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(Audio) Samsung Galaxy S3 against the Walkman NW-Z1000

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Caution: Review should be taken with a pinch of salt. They are solely based on my ears with my customs.

 

 

Introduction

 
Hi guys, I have never thought of comparing the audio capabilities of a cellphone against a dedicated audio player ever in my life. It has been always the mobile line trying very hard to market its audio capabilities when it actually fails in the end.
 
Technology has probably closen up the gap between the two. The S3 is equipped with a wolfson WM1811, a sound chip which has gained some recognition in the audiophile world. Implementation of the chip might be different but this is by far the furthest a cellphone could achieve.
 
Why against he NW-Z1000? It is actually an audio player that i have owned for quite some time and my preferred choice amongst the other mainstream players out there. And is it too early for me to judge the audio capabilities of the S3? Well I have listened long enough to draw my own conclusions and I do not believe in 'burning in ' anyway.
 
 
 
Initial Impressions (compared against the walkman)
 
 
Source: Galaxy S3, Sony NWZ-1070 (64gb) / Standard MP3 320KBPS / FLAC compression level 4-5
 
Player: Poweramp (All EQs/ Volume Adjustments disabled)
IEMs: Heir Audio 8.A, Senns CX400
 
 
 
Part1:Default Audio Player & Sound
 
+ Default samsung audio player is much user friendly than the one that came with the walkman. UI is idiot proof and creating playlist is a breeze.
 
+ Supports FLAC (other codecs lossless codecs not yet tested). Not stated in the specifications (i guess samsung wanted to surprise us). For sony, I had to rely on poweramp to play my FLACs.
 
+ 7 band Custom EQ compared with Sony's 5.
 
+ Impressive and one of the most natural sounding audio quality i ever hear from a phone. It even surpasses some of the dedicated mp3 players out there. Sound is not 'digitalized' and frequencies are not overemphasized (sorry HTC).
 
+ Soundstage and Instrument Seperation are on par with the walkman. In fact they are so similar that i cant find any difference no matter how nitpicky i tried to be.
 
 
 
- Some frequencies lack 'depth' (or what you guys perceive as 'extention'?) compared to the walkman. Cymbals do not reverberate and resonate the way it is meant to be. I believe the highs are the main victim here. If you are an audiophile who listens to alot of rock and heavy instruments, this may be an issue. Apparently it does not affect my listening experience with piano solos and even dance tracks.
 
- Stereo Imaging slightly inferior to the walkman. Certain parts of the songs could sound flat at times.
 
However the two factors above are only apparent to audio and tone sensitive listeners. In fact i played songs that i am very very familiar with or songs that i could actually play on the instrument itself and hence it wasnt a problem for me to pick up the most subtle of details and the sound decay of the instruments. Conduct a blind test to the general consumer and rest assured i doubt they are able to spot the difference :)
 
 
Part 2: Others
 
These are bonus factors that allow the S3 to be the upperdog. This may be your dealbreaker.
 
+ Potential memory surpasses the walkman. The S3 is equipped with 16GB default (11gb available + 64gb micro sd slot = 75 gb). Pictures and videos can be stored in the 50gb dropbox (free & exclusive to only S3). 75gb + 50gb = a whopping 125gb for your media. More good news.. the 32GB/64GB variant might be out in some regions anytime soon.
 
+ Very pocketable unlike the walkman. It makes a hell lot of difference to have an all in one player.
 
+ Promising setup with the upcoming samsung audio dock DA-E750 (world's first audio dock with vacuum tube amp + lossless bluetooth streaming)
 
+ Excellent screen quality and its ability to handle full hd videos make it a better video player than the walkman. 
 
 
- Drains battery life alot (you'll definitely need to prepare some spare batts). I have not conducted a proper battery test but it does consume alot of power when handling lossless audio files as compared to surfing the net or even making phone calls.
 
- The Walkman drives phones far more easily than the S3. Had to squeeze to 3/4 vol with my S3. A definitely no go for headphones.
 
- No dedicated portable dac for android players (apple has fostex)
 
 
Conclusion
 
The S3 might be your choice if you believe the points listed in part 2 are able to supersede some of the audio imperfections. The S3 is not perfect by all means but it does deserve some recognition as an audio player. It definitely brings shame to manufacturers who try to market their phones as 'audio grade'.
post #2 of 30

Good Job. I haven't heard the SONY yet, but I think it compares pretty well with Clip+ with default player.

 

 

I just can't wait for voodoo : )

post #3 of 30

I went from a Sony X1060 to a Galaxy Note.

The Note is okay; it has good tonality, no accent on frequencies and decent details; but the X1060 was superior in spatiality, tonality etc. in short, the X1060 was sound quality wise the better player, but the Note is good enough to enjoy music on public transportation etc. and that's were I use it.

And since the Note is a fantastic ereader (I prefer it to the Sony Pocketreader I had before) and a very good GPS the Note is my all purposes travel mate.

no doubt the S3betters the Note in some aspect, probalby SQ, but that reading thing is very high on my priorites list and for that the Note screens is better; bigger and especially wider (800 instead of 720 pixels).

post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post

I went from a Sony X1060 to a Galaxy Note.

The Note is okay; it has good tonality, no accent on frequencies and decent details; but the X1060 was superior in spatiality, tonality etc. in short, the X1060 was sound quality wise the better player, but the Note is good enough to enjoy music on public transportation etc. and that's were I use it.

And since the Note is a fantastic ereader (I prefer it to the Sony Pocketreader I had before) and a very good GPS the Note is my all purposes travel mate.

no doubt the S3betters the Note in some aspect, probalby SQ, but that reading thing is very high on my priorites list and for that the Note screens is better; bigger and especially wider (800 instead of 720 pixels).


Your post is really interesting. Since i've considered a few times ditching my iPhone for a Note in order to improve my reading experience. I'm into the phoneblet concept and the Note is the only one that fits that bill. Thus a couple of questions?

 

Do you have volume problems without Supercurio Louder ? Does battery cope well with reading and listening music at the same time?

 

Thanks and sorry for the OT.

post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfary View Post


Your post is really interesting. Since i've considered a few times ditching my iPhone for a Note in order to improve my reading experience. I'm into the phoneblet concept and the Note is the only one that fits that bill. Thus a couple of questions?

Do you have volume problems without Supercurio Louder ? Does battery cope well with reading and listening music at the same time?

Thanks and sorry for the OT.

I went from a 4S to a Note to a S3. The S3 is a much better device than both. Makes the Note feel ancient. But it you really want a bigger screen, then the Note is by far the only option.
post #6 of 30
Wait, there's a 64gb Sony Z Series player?!?!?! Oh man,...that would sell me on it!!!
post #7 of 30

@gavinfbl Thanks for the input.

 

I'm afraid i need to assess my priorities since my fear is ending up carrying two devices if the Note and the S3 can not meet my sound quality standards forcing me to carry around my 7G+iBasso T3 that now  just doubles as a desktop rig.

 

I guess that you can't have it all.

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nywytboy68 View Post

Wait, there's a 64gb Sony Z Series player?!?!?! Oh man,...that would sell me on it!!!

 

Yeah but sadly it is only available in Japan

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by underhysteria View Post

 

Yeah but sadly it is only available in Japan

Arrgghh!!! Why Sony, WHY!?!?!?

 

OK, thanks for the quick response. Sony is strange indeed,... :-/

 

If anyone decides to sell in the future please keep me in mind.

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nywytboy68 View Post

Arrgghh!!! Why Sony, WHY!?!?!?

 

OK, thanks for the quick response. Sony is strange indeed,... :-/

 

If anyone decides to sell in the future please keep me in mind.

 

I happened to be selling mine. Bought it closed to 600 bucks directly from japan beyersmile.png

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/612858/sony-walkman-nw-z1070-64gb-blue

post #11 of 30

Samsung has fallen the iphone kingdom R.I.P apple smart phones :P

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by XxDobermanxX View Post

Samsung has fallen the iphone kingdom R.I.P apple smart phones :P

Umm, what???
Quote:
Originally Posted by underhysteria View Post

I happened to be selling mine. Bought it closed to 600 bucks directly from japan beyersmile.png

http://www.head-fi.org/t/612858/sony-walkman-nw-z1070-64gb-blue

Rats!!! I gotta pass,...I got a call from the auto mechanic - I'm out too much to buy this,...damn!!! Thanks for the heads up though. cool.gif
post #13 of 30

i guess we'll have to wait for Supercurio's Voodoo port for S3

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfary View Post


Your post is really interesting. Since i've considered a few times ditching my iPhone for a Note in order to improve my reading experience. I'm into the phoneblet concept and the Note is the only one that fits that bill. Thus a couple of questions?

 

Do you have volume problems without Supercurio Louder ? Does battery cope well with reading and listening music at the same time?

 

Thanks and sorry for the OT.


Hi, no problems at all with the volume; into my Ety HF5 the slider is usually under 1/3, no Louder.

Battery life is not a big problem; listening and reading for 2 hours a day and doing other stuff with it I easily can get 2 full days.

It probably depend on your reader settings; it is an Amoled screen so white letters on a black background uses less juice then the other way around. (btw Manatano is a great reading app).

The screen size, especially the extra width is the reason I stay with the Note; if I weren't a fanatic reader I would probably switch to the S3.

post #15 of 30

I have the Sony NWZ-X1060 also and recently purchased the new Sony Xperia S smartphone. The Xperia S is considered by some to be a very good music player and indeed it is. However, it doesn't compare to the quality of the X series walkman. I'm a fan of rock music and I feel the S doesn't separate the instruments as well as the Walkman does. Highs are also better on the X. All in all the Xperia S is a good quality player but in no way compares to the 3yr old Walkman X series in my opinion.  

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