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Is Sansa Clip + really that good?! - Page 5  

post #61 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by kite7 View Post

 

The thing is you may not like a neutral FR. The actual sound quality? Qualities through measurements; distortion can be measured. Dynamics range is SNR; unless your dynamics mean hyped up bass and highs with recession in the midrange. The most dynamic thing is my headphone.

If you look at the measurements for 32 ohms, every graph  for the sansa clip are worse than  the cowon J3, except the flat frequency response. I guess , the gap is even worse when using my 42 ohm headphones.

I disagree, that a V shaped eq will result in increased perceived dynamics, I've never noticed that .  Anyway, this doesn't explain the fact  that I  noticed a better clarity of the cowon s9, when using my srh940 .

 

My conclusion from these graph is the sansa clip have great sq, with a 16 ohm or lower impedance headphone only.

A flat frequency response isn't enough to ensure a better sq.

My cheap sony mdr-xd100  have to my ears almost the same frequency balance, than my hd595 ; however the difference in sq is still obvious.

 

post #62 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post


My conclusion from these graph is the sansa clip have great sq, with a 16 ohm or lower impedance headphone only.


Depends on the driver and crossover configuration too.

 

post #63 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

If you look at the measurements for 32 ohms, every graph  for the sansa clip are worse than  the cowon J3, except the flat frequency response. I guess , the gap is even worse when using my 42 ohm headphones.

I disagree, that a V shaped eq will result in increased perceived dynamics, I've never noticed that .  Anyway, this doesn't explain the fact  that I  noticed a better clarity of the cowon s9, when using my srh940 .

 

My conclusion from these graph is the sansa clip have great sq, with a 16 ohm or lower impedance headphone only.

A flat frequency response isn't enough to ensure a better sq.

My cheap sony mdr-xd100  have to my ears almost the same frequency balance, than my hd595 ; however the difference in sq is still obvious.


Can I see these measurements or graphs?

 

A flat frequency response isn't enough to ensure better sound quality with headphones, because headphones are much more complex. The drivers cannot accelerate anywhere near instantaneously or uniformly, the cups have to manage reflecting sound waves properly, and distortion is much more prevalent. All a portable player has to do, in simplest terms, is reconstruct an analog signal from bits (simpler than it sounds) and increase the amplitude without distortion. There's no real way to add "detail" or anything like that. Any capable portable player these days will reconstruct an accurate signal.

post #64 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


Can I see these measurements or graphs?

 

I was talking of this:

 

For J3 vs Clip+ with 32 ohm load:  http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons/32%20Ohm%20Multi-Armature%20-%20Cowon%20J3%2C%20Sansa%20Clip%2B%2C%20Sony%20A845%2C%20Hifiman%20HM-801.htm
 

 

post #65 of 467

As I expected, RMAA. RMAA is not reliable. If you want, I can PM you a more thorough test of the Clip+ using professional equipment and software. It doesn't compare it to the J3 unfortunately. I think the site has still been banned from general discussion frown.gif

 

One important thing to note about your linked test is the volume. They don't mention the J3's volume, but they explicitly mention the Clip+'s volume is low. Because portable players use digital attenuation for volume, "low" volume is going to greatly reduce dynamic range and volume relative to the noise floor. That's probably why the Clip+ measures considerably worse for dynamic range, noise, and IMD+N, NOT because it's actually worse. The tests may be misleading.

 

You should also note that while the noise during playback has questionable audibility, the J3's bass roll-off probably is audible. And was the 32 ohm load plugged into the J3 the SE535 itself, or just one meant to simulate it? The varying impedance curve of the SE535 could alter the results of the J3 if it wasn't yet tested with it.


Edited by Head Injury - 9/24/11 at 9:39am
post #66 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

As I expected, RMAA. RMAA is not reliable. If you want, I can PM you a more thorough test of the Clip+ using professional equipment and software. It doesn't compare it to the J3 unfortunately. I think the site has still been banned from general discussion frown.gif

 

I'm more interested by a comparison with the cowon s9, since I own one. Why you can't post results here, or a link to the tests  ?

I didn't know that RMAA wasn't reliable , the link was used first to give me the proof that the sansa clip+ have a flat frequency response unlike other mp3 player; and hence it is "better".

But according to a listening test , I disagree (sansa clip+ vs cowon s9, with srh940). I found there's more clarity on cowon s9.

Anyway, this question is moot, because sound from a dedicated soundcard like xonar stx, is much better (compared to either players: sansa clip+, or cowon s9).

From my experiments with the srh940, I would rank sources this way:

realtek onboard sound < sansa clip + < cowon s9 < xonar stx.

In all the sources I've tested, the sansa clip+ was the "darkest" for me, and xonar stx  the "brightest" .


Edited by extrabigmehdi - 9/24/11 at 10:14am
post #67 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

I'm more interested by a comparison with the cowon s9, since I own one. Why you can't post results here, or a link to the tests  ?

I didn't know that RMAA wasn't reliable , the link was used first to give me the proof that the sansa clip+ have a flat frequency response unlike other mp3 player; and hence it is "better".

But according to a listening test , I disagree (sansa clip+ vs cowon s9, with srh940). I found there's more clarity on cowon s9.

Anyway, this question is moot, because sound from a dedicated soundcard like xonar stx, is much better (compared to either players: sansa clip+, or cowon s9).

From my experiments with the srh940, I would rank sources this way:

realtek onboard sound < sansa clip + < cowon s9 < xonar stx.

In all the sources I've tested, the sansa clip+ was the "darkest" for me, and xonar stx  the "brightest" .


The blogger who makes the measurements was banned. Can't discuss him or his measurements beyond his DIY amp the Objective2.

 

A dedicated sound card won't necessarily sound better than a Clip+ actually, as long as the Clip+ is driving the headphones properly. They'll probably measure better, but the Clip+ is close enough to inaudible that the difference should be minimal. The Essence STX, in particular, has a 10.7 ohm output impedance, which is the same thing that causes the wild frequency response graphs of the HM-801 in those measurements you posted. It's going to color the sound of your headphones, and that may be what you're perceiving as "better". The impedance curve of the SRH-940 has a mid-bass hump and starts to increase again around 10kHz, so maybe that's "improving" perceived dynamics and brightness. I don't know what the S9 has for an output impedance.

 

The only difference I've ever heard from a DAC or amp is going from onboard sound to an X-Fi card, from that to a distorted tube-hybrid amp that probably had high output impedance too, and from that amp to the DAC1. All the others changes I've "heard" I wouldn't put past placebo.

post #68 of 467


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


The Essence STX, in particular, has a 10.7 ohm output impedance,

 

Where did you find this information ? Anyways the xonar stx offers different amping depending of your headphone impedance. I used the the "normal gain", which is for headphones up to 62 ohms (if  I  remind well, I  don't have the xonar stx currently with me).
 

Quote:
All the others changes I've "heard" I wouldn't put past placebo.

Well , you've noticed so many changes, not sure how it could be convincing.

 

post #69 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

As I expected, RMAA. RMAA is not reliable.

The Clip+ is good because it measures good. What, the Clip+ didn't measure good? The test must be flawed.

 

rolleyes.gif

post #70 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

Where did you find this information ? Anyways the xonar stx offers different amping depending of your headphone impedance. I used the the "normal gain", which is for headphones up to 62 ohms (if  I  remind well, I  don't have the xonar stx currently with me).

 

Well , you've noticed so many changes, not sure how it could be convincing.


Stereophile measured it. I'm sure ASUS publishes it somewhere.

 

Yes, it has different gain settings. Those don't actually depend on headphone impedance, it's just a way of increasing the volume if needed. They don't change the output impedance of the card, only the amount of voltage available. You can set Highest gain for a low impedance low sensitivity headphone like the HE-6 and you won't damage it or anything. You'll get more distortion and more available volume with higher gain settings, that's about it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loremipsum View Post

The Clip+ is good because it measures good. What, the Clip+ didn't measure good? The test must be flawed.

 

rolleyes.gif


The tests were flawed. If they said the Clip+ is awesome, they'd still be flawed, I probably just wouldn't point it out tongue.gif

post #71 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


 

 You'll get more distortion and more available volume with higher gain settings, that's about it.
 

So what you are saying, is that the  amp of the xonar stx is actually pointless. Well, maybe, I've never noticed an improvement from using it (sometimes , I was even hesitating to say, if it was not worse when using high gain setting).

So what , because of the 10.7 ohm impedance, the xonar stx is coloring sound ? (well I'm not an expert regarding impedance stuff).

I don't think the sound was only brighter out of the xonar stx , but especially more refined.

In fact I would have think that the sound appear as being "brighter" because of being more refined, and not the reverse.

post #72 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post

So what you are saying, is that the  amp of the xonar stx is actually pointless. Well, maybe, I've never noticed an improvement from using it (sometimes , I was even hesitating to say, if it was not worse when using high gain setting).

So what , because of the 10.7 ohm impedance, the xonar stx is coloring sound ? (well I'm not an expert regarding impedance stuff).

I don't think the sound was only brighter out of the xonar stx , but especially more refined.

In fact I would have think that the sound appear as being "brighter" because of being more refined, and not the reverse.


The amp isn't pointless. If your headphones are hard to drive, you'll need the extra volume. For example, I listen fairly quiet so even with the relatively hard-to-drive LCD-2 I'm fine at 40% volume on Normal gain. High impedance headphones require more voltage to reach higher volumes. Even at higher gain settings the distortion of the amp is lower than cheap stuff, say onboard sound or a portable player. So you are getting a cleaner, louder signal with the card's amp than something else, even many other amps. If you don't need more volume, then yes the gain options are pointless. That's what they're there for, volume.

 

There's also the fact that a lot of the card's processing (Dolby Headphone for example) is tied to the headphone jack and won't work with the RCA outs. If you count that, the amp is very useful.

 

Because of the output impedance, the amp delivers less voltage to low impedances than it would if it had low output impedance. Every headphone has a certain impedance curve, which represents the impedance at a given frequency. You can find many, like the SRH-940, at Inner Fidelity. Notice the higher impedance at the mid-bass and high treble. Because of the amp's output impedance, it will deliver more voltage at those higher impedances than at the lower impedances. In other words, it'll be a little louder there. The rule of thumb is that anything more than 1/8th of the headphone's impedance can be audible. Not always, because it depends on the impedance curve's variance. The 940 doesn't vary too much, so it won't be affected badly, but its low average impedance (40 ohms about) is only 4 times higher than the card's output impedance. My LCD-2, for example, has a ruler flat impedance curve like all planar-magnetic headphones. So the only problem I have is reduced voltage. I don't get coloration.

 

It's possible the Clip+ is giving you audible distortion, or you have the volume turned down enough that the noise floor is obscuring details. I'm not sure if the limits of audible THD or IMD have been written in stone.

 

Output impedance is one of the reasons the Clip+ is so great. It doesn't have the best noise or distortion levels (an iPod Touch beats it out slightly in some measurements, but probably not audibly). It has a great, low output impedance though (1 ohm, inaudible with all headphones). That makes it ideal for headphones with widely varying impedances, like balanced armature IEMs.


Edited by Head Injury - 9/24/11 at 11:56am
post #73 of 467
Noob here!

I too am looking for a player of some sort but needs to have wi-fi, expandable memory, and work well with an ibasso d4 and hd25-1 cans!

Any suggestions, currently I am using an old iPhone 3GS but it's only 8gb, seems to work well so far...

I am not re ripping my music and may go either way with lossless or aflac with future rips!

Any advice is greatly appreciated,
post #74 of 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicilian0 View Post

Noob here!

I too am looking for a player of some sort but needs to have wi-fi, expandable memory, and work well with an ibasso d4 and hd25-1 cans!

Any suggestions, currently I am using an old iPhone 3GS but it's only 8gb, seems to work well so far...

I am not re ripping my music and may go either way with lossless or aflac with future rips!

Any advice is greatly appreciated,
 


If you are happy with your iphone 3gs, why change ? I doubt you'd notice tremendous sound quality change by changing your player, however you might get a more pleasing sound if you take time to  play with BBE effects and eq of cowon players. Don't use built in presets, they are not optimized for a particular headphone(and its a matter of tastes too).

I'd suggest the cowon D3, which works with android, but not a fully featured android system according to reviews. And the autonomy is less than the cowon s9

 

 

post #75 of 467

It's the best sub $50 music player you can get if you ask me. The bang for the buck in terms of Rockbox, Micro SD expandability and portability is unmatched.


Is it worth worshipping? Nah, I don't think so but in terms of pure value I don't think you can beat it if you tried.

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