Originally Posted by TopCat-uk
Hope it's ok if I jump in here...
I've been following this post and the C3 vs Ck4 comparison review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/638415/colorfly-c3-vs-colorfly-ck4-comparison-true-portable-hifi-sound
with interest. I'm looking for a new unit giving best quality/listening experience I can get for the buck. This new unit will be paired with a pair of shure 535's and I'll be listening to a wide variety of pop/ rock/ electronica, mostly flacs - possibly some wavs.
I'm finding it very difficult to choose which one to go for - the c3 has size and battery life benefits, but the ck4 has larger screen and increased functionality (video playback etc) and possibly better sound quality? Already owning an iphone and ipad, the video playback is possibly only of small benefit for me. Ultimately, it's the sound quality that I'm looking for. And I guess to make that decision I'd like to hear an update (from h20fidelity ?) to the C3 vs Ck4 comparison as reading through this thread (Colorfly CK4 first review) it seems that as time goes on, there is an increased leaning towards the Ck4 as the stand-out winner here.
I'd be very grateful of any input.
Hi, I actually came into this thread to update my current CK4+ experience, I've owned both players for a while now and know them pretty well.
As Berkovajazz said, CK4 is on another level of sound quality but not without a few problems imo, everything I said in that comparison still stands which was taken from the headphone outs. There's not much I would change, I still think C3 has better presentation of the two because it has balance across the entire frequency range. CK4's mid range is very rich sounding player, with superior detailing levels, soundstage, imaging and stereo (very good stereo) however the low end roll off lets it down and the highs are a little relaxed. From the headphone out I find myself hearing a lot of mid range detail. It reminds me of an upside V so.... "/\" I guess you could call it rather mid centric. The C3 is better balanced across the entire chart, but you will sacrifice that awesome detail, rich clarity and soundstage by a margin.
Although CK4 is a step above in in these area's does it really make it the better player? because you're flooded with all this detail and clarity that over powers the low and high end? I tend to say no because everything isn't working together as one, And that's the problem with CK4+'s headphone out, the low /mid / highs don't speak to each other they're just "there" doing their own thing with a mid range that likes to overide it's partners. C3 they work as a team, they work together to form "presentation"
That's the best I can describe it.
You may of noticed I kept mentioning the word headphone out above and that's because you can transform CK4+ into something truly special by using it's line out. By doing so you lose the bass roll off, the signature becomes more balanced and also the problem I mentioned in this thread about the internal / external memory is much less obvious using it's line out feature. If you amp CK4+ with something like the $100 C&C BH it transform into one great sounding player beyond what the headphone out achieves. Honestly, after amping CK4 with this little amp the headphone out sounds very average compared.
So If you were keen on amping CK4 with something like the C&C BH portable amp I would highly recommend it over C3, then you truly are in another league. You'd be looking at around $300 to get the amp and player though. Here's the thread if you're interested.
@~Berkovajazz if you want to take your CK4 to the next level, you really should be checking out this amp, it's one of the cleanest detailed amps I've heard.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-reviewEdited by H20Fidelity - 1/8/13 at 1:12am