This morning I picked up a Cowon J3 and I'm a bit disappointed. With my ER-4Ps does it sound better than my Nano? Yes. Better than my Droid? Yes. better than my X-fi Titanium HD? No. Also doesn't sound as good as the headphone amp in my Cairn 4808A but that's quite a bit more expensive. The sound is detailed but gets a bit harsh at the top, is distorting high frequencies a bit, and is lacking the punch of the x-fi. I don't mean volume. The J3 gets as loud as I'd like it but the sound is flat. I don't really know how to describe it but it somehow is lacking in the excitement category. Maybe I'm going a little crazy.
I thought that for $190 after tax it would be able to compete with a sound card that cost me less, but alas. With all the crazy good things I read about the J3 maybe I was expecting too much from a small portable device. Since the J3 doesn't have a line out I'm thinking about returning it for a player with a line out and pick up an amp. Would a Fuze with a $100 amp be an improvement?
Edited by mrip541 - 9/1/11 at 12:36pm