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The best Audiophile MP3 Player? - Page 6

post #76 of 223

hey guys, im pretty much a basshead and i like listening to rock songs.

so i was wondering how is the bass on the S:Flo2 and which gives a better bass overall, zune 30 or S:Flo2.

thanks!

post #77 of 223


Interesting!  I was hoping someone would explain why nobody else listed the Sony X as a top choice.  I use IEMs pretty much exclusively (UE11s as I said) but really I haven't picked up on the hiss.  Is this something that shows up when the volume is cranked all the way up and there is total silence between songs?  I can't listen to it that loud on my UE11s without hurting my eardrums.

 

I sure would like to hear about some current MP3 players that are really good -- better than the Sony X that is.  So far most of the ones people are mentioning are not in production anymore.  The only ideas I've gotten so far would be a Cowon S9 which looks promising or a Hifiman which has no playlist support from what I've heard -- I just can't live without playlists no matter how good it sounds. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

The Sony X does sound nice, but it hisses very badly. If you don't use sensitive earphones/headphones, you won't hear it. I can hear the hiss even from my semi-sensitive DJ1Pro headphones (full size). With every IEM I've used, it is a bloody storm. Still, I like the signature very much.
 

post #78 of 223

I've been using my friend, the Search, and here is a summary of what I've come up with.  Comments are welcome, this is a combination of personal experience and what I've read. 

 

From best SQ to not as good SQ:

 

==== Audiophile players ========

 

  1. Hifiman HM-801 -- $799, best sound, minimal UI, big, great AMP & DAC, SDHC, line out.
  2. Hifiman HM-602 (16GB)/ HM-601 (2GB) -- $440 / $260 SDHC, good AMP, largish, line out.
  3. QLS QA350 (2 GB) -- $185, SDHC cards, minimal UI, chunky, volume knob, dig outs.
  4. iMod thin (120GB) -- $595 (+ $195 for LOD cable) great SQ, nice iPod UI, needs an amp.
  5. Nationite S:Flo2 (16GB) -- $170, weak UI, good amp, micro SD, line out, no gapless
  6. Cube C30 (4GB) -- $53

 

===== Mainstream players =======

 

  1. Cowon J3 (32GB) -- $220 better UI but not great, micro SD, no LOD
  2. Sansa Clip+ (8GB) -- $59  flat response, compact, simple text UI, micro SD, LOD
  3. Sony Walkman X (32GB) -- $399, hiss issue, LOD, decent UI
  4. Zune HD (32GB) -- $200, no LOD, good UI
  5. iPod Touch 4G (32GB) -- $288, LOD, best UI

 

I guess the quality of UI and form factor seems to be in inverse proportion to SQ!  The ones I've actually owned are the last three and I'm thinking about whether I should try one of the top four -- but I'm put off by the lack of playlist support since that is fundamental to the way I listen to music!

 

EDIT: made some adjustments according to comments, added iMod, and QA350


Edited by alyanm - 11/23/10 at 8:47pm
post #79 of 223

Cube C30/Gumstick should be somewhere in there, guessing right below the sflo2. From the J3 down, all the mainstream brand generally are pretty close in sq ime but noticeable behind the poor ui "audiphile" players. 

post #80 of 223

iMod & DIYMods missing from that list...

post #81 of 223

the Lisse U10 & Q10 are missing from the list. Albeit from an obscure Korean firm, MPGIO, Lisse DAPs/PMPs are some of the best out there with Wolfson WM8987 DACs that sound intimate, agressive, well spaced, and crisp. They also do video nicely in terms of format, resolution, and playback, and screen resolution is good for flipping through pictures. However it is AUDIO QUALITY where these Lisse units are stunners.

post #82 of 223

Yeah the Lisses/QA350 and imod will be up there with that tier from the sflo2 up. Not to mention the Kenwood 30/60gb HDD players and the DPI may also be up there. 

post #83 of 223

Wow, ok I can see I have a lot to learn... back to my research!

 

 

Quote:
iMod & DIYMods missing from that list..

You're right, I didn't really understand what those were so I went and did some research.  I guess these fall just under HM-602 in SQ?  And yet, a decent UI.  This is suddenly up at the top of my list for my next DAP purchase!

 

FLACvest and Inks: I'll be checking into the players you suggested, thanks for the info.   I can see my spare time for the week is all accounted for now!

 

I guess I'll put together a modified list after I have a chance to do more research :)

post #84 of 223

I would add a humble iPod (whatever iteration you prefer) and the Algorhythm Solo http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/497384/cypher-labs-algorhythm-solo

coupled with your favorite amp could be something special...

post #85 of 223

The QLS QA350 sounds better than the S:Flo2 and is slightly under the HM-602. it cost $200. However, the QA350 has digital outputs in both coaxial and optical forms, so you can hook it up to an external DAC that is either desktop or portable. Something like the Ibasso Boomslang and Toucan portable DAC and balanced amp combo would elevate the sound quality to slightly under the HM-801, while being able to drive almost any headphone ever made with authority. I have the QA350 and the S:Flo2, so I know how those stack up for certain. The QA350 is huge and only take SD cards for memory, something you might want to keep in mind. I love it though. The rugged build, the actual knob to adjust volume, the speed at which you can flip through your SD card full of files, it all makes for a fun musical experience. i can personally vouch for the coaxial output's quality, as I have heard it through some high end equipment and it sounds fantastic. It is just as good as a lot of CD players with digital outputs. 

post #86 of 223

Also people are forgetting the Colorfly and Little Dot DP_I. 

post #87 of 223

There's so many darn players! (goes off to buy a home CD player) But seriously, now is a good time to be a portaphile.

post #88 of 223

If you want the Wadia roll off in a portable player, the HM-801 is the way to go.

post #89 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeGoodman View Post

The QLS QA350 sounds better than the S:Flo2 and is slightly under the HM-602. it cost $200. However, the QA350 has digital outputs in both coaxial and optical forms, so you can hook it up to an external DAC that is either desktop or portable. Something like the Ibasso Boomslang and Toucan portable DAC and balanced amp combo would elevate the sound quality to slightly under the HM-801, while being able to drive almost any headphone ever made with authority. I have the QA350 and the S:Flo2, so I know how those stack up for certain. The QA350 is huge and only take SD cards for memory, something you might want to keep in mind. I love it though. The rugged build, the actual knob to adjust volume, the speed at which you can flip through your SD card full of files, it all makes for a fun musical experience. i can personally vouch for the coaxial output's quality, as I have heard it through some high end equipment and it sounds fantastic. It is just as good as a lot of CD players with digital outputs. 

Wow, thanks, I'll just slide it into the list!
 

post #90 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trysaeder View Post

If you want the Wadia roll off in a portable player, the HM-801 is the way to go.



Err, the who and the what?  Take it easy there, I'm a noobie to this place, please!

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