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Sony NWZ-ZX1 - 35th Walkman Anniversary model - Page 369

post #5521 of 5997

It's a shame that the only smartphone which even vaguely interests me is the HTC One M8 - even then, I mess around with a few of the apps on the Sony, get bored and dont bother with them again. I guess its a generational thing and the fact that I have access to a 'real' computer most of the day anyway. 

post #5522 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

I guess its a generational thing and the fact that I have access to a 'real' computer most of the day anyway. 

 

I think it's more the latter, but in regards to the former it almost feels like a substance abuse problem. I don't really use apps on my phone, but I am constantly checking messages or my favourite webpages etc. On the ZX1 I just have it turned to flight mode - don't see the point of wasting the battery and potentially introducing noise from the antennas when I have any number of gadgets that could be better browsers than the Sony.

post #5523 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

The problem with the ZX1 is that the noise floor is so high that all dynamic range benefits from 24 bit audio are rendered pointless. Now that I have gotten a Nuforce Primo 8 review unit I can immediately tell that the ZX1 produces more hiss/noise than the iPhone 5S. Again this is not to say the ZX1 is not a good audio player in its own right compared to many Android smartphones. As a dedicated audio device though, based on the measurements and my own volume matched A/Bing, it does not appear to deliver better performance than a 5th generation iPod Touch.

 

I think one of the area that measurement are not able to capture is  sound stage and depth.  Apple iPhone or iPod touch always sound very 2-D to me and lacking dynamics whereas other high resolution players (ZX1, X5, DX50) are always able to portray depth cues many times better.  This allows music to sound more real b/c it is easier to discern better details in a bigger and deeper soundstage.  This always has been the case for me against my iPods & iPhones.    


Edited by purk - 6/7/14 at 10:10am
post #5524 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post

I think one of the area that measurement are not able to capture is  sound stage and depth.  Apple iPhone or iPod touch always sound very 2-D to me and lacking dynamics whereas other high resolution players (ZX1, X5, DX50) are always able to portray depth cues many times better.  This allows music to sound more real b/c it is easier to discern better details in a bigger and deeper soundstage.  This always has been the case for me against my iPods & iPhones.    
Purk...

For LINE out (NOT digital out) how would you rate the ZX1 vs the X5?

Am looking for an end game setup now (without - at the moment, looking at something like the Hugo) and want to see how far off base I am with the X5 (LO) as my source...

Thanks smily_headphones1.gif
post #5525 of 5997

I'm wondering if this will make my UM Miracles sound better than a Cowon J3...and if so, how much better? It sure looks like a nice piece of kit...

post #5526 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post


Purk...

For LINE out (NOT digital out) how would you rate the ZX1 vs the X5?

Am looking for an end game setup now (without - at the moment, looking at something like the Hugo) and want to see how far off base I am with the X5 (LO) as my source...

Thanks smily_headphones1.gif

Duncan, I don't have the X5 any more as it was a loaner from a friend.  However, the ZX1 headphones out sounds a tad more refined to my ears than that of the X5 (I found the X5 phone out to be a tad soft around edge for me).  The line out on the Sony is very nice though.  Couple with a really good portable amp, like the Pico Power, and you get a really good portable setup.  The key to this is to couple the line out of the ZX1 with a really good amp, otherwise, you may not able to see improvements over the headphone output.  It is also important to remember that the ZX1's line out is lower in output level compared to others DAPs.  Also, I would look into getting the Japanese ZX1 and not the Euro vol. restriction units.  

 

If you don't mind the size, getting the DX100 or Hifiman 901 maybe a good stopping point for portable system for you.  I had the DX100 many months ago and despite its poor UI, the sound was great with a strong output able to drive many full size phones well.  Personally, I don't think going with something like the AK240 is sensible given its price and the fact that AK will release another model to overtake it in a year or so.  Personally speaking, a desktop system will always sound considerably better than the portables at the same price point.  I'll always get a nice Stax rig or HD800 with a nice amp over something like the AK240+top end IEMs.  Yes, i can see a benefit of AK240 with top end IEMS as well, but for what I'm using it is overkill and way way expensive.  

post #5527 of 5997

I haven't heard the iphone 5s, but the sony certainly beats my iphone 4s. But on some tracks/albums, I do hear a bit of noise/hiss, but it doesn't really bother me. Playing around with the  EQ solves the problem. 

post #5528 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post
 

 

I think one of the area that measurement are not able to capture is  sound stage and depth.  Apple iPhone or iPod touch always sound very 2-D to me and lacking dynamics whereas other high resolution players (ZX1, X5, DX50) are always able to portray depth cues many times better.  This allows music to sound more real b/c it is easier to discern better details in a bigger and deeper soundstage.  This always has been the case for me against my iPods & iPhones.    

 

Actually, soundstage is one area in which the ZX1 does apparently measure better than the 5S. It has better stereo crosstalk figures. I haven't really been able to hear the difference myself though when I setup the A/B. I would not confuse the term dynamics with soundstage though. Dynamics is the difference between loud and soft sounds whereas soundstage is more of a nebulous term that describes how a player presents acoustic cues.

 

You can also simply increase apparent soundstage width by increasing high frequencies, which will make everything sound airier. In the comparison between the ZX1 and the 5S, again it appears that the ZX1 actually increases in frequency response as it approaches towards 20khz whereas the 5S decreases, so there's a potential point of difference there.

 

As I've said, in practice both players sound very similar. Apart from the hiss I very much doubt I could pick them apart in any blind scenario, but unfortunately I can't arrange a blind test because the hiss and the fact that I can't make both players start playback at the same time renders the whole thing moot.

post #5529 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post
 

 

Actually, soundstage is one area in which the ZX1 does apparently measure better than the 5S. It has better stereo crosstalk figures. I haven't really been able to hear the difference myself though when I setup the A/B. I would not confuse the term dynamics with soundstage though. Dynamics is the difference between loud and soft sounds whereas soundstage is more of a nebulous term that describes how a player presents acoustic cues.

 

You can also simply increase apparent soundstage width by increasing high frequencies, which will make everything sound airier. In the comparison between the ZX1 and the 5S, again it appears that the ZX1 actually increases in frequency response as it approaches towards 20khz whereas the 5S decreases, so there's a potential point of difference there.

 

As I've said, in practice both players sound very similar. Apart from the hiss I very much doubt I could pick them apart in any blind scenario, but unfortunately I can't arrange a blind test because the hiss and the fact that I can't make both players start playback at the same time renders the whole thing moot.

Hi, you bring out some interesting points that I've not heard about before regarding sound stage.  How do lower crosstalk number relate to sound stage?

 

I thought aire was caused by sub bass like speaker setups, where you notice a difference when you turn of the subs?  To me you push the highs, if you push the bass as it would bury the highs.  I believe JHA does that for the perception of wide stage by boosting bass, and therefore they boost highs also.  Also, I believe you can increase perception of stage with DSP.

 

I'm really itching to compare ZX1 with X5.  

post #5530 of 5997

Crosstalk is the amount that one of the L/R channels bleeds into the other. If you hear sound in the R channel that is supposed to be in the L channel, obviously soundstage cues will be off. 

 

Soundstage is an incredibly tricky topic (I want to do a video on it one day). For one thing, different people get different ideas of what soundstage is. Relative frequency response can give you a very different perception of spatial cues. For instance warmer sounding headphones tend to sound more intimate, and leaner sounding headphones tend to sound more open. Thinks HD650 vs HD800.

 

At the same time the brain uses many other cues to work out soundstage. For instance we use echoes and reverb to calculate the perceived space of an environment. Echoes and reverb occur in all frequencies, but if you for instance increased the high frequency range you would make certain reverb easier to hear and therefore artificially increase the sense of space. A DSP can add extra echoes and reverb that were not in the original recording, thereby again artificially changing the soundstage. Lastly, certain headphones and earphones actually have resonances from the physical materials that will add echoes and reverb to the sound. Done wrong and we call this distortion, but done right and people will remark that a headphone will sound particularly cavernous etc etc.

 

At the same time, as you say, bass is also very important because in my experience a lack of bass response (particularly below 50hz) tends to rob the music of a sense of scale and visceral impact, which tends to make instruments sound unnatural, which again influences my perception of the reality of the image being projected by the equipment.

 

Lastly the brain uses differences between L and R channels to calculate soundstage in the same way we use two eyes to calculate visual depth. Try watching this on headphones, and try different headphones and see how the spatial perception changes:

 

 

As you can imagine, stereo crosstalk changes our perception of soundstage cues because too much crossfeed starts making the stereo sound like a mono signal. If you cover up one eye it's much harder to interpret visual depth.

 

I'm sure there are many other factors. We barely understand how the brain works and how acoustic perception works. One day we might even have head tracked recordings in the same way that the Oculus Rift works for eyes!

 

Soundstage is a term people (myself included) tend to throw around quite liberally on Head Fi, but it refers to so many different possible things that it's very hard to find a common reference. But this is the same with almost every term we use - for instance, one person's mids is another person's mid-bass etc etc.

 

I would guess that 90% of the arguments that start on Head Fi originate because people largely agree but cannot communicate because they are using differing terms of reference.


Edited by a_recording - 6/7/14 at 4:55pm
post #5531 of 5997

Hi, the affect on the video is the phase affect(probably binaural recording), it has to do with delays when the signal hit which channel. Tyll had an article about United Airlines cheapo phones that the polarity of the phones were purposefully not in phase, and he mentioned it's purpose is to create big sound.  Binaural probably has this as it will create a much better sense of space than traditional recordings.  Check out Amber Rubarth, probably the best Binaural I've hard.


Edited by SilverEars - 6/7/14 at 5:12pm
post #5532 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannp View Post
 

 

Would I be disappointed with it against a Hugo, or is that a whole different conversation.

 

I'm trying to decide if the Hugo is worth the extra cash :) or whether money would be better spent on some sensitive iems with the ZX1 standalone.

 

Thoughts welcome :)

All depends on what you would prioritise for your your own needs which you may already know with knowing! tricky one as it depends on what you may want, if you already like the rest of your headphone or iem inventory you have then getting a Hugo will make these sound like you have never heard them before getting the last drop out of your head gear which would feel like having new can's, iem's as a result.  I know this as I could not believe how much better my Sony MDR-7520's or Noble N5's sounded with the Hugo and I have heard both of them with a lot of other top kit in the last couple of years and this was a revelation as some of that other top kit is still some good gear I have heard them with.

 

If you use your Walkman a lot for actual portable on the go use then this factor could trump the Hugo, so getting a descent pair of sensitive iem's first to pair with the ZX1 and maybe you might get off set the cost by selling the iem that might become redundant as a result of the new iem purchase possibly? 

 

The Hugo also would have many uses in it's configuration with all those inputs and been able to use it in speaker set up also. 

Just would come down to stretching to that Hugo budget, but from experience it would be worth it all day long.  

 

So comes down to what your personal primary needs/ objective might be determines which purchase might come first.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post
 

 

it's the same conversation as the PHA-2 is a great DAC/Amp and will give a great performance SQ wise for the price.

 

I got to listen to the Hugo for the first time today, you have to first take into consideration that the Chord cost almost 4x the price of the Sony but is it worth it?... I can honestly say it is the most awesome bit of kit I have ever heard headphones with, it is musically staggering the amount of detail it conveys... the is one piece of kit that really is a serious upgrade and a proverbial bargain, you really do have to get a listen of one... before you ask it didn't bother me going back to my Walkman, we still love each other.  

Hurricane Hugo strips everything in it's path and leaves nothing but detail, bliss and will leave carnage to other company's that will be trying to emulate in playing catch up in  the coming year or so.  

 

All I know I feared going back to my Walkman also after my time with the Hugo but considering how seriously good the Hugo is making it an inevitable step down going back to ZX1 standalone it is still an enjoyable listen were you are not paranoid by nit picking and comparing it to the Hugo which is in a way a compliment to the ZX1 as when I finally get a Hugo it is nice to know when I need to still use the ZX1 standalone or when mobile on the go walking I will still enjoy it in the way as when I heard it the first time I got my ZX1, so yeah, completely concur that been able to still love your ZX1 after un coupling the Hugo. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ekindangen View Post
 

Hi, I'm new in the forum. It's a great forum for portable hifi indeed. Been looking around for similar issue but unable to find it. So I'll try to post my concern here. Your comment is highly appreciated.

 

I have the ZX1. Using it with Audeze LCD-X and Naim DAC V1 (using WMC-NH10 cable). I also use Naim DAC V1 and Naim NAP 100 for speakers. Other than the ZX1, my Macbook and Audirvana is my other source. My songs are all 24 bit with varying samples.

 

Sound coming from Macbook is definitely better than that from ZX1. ZX1 sound is too flat while Audirvana and macbook pumps out warmer sound. Upon checking the USB status on the DAC V1, I found that ZX1 actually deliver 16bit instead of 24bit data. Can anyone confirm this?

 

I'd like to attach some pictures of my setup, but since I'm new I guess I'm not allowed. I have them on my dropbox for you to view:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8m78q3g7vyp7g10/_DSC3205.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wh54faebm88g3au/_DSC3204.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan View Post


Welcome to Head-Fi!

Have to say your Naim DAC looks very nice smily_headphones1.gif

Re 16 bit, yes - is common for Android to output USB as 16 bit (even if software provides 24 bit - although I question how often this is done 'natively')... I do not have access to a ZX1 (went a different route) - however - wondering if it is worth you getting (at the very least, the time limited trial version of) USB Audio Player Pro from Google Play, just to see if this (with its circumvention of the Android USB protocols) will output 24 bit to your DAC...

I personally do not believe there will be an issue, however - not having a ZX1 - I cannot confirm the compatibility of DAP and APP...

Let us know smily_headphones1.gif

Ekindangen & Duncan,

 

Touching upon your two quotes, not sure if this helps or not as I did not fully take notice in time I had the Hugo but on a few files I had from Bluecoast records which are meant to be native DSD64 in DSF using the Sony conversion cable into the Hugo it was not showing the correct colour for DSD which if memory serves me right should of been white colour displayed but was showing another colour (again did not take proper note at time) but pretty sure it was green which indicates something like a 24 bit either 96 or 192k file been feed to Hugo so will let you two digest that as I know Duncan is a dac nut on such things.

 

 To me it suggest's either the file is not what Bluecoast records is claiming it is on it's site or something weird is happening there with the ZX1 as I thought the update to the ZX1 meant it could now output from it's line out full DSD files.  I take it the conversion cable does support transfer of full DSD files? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mannp View Post
 

 

That was my thought also.

 

Edit: After dealing with Senn re iE 800, I'll see if there is anything better out there first.

 

 

Thats what I wanted to know; thanks :-) is that with your Noble 4..iems (sorry can't recall the exact model you stated in previous responses)

 

If I buy the PHA-2 the Hugo will blow it away and I can get it in the UK, so UK support I believe.

 

Ok cool, so you still can go back without the Hugo, thats good to know, as I really want to just carry the iems and ZX1 without any dac, so it would need to blow me away to spend that and carry it.

 

But seeing as how many clothes and shoes the wife seems to buy, I am the mug not buying a Hugo :D 

Sounds like you need to get your trousers back and wear them and put your foot down and go behind your wifes back and buy hugo and not tell her and then hide it inside a box of kleenex tissues or disguise it somehow so she never sees it!  Good luck with your mission if you choose to accept it.  p.s. then change log in details so she can't check bank balances also! 


Edited by FortisFlyer75 - 6/7/14 at 5:18pm
post #5533 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Hi, the affect on the video is the phase affect(probably binaural recording), it has to do with delays when the signal hit which channel. Tyll had an article about United Airlines cheapo phones that the polarity of the phones were purposefully not in phase, and he mentioned it's purpose is to create big sound.  Binaural probably has this as it will create a much better sense of space than traditional recordings.  Check out Amber Rubarth, probably the best Binaural I've hard.

 

Good binaural recording isn't just about introducing phase delay. Phase delay just reflects the fact that it takes a sound longer to reach one ear than the other because the ears are physically far apart. Binaural recording with a dummy head also takes into the account the fact that the shape of your head and ears actually occludes the sound. For instance, your ears have a manifold shape which your brain uses to interpret spatial cues. If you cup your hands around the back of your ears to artificially change the way your ears receive sound, suddenly your sense of spatial perception changes. Look at bats and their very highly developed ear shapes! A good binaural recording uses a dummy head to simulate the shape and physical consistency of a real human being's head, though since everyone's head and ears are a different shape the illusion will work differently for different people. 

post #5534 of 5997


Noise? Hiss? And they don't bother you? It sure would bother me. Fail.

post #5535 of 5997
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post
 

 

Actually, soundstage is one area in which the ZX1 does apparently measure better than the 5S. It has better stereo crosstalk figures. I haven't really been able to hear the difference myself though when I setup the A/B. I would not confuse the term dynamics with soundstage though. Dynamics is the difference between loud and soft sounds whereas soundstage is more of a nebulous term that describes how a player presents acoustic cues.

 

You can also simply increase apparent soundstage width by increasing high frequencies, which will make everything sound airier. In the comparison between the ZX1 and the 5S, again it appears that the ZX1 actually increases in frequency response as it approaches towards 20khz whereas the 5S decreases, so there's a potential point of difference there.

 

As I've said, in practice both players sound very similar. Apart from the hiss I very much doubt I could pick them apart in any blind scenario, but unfortunately I can't arrange a blind test because the hiss and the fact that I can't make both players start playback at the same time renders the whole thing moot.

I'm not confused with dynamics and soundstage.  I just happened to use it in the same sentence as I found my iPod Touch & iPhone are always lacking in dynamics & soundstage depth compared to my other DAPs.  I appreciate what you are trying to explain to all of us here, but you may want to re-post them in the sound science forum.  We all hear things differently, and if you don't think the ZX1 isn't any better than your iPhone 5S then more power to you.:beerchug:

 

 I do believe in measurement, but not all measurements tell the whole story.  Even Tyll H. of Innerfidelity admitted to this.  For instance, my Headamp GS-X MKII will always measure better than my Singlepower SDS-XLR, but I simply just like the sound of my SDS-XLR better.      

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