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Audiophile, need mp3 player/portable amp advic

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey, I'm a music lover, and i'm looking to buy a new mp3 player and a budget portable amp. So far i've looked at the Cowon iAudio9 (saw some great reviews) and iPod Touch/iPod Nano.

I heard that the iPod sound isn't great, but it has a line-out, so it's the best portable sound u can get if u have a portable amp, whereas the iAudio9 is great without the amp. But i'm not sure how they compare if we're talking about both of them being amped.

For the amp, i was looking at Headroom's "Airhead" or the NuForce Icon Mobile. The airhead seems more widely used, but the Icon Mobile got better ratings in direct comparison with the airhead.

Any advice on which combination of items i should be picking? I have quite a tight budget (no HiFiMan for me), so that is about all i can afford, but if there are any other set-ups of note, any suggestions are welcome.

I'm only interested in sound quality, so other extras (such as the truck-load of apps for the iPod Touch) are totally wasted on me.

I'm using the Westone UM2, and like the warm sound it gives, and i lack the funds to upgrade to something better.

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 8

You might want to look into the Nationite S:flo2 player. Its sound quality is amazing for its price, whether it be through the headphone jack or externally amped.


I don't think the UM2 will benefit much from an amp, in the same way my CK10's don't improve much through an amp - but you could get the FiiO E7 if you like. 

post #3 of 8

Honestly, if music playback is all you're after then you'd be hard pressed to beat the sansa clip + with rockbox for anything under $200. It boasts MSC connectivity, non-proprietary mini-usb port, mircosd, and a wonderful form factor on the physical side. In terms of sound quality you've got a wonderfully flat frequency response with no bass rolloff, the best EQ in portable audio, crossfeed, and so on. If you want to spend more then I'd recommend the cowon J3, but for the price (a mere $55) a rockboxed sansa clip + is all but unbeatable in the <$200 range.

Edited by JxK - 9/14/10 at 11:10pm
post #4 of 8

Second the comment on the Clip+.  Its super tiny, cheap, and sounds amazing with my TripleFi 10s.  I've been really happy with its sound quality, ease of use and expandability.  Never thought it would happen, but I've basically stopped using my 80Gb iPod...


But then again, I've heard good things about the S:flo2.

post #5 of 8

1) Cowon S9

2) Cowon J3

3) Sony X-series

4) S:flo 2

5) Sansa clip + rockbox

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

The Clip+ seems great, but it's kinda' too small, I'd prefer something bigger, something around the size of iPod Nano 5th gen, or the S:flo2. 


The S:flo2 seems like THE player i'm looking for, but... any suggestions on where to find it? I'm located in Singapore, so it's  like a real hassle just finding one.


The amp is also for when i want to bring my HD600 out of the house, so i don't have to bring my desktop amp and assorted bulky cables when I do so, so I still need an amp, even if it isn't so much for the UM2. 


Thanks for the comments so far, seems like my initial research was way off...

post #7 of 8

Sansa Clip+ with rockbox is probably the best value for money considering microsd cards are getting cheaper and cheaper.

However if you want good battery life or a large readable screen then you would have to look to one of your other choices.

I find the Clip+ with rockbox is comparable in SQ to my Sony A828, but the A828 wins out on UI because of it screen size and album art.


post #8 of 8

If you think the Telecast T51/Nationite s:flo2 is THE player for you I highly suggest you buy one and find out for yourself.

There are two places that sell the player to the world, so I check them out.




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