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Looking for a new portable source (DAP / Smartphone)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've been looking for the past few days/weeks (had my eyes set on the Z1060/F806, but couldn't find anything about it's SQ with custom in-ears. Using Westone ES3X) but currently in a dilemma as my phone (Samsung Stratosphere) basically just died in a fall. The phone's screen is now currently purple, as if something had broke and began to leak in the fall (it worsened over time, starting at the corner and now the whole screen is covered, getting darker / more illegible every hour).

 

So basically, the Z1060 was supposed to be a Christmas gift but now I can either choose a phone as my Christmas gift or I can buy an older phone with my own money (as a replacement as my upgrade is in 10 months) and get a DAP as my gift.

 

Budget is $300~$400 (less is better)

 

If I were to go with the former, what would be the best smartphone? Sound quality is #1 for the criteria, and #2 is probably responsiveness, but that's probably not much of a problem nowadays (the Stratosphere pissed me off with its ~376mb usable RAM, which always remained in the 60~100mb range making it ridiculously sluggish) The choices I've had in mind (in no particular order) are:

  • Galaxy Nexus
  • iPhone 4/4S
  • any other suggestions for smartphones? I've been confused with which sounds the best (to most people) also I use Verizon.

 

If i were to go with the latter (DAP as a gift), UI is probably #1, #2 being sound quality. #3 battery life. I would probably HATE the interface of the Clip+, the RoCoos, and the others. Choices are:

  • Sony Z1060 / F806 (any sound difference / major differences in general?)
  • Samsung Galaxy S Player (4.0?)
  • iPod Classic? (no 32GB nano..)
  • others? Haven't looked at many that don't have a good UI (I grew up on iPods, so I am a fan of more intuitive UIs)

 

Also they must be either expandable or must contain 32GB of storage (more is always better :). Library is quickly expanding). I will NOT be carrying around bricks. Did not enjoy carrying even the E11 around.

 

Any help is MUCH appreciated as my phone is almost literally unusable. I have to drag texts up ~1/2 of the screen just to read it, only to bounce back down after I let go. Navigating through PlayerPro is also now hell.

 

Also do note that the Samsung Stratosphere had quite an amount of hiss (including lining out to car systems) and this annoyingly periodic cracking sound (about every 1~2 seconds), despite being a Galaxy S phone with a Wolfson DAC.

 

My preferred/main genres are: trance, then basically anything hard/heavy/dancy like electro, electro-house, trance-house, dubstep, electro/dubstep, etc.


Edited by AyeVeeN - 10/8/12 at 5:43pm
post #2 of 5

I just upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I am very happy with the sound quality. I had a Droid Incredible II before that and the quality was terrible! You could actually hear an audible hiss if you paused the music and listened to nothing. Neither device still beats my Cowon iAudio 7, but they're phones and I don't expect much. I listen to them solely with Sennheiser IE8 IEMs.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayDriver View Post

I just upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I am very happy with the sound quality. I had a Droid Incredible II before that and the quality was terrible! You could actually hear an audible hiss if you paused the music and listened to nothing. Neither device still beats my Cowon iAudio 7, but they're phones and I don't expect much. I listen to them solely with Sennheiser IE8 IEMs.

 

There's no hiss with the GNex? My Stratosphere had the same hissing problem with a Wolfson WM8994 + Voodoo Sound. Just read the GNex has a TI DAC too.. interesting.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeVeeN View Post

 

There's no hiss with the GNex? My Stratosphere had the same hissing problem with a Wolfson WM8994 + Voodoo Sound. Just read the GNex has a TI DAC too.. interesting.

 

So far I haven't heard any issue. That's not exactly scientific though...hopefully someone more knowledgeable can chime in with actual tech stats regarding frequency range and signal to noise ratios...etc...

post #5 of 5
I have no experience with a Galaxy Nexus personally on the audio front, but what I've heard about is that it is a pretty acceptable, if not good audio player on the clarity front. However the frequency response apparently tapers off sharply at the high range, which I do not like to see.

That said, I've been looking around for a cheap Galnex myself to tinker with (especially since open webOS is being ported to it).

Out of the phones listed there, the iPhone 4 is generally accepted as the market leader in audio output. The Samsung Galaxy SIII also has a Wolfson DAC which, in my experience is a joy to listen to.
On the other hand, look for phones containing the Snapdragon S4 SoC. The S4 SoC has a pretty capable DAC, and in my experience most of the S4 phones I've tried sound pretty good.


Out of the DAPs you listed there, I am not fond of the audio output of the Galaxy Player, but it IS expandable and TouchWiz is a fairly user friendly Android build (some would say because of all the cues it takes from Apple). The iPod Touch will be as friendly to you as ever, but if sound quality is your priority, the Walkman Z1060/Z1070 and F806/F807 should be your first choice. I just A/B'd them yesterday at the store and couldn't pick up any major discernible difference, but they were way ahead of any of my other audio devices on hand (iPod Classic, Galaxy SII), sans my older 2009 Walkman. They're mostly user friendly on the interface side, but there is a learning curve. However, it is still Android and the general interface will be familiar, although you have to learn the tricks and quirks of Sony's own applications.
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