• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Measurements of COWON PLENUE L DAP

Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
30
Likes
117
Location
Seoul Republic of KOREA
#1
IMG_1879.JPG



PLENUE is High Fidelity audio brand of "COWON" wich is once a leader in the MP3 market with iriver. It is a brand that corresponds to the Astell&kern(AK) of iriver. PLENUE L is PLENUE's flagship product. PLENUE is only a DAP that is specialized for sound reproduction. It uses embedded Linux instead of Android, and there is no wireless communication function including BT, WIFI, NFC. The price is lower than AK, despite the amazing performance.



Below is a diagram of my equipment.

스피커 청음환경.png



I use apple music to explore new music, but I don't use it frequently. Because I like to own music rather than streaming. PLENUE L has 256GB of internal memory and a micro sd card slot which can expend to 2TB, so I can store more music than my own macbook pro.



I also set up PLENUE L to build a complete silent system. Combine with a stand-alone DAC, the LYNX HILO, to get rid of PC fan noise and HDD noise.



In speaker system, PLENUE L and LYNX HILO are connected by optical connection. in-ear headphones and headphones are connected to the 3.5mm or 4.4mm headphone jack of PLENUE L. Thanks to these features, PLENUE L is my main music device.


See below liink for more information.

http://www.cowonglobal.com/product_wide/PLENUEL/product_page_1.php



The following measurements were taken with APx555. For load measurements, a 32 ohm stereo resistor was connected in parallel.




watermark3.5 sinad 수정.png

3.5mm unbalanced headphone jack measurement with no load condition




watermarkbal sinad 수정.png

4.4mm balanced headphone jack measurement with no load condition




The measurements below are measurements of the 3.5mm headphone jack and are measured at the maximum output with no load condition unless otherwise noted.


watermarkRelative Level (1.00000 kHz)5db.png


PLENUE L is equipped with Ess9038Pro. You can select eight filters built into the DAC.The frequency response is very impressive.




watermarkSignal to Noise Ratio.png

SNR

PLENUE L has no mute function found on some other devices. The mute function turns the amplifier off during the silent interval that occurs during SNR measurement, making the SNR look better.



watermarkDynamic Range - AES17.png

So we do DNR (Dynamic Range) measurements together. DNR measurements are not measured at maximum power and silence, unlike SNR. DNR is measured using signals of -60 dBFS and 0 dBFS instead of silence.

By default, the SNR and DNR values must be the same. If it is different, you should suspect mute cheating. However, CCIR-2K weighting is applied for DNR measurements and A-weighting is applied for SNR. It produces a 3-4dB difference between these two filters. The 3-4 dB difference is the difference in the filter, not the cheating.



watermark잔류노이즈.png

Residual noise @ Maximum Volume. Because there is no mute function, the residual noise value did not change. Very impressive value. Noise could not be heard with very high sensitivity in-ear headphones.


watermarkSMPTE Ratio.png

SMPTE Ratio


watermarkCrosstalkr.png
watermarkCrosstalk.png

Crosstalk


watermarkoutput imp.png

Output impedande is 0.876Ω





The following measurements were taken in a 32-ohm load environment.

watermarkthd 137.png


PLENUE L is equipped with earphone mode and headphone mode. There is no difference in the signal path between these two, only the maximum output limit in earphone mode. In each mode, 140 steps of volume are applied. This is the 137-step volume of the 140-step volume based on the headphone mode.

A 32-ohm load is connected in parallel and the output is 1.732Vrms. Very low THD level until just before clipping.

※ SINAD is the inverse of THD + N.



watermarkthd 138.png

Clipping occurs in Volume step 138 @32Ω.




Conclusion

PLENUE L is a DAP that shows extraordinary performance. As well as no-load measurement, it shows perfect performance even on a 32-ohm load. Considering the actual headroom of the music source, there will be no clipping on the 32-ohm load. I suspect it will work well at lower impedance loads. Very low output impedance and residual noise can satisfy in-ear headphones with multiple BA.

The output from the 4.4mm balanced headphone jack also provides high voltage for driving low sensitivity headphones. I even use the AKG K1000, which is designed to be used in conjunction with a power amplifier, directly to PLENUE L.


Thank you for taking a long time to read. I can often have strange expressions because English is not my first language. Perhaps the evolution of Google Translator, which reflects machine learning, will enable better communication.

Questions and comments are welcome at any time. Because I wrote at dawn time, I would sleep and get up and answer. :D
 
Last edited:

Nemo

Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
15
Likes
13
Location
Spain
#2
Thank you for sharing your measurements: it does certainly seems impressive performance
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
30
Likes
117
Location
Seoul Republic of KOREA
#4
Hi

Seems like very impressive performances. Price, however looks a bit stiff in the US ... or likely elsewhere: $2090...

See this at Amazon
In Korea, however, they are sold at higher prices. In that sense, PLENUE 2 is a good alternative. Output and noise performance is a little lower than PLENUE L, but it is still a tremendous performance.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
14
Likes
5
#6
I've been using a Plenue 1 for about 2 yrs and love it...nice simple OS....just plays music...good battery life. The only complaint is I can't get playlists to work across folders. I also have a Cowon M2, which is another great little device...
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
68
Likes
39
#10
I am in the market for a new DAP, and the performance on this is spectacular. Thanks for the measurements??

Curious why no wifi though, in a new world of streaming from Tidal, or Qobuz, this is a big miss @ this price.
 

suttondesign

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Messages
133
Likes
166
Location
Austin, TX
#11
Thank you for taking a long time to read. I can often have strange expressions because English is not my first language. Perhaps the evolution of Google Translator, which reflects machine learning, will enable better communication.
No apology needed for your excellent communication skills. Well done and interesting. I have read legal briefs (papers) from lawyers that are not half as succinct and clear. But do not become a lawyer, please.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
20,091
Likes
23,274
Location
Seattle Area
#12
Somehow I missed this nice set of measurements before. I just promoted it to the home page (will show up based on date though).
 

Krunok

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
3,574
Likes
1,838
Location
Zg, Cro
#14
Looks like an excellent piece of kit, but that should be a given at the price.
Exactly. Btw, maybe it would be interesting if we introduce another PKI beside SINAD, say price/SINAD, but grouped within current colour scheme. ;)
 

graz_lag

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
1,043
Likes
892
Location
Le Mans, France
#18
@STUDIO51 The $450 - or so, DBX DriveRack PA2 you have in your setup offers a formidable value for money!
 

daftcombo

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
1,094
Likes
822
#20
Thank you for your measurements!

Your english is very good, especially if your mothertongue is Korean which has a completely different grammar and vocabulary.

DAP 측정 해 주셔서 감사합니다!
 
Top Bottom