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iPod Touch (5th generation), Samsung Galaxy S3? Which product should I purchase? (First Post!)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Greetings everyone!

 

Since this is my first post, I think I should give a brief introduction about myself and how I got here. I started visiting this site about a year ago when I was searching for a good audiophile grade IEM. Since it was going to be my first set, I did some research and ended up in this site. After a few hours of scouring through the forums, I narrowed down my choices between two IEMs; the Westone UM3x and the Westone 4R.

 

I ended up buying the Westone UM3x since it's supposedly known as the "Jazz Master". I listen mainly to Jazz, so I made the logical conclusion and bought it. Also, I liked the translucent thing going on the earpieces. The Westone 4R didn't really look attractive in my opinion. So, After visiting the site daily for a year straight, I decided to create an account so I can ask questions that people haven't asked yet. Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute to the community sooner or later.

 

 

Now onto the point of this thread!

 

I need some opinions regarding which product I should pick from the products mentioned in the title. 

 

 

I'll mainly be using my device for :

 

- Music listening (320kpbs, I don't really use lossless)

 

- Video playback (the files I usually use are mkv and mp4)

 

- Internet browsing

 

- Email

 

- Reading manga (Using the Mango app from the Google Play Store. I am not sure if the App Store has something similar.)

 

 

 

Now onto what I think are some advantages over each device!

 

The S3's advantages over the iPod Touch :

 

- It's an Android. Android in my opinion has much more freedom and customizability over iOS.

 

- I can replace the battery.

 

- It has an SD card slot.

 

- It is a phone, so I can use it as an extra means for communication just in case something happens to my S2.

 

- Dat screen size.

 

 

The iPod Touch's advantages over the S3 :

 

- It's sexier than the S3.

 

- App Store has more variety and choices over the Google Play Store in my opinion.

 

- It has Siri. (A minor plus, I don't really find it ground breaking, but it's useful once in a while)

 

- Build quality is superior over the S3. Again, my opinion.

 

- Battery life is supposedly excellent, but I can't confirm this since I have insufficient information.

 

 

Regarding Value :

 

I put this little category here because in the place I am currently in right now, prices are crazy. They're sometimes cheaper than U.S. prices, but usually more expensive. Here is the cheapest trusted retail price I could possibly find for the S3.

 

S3 : Around $500 for the 16GB version. 32 and 64GB versions are unfortunately unavailable in my area, but a 64GB SD card can easily fix that.

 

 

Now this is where it gets crazy, these are the prices you can find in an official Apple Store.

 

iPod Touch : 32GB - Around $400 / 64GB - Around $500

 

Here are the prices you can find if you dive into the depths of the malls around my area.

 

32GB - Around $340 / 64GB - Around $440

 

Note, the retailers of the cheaper prices are legit. They realized that overpricing Apple products ain't a good way to get more profit is what they said to me. Ironically, the prices are still outrageous.

 

 

So, which product would I get more value out of based on the said prices above?

 

 

 

I have some questions that weren't really answered when I researched online, so I think it is a good idea to ask them here.

 

 

Some questions :

 

- Which device has better sound quality overall? I heard that the S3 features a Wolfson chip for the international retail version, but how can i confirm if it is that variant? I'll mainly be using my Westone UM3x unamped by the way.

 

- Between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPod touch, which camera is better?

 

- Can the iPod Touch support the mkv video format and subtitle files from anime? I watch a ton of anime on my Samsung Galaxy S2 using an app called "MX Player". When I used the stock video on my S2, it says that my file does not have any subtitles, which sucks because I can't understand Japanese. The app supports mkv files and H/W and S/W codec. Does the App Store have a similar app?

 

- Which device has longer battery life?

 

- What is this "Voodoo" thing you speak of? Does it really make sound quality better? Does it require root? Also, Is there something like this for Apple products?

 

- Does the S3 heat up a lot? I have had many bad experiences with my S2 regarding heat issues. Whenever I go out somewhere hot and humid like the beach, the bloody thing ends up being cooked in my pocket and burns through my jeans! Also, whenever I play a game or watch a video for a long time under hot weather, the device gets really hot and is a pain to hold! Does the S3 have the same issue?

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and hopefully replying to my questions! 

post #2 of 14

First off, you're comparing a full-on phone with a WiFi-only device -- that alone pushes me hard to the S III. Not to mention the S III one of the most desired and well supported Android devices out there.

 

The international version is the I9300. Wikipedia has a magic decoder ring for the S III devices. Depending on your carrier is which ones will work with their network and at what speeds. To the best of my knowledge, they all use the Wolfson chip.

 

I'm surprised you consider the build that much better on the iPod. There are rumors that the the iPhone and the Galaxy S 4G share build components. Of course, nobody will confirm anything with that and Apple did sucessfully sue Samsung and stop US sales of the SGS4G.

 

Any of the current-generation phones will heat up when running them hard, even more if you are trying to charge at the same time. It's the nature of electronics and their physics.

 

"Voodoo" is the name that one developer uses for for a series of driver hacks to the Android system. Voodoo Sound modifies the Wolfson drivers and audio chain to permit DAC-direct output, 120x oversamapling, and audio-stage gain control. Root is required, but then again, if you're serious about Android you probably want to get off the "stock" ROM pretty quickly and onto something iike CyanogenMod. Gaining root is basically trivial on most Galaxy-series phones. Many ROMs based on AOSP or CyanogenMod come with DSP Manager, which, with a properly compiled kernel, see the Wolfson chip directly (no Voodoo needed).

 

For media flexibility, getting out of Apple's world still opens up more possibilities.

 

FWIW, Amazon is selling SanDisk 64 GB Class 10 / UHX1  microSD cards for not much over $50 these days, and they are still coming down. 

post #3 of 14

Having a Wolfson dac doesn't automatically make any device sound better imho... I haven't compared the S3 vs the latest iTouch, but I've heard the old iPods with Wolfson and the new ones using Cirrus? and I can't say there is much of a difference using the hpo or even the LOD. Its more of a package thing... the audio path out plays a part, as does the quality of the materials used in the path.

 

Anyway, if you need a phone, get the S3... if you want a music player that has a couple of hundred thousand apps at your disposal should you require them, then get the iTouch :) The advantage that the iTouch has over the S3, is the availability of aftermarket LODs, Amps, and even DACs (like the CLAS and Fostex), should you ever want to upgrade your source without replacing it completely... like I'm doing now by getting the Fostex~

post #4 of 14

I agree that one component doesn't "make" the sound. It can kill it, but just because you have a "SuperFab UltraDAC2000" doesn't mean that you'll have the sound that other devices are providing with the same chip. My experience with early CD players made it very clear that there were more problems in the power supply and audio buffers (even past the horrors of anti-alias filtering in the days of 44 kHz or 88 kHz DAC clocks) than there were past getting the "crown" versions of the best DACs we could at the time. 

 

One thing to add is that the S III should support USB OTG and I believe that there are some threads here about using an external DAC with Samsung phones through USB OTG. I'm working on getting the drivers into my SGS4G kernel, so I can't comment more than suggesting that you take a look at those threads. 

 

Edit  -- here is one thread on Android and USB DACs that may be of interest

 

And here is a thread on the Galaxy S3 itself.


Edited by jeffsf - 11/14/12 at 10:21am
post #5 of 14

[omitted]


Edited by Willpower - 11/14/12 at 10:28am
post #6 of 14

I use the PlayerPro DSP Pack and have utilized the 15-band EQ to it's fullest.  Would that provide an improvement in sound quality that's at least equivalent to rooting the device&adding Voodoo or something?

 

Btw, call me a noob but I didn't understand much of the jargon the jeffsf used in his first post.  Are you saying that you are able to gain the benefits of rooted musical quality, without rooting your device? If so, could you explain how to do so (in layman's terms)?

For instance, I couldn't really comprehend: "Many ROMs based on AOSP or CyanogenMod come with DSP Manager, which, with a properly compiled kernel, see the Wolfson chip directly (no Voodoo needed)."

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffsf View Post

First off, you're comparing a full-on phone with a WiFi-only device -- that alone pushes me hard to the S III. Not to mention the S III one of the most desired and well supported Android devices out there.

 

The international version is the I9300. Wikipedia has a magic decoder ring for the S III devices. Depending on your carrier is which ones will work with their network and at what speeds. To the best of my knowledge, they all use the Wolfson chip.

 

I'm surprised you consider the build that much better on the iPod. There are rumors that the the iPhone and the Galaxy S 4G share build components. Of course, nobody will confirm anything with that and Apple did sucessfully sue Samsung and stop US sales of the SGS4G.

 

Any of the current-generation phones will heat up when running them hard, even more if you are trying to charge at the same time. It's the nature of electronics and their physics.

 

"Voodoo" is the name that one developer uses for for a series of driver hacks to the Android system. Voodoo Sound modifies the Wolfson drivers and audio chain to permit DAC-direct output, 120x oversamapling, and audio-stage gain control. Root is required, but then again, if you're serious about Android you probably want to get off the "stock" ROM pretty quickly and onto something iike CyanogenMod. Gaining root is basically trivial on most Galaxy-series phones. Many ROMs based on AOSP or CyanogenMod come with DSP Manager, which, with a properly compiled kernel, see the Wolfson chip directly (no Voodoo needed).

 

For media flexibility, getting out of Apple's world still opens up more possibilities.

 

FWIW, Amazon is selling SanDisk 64 GB Class 10 / UHX1  microSD cards for not much over $50 these days, and they are still coming down. 

Thank you for the very informative reply. I think I'm leaning more onto the S3 now. I've heard about root; and I attempted rooting my S2, but chickened out because it was still new back then and I didn't want to devoid my warranty. But now, I think I'll try rooting my S2. Is the process difficult by any means? And if you mess up, will you get your phone bricked for good? Also, if I ever root my phone, what other essential audio software would you recommend me to install besides Voodoo?

post #8 of 14

There is a chance of bricking your phone with Android. I would advise that you read and follow the instructions in xda-developers closely if you're to attempt to root your phone. Its not like i-Devices where you can simply restore using iTunes~

 

That said, I've not bricked any of my 4 Android devices thus far... but every one was an adventure in itself :)

post #9 of 14

"Brick" is a fuzzy term. There is "soft brick" (won't boot the installed kernel/ROM) and "hard brick" (you messed up the bootloaders and flashing interface). With most Samsung phones, as long as you carefully follow what the devs for the phone recommend, it is difficult to "hard brick" the phone. Being a kernel dev, I no longer keep track of how many times I've soft-bricked my SGS4G.

 

Before you get started, install adb from the Android SDK and get your device drivers straightened out, especially if you're on Windows. Depending on the phone, you might also want to install Heimdall for re-flashing if you end up soft-bricked.

 

I haven't found a player on Android that I "love" but jetAudio at least plays ALAC and handles albums with track marks without noticeable gaps and has a usable UI, at least for me.

post #10 of 14

Which is why I've been trying to explain to my dad that Android phones aren't for beginners like him... But he was still drawn by the lure of "open-ness", "customisation" yada-yada... ends up using the phone just for Facebook and some crappy games, and keeps bugging me to help him find apps that work like he wants them to~

 

adb? SDK? Flash? (What? Not Adobe Flash??) Boot loader? Roms?  ??? Lol... I'm gonna just force him to get either a WP7 phone or an iPhone next time and stop him from bugging me everytime he sees me~

post #11 of 14

If you plan to use IEMs, iPod Touch 5th gen hands down.

post #12 of 14

I don't think either of them make sense if you want to do reading and such.

 

You should get a Nexus 7, it can run an external USB DAC: http://www.head-fi.org/t/627459/use-a-standard-usb-dac-with-a-nexus-7-step-by-step-guide

 

The price is bang on, the screen is good for reading or HD playback, and you can have 32GB of storage.

Plus, you can choose any DAC/Amp you want to use.

 

Not to mention, the savings, $90+ can go towards a good DAC or Headphone.


Edited by proton007 - 11/15/12 at 9:41pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by yindesu View Post

If you plan to use IEMs, iPod Touch 5th gen hands down.

 



+1

post #14 of 14

You know you can get something like an Ipod touch 3rd gen virtually for free now so you could essentially get both :)

 

I am in a bit of a quandry myself. First I thought of getting an Iphone 4S. I watched the Iphone 5 in stores and 4" is not enough to make that much of an impact for me plus it´s not priced competively.

Fiddling with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Notes 4,8" displays was much more rewarding. I have perfect vision with my glasses but I sure has to really focus to watch video on my Ipod touch.

 

As for sound I am quite pleased with my Ipod touch 3G. I have limited time with the Iphone 4 but didn´t noticed that much of an upgrade if any.

Currently aimed at a S3 because it will give me a superior video experience unless the audio is craptacularly bad. 

As for web browsing it´s a huge pain in the ass on my Ipod touch due to the size it feels a bit more doable on the 4,8 displays. My big thumbs need more estate.

 

I know Apple want to keep it thumb friendly but luckily I have huge hands so the S3 is not at all inconvenient to use.

 

Also thought about the HTC One X but the battery life I am afraid would frustrate me to much on that one plus I love the fact that you can expand

memory on the S3 which you can´t on the Iphones or HTC.

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