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What is the best mp3 player in terms of best sound quality in your opinion? - Page 3

post #31 of 122

@DrBenway

 

Well, there is always the option of doing what I have done lately - build up a small collection of DAP:s. I use them all and I like the variation in sound signature they offer. I have one with progressive metal, one with thrash/speed metal, one with progressive rock, one with pop/rock etc. The it is more a question of "which type of music do I feel like listening to today?".

If you are looking for the DAP to beat them all you will always chase after rainbows since newer and better ones will always come out.

 

Anyway, I do not know if we are contributing anything to the OP:s original request for good sounding DAP recommendations. Considering his current gear, a Clip (+) would be a good upgrade (even if I do not own one, I recommend it). Earphone wise, if the OP likes earbuds, I would recommend Yuin PK3. If he likes smaller portable headphones, the Portapro might be good (however I prefer Sennheiser PX100 to Portapro - the PX100 are more laidback and less aggressive, but a bit more detailed and "airy" than the Portapro, something I like).

 

By the way, DrBenway, I love your signature. I love the Marx brothers! "I feel like joining a club and beating you over the head with it!" 


Edited by Danneq - 5/16/10 at 12:59am
post #32 of 122
Quote:

Frankly, the availability of massive storage on players is not a good thing. It's a bad thing. Why? Because it promotes restless surfing through massive collections of music with no need to actually commit to listening to anything. I find that when I carry around a PCDP, I think about the disk I put in the machine before I leave the house. And then I actually listen to it (Imagine!) When I have access to multiple gigs of music, I tend to impatiently switch among tracks, and I just don't have a coherent listening session. It's just like cable TV; how many of us actually watch an entire show without flipping around with the remote during commercials? Or during less-interesting passages in the program? Like Springsteen sang, "57 Channels and Nothing On."

 

Same goes for 160 Gb portables.


The reason why some people use higher storage capacity devices is because they only listen to lossless recordings (CD quality) which takes up a huge amount of space. Also, rather than having to think about what I want to listen to I just grab my ipod and go. Whatever mood I may be in I have something to match as my entire music library is always at my finger tips.


Edited by Oomingmak - 5/16/10 at 5:40am
post #33 of 122
thats why i like my D2, 32gb SD card, it has the space i need and i dont have to compromise on a subpar player like an ipod or a archos,
Edited by Aevum - 5/16/10 at 6:06am
post #34 of 122
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much to all of you!

It is very interesting to know your opinions because they help me a lot. I can't buy right now a 1000$ player but I was very interested about to know what would be the best player also for this prices too, so thank you very much again.

I am learning really a lot with all of you!

Regards from Spain :)

post #35 of 122

You forget that some people would rather listen to classical music than to the latest black and white sensation. I can't listen to a symphony or a piano concerto over and over again only because I like it or because I don't have enough space on my tiny SD card! Music is about moods. And if today it's Satie, tomorrow or later in the afternoon it could be anything from Albinoni to Stravinski. The beauty of a Classic is that you can carry all this with you, at the touch of a button, plus the whitest/blackest sensation plus whatever is new or of interest to you (including movies or pictures) without having to sacrifice anything. Even better, connect it through a dock to a hifi system and it's almost as good as a cd player. I bet few of you have tried the Ipod with a Wadia Itransport, and even fewer with a Meridian F80 to see exactly how well it can sound. I have both and, while I still prefer my Naim CD player for critical listening, it is so convenient, when you get home, to simply pop the Ipod into its dock and listen to whatever you want to listen in an instant! The Ipod might have many flaws, I am the first to hate the Itunes crap, below average format support and all the proprietary bullshit but never, ever forget that if the Ipod wouldn't have hit the market a few years ago, you would probably still carry a chunky CD player in your bag. It is the work of a genius, like most Apple products (and I am not a fan!) and as far as I can tell, the future of the high end portable industry has little to do with bizarre attempts like your little big Chinese Hifiman. There are at least two projects in progress aiming at extracting a digital signal from the Ipod and feeding it to a portable DAC/amp combo. Since you are doing that anyway with your expensive brick (you could as well strap a Reference Burmester CD player to your neck and power it from a car battery for ultimate portable sound) I bet your Hifiman will soon become history. Soon meaning less than a year.

May I repeat myself, the idea was, is great. However the end product proves beyond doubt that the target is simply too ambitious for a small Chinese company, therefore it should become a joint effort involving the better players in the industry. But guess what: sadly the big fishes in the industry have no interest in the Hifiman.

Unfortunately Mr Nankai will never have the resources to develop even a decent portable player interface on his own, and it all starts from here. If a portable player fails to be first and foremost a decent player, being trashed even by the 20 times cheaper Clip in this respect, it's a fail. Then it's the ridiculous battery life, the biggest, heaviest, ugliest charger I have seen in my life, the poor design, one of the worst internal storage capacities I've seen in a portable player, a bellow average headphone amplifier. In the end what is highend about this player? The DAC section? Is it a portable DAC section alone, with the battery life of a laptop, worth 1000$, as much as a proper desktop DAC?

People are expecting quality from the most expensive portable player in the industry, not just excuses. It uses power hungry internal components which is why you have to charge it every afternoon, the battery is big which is why you have to carry the chunky adapter, the UI is probably the poorest and ugliest in the industry but it's cool because it's a "hihiend", open source player, therefore different, don't forget the wallet with SD cards because a hdd, a SSD or an XD is bad and the future is in the wallet (literally), grab an expensive aftermarket cable and an external amplifier almost as expensive as the best portable player in the world because the best portable player in the world, with the best DAC and amplifier section in the world, can't drive properly a bloody sensitive high-end IEM. In my book all this means just one thing: poor engineering.

 

And then, when a kid dares to point the finger at the naked king with a proper set of tests, we start blaming the kid, the methodology, tests and standards by which every single audio component in the industry is evaluated. And we still believe, beyond proof, that the best portable player in the world, connected through the most expensive IEM cable in the world, to the most balanced portable amplifier in the world, is the best portable player in the world.

 

All that is left to say is: enjoy the best portable player in the world.   


Edited by revenge - 5/16/10 at 7:18am
post #36 of 122


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by revenge View Post

You forget that some people would rather listen to classical music than to the latest black and white sensation. I can't listen to a symphony or a piano concerto over and over again only because I like it or because I don't have enough space on my tiny SD card! Music is about moods. And if today it's Satie, tomorrow or later in the afternoon it could be anything from Albinoni to Stravinski. The beauty of a Classic is that you can carry all this with you, at the touch of a button, plus the whitest/blackest sensation plus whatever is new or of interest to you (including movies or pictures) without having to sacrifice anything. Even better, connect it through a dock to a hifi system and it's almost as good as a cd player. I bet few of you have tried the Ipod with a Wadia Itransport, and even fewer with a Meridian F80 to see exactly how well it can sound. I have both and, while I still prefer my Naim CD player for critical listening, it is so convenient, when you get home, to simply pop the Ipod into its dock and listen to whatever you want to listen in an instant! The Ipod might have many flaws, I am the first to hate the Itunes crap, below average format support and all the proprietary bullshit but never, ever forget that if the Ipod wouldn't have hit the market a few years ago, you would probably still carry a chunky CD player in your bag. It is the work of a genius, like most Apple products (and I am not a fan!) and as far as I can tell, the future of the high end portable industry has little to do with bizarre attempts like your little big Chinese Hifiman. There are at least two projects in progress aiming at extracting a digital signal from the Ipod and feeding it to a portable DAC/amp combo. Since you are doing that anyway with your expensive brick (you could as well strap a Reference Burmester CD player to your neck and power it from a car battery for ultimate portable sound) I bet your Hifiman will soon become history. Soon meaning less than a year.

May I repeat myself, the idea was, is great. However the end product proves beyond doubt that the target is simply too ambitious for a small Chinese company, therefore it should become a joint effort involving the better players in the industry. But guess what: sadly the big fishes in the industry have no interest in the Hifiman.

Unfortunately Mr Nankai will never have the resources to develop even a decent portable player interface on his own, and it all starts from here. If a portable player fails to be first and foremost a decent player, being trashed even by the 20 times cheaper Clip in this respect, it's a fail. Then it's the ridiculous battery life, the biggest, heaviest, ugliest charger I have seen in my life, the poor design, one of the worst internal storage capacities I've seen in a portable player, a bellow average headphone amplifier. In the end what is highend about this player? The DAC section? Is it a portable DAC section alone, with the battery life of a laptop, worth 1000$, as much as a proper desktop DAC?

People are expecting quality from the most expensive portable player in the industry, not just excuses. It uses power hungry internal components which is why you have to charge it every afternoon, the battery is big which is why you have to carry the chunky adapter, the UI is probably the poorest and ugliest in the industry but it's cool because it's a "hihiend", open source player, therefore different, don't forget the wallet with SD cards because a hdd, a SSD or an XD is bad and the future is in the wallet (literally), grab an expensive aftermarket cable and an external amplifier almost as expensive as the best portable player in the world because the best portable player in the world, with the best DAC and amplifier section in the world, can't drive properly a bloody sensitive high-end IEM. In my book all this means just one thing: poor engineering.

 

And then, when a kid dares to point the finger at the naked king with a proper set of tests, we start blaming the kid, the methodology, tests and standards by which every single audio component in the industry is evaluated. And we still believe, beyond proof, that the best portable player in the world, connected through the most expensive IEM cable in the world, to the most balanced portable amplifier in the world, is the best portable player in the world.

 

All that is left to say is: enjoy the best portable player in the world.   

I guess you've convinced yourself not to buy the HiFiMAN, that's cool. But, this device does have a 30 day money back guarantee in which nearly everyone or everyone who bought the HiFiMAN didn't ask for a refund...
 


Edited by Sonic 748i - 5/16/10 at 7:30am
post #37 of 122

Not to forget the latest Ipad development. If confirmed, this would turn the next gen. Ipod Touch into the best portable interface known to date.

post #38 of 122
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for all your suggestions.

I will take a look to all of them :)

post #39 of 122

has anyone suggested the Imod yet?

 

aloaudio.com

 

never heard it but it certainly looks interesting

 

personally i'm skeptical, but hey what do i know

post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

has anyone suggested the Imod yet?

 

aloaudio.com

 

never heard it but it certainly looks interesting

 

personally i'm skeptical, but hey what do i know

The iMod is a great option also, but you need to understand though the iMod sounds better than an iPod it still is crippled by the inferior DAC chip. The iMod just has a cleaner path from the DAC to the external amplifier of your choice.
 

post #41 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic 748i View Post



The iMod is a great option also, but you need to understand though the iMod sounds better than an iPod it still is crippled by the inferior DAC chip. The iMod just has a cleaner path from the DAC to the external amplifier of your choice.
 


Actually the DAC inside of the imod (ipod 4g 5g and 5.5g) are said to be quite good, which is the reason why these are the only versions used for the imod. When you say inferior what are you comparing it to? You can also upgrade the hard drive to 240gb in case you want to use lossless and 80gb isn't enough for you. 

 

Taken from the Red Wine Audio website:

 

 

What you may not know is that that the 4th and 5th generation iPods use a very high-quality internal Wolfson Microelectronics DAC (Wolfson DACs are used in quite a few high-end home audio CD players).

For the music lover in us, all of these features are worthy of our attention. However for the audiophile in us, sonic performance is our highest priority and what Red Wine Audio has found is that the circuitry that follows the internal DAC (the analog line-out stage) needed to be improved in order to achieve true high-end performance.

We came up with a list of improvements to the sound quality that we believe are required in order to achieve true high-end performance (again, using WAV/Lossless music files):

  • Tighter, more articulate bass (not necessarily more bass quantity… but much improved bass control and definition)
  • A richer, more seductive midrange
  • A less flat and more expansive imaging (the soundstage needs to open up and become more 3D… more wide, more deep, and with a better sense of height in recordings that offer this level of resolution).
  • Improved transients/dynamics
  • More detail retrieval and overall transparency
  • Superior treble extension and sweetness, as well as better decay of long held notes and delicate harmonics

Edited by Oomingmak - 5/16/10 at 10:31pm
post #42 of 122

The OP was asking for more realistic advice. He does not need to go over the moon with spending just to upgrade from his current gear. He could just dip his feet and feel what it's like with a Clip (+) and Yuin PK3 if earbuds or Portapro/PX100 if earphones.

 

If I am to join the choir of "outrageous" suggestions, I can chip in with Kenwood HDD DAP:s. Even the SQ of the first version (HD20GA7) surpasses the S9 which was released almost 3 years later(!). Cowon DAP:s sound great, but compared to Kenwood HDD DAP:s it is a much more digital sound. The Kenwood HDD DAP:s might be among the best sounding DAP:s ever made by a large, multinational company (i.e. I exclude the HifiMan with this statement). Apparently the JVC Alneo XA HD-500 which was released in 2005 in Japan was at least as good as the Kenwood HDD DAP:s if not slightly better.

Even if I have just got a Kenwood HD20GD7, I might get a JVC XA HD-500 before I go back to Sweden. The included dock and IR remote looks nice and it might integrate nicely with my home setup. Too bad that the HDD is only a 1" 6GB microdrive...

 

So if the OP wants to be more realistic, my suggestion is a cheap Clip(+) and a new pair of earbuds or headphones. If he wants to be unrealistic, I want to add Kenwood HD20GA7/HD30GB9/HD60GD9 and JVC XA HD-500 to the already suggested HifiMan, iMod and S:flo2. Remember that there are good players from the past, and not just the "flavor of the week".

post #43 of 122

@Danneq: i think JVC xa-V80 is better than hd500?

post #44 of 122


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post

The OP was asking for more realistic advice. He does not need to go over the moon with spending just to upgrade from his current gear. He could just dip his feet and feel what it's like with a Clip (+) and Yuin PK3 if earbuds or Portapro/PX100 if earphones.

 

If I am to join the choir of "outrageous" suggestions, I can chip in with Kenwood HDD DAP:s. Even the SQ of the first version (HD20GA7) surpasses the S9 which was released almost 3 years later(!). Cowon DAP:s sound great, but compared to Kenwood HDD DAP:s it is a much more digital sound. The Kenwood HDD DAP:s might be among the best sounding DAP:s ever made by a large, multinational company (i.e. I exclude the HifiMan with this statement). Apparently the JVC Alneo XA HD-500 which was released in 2005 in Japan was at least as good as the Kenwood HDD DAP:s if not slightly better.

Even if I have just got a Kenwood HD20GD7, I might get a JVC XA HD-500 before I go back to Sweden. The included dock and IR remote looks nice and it might integrate nicely with my home setup. Too bad that the HDD is only a 1" 6GB microdrive...

 

So if the OP wants to be more realistic, my suggestion is a cheap Clip(+) and a new pair of earbuds or headphones. If he wants to be unrealistic, I want to add Kenwood HD20GA7/HD30GB9/HD60GD9 and JVC XA HD-500 to the already suggested HifiMan, iMod and S:flo2. Remember that there are good players from the past, and not just the "flavor of the week".


The HiFiMAN may be the FOTM but it's no doubt the components inside the HiFiMAN completely outperform every other DAP.

post #45 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic 748i View Post


The HiFiMAN may be the FOTM but it's no doubt the components inside the HiFiMAN completely outperform every other DAP.


 

Well, I am sure that the components outperform every other DAP. But how does that help the OP? If a guy asks you "which car is the best one?" you might say Ferrari or Lamborghini. But is it the best choice for a family man with a wife and 3 kids? Or a guy with a $25.000 a year income? It is best to look at what the OP:s needs are. His current gear?

"an old Iriver (256K) with Sennheiser MX400". He writes that he has looked at the Cowon S9 and the iRiver Spinn. He seems to want something that is portable and perhaps something that can be used for watching movies as well. In that case my previous suggestion of the Clip(+) might not be optimal since it is only an audio player. However it is very portable.

 

I would recommend the S9 since it sounds very nice after tweaking the EQ a bit. There is always the Cowon J3 which is basically a S9 with a MicroSD slot.

 

The HifiMan is not very portable nor can it be used for anything else than audio.

 

I have not heard the HifiMan so I cannot comment on how it sounds compared to other DAP:s. But can you, Sonic 748i, state with absolute certainty that the HifiMan sounds better than ALL other DAP:s ever made? Then I would like to know which ones you have heard. Have you, for instance, heard the Kenwood HDD DAP:s?

How can you be so sure that the HifiMan outdoes them sound wise? I do not like it when people speak in absolutes, so that might be why I react like this.

 

For me, the Kenwood HDD DAP:s sound better than all other I have ever heard, but that does not mean that I name them the ultimate DAP or anything. I NEVER speak in absolutes. 

 

Once again I repeat for the OP. Recommended DAP:s:

* Sansa Clip (+) or Sansa Fuze (for, albeit crippled, movie possibility)

* Cowon S9 or if you want to wait for a S9 with new design, name and a MicroSD slot - the J3

 

With the Clip being so cheap, you could get a S9/J3 along with a Clip if you want to with something very small.

 

Earbud/earphone recommendations:

* Yuin PK3

* Sennheiser PX100

* Koss Porta Pro

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