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Review: iHiFi 812 v2 portable player - an interesting "budget high-end" portable - Page 2

post #16 of 89

Well, my 960 has shipped...hope to get it before the end of the week.  Hey Project86, maybe after I have wrung it out a bit I can let you borrow it for a side-by-side "comparo".  I'd like to do the same.

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #17 of 89
Thread Starter 

Not a bad idea. 

post #18 of 89

I would really like to try one of these "audiophile" DAPs and listen for myself if these add anything noticeable over my Clip+ & Headstage Arrow combo. Problem is you can't just pick 'em up since they come from halfway across the world and cost more than your average DAP. Also, is the clumsy formfactor, compared to something as tiny as a Clip or as ergonomic as an iPhone, worth it when taking into account the improved sound quality? 

post #19 of 89

     Quote:

Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

I would really like to try one of these "audiophile" DAPs and listen for myself if these add anything noticeable over my Clip+ & Headstage Arrow combo. Problem is you can't just pick 'em up since they come from halfway across the world and cost more than your average DAP. Also, is the clumsy formfactor, compared to something as tiny as a Clip or as ergonomic as an iPhone, worth it when taking into account the improved sound quality?

Honestly (and I don't think I am alone), I think most people that are most concerned with sound quality look towards "function over form".  It takes a lot of money, time and marketing effort to design some the artsy-fartsy, uber simplistic designs and intuitive interfaces.  On DAPs that will sell in the (maybe) hundereds verses tens-of-thousands, that may be too much money to invest on such a small volume without jacking the price way, way out of reach.  A lot of these DAP makers are engineers, so if it does what they want, they can probably live with the minimalistic interface and clunky (chunky) design (and expect us to also).

 

Portable DAPs are a strange breed.  Who expects audiophile quality sound out of a Clip or even an iPod?  And I wonder if SanDisk ever imagined folks would pair their DAP with a good portable amp in an effort to improve the sound?  The "Audiophile" DAP makers recognize this and try to give us the all-in-one solution we always crave, but the components for the sound quality we want (and with the battery life we demand) don't fit in a tiny package like a Clip or iPod.  It probably won't happen until sound engineers can design a series of "solutions-on-a-chip" that would satisfy even the most critical listeners.

 

Sorry for rambling...  All the above is IMHO and of course, YMMV!wink_face.gif

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends


Edited by HK_sends - 10/30/12 at 12:40pm
post #20 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

I would really like to try one of these "audiophile" DAPs and listen for myself if these add anything noticeable over my Clip+ & Headstage Arrow combo. Problem is you can't just pick 'em up since they come from halfway across the world and cost more than your average DAP. Also, is the clumsy formfactor, compared to something as tiny as a Clip or as ergonomic as an iPhone, worth it when taking into account the improved sound quality? 

 

"Worth it" is a relative thing - for some it will be, for others it won't. I went through a long phase of always carrying a bulky iMod/largish portable amp. Then for a while I was all about the Clip+ or Fuze by itself. Now I'm sort of split between various units, sometimes large and sometimes small. 

 

It would be nice to be able to try these things out. That's the advantage of the HiFiMAN units - buy from a place like Crutchfield and return if you aren't satisfied.

 

Btw I replied to your PM. 

post #21 of 89
Thread Starter 

So I've decided to try out the higher end iHiFi960 as well, and will keep whichever model I like most. The 960 appeals to me because it has digital out, and I sheepishly admit I like the look of it more. We'll see how it sounds in comparison. 

 

One thing I'm not sure about is the coaxial SPDIF output. It appears to be a 3.5mm headphone jack. So is the Toslink jack, but that's common (some Macs have integrated headphone/optical jacks) and all it takes is an adapter or the right cable to connect to an optical input on a DAC. The coax is something I've never seen before so I'm not sure what to make of it. 

post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

So I've decided to try out the higher end iHiFi960 as well, and will keep whichever model I like most. The 960 appeals to me because it has digital out, and I sheepishly admit I like the look of it more. We'll see how it sounds in comparison. 

 

One thing I'm not sure about is the coaxial SPDIF output. It appears to be a 3.5mm headphone jack. So is the Toslink jack, but that's common (some Macs have integrated headphone/optical jacks) and all it takes is an adapter or the right cable to connect to an optical input on a DAC. The coax is something I've never seen before so I'm not sure what to make of it. 

Mini-to-RCA adapter is included.  The adapter has a left and a right female RCA plug (so it can support the analog line out).  For digital coax SPDIF, the instructions say to connect the SPDIF cable to the right (red) RCA plug.  Then again, you could always get a mono mini-to-single RCA adapter for your coax connector.

 

 

700700

 

Hope this helps...

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #23 of 89

project86, thank you for the detailed and intriguing review.. i enjoyed it much

 

talking about unfamous chinese portable player wink.gif, i tend to compare them to a much higher price rival within similar function such as DX100 and HM801

 

I know you said you haven't pulled the trigger on DX100, but maybe you have listened to it. So, how do you think 812 v2/960 fare against those players?

 

Thanks in advance smily_headphones1.gif

post #24 of 89

Should i pull trigger for this one? Too bad i cant listen music with that DAP before buying it..

Just wondering will the sound be 200€uros better than clip+ with amp :D..

 

And im interested to see comparison to those higher priced rivals aswell :)

 

Thanks for the review!

post #25 of 89
the 960 seems far too big and clunky to buy to use the digital out and the compulsive ASRC is a turn off for that application as well. you would hope for some significant other upgrades over the 812 for that much extra dollars, the pins and most parts for the digital out are already there so that doesnt justify it.
Edited by qusp - 11/15/12 at 4:40am
post #26 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HK_sends View Post

Mini-to-RCA adapter is included.  The adapter has a left and a right female RCA plug (so it can support the analog line out).  For digital coax SPDIF, the instructions say to connect the SPDIF cable to the right (red) RCA plug.  Then again, you could always get a mono mini-to-single RCA adapter for your coax connector.

 

 

 

 

Hope this helps...

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

 

It does! Thanks for clarifying.

 

The goal that I'm leaning towards is to have a transport capable of pairing with the Unique Melody Platform Pure 6 via digital connection. It's unfortunate that there isn't a small transport-only unit that I can use, since I won't be needing the onboard DAC or amp. But there isn't. And I can't be sure if the PP6 will pair with my Android phone over USB, so the 960 is the closest thing to perfect that I can find.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_djoel2000 View Post

project86, thank you for the detailed and intriguing review.. i enjoyed it much

 

talking about unfamous chinese portable player wink.gif, i tend to compare them to a much higher price rival within similar function such as DX100 and HM801

 

I know you said you haven't pulled the trigger on DX100, but maybe you have listened to it. So, how do you think 812 v2/960 fare against those players?

 

Thanks in advance smily_headphones1.gif

 

I only briefly got to play with a DX100 and couldn't form any meaningful impressions based on that. Sorry. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post

the 960 seems far too big and clunky to buy to use the digital out and the compulsive ASRC is a turn off for that application as well. you would hope for some significant other upgrades over the 812 for that much extra dollars, the pins and most parts for the digital out are already there so that doesnt justify it.

 

That's true. I do wish the ASRC was defeatable, and I'd also like support for 24/96 material - I don't see any technical reason for holding it back from that. Maybe the Rockchip processor is the bottleneck?

 

Then again, big and clunky is relative - the 960 is svelte compared to the QLS QA350. So absent any alternative, I will give it a try. 

post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

It does! Thanks for clarifying.

 

The goal that I'm leaning towards is to have a transport capable of pairing with the Unique Melody Platform Pure 6 via digital connection. It's unfortunate that there isn't a small transport-only unit that I can use, since I won't be needing the onboard DAC or amp. But there isn't. And I can't be sure if the PP6 will pair with my Android phone over USB, so the 960 is the closest thing to perfect that I can find.

*snip*

It's not been mentioned in the US, but in Chinese circles the Little Dot DP_II is making the rounds.  It is a digital transport only with no DAC or amp.  I don't know if they plan on selling it in the States, but if they do, I hope the firmware is more refined than the DP_I (which I have).  The DP_I's firmware was "half-baked" and buggy and let the little DAP down (The 960 needs a bit o' polishing as well).  But I would be interested in a pure transport myself so I could tailor my DAC and amp to my taste.

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #28 of 89
Thread Starter 

I'll look into that. From dealing with the Little Dot CD transport and seeing impressions of their DP_I I'm not necessarily holding out hope. But you never know. I'm not even really opposed to having all the extras - it's just that you pay for them, and I won't really need them. I could always go DX100 but that's a lot of money for things I'm not using. 

 

I'm going to try my Meizu MX 4-core with an OTG cable and see if I can connect to the PP6 for digital out. That way I could play hi-res material if I want. We'll see.

 

I'm also curious what the 960 does with the digital output - is it post ASRC, or native sample rate? A quick connection to one of my DACs that displays that info will tell the tale. 

post #29 of 89
Thread Starter 

Minor update - I had a chance to compare the 812V2 to a NAD C545BEE the other day. Both feeding into a nice little system consisting of a Rogue Audio pre and some active Dynaudio monitors. The system owner is upgrading his digital source and the NAD is just a backup player, but I found it to be pretty nice for a $499 unit. 

 

I plugged in the 812 just to see how they stack up, and was impressed that it matched or surpassed the NAD in almost all areas. We could switch back and forth on the fly and spent some time getting to know the ins and outs of each source. The NAD was possibly better in terms of deep bass extension, but the 812 wasn't far behind, and had a noticeably wider soundstage presentation. The 812 uses the same WM8740 as the C545BEE but also has ASRC which doesn't show up in the NAD units until you move one step higher to the C565BEE (which adds dual differential DACs, digital inputs, and other goodies, so is probably worth springing for if you like NAD). 

 

I can't use this single example as a catch-all for how well the 812 performs, and I note that NAD has moved on the the newer C546 model which has some improvements. Even so, it indicates to me that the 812 is at least as good as entry level CD players from quality brands. 

 

In other news, I ordered the 960 so it should be coming in the next week or two. I'm interested in hearing how different it sounds. 

post #30 of 89
Great, I'm considering the 960 also.
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