Originally Posted by FlatListener
Yes that is correct I hardly ever listen to my headphones from a computer source. But when I did occasionally, I noticed that the sound quality coming from my Macbook is better than from my bare iPod Classic or iPhone4s. So that is why I got the E12 Mont Blanc to use with my iPod Classic. But the E12 is a lot of size and weight to carry around while on a train or walking around. I like the player to be in my chest pocket for quick access. Not comfortable with the E12 tied to the iPod (too heavy). That is why I like the idea of having a single device with excellent sound quality.
I bought the 1350s mostly for their isolation capabilities. On commuter trains, there is a lot of noise from other people talking and of course the train itself produces noise. The 1350s offer a combination of good isolation and reasonable sound quality. I would have liked to have some better SQ but at that time I didn't find any. I have some slight hearing damage, not from music listening, so I want to control my listening volume in a way that I can enjoy the music, but avoid further damage. It's pretty difficult because I really like music and when I hear something I like I'm tempted to turn the volume up. That is why I'm interested in having a player that can satisfy musically without the need to play loud. Along with the "single device" requirement, this is the reason I'm looking into other-than-iPod players. It appears as though the X5 and X3 may deliver on both.
X3 or X5 should both suit your needs. The X5 is better in terms of usability and SQ, but the X3 is smaller lighter and cheaper.
By far the most important link in the chain is your choice of headphones. For your commute and pretty much anywhere on the go these days, isolation is the top requirement, so that you can listen to your music at comfortable levels and enjoy the quiet passages.
Have you cosidered IEMs?
xp9433 spoke of his Etymotic ER4Ps, which offer superb isolation for a universal IEM, but for the ultimate comfort and isolation, nothing beats a good pair of silicone custom fit IEMs.