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Cowon BBE, BBE+ good sound quality. Is it a Myth?

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 

 

Hi

 

I'm new to Head-Fi.org forum and this is my first thread.

 

I have been coming across various threads regarding Cowon J3, S9 and most of the people in the forum refer the sound quality as the best particularly with enhancements like BBE, BBE+ etc

 

I'm looking for a new mp3 player (flac player actually) and since everyone were praising cowon sound enhancement technologies I wanted to try BBE or BBE+ but I don't have any friends who has cowon player. So I downloaded Jet Audio software which has BBE feature. I did A-B comparison between foobar and Jet Audio

 

My listening session was through FLAC > foobar/JetAudio > Onboard soundcard(Realtek) > Sennheiser HD202 headphone

 

In Cowon JetAudio I enabled only BBE and nothing else. EQ is flat in both foobar and jetaudio

 

Tracks include

 

Peel me a grape - Diana Krall - Love Scenes

I'm not a hero - Dark Knight

Time - Inception

Moonlight - Stan Getz - Getz for Lovers

Linkin Park - Transformers soundtrack

 

After listening to the above tracks I found foobar much better than JetAudio (with BBE). In JetAudio I found lows and highs were boosted whereas in foobar it was quiet natural. Also there was slight distortion in Bass in my Senn headphones when I listened through Jet Audio.

 

Now my queries

 

1. Is BBE just boosting lows and highs to increase excitement? (Before that is BBE in Jetaudio and in Cowon hardware player same?)

2. Whether BBE will show their true strength only with high end components? Since I have Motherboard (onboard dac) or headphones?

3. Will Cowon J3 or S9 sound much better since it has Wolfson DAC? Is there any chance that I will like it?

4. I heard some distortion in my Senn HD 202. Is that due to BBE or my headphone is not that good?

 

Could anyone in the forum please share your opinions?

 

I'm very much interested in purchasing Cowon players since it has Wolfson DAC since BBE is worrying me I'm thinking to go for Sansa Clip+ or some other player.

 

Thanks

Visanj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 88

You can always use Cowon players "flat" if you are so offended by BBE.  BBEs are simply enhancements...so yeah, they "enhance" frequencies.  However, it also includes a very nice equalizer so you can tweak as you see fit.  No reason to dismiss the Cowon players.  Fully customizable sound and as is fairly obvious around these parts, they have a fantastic sound reputation.  Using some fake software implementation on your PC cannot possibly compare to Cowon hardware.

post #3 of 88

It is still imperfect.  Fortunately, the "enhancements" can be turned off as you said.  Simple as that.

You can still enjoy decent sound and a real nice GUI.


Edited by Mad Max - 7/6/11 at 10:08pm
post #4 of 88

In reference to cowon players:

BBE/BBE+ make the already thin sound thinner thus creating harsh/unbalanced/artificial sound.

The only good part about cowon is they have very nice equalizer that almost behaves as a hardware eq. All other enhancements are crap; you'll like them at first but with time u'll realize what i mean.

post #5 of 88
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks for your opinions

 

In that case could you please let me know which would be better between Cowon J3 (Flat EQ, No Enhancements) and Sansa Clip+ (Flat Eq)?

 

Thanks again

Visanj

post #6 of 88

Cowon J3 (Flat EQ, No Enhancements) V's Sansa Clip+ (Flat Eq).

 

Winner=Clip+.


Edited by anadin - 7/6/11 at 10:48pm
post #7 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by anadin View Post

Cowon J3 (Flat EQ, No Enhancements) V's Sansa Clip+ (Flat Eq).

 

Winner=Clip+.



Agree.

post #8 of 88

@Visanj

If you plan to use cans with your player don't go with either of them. Clip & cowon are tiny sounding players with mediocre stereo seperation. With cans you'll feel as if sound is concentrated at a single point. Although the cowon is very powerful & can really shake my shure 750dj while the clip is nowhere near. With iem's its a different story, clip walks over cowon for everything but refinement.

post #9 of 88
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks a lot for your opinions

 

I have decided to go for Clip+ and I'm thinking to go for IEMs. I have the below options

 

Brainwavz M2

Beyerdynamics DTX80 or 100

Soundmagic PL50

 

Could you please let me know which one will be a better match for Clip+? I mostly listen to OST and Jazz

 

Thanks again for your inputs

 

Visanj

post #10 of 88

No need to match IEMs for Clip+, it will drive most IEMs nicely. Buy something according to your preferences. Refer to Joker's and clieOS threads for review of IEMs and choose accordingly.

 

Just Rockbox Clip+ if you want a good EQ.

post #11 of 88
Thread Starter 

 

Hi

 

I made an order for Sansa Clip+ and Brainwavz M2. After reading reviews I found that M2 has more laid back sound which will be suitable for Jazz

 

Thanks to all for your precious inputs

 

Visanj

 

post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyster View Post

In reference to cowon players:

BBE/BBE+ make the already thin sound thinner thus creating harsh/unbalanced/artificial sound.

The only good part about cowon is they have very nice equalizer that almost behaves as a hardware eq. All other enhancements are crap; you'll like them at first but with time u'll realize what i mean.


Untrue.

 

post #13 of 88

Very true actually, it's just that many people like that coloration. 

post #14 of 88

Wait, after reading this thread, I'm under the impression that Cowon players don't sound that great after all...I had thought this whole time that Cowon was a top-of-the-line PMP that delivers superb audio quality. And the Sansa Clip+, which is much cheaper than a Cowon device, sounds better instead? Am I missing something here? X_X

post #15 of 88
Thread Starter 

 

It depends on personal interest....Some may prefer V shaped EQ with high lows and mids but some may prefer neutral...I'm more inclined towards neutral

 

I'm yet to receive my order. Probably it will take another 2 days... Will write a brief review on the combo (Clip+ with Brainwavz M2) once I listen to it...

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