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So when I first got my 3DS I noticed it had a built in audio player and naturally couldn't resist plugging in my headphones and giving it a good test. I didn't expect much, but still was a bit disappointed all the same. Fast forward until recently when I got Etrian Odyssey IV. I thought the 3DS sound system sucked so almost didn't even bother, but when I got into that first forest I just had to plug in the headphones. Wow. Just wow. I was totally wrong about this system and this game really showed me. Some of the tracks have subtle parts, most have a wide range of instruments, and basically all sound great. Even the lows are clear, accurate, and sound just great on my headphones -- even without an amp. So now I'm thinking that all of this time I was wrong about my 3DS and, rather than a hardware limitation, just the internal player software sucks. Given that it was made more for stuff like letting people play around with those rather silly effects I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's doing some poor sound processing in software... EO4 just sounds far too amazing for me to continue to believe the 3DS sound system sucks...

So now I'm really curious. Does anyone know what DAC the 3DS uses? It's not terribly important -- it's the results that matter (and I'm not one of those people who believes that only Wolfson is good or that even Wolfson is automatically good) -- but I'll admit I'm really curious after hearing how well it handles that game. So far from googling the only thing I've found out is that the DSi is better than the DS/DSL (which apparently used the same as the GBA?) and the 3DS is, in turn, better than the DSi. Not much to go on there, lol. Most people are saying bad things, but then so was I when all I had to listen to were games with low quality bgms and that terrible software (which wasn't really meant for acting as a real player anyway...) It just couldn't sound like this in ANY game if it didn't at least have semi-decent hardware...

P.S. There's a demo in the eShop if anyone is curious and while you can't get to the area with one of the best bgms for hearing its range, what you can get is still good. Note that my headphones are the 50 ohm model HD555s recabled (which subtly rediced impedance even further.) They are exceptionally efficient with devices like these in mind, so an amp might still be needed with tougher headphones (which I don't have to test with.)