My take on YOT's post is that they have the same gain and the N3 is more neutral and better for those looking at a more audiophile sound.
I got my N3. It just sounds and works amazingly well with wav. That's actually fine with me but I think they'll need to get the FLAC sorted, at least on the N3 model.
It's very nicely textured, harmonic and even sounding. Perhaps a bit on the smooth side of things yet dynamics aren't lacking. It's not as solid as a 3rd anniversary nor gets as musically black but it also never sounds analytical while always very open and engaging. Not a weighty bass but a well defined one. While VERY textured, it doesn't sound to have any high frequency emphasis. It's just a VG player at making music. The FLAC bug is clear and there's a bit too much background noise for listening to FLAC right now. It's not a hiss but a constant brrr sort of thin that is more intrusive. If they can sort the FLAC thing it will be a force. Personally, it's not that big a deal to me as I maintain a wav library etc. but it would help their market share and those that are FLAC only users to experience a great little device. Oh and it's really good with MP3s. Haven't tried WMA.
I think HiSound calls it lush, smooth and extended with superior resolution and large soundstage. It isn't just hype. In this case, lush would mean harmonically so instead of added bass warmth. They include a sound effects MP3 that is an absolute blast to hear. Things travel from a city block away on one side through your head to another block on the other and it's just sound so focused and clearly positioned. LOL Nothing to do with music but great fun.
Of course you need to accept the typical Chinese player tag sorting stuff on FLAC and WAV but it's certainly not unique there. Other than getting back to the play page quickly the menu and nav is actually pretty good. I'll add or do a formal review when they've done a FW update or 2 but honestly, while I'd like some of the niggles sorted, I find it more than fine as is.
Edited by goodvibes - 2/19/13 at 8:05am