I own an RE-0 and I have to say the Clip Zip disappoints me. I used a unrooted, un-Voodoo'ed Nexus S as comparison.
Yes, the Clip Zip is more neutral and clear, and I appreciate that. But the Zip just sounds all squished together.
Vocals and instruments? Squished. They are more distinct in the Nexus S (is this what's called "separation"?).
Soundstage? Squished. Definitely better in the Nexus S. I find that the left and the right tend to "agree" too much on the Zip.
One note and the next? Well I wouldn't say squished but I find my Nexus S to have more..... space? rest? staccato?... between one note and the next. The Zip sounds.. micro-echo-y? Don't really know how to describe this, sorry.
My Nexus S just has more... grandeur? You know how if you turn your volume up gradually from a low level, the sound will at some point "bloom"? Like it's not just the volume that's increasing but it just gets better (and it's not a gradual thing, it's pretty distinct)? Yeah, I kept increasing the volume on my Clip Zip but it never gets as "bloomy" as my Nexus S.
All in all I wouldn't say Clip (Zip) is a bad player; it's a good one, especially for the price. But coming from a phone, I expected the Zip to be better sounding, what with all the hype.
I'm desperately hoping for suggestions here: will Rockbox help? (They say the SQ doesn't really increase, so.. meh.) Will buying a Fiio E11 or a Hippo Cricri help? Thanks before.
Edited by treblehead - 1/31/13 at 11:29pm