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HiFiMAN HM-801 Portable Player / DAC Review: Part One of Two - Page 36

post #526 of 620
I'm loving mine... its my portable device, my home dac+amp (fed with coaxial from computer), it does it all better then anything I've had..

still though.. I'm anxiously awaiting info on the high-end amp module cause I know its holding back the full potential of the rest of the system. Fang however.. is not very forthcoming with info.. whether boards, PM, email, whatever.
post #527 of 620
CNET's HiFiMAN review by Steve Guttenberg:


Hifiman HM-801 vs. iPod, Zune: A sound winner? | The Audiophiliac - CNET News
post #528 of 620
I would really like to know how the Hifiman compares to the flo:2? I mean both aim to have the best sound quality through some of the best DAC available. But considering the price range between both it is hard to believe that they would play in the same league...Does anyone have a comparison?
Is it safe to say that the Hifiman is the best sounding DAP out there at the moment?
post #529 of 620

I am also interested in knowing how it compares to a the S:Flo2 and RWA iMod.  Obviously the latter two would need to be paired with a good amp but am deciding between the three for my upcoming portable rig.

post #530 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatian View Post

I would really like to know how the Hifiman compares to the flo:2? I mean both aim to have the best sound quality through some of the best DAC available. But considering the price range between both it is hard to believe that they would play in the same league...Does anyone have a comparison?
Is it safe to say that the Hifiman is the best sounding DAP out there at the moment?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdotfire View Post

I am also interested in knowing how it compares to a the S:Flo2 and RWA iMod. 


Have a look at the topics mentioned in this topic. http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/491349/has-anybody-compared-the-imod-vs-s-flo2#post_6634138

They should both apply to your questions.

post #531 of 620

I have read through the S:Flo2 impressions thread and I think it is a very viable option because of how cheap it is....but really wish the HiFiMan would come without an internal amp because it's DAP is probably better than the S:Flo2 and it would be more affordable.


Edited by sdotfire - 5/13/10 at 3:07am
post #532 of 620

Remember to read "reviews" by people getting the equipment for free with a large grain of salt.  Reviews from people without a vested financial interest are far more revealing:  http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/490698/hifiman-hm-801-rmaa-tests/375

post #533 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by kobayashi View Post

Remember to read "reviews" by people getting the equipment for free with a large grain of salt. 

 

That may be true, but keep in mind users like DFKT (to my knowledge) also receive lots of demo products (and possibly products as freebies, I don't know) to review.

Certainly be aware of it, but don't rule the review out solely on the chance that it may be bias. A good reviewer can and will look past how they acquired the product.


 

post #534 of 620

O.K., I am not a professional reviewer and I have no vested interest in the HiFiMan one way or the other. A couple of months ago, I went to the Head-Fi meet here in NYC. While there, I listened to a lot of equipment; full-sized and portable. I was expecting some audiophile gear to blow away (in terms of sound quality) my humble iPod and IE8 combo. This did not happen. Did I hear superlative systems that trumped my equipment? Sure I did. I was still surprised, however, that my iPod and IE8 was the "train that could" and I walked away from the meet quite content with what I have. With that said, the HiFiMan was one of the superlative products at the meet. I have read and contributed to the, "IE8 Appreciation Thread", here on this forum. There is much that I agree with on that thread as it attempts to describe the sound of the IE8. What is easy to forget, though, is that the IE8 doesn't really have "a" sound. The IE8 has many sounds. When I plugged my IE8 into the HiFiMan I could not have guessed that my IE8 could sound this good. The IE8 scaled up to a level I did not think that it was capable of. The IE8 was an entirely different beast out of the HiFiMan; from black and white to technicolor. Yes, the HiFiMan was that good. I would say that the HiFiMan made the IE8 sound twice as good than what my iPod was capable of (All of my music is ripped from CD's to Apple Lossless.). Without a doubt the HiFiMan was one of the best sounds at the show I heard. In addition, I have got to think that the HiFiMan coupled with the JH-16 Pros has got to be the best portable combination around. To be fair, I have followed the thread about the firmware issues of the HiFiMan. Is the HiFiMan as ergonomic or teutonic as the iPod? Certainly not. It is neither as clean nor as elegant a design as an iPod either. Do I have to mention that the iPod is an icon of 20th century industrial design? Certainly not. We are all aware of that by now. What I don't understand is why the HiFiMan needs to measure up to the iPod in this department. The HiFiMan is quirky, more like a British sports car than a Lexus. If the best sound quality is what you're after though (which is the whole goal of Head-Fi) then the HiFiMan is, without a doubt, the best portable system I've heard.


Edited by davidhunternyc - 5/15/10 at 3:21am
post #535 of 620


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post

O.K., I am not a professional reviewer and I have no vested interest in the HiFiMan one way or the other. A couple of months ago, I went to the Head-Fi meet here in NYC. While there, I listened to a lot of equipment; full-sized and portable. I was expecting some audiophile gear to blow away (in terms of sound quality) my humble iPod and IE8 combo. This did not happen. Did I hear superlative systems that trumped my equipment? Sure I did. I was still surprised, however, that my iPod and IE8 was the "train that could" and I walked away from the meet quite content with what I have. With that said, the HiFiMan was one of the superlative products at the meet. I have read and contributed to the, "IE8 Appreciation Thread", here on this forum. There is much that I agree with on that thread as it attempts to describe the sound of the IE8. What is easy to forget, though, is that the IE8 doesn't really have "a" sound. The IE8 has many sounds. When I plugged my IE8 into the HiFiMan I could not have guessed that my IE8 could sound this good. The IE8 scaled up to a level I did not think that it was capable of. The IE8 was an entirely different beast out of the HiFiMan; from black and white to technicolor. Yes, the HiFiMan was that good. I would say that the HiFiMan made the IE8 sound twice as good than what my iPod was capable of (All of my music is ripped from CD's to Apple Lossless.). Without a doubt the HiFiMan was one of the best sounds at the show I heard. In addition, I have got to think that the HiFiMan coupled with the JH-16 Pros has got to be the best portable combination around. To be fair, I have followed the thread about the firmware issues of the HiFiMan. Is the HiFiMan as ergonomic or teutonic as the iPod? Certainly not. It is neither as clean nor as elegant a design as an iPod either. Do I have to mention that the iPod is an icon of 20th century industrial design? Certainly not. We are all aware of that by now. What I don't understand is why the HiFiMan needs to measure up to the iPod in this department. The HiFiMan is quirky, more like a British sports car than a Lexus. If the best sound quality is what you're after though (which is the whole goal of Head-Fi) then the HiFiMan is, without a doubt, the best portable system I've heard.

I guess I have the best portable combination around, check my sig...

 

Thanks for your impressions.
 

post #536 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post

snip

 

When I plugged my IE8 into the HiFiMan I could not have guessed that my IE8 could sound this good. The IE8 scaled up to a level I did not think that it was capable of. The IE8 was an entirely different beast out of the HiFiMan; from black and white to technicolor. Yes, the HiFiMan was that good. I would say that the HiFiMan made the IE8 sound twice as good than what my iPod was capable of (All of my music is ripped from CD's to Apple Lossless.). Without a doubt the HiFiMan was one of the best sounds at the show I heard.

 

snip.


I had a similar experience with the IE8 and my ALO Amphora amp.  I'd tried many many sources and amps with the IE8 and I thought they were okay, and above average, but changing amps and sources didn't really make me feel like the upgraded amps and sources were worth the small improvements.  Anyway, I plugged the IE8 into the Amphora and it was like a light bulb of epiphany went off over my head!  Suddenly everything was just right, and no longer did I feel that I was hearing recessed mids and treble being overpowered by bass.  There was just some silly synergy going on there, because it didn't take a bass-lite bright amp to fix the issue, they just needed an amp that could control them the right way. The Amphora became the main reason why I kept the IE8 for so many months (until I lost my W3 and had to trade the IE8 for another W3).  

 

Now I really wish I had tried the IE8 on a HM-801, but it's too late now.  I never tried anything but HD600 and HD580 on the HiFiMan at CanJam and RMAF, but the HM-801 sounded at least as detailed and spacious as my iMod/P-51 that I had brought with me.  I didn't really pay attention to the treble so I can't comment on the claimed rolloff that I've been reading about recently, but it certainly sounded very good and was cheaper than my iMod/P-51 combo.  I also heard the HM-801 as a coax DAC from a CD player at RMAF, where it was feeding an EF1 + HE-5 and thought it sounded quite good in that role as well.

post #537 of 620

Has anyone compared the HiFiMan to the S:flo2/Teclast T51 and preferably old Kenwood HDD DAP:s? Especially the later versions such as the HD60GD9 and HD60GD9EC?

post #538 of 620

Interesting. For me the IE8 sounds exactly the same out of the Hifiman as it sounds from any other player. It just has a bit less treble sparkle due to the Hifiman's rolled off treble - which isn't such a great match for the IE8's sound character, in my opinion.

 

I don't have an iPod to compare, like davidhunternyc, but the IE8 sure sound the same on every other of my players as they do on the Hifiman. The Hifiman's lacking treble is only noticeable in a volume-matched comparison anyways.


Edited by dfkt - 5/15/10 at 8:40am
post #539 of 620

My IE8s sound the same from every player I've tried - even my netbook, although there are more EQ options from my Rockboxed Clip+.

 

For a while I imagined that I was getting slightly better instrument separation listening to my X, but I hadn't listened to it for a while and now everything is back to normal.


Edited by Dreamnine - 5/15/10 at 2:07pm
post #540 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Does it do gapless? Does it have an EQ or other sound enhancements (crossfeed, etc)? Does it have file/folder browsing, pan/balance, MSC transfer?
EQ or other sound enhancements should not appear in HiFiMAN because artificial is not hifi.

Will provide more info about software soon.



And yet a 4.5 db treble roll-off at 20k is Hi Fi - that is a strange definition

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