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Cowon J3 vs Fiio X3 upgrade or sidegrade SQ only?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Has anyone tried the Cowon J3 and compared it with the Fiio X3? Would it be a upgrade or same SQ? I have the Senn IE8 now, but planning on upgrading to the Spiral Ear 3-way Reference later. 

 

Best Regards Frank

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hasnt anyone compared the two daps? :)

post #3 of 13
They serve different purposes. However if how it sounds is everything then the x3 does sound better but the j3 is long discontinued but I did enjoy it a lot when I owned it. The ui is customizable and the battery is amazing. Think of the j3 as more of a product for the masses while the x3 as a niche product which is exactly what they are. The target audience is different.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

That sounds nice! can you maybe describe how the sound is better with the Fiio?

post #5 of 13

As a previously X3 owner, I don't consider the X3 as a fully upgrade, but definitely not a side-grade gear either.

 

The SQ is better for sure (wouldn't describe it as I don't want to rely on memories) and it's a good bang for the bucks.

But I don't like the sound signature and the UI, so I sold it.

Still keep the ol' J3 because of the amazing battery life though

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Which one do you have now then instead of the X3? :)

post #7 of 13

Recently got a second-hand AK100 in a good condition from a colleague for only ~$350 (dirt cheap considering the MSRP in my country)

Really love it and have no concern regarding the 22 Ohm impedance many complained about, as I don't/couldn't perceive distortion from my Vsonic GR07.

Still use the J3 for casual listening though.

 

SQ wise, the iBasso DX50 were great. BUT I DO NOT tolerate horrible software experiences, so this one's a no-no.

For overall experience, the new Walkman F880 were great, but again, I don't like its sound signature. (Actually just tried it today)

 

All in all, considering what you got for the price, you won't regret buying the X3 for a great SQ and functionality with a totally okay UI. (only if you like it, of course)

And as always, you could wait/wish for the J3 successor from Cowon. ;P

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Okay, I think I will stick with the Fiio then :) 

post #9 of 13

Can someone tell me how much of a difference the treble/bass make on the X3?  I've searched high and low and just found "it works."  As a comparison, if you know the Philips Golden Ears challenge(good fun), is the effect on the bass test equal, greater difference, or less effect that the X3 itself?

 

I ask as I like to colour certain headphones, and can't really afford to buy and not like the X3.

 

Based on the Golden Ears test with my FIscher FA003's, I would only tweak it +6db bass with certain music. The +12 is grossly bloated thick disgusting bass, to me.  I fear that I'll buy the X3 and it won't really adjust as much as I desire!  

 

As an aside, can anyone answer why I find my Cowon S9 on everything flat, I hate it, but find the Golden Ears original version songs very nice, only needing slight eqing, where my Cowon needs massive changes from completely neutral.  So confusing!

 

Thanks!

post #10 of 13
The treble/bass settings on the X3 is adjusted on the hardware level. Bass adjustment focuses on 100Hz which is leaning towards the mid bass region. Unless your phones is already strong on sub bass or bass in general, adjusting the bass on X3 will result in boosting the mid bass which may hinder the clarity as well as adding warmth to the already warm DAP. Treble settings, IMO, works better. Edges the highs and clarity. Highs on X3 are more laid back and smooth under normal settings (both treble/bass set to 0). As you're using a Cowon DAP, you should know how well the EQ functions are implemented. To be honest, Cowons EQ is simply one of the best. If you're a heavy user of EQ and likes to customize your phones, X3 will not suffice.

On a general note, a heavily EQed Cowon can only reach the par or standard of X3 player. Hence I wouldn't say X3 is a definite upgrade from J3 which I own. However, without EQ (normal settings on J3), the J3 is simply no fight for X3. Portability, UI, battery life simply bows down to J3. J3 have got sufficient power to drive most phones.

The DX50 with the latest FW1.2.8 simply triumphs both DAPs IMO.
post #11 of 13

How does the battery life of J3 compare with X3?

I see J3 is $190 on Ebay but it says it has minor scratches.

We have some units in stock, so their condition were little bit different. Most of them are Totally clean but there're some minor cracks, chips and scratches. No Problem with working and fully functional condition.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cowon-J3-Digital-Media-MP3-Player-16GB-8GB-MicroSD-WHITE-wit-bundled-accessories-/201076123929?pt=Other_MP3_Players&hash=item2ed1122919#viTabs_0

 

 

What about Cowon Z2 for $250? How does that compare with J3? And Cowon D3 also. I once bought a Cowon D3 through Amazon but I thought the sound was worse than my iPhone 5, so I returned it.

post #12 of 13

I came from an S9, and it's the win to the X3 in a landslide.  Not close.  I use Beyer DT990 Pro cans, they mate really well.  So much better on all levels, except battery, which to me, is not a big deal.  I listen for an hour each night, and charge once per week.

post #13 of 13
When did S9 come out? Do all cowon sound alike and therefore is the X3 better than all of cowon except for battery? I think you can make up for that with portable battery...
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