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Best Portable Audio Solution 2013

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey, Im looking to buy a new portable music player (but not apple).

 

I also dont want a volume-capped EU product (im in the UK), so I need to be able to buy it from elsewhere...or the device needs to be able to be flashed or modded to remove the cap!

 

I am a bit of a perfectionist and would like some nice sound to help inspire my work...

 

I have done a fair amount of research but it is still a tough choice, and would love to hear peoples thoughts or advice!

 

 

 

 

 

I am currently attracted to the Sony z-series (mainly the Z1050 / 60) which I can still get on ebay from japan (uncapped)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SONY-Walkman-NW-Z1050-16GB-Black-or-Red-Android-2-3-Bluetooth-NEW-Free-shipping-/251217439651?pt=Other_MP3_Player_Accessories&hash=item3a7db9eba3

this seems like a lot to pay for something that I cant make calls on though! I understand that it is the amp which bumps the price up.

but...is this kind of player not obsolete now?

 

 

And this is part of the brief I guess...my phone is a bit crap so I was thinking that maybe some of the new phones may be good enough for my audio needs. 

 

 

- I read samsung have good audio

 

- And ive also seen the new HTC range with 'beats' audio...although I know that the beats brand is somewhat of a gimmick..

HTC one http://www.handtec.co.uk/htc-one-v-black.html  ...which I may be able to flash or mod to remove the cap.

 

- I have always liked sonys products and have also considered an xperia J ...or even an old w995 etc! Apparently the sonys also have a 'warmer' sound.

 

- I will also be getting some decent headphones (been looking at the IE9's etc...but will cross this bridge when I have a player in mind :D)

 

Videos and web browsing are less important to me. I would also probably be disabling any wifi ability as I dont think the frequencies do your body any good.

 

On this note...has anyone ever looked at the frequencies headphones produce?! :D

 

 

 

Any help appreciated...thanks for reading

 

 

.


Edited by leon11 - 1/27/13 at 3:15pm
post #2 of 18

Is your mind set on the Z Series? You haven't listed any other suggestions there, so that would be my assumption.

As a Walkman Z owner i would recommend you not to go for it, as i have had numerous audio problems (static, music freezing up) although this just seems to be with my player, so you shouldn't have any problems.

What is your budget? If you're willing to raise it you can go for high end DAPs such as the iBasso DX100 or the Colorfly C4

EDIT: Just read your phone comment. Phones can't compete with standalone DAPs due to obvious limitations but can still have decent audio; example being the SGS3, which has a Wolfson DAC so will sound pretty decent. I'd still recommend you look into a standalone DAP for the best SQ.


Edited by rt310 - 1/28/13 at 7:35am
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply.

 

that sucks to hear about the audio quality on your Z series. Have sony not fixed this for you?

 

and perhaps I shouldve put 'affordable' in the title thread hehe. I really like the look of the iBasso, but I think £500+ is a bit unrealistic for me. The price of the Z series (£300) would generally be my limit.

 

thanks for the info..

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by leon11 View Post

thanks for the reply.

 

that sucks to hear about the audio quality on your Z series. Have sony not fixed this for you?

 

and perhaps I shouldve put 'affordable' in the title thread hehe. I really like the look of the iBasso, but I think £500+ is a bit unrealistic for me. The price of the Z series (£300) would generally be my limit.

 

thanks for the info..


My warranty ran out before i had these problems hehe..

If 300 Pounds is the limit for you maybe have a look at the Cowon Z2? Very similar to the Walkman Z, although there are way more features (JetEffects 5.0, BBE+). Another option could be the Hisound Studio 3rd Anniversary Edition, which i think just fits into your budget. I'll have to check that, though.

post #5 of 18

I will highy recommend to buy iMod iPod+decent AMPs like JDS C421, RSA P51 Mustang and IEMs like Sony EX1ooo, they al together sound so great.

post #6 of 18
that would be out of his budget i think ,last i check the amp and his own imod cost wil pass his budget ,assuming dx100 is 500 pound
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

hi guys yeah I dont seem to be able to find a Hisound Studio 3rd anniversary edition online....and yeah the iMod is interesting so thanks for that...as Retrias pointed out though, this is probably a bit beyond my means :)

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

and yes...the Cowon Z2 looks like a fine player and is definitely on my shortlist. I read somewhere that sound quality is possibly better on the sony....but the deciding factor there might be that I can get a japanese Sony Z or F which is uncapped....whereas Im not sure if I could get hold of an uncapped Cowon?

 

Im probably just being stupidly anal though...the capped Cowon would probably be fine with some good headphones.

 

cheers

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

thanks for that one4all....Im not familiar with that player.

 

I wonder if the samsung phones have the same technology in.

 

Regards the volume cap...as far as I know, EVERY product sold in the EU has the volume cap, god knows why

post #10 of 18

On the question of this subject then how does one of the dedicated "audiophile" players (colorfly, ibasso etc etc) compare against plugging xyz smartphone into an external portable dac (fostex, cypher labs etc) purely on SQ? Of course there are lots of other considerations but lets just limit it to SQ firstly and take it from there tongue.gif

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

any more ideas anyone? :)

 

I think Im gonna save up for the Z1060 from Japan as Ive listened to a few smartphones and its just not loud enough!?

post #12 of 18
What do you listen with for headphones?

It's weird that there's a volume limitation on products sold in the EU. I wonder how long it will be before someone tries to implement that here...

What about importing a product from the US? You mentioned Japan, but I wonder if you could find one of the other products listed in the US and import it inside your price range.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by leon11 View Post

Regards the volume cap...as far as I know, EVERY product sold in the EU has the volume cap, god knows why

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6240432/EU-calls-for-volume-limit-on-MP3-players.html
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by leon11 View Post

Hey, Im looking to buy a new portable music player (but not apple).

 

I also dont want a volume-capped EU product (im in the UK), so I need to be able to buy it from elsewhere...or the device needs to be able to be flashed or modded to remove the cap!

 

Alternatively you could exercise great cunning and reset the region to the USA or Japan: the players are pretty trusting that way and it has worked on every player I've had. Although I don't know if I would have bothered if I was driving standard iems instead of HD25 headphones: the limit is pretty sensible in terms of volume.

 

And a Sansa Clip+ is probably as good sonically as virtually anything - and a lot better than some Sony's driving typical IEMs because of a distorted frequency response:

 

 

700

 

..where flatter is better. Anyway, if you want great sound quality the place to put your money is in the IEMs or headphones rather than the player - those SE530's would be one reasonable bet, or HD25s if you want actual headphones that can live crammed into a messenger bag and provide decent isolation on the Tube.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

Alternatively you could exercise great cunning and reset the region to the USA or Japan: the players are pretty trusting that way and it has worked on every player I've had. Although I don't know if I would have bothered if I was driving standard iems instead of HD25 headphones: the limit is pretty sensible in terms of volume.

 

And a Sansa Clip+ is probably as good sonically as virtually anything - and a lot better than some Sony's driving typical IEMs because of a distorted frequency response:

 

 

700

 

..where flatter is better. Anyway, if you want great sound quality the place to put your money is in the IEMs or headphones rather than the player - those SE530's would be one reasonable bet, or HD25s if you want actual headphones that can live crammed into a messenger bag and provide decent isolation on the Tube.

The posted graph is not simply a plot of FR of players. It's a plot of FR of players driving a reactive load (SE-530 headphones) and represents the measured voltage across the headphone.  It does not represent the frequency response heard, nor the response of any of the players with a less reactive load (different headphones).  

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