How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+

d2 d2 plus main How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+

An updated version of the D2 was just released a few weeks ago and dubbed the D2+. Many of us where a bit puzzled as to the minimal changes made through out the firmware. Changes were made in the firmware adding BBE+ enhancement and new GUI with the psychical design being the biggest noticeable change. Though now we know that most of the internal components have remained unchanged thanks to a few industrious and enthusiastic D2 owners.

It turns out that the D2+ firmware can be brute forced onto the D2 with a tool developed by the Rockbox crew, TCCTool- originally used to load firmware on bricked Telechip based devices. The steps to do this can be found in the D2 forums- Martin has even updated his popular More Mono theme to the D2+ firmware.

Updating the design, giving it a firmware refresh, and calling it a D2+ is a great idea, but leaving old D2 users behind in the firmware refresh is another story. The Zune has already set the precedent for this when they still continue to update 2+ year old hardware with the same firmware as on the newest Zunes. So D2 fans become quite envious of the Zune and a bit abandoned Cowon. With that said, it would be honorable of them to go ahead and give the long time D2 owners the D2+ firmware upgrade without having to hack it. Hacks might cause an increase in support too.

Below are a few photos of the D2 running the D2+ firmware as well as RMAA proof showing that changing the firmware has also changed the sound signature from BBE to BBE+.

Update: Cowon contacted us to warn that there is risk in bricking (damaging/rendering it useless) your D2 by doing this. So in my words, do this at your own risk.

d2 d2 plus fr How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+d2 d2 plus 11 thumb 150x112 How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+d2 d2 plus 12 thumb 150x112 How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+d2 d2 plus 13 thumb 150x112 How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+d2 d2 plus 14 thumb 150x112 How to Turn Your Cowon D2 Into a D2+


Won Tian on March 17, 2009 8:15 PM

Is the change in sound sig. for the better or the worse?

andy on March 17, 2009 9:55 PM

so when are they gonna hook us O2 users up! : (

Chris on March 17, 2009 10:19 PM

This is VERY interesting, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Any thoughts on if this is a good idea to go ahead with? Does this firmware support flash skins?

ayush3090 on March 18, 2009 6:16 AM

no flash skins on this fw…..we should w8 fr the korean version 3.xx

MFG on March 18, 2009 8:48 AM

Wow, thanks! Now I have a D2+ for the price of a D2!!!If you are wondering, there isn’t much of a change in performance or quality. Everything (menu’s, options, etc) stays pretty much the same.BBE+ is slightly better than BBE only if you’re a real audiophile.But I will admit I love the changed GUI. Looks better than the old blue one. Also, scrolling down through lists is easier now as you go by pages and no by list items.I would change my D2 firmware for a D2+ any day of the week.

Fistulator on March 18, 2009 10:38 AM

Can anybody explain the graph?Is the SQ better or worse than the old D2?

Martin Sägmüller on March 18, 2009 10:47 AM

BBE+ on the new D2+ firmware does sound better – more refined, even less artificial.

joe on March 18, 2009 11:07 AM

The price diff btw the D2 and D2+ is like nothing; you just don’t get the battery charger.While I guess Microsoft doesn’t charge for Zune upgrades, there is some rule here in the US that requires charging for firmwares that give extra features.Good enough. But if I do upgrade I need my old theme as well :) .

Fistulator on March 18, 2009 2:09 PM

Martin, now that you’ve tried them both, which do you prefer, SQ-wise, the S9 or the D2+?

Martin Sägmüller on March 18, 2009 2:22 PM

The S9 and D2+ sound basically the same. However, the S9 has BBE ViVA, which the D2+ firmware is lacking. I really like ViVA, so I prefer the S9.

Adrian on March 18, 2009 4:11 PM

I assuming they still haven’t added gapless playback yet? One thing keeping me from buying a Cowon this second.

Martin Sägmüller on March 18, 2009 5:19 PM

If Cowon added gapless (aka. hell froze over) – it would be an article written in ALL CAPS here on the site. ;) You have to make do with Rockbox for the moment.

Damo Christenson on March 18, 2009 10:58 PM

This was all impossible until somebody got a hold of the firmware image. The dude that originally gave the firmware was banned from the iaudiophile forums for using bad language, and not even thanked. Can you believe that?!

nax on March 18, 2009 11:14 PM

yeah d2leak was a dick but he had legit stuff and nobody believed him cuz he was a dick. doesnt chnge the fact that the forums mods and VIPs are a buncha fags tho. somebody said he had a flash widgets loader going on tha d2 too but i dunno

PowerTee on March 18, 2009 11:46 PM

The moderators at iaudiophile are fags, they renamed their “hacks” section to “tweaks”. What tools. It’s no wonder they acted like retards to the OP. And he made some good points too in his threads.

Idjut on March 18, 2009 11:49 PM

Whatever! Who cares? Idiots on the web…not new!!!!!! yourselves included!!!! but thnx for the new d2+ kthxbai!

dorkvader on March 19, 2009 5:31 PM

I loaded up the d2+ and the process was not hard, but very nerve-wracking. Yau have to watch your device fail to load everything properly -twice- I have been having some severely crippling bugs on mine. It fails to read filenames (only folders) and there aro no ID3 tag info if there is an sd card in. Plus it has crashed twice, emitting a high pitched whine, until I soft-reset it.I wouldn’t recommend loading the D2+ firmware. I’m not really an audiophile, but I can’t really tell a difference between the two sounds. My best headphones are the stock buds, though.

owner on March 19, 2009 9:25 PM

I love it. Cowon probably wants bricked D2′s…it means more d2+ sales!

Joe on March 19, 2009 10:06 PM

Owner, people get their “bricked” D2′s unbricked by the tcctool, so that’s not an issue.Come to think of it, I tried the update, and so far, I deleted one video, and it decided to delete two instead, weird.I have to say, the sound quality is “better”, better in the sense that, it reminds me of how my Cowon iAudio U3 sounds. I’ll get my friend to bring his D2 over without the update to verify, but it is shown in the graph to not be so boosted in the highs so much as before.For that matter, BBE+ or just BBE or not, I think it just sounds better overall.

Martin Sägmüller on March 20, 2009 9:08 AM

Exactly, you really can’t brick the D2. No idea why Cowon would say such things. I’ve “bricked” my D2 several times on purpose, pushing the reset hole while upgrading firmwares… just because I can. ;)

alex on March 22, 2009 2:55 AM

I love the title to this article. As if Everyone reading this has a old Cowon D2 lying around.

Everyone on March 22, 2009 7:46 PM

It’s true, I do have an old Cowon D2 lying around, don’t you?

cowonfan on March 24, 2009 12:21 AM

the moderators on iaudiophile are a major problem – ot just for those interesting in hacking the ciwi fireware and improving rockbox functionality – but also for also for cowon itself. the only real forum for discussing their products is ruined by over zealous, technonoobs who have the attitude of pissed off npc car parking attendants. they are s concerned with renaming threads, closing discussions and stamping out freeform discussion that they have turned many fans away from cowon products. The iaudiophile commmunity had dramtically decreased in recent months abd cowon need only look at the quality of moderation for this. its dead over there …

borednow on March 24, 2009 7:30 PM

so, what’s the whining about iaudiophile got to do with the actual topic? do you people actually try talking to the mods to get your problems sorted out, or would you rather just bitch about them someplace where they aren’t looking anyway?

QuickerQuaker on March 24, 2009 8:32 PM

I would say that people do talk about this at the iaudiophile forums. Unfortunately threads like that get deleted, and no one sees all the PM’s.Notice the d2leak thread that said something like “PLEASE DO NOT DELETE/CENSOR”.It’s not that the community mods are unreasonable. They are just really, really lame. Car parking attendants, mixed with PTA soccer moms. …and, yes…they are reading this!

borednow on March 24, 2009 8:36 PM

so you’re saying they act like moderators. LOL!

coweeen on March 25, 2009 7:51 AM

more like a cobination of a stepford wife and mussolini – yes they really are over officous dicks. I think one of them describes himself as a “excutive adminstrator” – seriously wtf!

LOL on March 27, 2009 1:46 AM

My favorite mod there is “Doniago” the self-described “Iron Mod”. (see his signature block).Hilarious!The guy that originally posted the FW that started all this stuff took particular exception to Doniago…After getting banned once, I believe the offending message was:”D2Leak sends his regards to Doniago’s mother.”LOL!Doniago was the one that kept banning the OP until he finally dropped out of the community.

anon on March 30, 2009 9:42 AM

i dont understand why there has to be so many politics.. if you all just used all this “extra” energy on something constructive ( D2 related ! :) ) instead it would be better for the community as a whole. course if you are one of those jealous ppl… trying to hamper the development of the D2 itself… i can understand that as well, since you are stuck with your overpriced player that just doesn’t sound all that great or do all that much. wait a sec i need to get my D2 out so i can translate this to 15 other languages o wait they dont have the language “noob” to translate it to sorry sorry

netse on April 5, 2009 5:02 AM

Actually, this works really well. I was really fed up with the looks of my D2, and now I’m in love all over again. There really aren’t that many changes between the two GUI’s, but small, subtle ones.I don’t think you could possibly break your player just by changing the software, unless you disgard the whole hacking-process and go at it with a hammer~

Michael on May 23, 2009 9:33 PM

There’s definitely a difference with the new BBE+ sound. It’s more smooth and less sibilant. The downside is the instruments are less identifiable because it sounds very ‘mashed’ together. Where sound separation was great for the BBE the major flaw for me of the BBE+ is this overly smooth effect. Sound stage also seems narrower.I’m definitely thinking of reverting back to the old firmware.

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