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best sq for under $300

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

What portable player has the best sound quality for under $300?  I already have an iPod 5th diymod with internal elna silmic caps.  What would be better sq wise that i can use with an ibasso d2+ boa?

post #2 of 18

Nationite S:flo^2. I love the line-out quality. =)

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1audioz View Post

Nationite S:flo^2. I love the line-out quality. =)


Definitely. The HO and LO on the player is great. The UI could use a little work though.

post #4 of 18
If you ever find yourself wanting an eq, a Cowon S9 is probably tops... If you don't believe in using eq, it will likely convert you! unfortunately, there is no line out functionality, though with such a clean powerful headphone output, I have never been able to see the advantage of using one.
post #5 of 18

J3 → S9 in my opinion - but besides - they don't have true line outs so you never reach the full potential of a portable headphone amp. Also they sound the same as any other player (if not worse in some cases) without any EQ effects.

 

Anyhow I'd say the Nationite s:flo2 aka Telecast T51 would be a safe bet. Read up about it, understand the downfalls of the UI and battery life and decide if its worth it for you.

 

Other than that I'd say consider the HiFiMan HM-602 if you can stretch your budget...


Edited by Hero Kid - 9/5/10 at 8:21pm
post #6 of 18

S:Flo2 should be a league above anything else in the price range. The new firmware upgrade makes the HO sound amazing.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by clou91 View Post

S:Flo2 should be a league above anything else in the price range. The new firmware upgrade makes the HO sound amazing.


x2

post #8 of 18

If you are willing to put up with the UI and battery life, I would go with the S:Flo 2. The only other players that have a LO feature (AFAIK) are the iPod/iMod, Hifiman series, and the Sansa Fuze (a great player, but not better than your iMod). See if the Hifiman HM-601 suits your fancy.

post #9 of 18

Is that the 2.30 firmware?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Spade View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by clou91 View Post

S:Flo2 should be a league above anything else in the price range. The new firmware upgrade makes the HO sound amazing.


x2

post #10 of 18

No one even mentions the Hifiman-601? The thing is beastly! Amp not required, either.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lubanja View Post

No one even mentions the Hifiman-601? The thing is beastly! Amp not required, either.



The HM-601 is great, but since the OP is going to amp it anyways, I think the S:Flo 2 is a better deal.

post #12 of 18

My S:Flo2 plays as loud as my Hifiman 601. I would go for the S:Flo2, the UI is not that bad and the SQ is on par with the Hifiman 601 IMO.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchguy2 View Post

SQ is on par with the Hifiman 601 IMO.

 

Interesting... I found the S:Flo 2 to have a very different sound signature than the HM-601. While they were both very technically proficient, the S:Flo 2 seemed colder and leaner whereas the HM-601 seemed warmer and more musical. That applied to both the HO and LO for both devices. Or were you simply saying that the SQ for both was equally technically proficient. Because I agree with you on that.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenswall View Post

If you ever find yourself wanting an eq, a Cowon S9 is probably tops... If you don't believe in using eq, it will likely convert you! unfortunately, there is no line out functionality, though with such a clean powerful headphone output, I have never been able to see the advantage of using one.


1+ Or J3 for the additional slot/better build with a more polished UI

post #15 of 18
@Violin: If you don't mind, care to share a little about the differences between the two players? I have a sflo2 sitting in the room thats collecting dust at the moment and I'd love to give it another go.
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