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Cowon S9 or Apple I-Pod Touch G2

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
I'm torn between these two players, as I am now closing in on a purchase.

I've already decided on the IEM's, and plan to get the Shure SE530PTH. So, which ever DAP suits these phones, is probably best in helping me make a final decision. After having read a review, apparently the SE530's are rather particular on its source for SQ due to their unusually high sensativity level. Which, is why I went ahead and added this in w/ my post.

Now, I realize the S9 has more EQ features than the G2 Touch, but I'm curious as to where the two stand w/ a flat EQ setting - how accurate the sound is, distortion level, amount of hiss in the back ground, etc... vs's the other.

As we speak...

I'm kind of leaning towards the S9, because of the battery life, cosmetics, # of file formats, and its primary focus on music + video -- unlike the Touch which basically acts as a PDA.

However...

I've heard mixed reviews on the sound - that the S9 comes off as rather thin, by lacking those bass frequencies necessary in experiencing that kind of warmth in which other players claim to produce. I'm also reading that this player has a lesser sound stage, w/ an added amount of hiss -- particularly when compared side-by-side w/ the Ipod Touch G2?

Bottom line: I'm searching for a player that produces the highest quality of sound, a player that first emphasizes its music over every other feature.

So please, anyone and everyone who has had experience w/ these products here listed, I would be very much interested in reading what you have to say. And, if you don't mind, ask you a few additional questions along the way

Thanx!

-Aaron
post #2 of 99
Itouch 2g is pretty much the best portable I can ever think of, the wifi, lil speaker feature is really really useful IMO. The sound is really good, one of the best on portables~

The only bad thing is after using Itouch or Iphone, you will feel every single other touch screen device is just too slow...no where to compete with apple in terms of processing speed and the user friend interface..
post #3 of 99
get the cowon if you hate apple and prefer ogg and flac instead of aiff, alac and aac; 3vix instead hec264

get the touch if you want to enjoy a great sounding player as well as all the extra stuff you can do
post #4 of 99
haha got the 530 as well, they sound decent out of the Cowon iAudio 7. Thinking about getting a new source as well, was torn between Cowon S9 and iPod Touch but decided to not get either of them and stick with what i got.

A mate of my mine (who i met on head fi) has the iPod Touch Second Generation and prefers it. He says its one of the best sounding play from Apple, and i agree, the sound isn't too bad coming out of the 530.

So get the iPod Touch if you:
like Apple
like wifi
like user interface/touch (i think it does a better job)
like the speaker (it is useful at times, especially with friends)

Cowon S9 if you:
like battery life
wanna try something new
absolutely love the AMOLED video screen
like cowon's support for flac/ogg etc

I'd say find someone who has an iPod Touch G2 and give it a try. This is what i would do.
post #5 of 99
Well, seeing as the jailbreak for the G2 Ipod Touch is not too far away, you can check for updates on here to see if it is finished

Dev-Team Blog - Thermonuclear pop!

Basically the relevant part to the G2 jailbreak is that you can get VLC4iPhone which is an application that allows the iPhone and iPod Touch to play pretty much any audio and video format. Though video seems to be stil showing beta issues, AFAIK the audio works just fine.
post #6 of 99
Bottom line: I'm searching for a player that produces the highest quality of sound, a player that first emphasizes its music over every other feature.


I think my ears have finally failed me, because I can't stand the sound out of any Apple player since the the Generation 1 Shuffle. I couldn't imagine recommending the G2 Touch for anyone who considers SQ high on their list of must haves.
post #7 of 99
I've had them both and I would get the touch by a long shot, too may problems with the s9. The touch will do what you want it to, and is a good all around performer. Yes something like a sony or cowon might have a slight edge in sound, (better eq's) but the touch 2g easily hold it's own. Or wait to check out the new sony oled/wifi dap if you can.
post #8 of 99
it's not just EQ that gives it the sound advantage it's just better hardware. Ipods never sound horrible but apple doesn't really put all their r&d into good sound they just sound fine, I have one of their best sounding ones (the 1st gen shuffle) but in terms of pure sound quality it still loses to sony, cowon, samsung (not every single model but just in general). Some people do say there are issues with the cowon s9 not sure about the details could be small or big, thats one thing I admit apple does well even though I'm not a fan; the ipods usually don't have a ton of bugs. I'm in the market for a pmp for video still undecided on what to get.
post #9 of 99
actually, that last statement is incorrect. if you don't like the sound of the ipod then you are right, but if you think it has poor sq, then you are wrong.

since there is no more objective a way to test sound qualty than machine tests: you might go to lab tests at pcworld for instance and see how the ipod trashes the competition. i will admit that cowon d2 has a better headphone out for amping than the ipod headphone out but other than that it is really inferior.

lack of eq: fully understand. meizu, old zune, sony, cowon, iriver, creative; all have a better implemented system than the ipod but the ipod usually outscores them in general sound quality tests.
post #10 of 99
At the end of the day trust your ears more than that of someone other than your own and when/where it is possible try before you buy. This hobby is way to subjective to use any absolutes such as: better, inferior, trumps, poor and the like...

Personally if the Touch sounded even close to any of the above named players my search would have ended long along, because frankly to play air hockey and listen to great sounding music simultaneously on the same device is to die for!
post #11 of 99
since your focus is on sound quality perhaps you don't really need the large screen and touch features. I would consider sansa and sony daps for sound quality.
post #12 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
actually, that last statement is incorrect. if you don't like the sound of the ipod then you are right, but if you think it has poor sq, then you are wrong.

since there is no more objective a way to test sound qualty than machine tests: you might go to lab tests at pcworld for instance and see how the ipod trashes the competition. i will admit that cowon d2 has a better headphone out for amping than the ipod headphone out but other than that it is really inferior.

lack of eq: fully understand. meizu, old zune, sony, cowon, iriver, creative; all have a better implemented system than the ipod but the ipod usually outscores them in general sound quality tests.
"objective" machine tests dont mean anything in sound, I think you've posted reviews of pmps before so shouldnt you know that best? otherwise it would be easy to find the best headphone the best source the best amp etc. I do agree that I should add IMO as sound is very subjective but I've never heard the ipod trash anything in sound and I've owned 2 and heard many others. It's very middle of the pack, creative sony cowon iriver sansa sound better to me but again I do not mean every single one of them beats every single ipod.

I haven't heard the itouch gen2 but I have heard iphone and itouch gen1 and there was nothing special about it, I stand by my statement that the ipods dont sound particularly good because they are mediocre and bland, but just like how I can't say it is a universal truth you can't say I'm incorrect.
post #13 of 99
Back on topic it looks like the breakdown of the s9 after reading some reviews is:
good sound quality
best screen (amoled)
slow/awkward user interface
Doesn't support all the formats like the cowon O2(mkv is the big one for me)
good battery life

So hard to find a player with no weaknesses.
post #14 of 99
i think mediocre and bland to one person is perfect to another. the reason that machine tests are important is that they are tested on similar equipment that is far more discerning than the best of ears.

by saying sq, most people refer to what they like. the fact is we all like something different. i have sony and think it is great, i have touch 2g and think it is great, the sansa players sound good too and the zune. none i have heard other than maybe a few old irivers and a shuffle 2g sounded rubbish.

but bland and mediocre probably means you like bubbly sound: samsung is your game.
post #15 of 99
my only problem with the cowon is that their firmware is usually unstable.

My problem with the touch is that it skips with lossless files. I am not sure if the problem has been addressed in a recent firmware update, but the fact that it skips with lossless is pretty lame.

I'd rather have the firmware instabilities than not being able to play lossless.
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