in this position with original plenue and plenue m2 which are both still available for similar prices). Then there was the Plenue D which was like a polished version of much cheaper Cowon M2 and introduced at the same price as Plenue V, and the J was introduced at the eventual street price of the Plenue D. Plenue V like PD and PJ running on mobile type integrated DAC/AMP, meanwhile R has regular DAC and more trendy features the V doesn't (and as you say there aren't enough comparisons to draw a conclusion about the sound).

    All of these are from just the last 3 years! (I didn't even mention Plenue II Mk2)
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  7. maira
    Plenue R is not just about Sound. It has more internal memory, BAL out (bigger screen i think) and other things Plenue V has not.
  8. someyoungguy
    Yeah I agree it sounds counterintuitive, but remember the R has a bigger body and screen, USB DAC and Bluetooth functions. The V is a 3.5mm audio out only player, and personally I think the SQ of the audio pulls ahead of the R. The R SQ is very good though.
  9. Music Enthusiast
  10. Music Enthusiast
    Thank you so much 'someyoungguy' for the detailed response :). That's very helpful and much appreciated.

    I wonder if I could trouble you with just 2 more queries...

    1) Does the Plenue V have perfect/seamless gapless handling on lossless formats such as FLAC/ALAC/APE and on lossy MP3/AAC?
    2) Can the Plenue V decode and split up cue files into separate playable tracks?

    Hope you can help.

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  11. shamrock134
    If this supported larger than 128GB cards I'd order one right now! 192GB won't quite fit my entire library on.:triportsad:

    I borrowed a friend's Plenue D recently and I was very impressed by the sound, especially with subtle use of JetE5 and BBE+. The interface was slightly laggy so I hope this is fixed in the V.

    Another option in this price bracket seem to be the Hiby R3 which supports up to 2TB but it seems to have a lot of bugs at present.
  12. someyoungguy
    The gapless works great, I’ve never had any issues with Cowon players and gapless, even with older models like the S9. Almost my entire music library is in FLAC format so I haven’t tried every format that the V supports.

    For cue files, I’ve actually never used them but could give it a try when I get a chance.

    @Ireilly The UI is a bit laggy but isn’t too much of an issue for me. I used to have a Plenue D but it was a while ago so I can’t remember well enough to comment on whether the V lag is the same or less than the D. Might try to do a little video of the UI over the next few days to illustrate.
  13. Music Enthusiast

    Thanks so much. That's great news about the gapless. Hope you have a chance to test out cue file support. If that works then that would be the icing on the cake - and I'd be ready to go for this new DAP :)
  14. Raketen
    R3 is neat given its features + size (though slightly laggy also), but, IMO with the two IEMs i've used the single end audio quality is disappointing (prefer my A10 walkman, even HTC10 phone) I think the balanced might be better, but haven't experimented enough to draw any conclusions.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  15. tiddlywinks
    FYI new firmware on the Cowon Korean site Ver 1.10 released 2018-07-09 13:41:37
    Using Microsoft Translator get the following translation of fixes:

    -The DSD file support (Native DSD) *
    -Adjust the playback speed additional features
    -Hearing protection settings (settings/system/hearing protection) **
    -Support for image file cover.png albums
    -Browser search performance improvements
    -FLAC file compatibility improvements
    -AAC playback improvements
    -User interface (UI) changes
    -' Return ' default settings: volume value is initialized to
    * DSF/DFF/SACD DSD 64/128 of the file format support, and
    Native DSD mode, when you play the DSD JetEffect do not apply.
    ** Hearing protection when removing the earphones volume for reset operation is set, the function
    ' entry into the European Union is set to "only if it is outside the hearing protection.

    Haven't used it myself as don't have a V
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