First time post: I have been looking for a great sounding lossless player for audio only. (Video features are fine but I won’t use them.) After spending a couple hours scrubbing through the reviews and threads here I have narrowed my search to these three players. Here is a rundown of the music, headphones and feature requirements to suit my listening habits (I notice that requests for opinions always need to have this info for an appropriate response.)
I audition equipment with these albums:
Jazz (mostly fusion) - John Scofield Still Warm, Blue Matter and Go Go
Classical - Camille Saint-Saens Symphony #3
Electronic/Experimental – Amon Tobin ISAM
On the Road/In the Office: Klipsch X10 - Overall I am extremely satisfied with the sound after a little EQ bass boost
For serious Listening: AKG K702 – A little flat compared to the others but great audio reproduction
Knocking About Town: Beats Pros – A gift that plays well with electronic/experimental music as long as I lower the bass and raise the mids. They aren’t accurate but they are very musical and don’t need to be handled gently. (Please don’t just rage on these. I know the audiophile opinions, they were a gift and are fun to listen to with the appropriate music.)
Features I would like feedback on:
1. Overall SQ impressions for the headphones I have.
2. Can these players drive the AKGs well enough?
3. What size jack does the S:Flo/T51 have? It would be great if they had ¼” for the AKGs.
4. Playlists: I need a player that has a simple playlists feature or a workaround in the case of the T51. Any feedback on how others are doing this with the S:Flo/T51 would be great.
5. FLAC playback is the main driver of my shift from AAC on an iPod nano. If anyone has a recommendation on sources of FLAC or other lossless music files please add them. I need to find a legit source with a wide selection of albums not just the pop stuff on file sharing sites.
From what I have read it seems like all three of these are very good. The Cowon would have an edge in service/support and UI. The Meizu might beat out the Cowon for SQ.
The T51 sounds like it is the best option for me since it seems to get the highest audio SQ remarks. But, is this thing reliable and available? The S:Flo seems to be backordered or waiting for a new lot to arrive. Are there any service/support advantages to going with the rebranded S:Flo over the T51?
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Edited by zerodoug - 3/6/12 at 8:38am