I'd like to upgrade my Ipod Classic to a high quality player so that i could listen to my flac collection in the best conditions. I did some research on different forums and came up with 4 different choices:
- HisoundAudio RoCoo D
- Hifiman HM 601
- Rockboxed Ipod Video (with the Wolfson chip) + Fiio E11
- Cowon J3 or maybe the new Z2
I listen to mostly jazz and classical (70 %) but i'm also keen on other genres like rap and folk (mp3 files for the most). I'd like to enjoy my music as if I was in the concert hall (at least a close experience) so I need a very good soundstage (in width and depth) and a good clarity. I'm also hesitating between getting top tier IEM's (Westone 4 I think) or full size headphones (Beyerdynamic or Hifiman maybe), knowing that the last ones could give me a better listening experience but are confined to home listening. The last thing that I have to keep in mind is that i'm using a macbook so i need a compatibility (at least drag and drop) between the player and my computer. I've heard that there were some issues with the hm 601 and macbooks so if you have any experience to share...
I want the best sound quality and usability is just bonus so if the cowon and ipod don't come close to the others in terms of SQ then i won't be so interested in these options.
If you have any other advice, please feel free to share.