zune sound quality question - Page 4
I apologise for resurrecting an old thread in my first post here, but after reading the forums for a while I have just been inspired to give recognition to the sound quality of my Zune 120.
I have it paired with Shure SE530 earphones, and since comparing other sources with these same buds, I have realised how much the Zune stands out.
Not only that, but I can recommend the Zune's durability. The only reason that I had cause to try other sources was that I managed to drown my Zune after a bottle leaked in the bottom of my backpack. It wouldn't turn on at all immediately afterwards, but I thought I'd give it a chance. After one day in the sunshine on my windowsill I plugged it into my computer via USB and it came up with an unhappy face and a message 'take me to services' or similar. An improvement on the previous day, so I left it a bit longer. A week later, it is dry and apparently none the worse for its experience; all the music I had loaded on is present and it sounds as good as ever.
In the mean time, I tried out some other sources with the SE530s. My computer's onboard audio, my external Cakewalk UA-1G sound card, my HTC desire (with and without a Fiio E5 amplifier), a friends' 6G iPod and a Sanyo mini hifi system were all noticeably lacklustre compared to the expansive, lush sound produced by the Zune. For the record, the iPod came closest and the Fiio amp makes very little difference to the HTC desire, which has good sound quality for a none-dedicated device but unfortunately hisses quite loudly with the SE530s.
I am thrilled that my Zune came back to life as I was really starting to miss it and was preparing to take the hit of buying another one, since I couldn't find any other device to match the sound quality. I'd love to hear one of the Hifiman portables but until I have that sort of money, I will be enjoying a fantastic sound from a very simple portable set up and I enthusiastically recommend the Zune 120 + Shure SE530 combination.
Edited by Crayfish - 6/6/10 at 3:26pm
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It wasn't bad, but it couldn't even compare to my old 5 year old iriver. And the sflow I use today just blows my zune, and the zune hd I tried out of the water. What can you say? The zune is just made for mainstream people who are fine with okay sound qual. Nothing wrong with that.
I haven't listened to any of the devices you mention flaming_june, so they might well be better. I think that the pairing is important, I have used other earphones with the Zune that didn't sound nearly as good, although none in the same price range. If the Zune eventually gives up I will definitely consider the s:flo.
I wouldn't say I'm fine with okay sound quality, more that I have to strike a compromise between quality and budget. I am quite sensitive to variations in equipment (I believe that being a trained musician encourages this trait). I'd love to be able to spend more on exploring different devices. This combination is definitely my favourite so far, but I am only taking baby steps towards perfection (subjective as this is)!