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Colorfly C4 or HM-801?

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!


Once again, I'm here to kindly ask for some help. I just got my JH13s and I'm just amazed by it. On many aspects it sounds better than my K1000s - which are not properly amplified, to be fair.


The thing is that I don't think I'm doing it any justice by carrying it around with an iPod, so I've been looking forr a high end DAP to use with it. The choice apparently comes down to the Colorfly C4 or Hifiman HM-801. When I saw the C4 for the first time I fell in love with its looks. It's definitely one of the most visually appealing pieces of audio equipment I've ever seen. However, Headfonia's review stated that he prefers the sound of the Hifiman, although those who are looking for a more open sound will be happier with the Colorfly. I value a very open sound and don't want anything dark sounding, but then I can't stand an overly bright sound. I also really dont wan't too much bass. The quantity I'm getting at the moment is spot on I think, if a tiny little bit on the heavy side.

Does anyone happen to know how does the C4 compare to the iPod Classic in terms of treble and bass quantity? I can only take a bit more treble than the iPod and definitely don't want any more bass. And what about the Hifiman? Does it have much more bass? Is it much darker?


Thank you!


post #2 of 113

You should ask this in the Portable source section.

post #3 of 113
Thread Starter 

Oh... a guy asked this question there, even though it was specifically in relation to his SE535. Still, there were no conclusive answers and, being high-end portable players, I reckoned I could ask this question in here. But well, nevermind then!

post #4 of 113

I'm sure both of those players would be a noticeable improvement over the iPod Classic's headphone-out.  I have the JH16 and HM-801, and I'd say that the HM-801 (with stock amp card) has much cleaner bass than any iPod I own.  The sound signature is on the warm side, and with the wrong headphones (like Denon D2000 or Senn IE8) there can be a bit of a bass cloud.  But with fairly neutral headphones like the JH13, I don't think you have anything to worry about.  I feel that the HM-801 presents such a vast sense of space and separation, that its warmth doesn't seem unnatural with the JH16.


The stock amp card does have a bit more bass quantity than the "GAME" card, which was designed for IEMs.  If you end up not liking how the stock card sounds, that card is an option to get a more refined sound and a lower gain; channel imbalance at low volumes is one of the HM-801's weaknesses with the JH16.

post #5 of 113

The Colorfly doesn't have any channel imbalance at low volumes, something to think about. I think you would be very satisfied with either one, but if you like the Colorfly, I would get it. The upsampling function looks very cool. Just go for the one you really want, as they are both head and shoulders above and Ipod. I agree the Colorfly looks stunning. Have you seen the inside? It is crammed full of caps and stuff, a good thing in this case.

post #6 of 113
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your impressions!


dj nellie, it's interesting what you said about having a cleaner bass. I'm pretty impressed with the JH13 on this regard, and that's through the iPod! I tend to prefer a leaner response in the bass department, so that's my fear with the HM-801, but then if it's much cleaner, I imagine it won't get in the way of anything.


George, I've seen some pictures of the inside as well! The whole player looks nothing short of stunning in my opinion. My worry is that it might be too bright, so basically I'm concerned about one being too warm and the other being too bright hahaha!


Still... as both of you stated very clearly, I suppose either one will be a few steps above my iPod. I'll think about it and make a decision! No need to hurry for now!


Thank you again!


post #7 of 113

If you went with the Colorfly, it would be a service to head-fi at this point. There are far too few impressions. Just get it from somewhere that has a good return policy, and if you don't like it, return it or sell it on here. 


Of course, you don't want to buy it because I want you to. Go for whatever one you think will give you better results. 

post #8 of 113

you can read the comparison at the headphonia.The concludtion there is,that the HM801 is a lot better.

post #9 of 113

But that is one man's opinion. You need a little more than that to judge a product on. Mike (The guy who runs headfonia) has a review for the Nationite S:Flo2 and he says there is almost bass. That is simply not true and I don't see how he could have come to that conclusion. I would like to see a few more reviews before I judged the player.

post #10 of 113
Thread Starter 

I feel the same way, George! All I could find was one review, but the guy only spent a few minutes with it, and only used a JH16. As coolcat pointed out, there's headfonia review, but as you stated, it's hard to judge only from one man's opinion (two, in that case). And still, on that review, he says he prefers the HM-801, but people who would like an open sound, like me, could prefer the Colorfly.


Well... guess I'll go for the C4 then! And when I do, I'll post something in here!

post #11 of 113

Awesome! Hopefully your thoughts will help give more consensus about the player. I look forward to any and all impressions.beerchug.gif

post #12 of 113

I hope for your sake that they improved the build quality on these things. The "bronze" faceplate isn't even metal!

post #13 of 113
Thread Starter 

Oh dear... that's something that's making me think twice.

post #14 of 113
Originally Posted by kirsh View Post


Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

I hope for your sake that they improved the build quality on these things. The "bronze" faceplate isn't even metal!

I would not trust a man who can't feel difference between metal and plastic. Colorfly faceplate is REALLY METAL, and its body is a real WOOD. Try google translate this topic 


If you have any ? - feel free to ask me.


The chassis is definitely real wood. Doesn't feel good though.


The outer surface of the faceplate is about as metal as something is that isn't cool to the touch in a cold room. If it's metal, it's been painted over.

post #15 of 113
Originally Posted by kirsh View Post

Yepp, at least you admit wood body. 

Metal faceplate is painted in GOLD, its original color is METAL. =)

The more I read your posts about Colorfly the more I think you're payed off or prejudged or something. You wrote an awful review where you value SQ before at least 100hr of burn-in. Headphonia.com felt metal and wood but those guys didn't seem to make a burn-in either. That makes situation even worse. Colorfly gets bad reputation from the beginning because of such mistakes. Mine Colorfly settled down after about 500+ hours of burn-in but I'm still not sure. Straight out from the box it sounded too bright and shiny with a lack of bass, now it is much better. 

Sure, the faceplate is painted in 24k gold that happens to look and feel like faux brushed-bronze paint.rolleyes.gif

I never said the Colorfly sounded particularly bad. My comparative component of sound impressions should be taken with a grain of salt since I did not have both the C4 or HM-801 on-hand to level match and compare with blind tests (which would have to be near-instantaneous to overcome lack of audio memory).


But my impressions of the build quality stand. Cheap and pretentious. At least the HM-801 doesn't look much more expensive than it feels.

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