I think the x1 and zo3 will be my christmas combo.
The FiiO X1 Discussion and Help and Support Thread |192K/24B|100mW | LO | inline remote - Page 89
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Reply rephrased as per compliance to moderator instructions. Note that the original reply from writer's own perspective is more along the lines of "too familiar" in the sense that that is the manner by which conversations with his friends carry on, with some sarcasm and exaggeration, and not in any way nor should be construed as demeaning, hostile, or "trolling."
A few things have to be considered in that case:
I. Financial Angle
A very general financial advice would be that if the consumer is unsure of what use a product will serve, it may be best to avoid the purchase and redirect the funds elsewhere. In this case it might be redundant for one function while not performing other functions, such as when your smartphone suffices as a portable player with an efficient IEM, which also allows for important calls to interrupt the music as opposed to not hearing it ring or not feeling it vibrate while listening through a separate device.
II. Ergonomic Issues
Using such a DAP in a car entails ergonomic issues, as in this scenario: picking up the DAP with a long cable on it in order to manipulate the interface, driver's eyes far off the road and even the red light. By contrast a car's receiver is located and designed such that the driver can manipulate its controls with relative ease out of the corner of one's eye while watching the traffic light on the other edge of one's field of vision. Some mounting options will address the eye and hand issues, but note the likelihood of the DAP falling out of such a mount. At the same time, most current automobiles as they come from the factory are no longer restricted to CDs and DVDs, and may function as a host to access multimedia content stored an Android, iOS, or iTunes device as well as other storage mediums, such as USB drives; alternately, aftermarket solutions that include such a feature can be had for less than $200 - not much more than the DAP in question, the use of which results in the concerns raised above.
III. Structural Issues that affect audio reproduction in automobile cabins
SQ benefits are problematic due to:
a. The primary issue in a car being the non-central driver's seat in all non-Formula cars barring the McLaren F1 and the Lamborghini Egoista, which results in non-equidistant positions* for the tweeters and midwoofers relative to the driver's ears. Such a seating configuration is contrary to how one sits at home between two speakers,* or how a human skull is still generally symmetrical enough as far as headphone fit and driver distance from the ear drums is concerned.
b. This non-equidistant setting causes time alignment issues that affects imaging as well as frequency response. The difference is in microseconds, however can result in such problems as hollow and/or too-soft bass (when you hear the same note which comes out of both the midwoofer and the subwoofer too many microseconds apart), or sibilance (when you hear the same cymbal or vocal note from the midwoofer and tweeter microseconds apart). In terms of imaging, the center of the image has a bias to be pulled towards the nearer speakers, hence the vocals are off-center and towards the listener's side, as opposed to the very center of the dashboard.**
c. The higher quality DAC, itself subject to debate regarding differences from one (properly implemented) chip to another, and output stage of a DAP like the X1 will not be able to overcome the above structural reality that results in an issue that affects the fundamentals of audio reproduction, and even with regards to frequency response (if at all, as again there is the matter of the debate regarding differences between digital sources) of a DAP over any car receiver, is again being reshaped by this simple time alignment problem, and while primarily the cause of most issues with listening in a car's cabin is only the first among many.**
*Visual representation of problem described in Section III-a. Note the the equidistant seating arrangement at home vs the color coded, varying path lengths from the driver's head to each transducer inside the automobile cabin.
**Note that DSPs found in some car audio processors have time alignment functions that add delay to the speakers to synchronize with the farthest one, which comes at its own cost of fixing the imaging and frequency response for only one seat in the entire car (though not necessarily making it much worse at the other seats). This also makes it possible for the driver (or the passenger seat, depending on the tuning of the time alignment settings) to be able to hear the reproduction image along the dashboard with a clear center image, primarily the main vocals, in the physical center of the dashboard.
IV. In sum, any SQ gain will still be hampered by the inherent issues of listening in a car's cabin, and the quality of the usual audio hardware (DAC, amplification, to a much lesser extent the speakers) do not matter as much as fixing the time alignment issue. On top of which are ergonomic issues that you would preferably avoid, given traffic laws that regulate mobile phone use (as specifically stated in some laws, although a more general term may be in use in others) drafted with public safety in mind, and the fact that in this situation $100 will be spent for this sole purpose from which issues either arise or are not adequately addressed by said expenditure.
Edited by ProtegeManiac - 7/29/14 at 1:38am
It is also entirely possible that:
1) their own car audio experiences are with really bad stock (or even aftermarket) set-ups; or
2) they have no idea what imaging is, or they've never been in the center area of a live performance, acoustic or otherwise.
Edited by ProtegeManiac - 7/29/14 at 8:48am
But I agree with you, care usually does not serve to listen to music in high quality.
But it does serve to listen to music (specially bass) at high volume.
For me it serves to play fairytales for my kids :-)
Not necessarily - it's just that the first and biggest problem is the variances in distance to each transducer, and no high quality audio hardware or recording will get past that without a DSP with time alignment along with proper installation (ex. angle of the tweeter depending on its dispersion pattern and cabin shape). All of those will just be hampered and distorted by time alignment issues, which is why personally I'd rather use a stock receiver with CDs or WAV with a time alignment processor rather than a high res player with high res files going into a system - stock or not - that doesn't have this feature. Some luxury cars actually have that, except instead of microsecond delay or distance inputs, they just have options to select a preset for each seat.
In a way that sense of the preferable is akin to a midlevel home audio system in a reasonably larger room where at the very least the walls are far enough to minimize reflections without needing too much output power for the bass vs a high-end system with gargantuan speakers in a very small room.
Edited by ProtegeManiac - 7/29/14 at 9:42am
I didnt see what the previous date was, but I'm betting that's likely meant to be the release date, clumsily edited. That or it's been the date all along - some people write the date then month. I use that too on digits beause when I spell out the month I also say "09 May 2014," but I've gotten used to writing the other way because I've had to deal with some simpletons who insist my cheques are no good because of the dates. It's confusing over here because on memos, legal documents, and in school we write the date first (banks accept this on cheques, but their forms are mm/dd/yy format), but hand a cheque over to a cashier who isn't a bank teller and they'll argue you're wrong because colloquially people will say "September 05, 2014" and follow that instead of how documents actually go.
The Nano and Classic both use an audio chip where the DAC and and headphone driver are integrated into one chip, with roughly 5mW at 0.1%(IIRC) total harmonic distortion (deviation from the original signal). The Fiio X1 uses a dedicatd DAC and output stage, plus a 100mW at maybe 0.01%THD amp section, likely with dedicated audio power capacitors. What that means is that if your headphones or IEMs need over 5mW to get to your listening level, you potentially have 20x that and maybe at lower distortion levels from the X1, so protable headphones like the 70ohm HD25's will very likely sound better. Even better IEMs, despite over 100db efficiency, might still benefit enough to justify $100.
For those with smartphones the difference might be a lot wider than with an iPod Classic given the software implementation (or heck maybe the DAC) can get in the way - my Galaxy S3 (not Wolfson) sounds a lot darker than the Fiio X3 for example, and some people think that one sounds a little warm.