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Need new DAP. Zune died right after I purchased Momentum's :(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,


Some sad news. My beloved Zune 120gb finally kicked the bucket after being left out in the frigid Canadian winter for 24+ hours. While the Zune displays all 3575 songs, the album art is completely gone, and when I go to play any song I get an error "missing item" and none of the songs play. The Zune then begins to cycle through every single song, while failing to play any. I could probably do a factory reset and start the slow and painful process of uploading all of my music back to the device, but I'm very leery to do so. I'm afraid the damage is permanent and music will just start to disappear again (my Zune had already been showing signs of death prior to this incident). So now I am at a crossroads, and am seeking guidance from the Head-Fi community. This is where I'm at (in lovely point form):


- I just purchased a pair of Sennheiser Momentum's, and would like to drive them loud and proud. So if I do decide to get a new DAP, the focus is on sound quality and power to drive these cans at high volume. The Momentum's were designed with iPods and iPhones in mind, so their power consumption is relatively low. However, I did find with what little time I had them paired with my Zune, that I had to crank the Zune up another 2 notches (to max) to match the volume of my previous cans. I really do not want to use an external amp.


- I don't give two hoots about video. I own a Galaxy SIII, so it takes care of my videos. I don't want to use my GS3 as my DAP because I can barely get it to last a day as it is with no music on it. So I don't need something with a honking huge screen. If anything, it would be nice to get a DAP that has smaller dimensions than my Zune.


- One of my favorite things about my Zune was it's capacity. I loved never having to make room for new music. My entire music library was always at my fingertips. So a device with expandable memory is a must (or a really big hard drive).


- But my absolute favorite thing about my Zune was it's software. I welcome any criticism about the following statement: The Zune Software is light years ahead of iTunes.


- Which brings me to my biggest dilemma. I've been using this device and it's software for almost 5 years now. It's like second nature to me. I know change is inevitable, but I love my Zune experience so much that I am considering buying a 64gb Zune HD.


I've been scouring these forums for a little while now and have been looking at other avenues as well. The options I have in my head so far are Zune HD 64gb or a different DAP (have been very intrigued by Cowon's offerings). I'm hoping the good folks here can offer some insight, suggestion, and help point me in the right direction. Btw, this is my first post on these forums, so please excuse any unacceptable language/terms.



post #2 of 10

Have a look at this one. You could buy a micro SD, obviously not the same but it might help, high quality and able to drive good headphones. 



post #3 of 10

The Cowon DAPs are very good to put out loud volume levels (X7, X9, J3 are recommended) and other DAPs like Sony S, Z, F series walkmen, Samsung Galaxy player 3.5, 4.0, 5.0 are pretty good sounding with good apacity

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm liking these suggestions so far. I've only just started hearing about Colorfly, but from what I've heard and read, they seem like great products. It appears as though DAP's are getting away from the physical hard drive and are strictly doing the flash route, with some exceptions of course. My question now is in regards to additional capacity. Pretty much all of the specs sheets on these devices with an SD card slot state that they can take an additional 32gb. Surely they should be able to read a 64gb card, no? Namely the Cowon's (and Colorfly). Can anyone chime in with experience on whether these devices can indeed read a 64gb (or higher) microSD card?
Edited by purdy44 - 1/24/13 at 2:02am
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know whether Cowon can read a 64gb microSD card? Their spec sheets all say expandable up to 32gb but I would love to be able to get a 32gb device and throw in another 64gb. Also, I'm very interested in the Cowon J3. I know they're discontinued, but such a popular device shouldn't be that hard to find. And yet I've only seen one listing online and it was $300 which seems a little steep. Does anyone know the proper channels to search to find them to purchase, and what would be considered a fair price?
post #6 of 10

I have an X9, sounds fantastic, supports 64gb µSD cards (including writing directly to the device from Windows), has insane battery life. It also drives headphones fairly loud and well, more than any other DAP I had, and that includes Zune 120. The only downside would be the subpar screen, but I use it exclusively as an audio player. So far the capacity (32 internal + 64 external) has been sufficient for my needs...

Compared to the competition, it's also fairly cheap.

post #7 of 10

You should try to get your Zune up and running, atleast once. 

Since you want storage, another option to consider would be an iPod classic (160GB, refurbished if you want to save some money), which you can rockbox, put whatever theme/UI you want, and it also enables equalizer, other audio settings(balance, crossfeed etc) and flac support.

Edited by proton007 - 1/30/13 at 10:41pm
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey Zaroff,


Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely intrigued by the X9. My concern is that the dimensions make it seem like a beast. Is it very pocketable? It appears to be bigger than my Zune in every single way. I would love to get a device with 32gb internal and then add a 64gb microSD, so this definitely fits that bill. But the size of it worries me. The Z2 isn't much smaller, but it's a tad narrower and thinner. If I'm not going to be able to match the capacity of my Zune, it would be nice to then get a smaller form factor. In Canada, the only authorized seller of Cowon products is ncix.com. They have a 32gb X9 for $219.99 CAD. For $329.99, I could get a 32gb Z2. Now, I really don't want to spend an extra 110 for a device that's only a few millimeters smaller. But they have an open box unit for $280, which is definitely worth considering. But the more I think about it, the more I'm impressed by the battery life on the X9.


I'm torn. As everyone here knows, when you get into high end DAP's, there's no perfect one. It's all about compromise. My current thoughts are as follows:


X9 = Meets storage needs. Offers good SQ plus it has great EQ settings. Fantastic battery. Medium price range. Large form factor.


Z2 = Meets storage needs. Good SQ and EQ. Mediocre battery. Medium to high price range (in Canada, at least). Large form factor, but smaller than X9.


J3 = Meets storage needs. Good SQ and EQ. Really good battery. Discontinued. Would have to track a used one down. Decent form factor.


HiSound N3 = Internal storage only 16gb, but has expandable microSD slot. Great SQ. Battery life should hopefully be middle of the road. The rest is unknown as it hasn't quite hit the market yet. Early reviews of it's little sibling, the N1, is revealing some software/firmware issues. Have read one comment reporting manufacturing defects. I personally love the style and form factor of this device, coupled with the promise of legendary SQ. That being said, I'm worried about the issues being brought up about the N1, and am therefore leery about being an early adopter.


RoCoo P/Studio = 4-8gb internal data, but has expandable microSD slot. Incredible SQ. Not great battery life. Form factor is ok. Worried about difficulty navigating music library. I like to keep my whole collection on one device, and I feel that could be a hassle with the screen and UI.


Cowon C2. Internal storage only 16gb, but has expandable microSD slot. Have heard some negatives about the SQ, that it's not up to par with other Cowon products. Apparently pretty good battery life. Troublesome UI (though I have read that custom UI's can be installed). The best form factor out of all the DAP's I've listed above, save for maybe the N3.


Well, if anyone has made it this far through my post, give yourself a pat on the back. After that, if I could get any input, advice, opinions, that'd be great.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
proton007, your reply totally didn't show up on my screen; so sorry! Thanks for the suggestion on the iPod classic. On one hand, I do not really want to get an iPod (personal preference), but on the other hand the capacity and customization options simply can't be ignored. This option has now been placed on my list. Thanks!
post #10 of 10



Personally I find the X9 quite pocketable, it's really not much bigger/larger/thicker than the Zune 120. I'll include a pic where it stands next to a CD so that you can have a more real-world idea of its size.

I briefly considered the Z2 too, but the battery life was a deal-breaker for me.



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