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[Multi-Review] Hifiman HM901, Fiio X5, Sony ZX1, Hisound Studio 3rd Anv, iPhone 4 - Page 9

post #121 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachchen1996 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

I'm inclined to think now that the lower end of the DAP market is most suited to people who either don't own Apple products, have an iPhone but want a separate music player, want to play high-res files on the go, want a player that takes micro-SD cards, or simply don't want something that is made by Apple. They have done such a good job improving the SQ of iDevices over the years that my own experiences have fairly matched what has been discussed here, the only difference between the less expensive players, other than functionality is a slightly different tuning.

 

what dap's would you consider to be in the lower end of the market?

 

<$500 models. I was thinking of the X5 I have here. 

post #122 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

<$500 models. I was thinking of the X5 I have here. 


I think X5 and DX90 will be the kings of <500$ daps. The choice depends on your needs like, high capacity, sound signature, physical buttons or touchscreen etc.

post #123 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

<$500 models. I was thinking of the X5 I have here. 

 

Honestly, it still doesn't explain why I don't see the HM-901 as an improvement over the iphone or clip+ using the same files and very resolving iems. This is when there are those touting the HM-901 as the ultimate dap beside the AK240.

 

I think I saw a post from either you or Anakchan stating how hard pressed you (he) were (was) to find a difference between a dsd file and a pcm file converted from the original as well.

 

This sometimes makes me ponder what the point of all this is, when the X5 is actually more feature packed than the 901 (if you don't value the amp swappability), and sounds more engaging overall. One really has to consider what exactly these daps add to the chain. It's not like with headphones that allow for tremendous tuning. These daps are just slaves to the mastering of the tracks we feed them, given that the daps themselves keep things like OI and distortion on check.

post #124 of 324

Eke. be happy this pleasure got cheaper for you and that storage isn't a hassle with those 320 files.:beerchug: Unfortunately, I'm not that lucky.:wink_face: 

I do agree it's not always about price and format. I wasn't a big fan of the X5 for instance and do like touches and clips. I just prefer a few others more, especially with some of the HiDef I own. It's just great we all have those options.


Edited by goodvibes - 4/3/14 at 6:11am
post #125 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

Eke. be happy this pleasure got cheaper for you and that storage isn't a hassle with those 320 files.:beerchug: Unfortunately, I'm not that lucky.:wink_face: 

I do agree it's not always about price and format. I wasn't a big fan of the X5 for instance and do like touches and clips. I just prefer a few others more, especially with some of the HiDef I own. It's just great we all have those options.

 

 

You didn't address anything I said, but...

 

:beerchug:

post #126 of 324

If anything, this thread has taught me three things:

 

  • I'm not the only one who hears only small differences between DAPs.
  • There'll probably never be a broad agreement on the significance of¬†these differences.
  • <$500 DAPs are considered "lower end" nowadays.

 

:beerchug: 

post #127 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
  • <$500 DAPs are considered "lower end" nowadays.

 

:beerchug: 

Thinking about iGreedy daps, Calyx M, Hifiman HM901, iBasso DX100... Then probably sub 500$ category is relatively lower end. On the other hand, they seem to be greater value then so called End of the Game daps. Pay attention, I said "value" rather than being completely better.

 

Related to your other points, I totally agree with you, I have nothing to add honestly.

post #128 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

If anything, this thread has taught me three things:

 

  • I'm not the only one who hears only small differences between DAPs.
  • There'll probably never be a broad agreement on the significance of¬†these differences.
  • <$500 DAPs are considered "lower end" nowadays.

 

:beerchug: 

 

 

:beerchug:

 

All I can do is compare. Therefore when comparing the differences between these DAPs, it's almost like comparing differences between cables...sometimes there's no difference, sometimes there are minuscule but significant changes in sound signature. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 

Thinking about iGreedy daps, Calyx M, Hifiman HM901, iBasso DX100... Then probably sub 500$ category is relatively lower end. On the other hand, they seem to be greater value then so called End of the Game daps. Pay attention, I said "value" rather than being completely better.

 

Related to your other points, I totally agree with you, I have nothing to add honestly.

 

 

The thing though, AmberOzl, is that there is no "better" given that a DAP doesn't commit any grave errors. It's all in the files. My clip+ will blow the ZX1 to smithereens if I play a well recorded binaural track on the Clip, and a crappy 80s rock song on the ZX1. With the exact same files on the players, you'll be hard pressed to pick out differences, much less a clear victor. 

 

I know this is just my opinion, but I believe I followed the scientific process in a way that will allow others to achieve the same results if the method is fairly similar.

post #129 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

<$500 models. I was thinking of the X5 I have here. 

 

Honestly, it still doesn't explain why I don't see the HM-901 as an improvement over the iphone or clip+ using the same files and very resolving iems. This is when there are those touting the HM-901 as the ultimate dap beside the AK240.

 

I think I saw a post from either you or Anakchan stating how hard pressed you (he) were (was) to find a difference between a dsd file and a pcm file converted from the original as well.

 

This sometimes makes me ponder what the point of all this is, when the X5 is actually more feature packed than the 901 (if you don't value the amp swappability), and sounds more engaging overall. One really has to consider what exactly these daps add to the chain. It's not like with headphones that allow for tremendous tuning. These daps are just slaves to the mastering of the tracks we feed them, given that the daps themselves keep things like OI and distortion on check.

 

The key here is "with very resolving IEMs".  I haven't had a chance to sit down with a HM-901, only the AK100 and AK240 and the difference in their ability with full-sized headphones is considerable. That, and the features available. So if someone is looking for a DAP and is neither interested in the features of the more expensive models and only wants to use IEMs of whatever kind, then I completely agree with you. It's the same reason I'll never buy a big speaker system at home with powerful monoblocks -- I neither want nor can fit big speakers and I don't listen that loud. 

 

On the other hand, functionality and software issues killed my interest in a number of DAPs and made me decide to sell my DX100. The X5 at the moment is M3U playlist functionality away from me considering recommending it.

 

As for DSD, I tried a couple of tracks on the AK240 that I had in both DSD and PCM and the difference, if any, seemed subtle. I feel the AK240 is refined enough with PCM that worrying about it just adds more hassle, though I am interested in new, high-quality recordings in either PCM or DSD. Anyhow, depending on the DAC used, DSD can end up sounding smoother in my experience, which may or may not be better, though it can seem so.


Edited by Currawong - 4/3/14 at 7:54am
post #130 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

The key here is "with very resolving IEMs".  I haven't had a chance to sit down with a HM-901, only the AK100 and AK240 and the difference in their ability with full-sized headphones is considerable. That, and the features available. So if someone is looking for a DAP and is neither interested in the features of the more expensive models and only wants to use IEMs of whatever kind, then I completely agree with you. It's the same reason I'll never buy a big speaker system at home with powerful monoblocks -- I neither want nor can fit big speakers and I don't listen that loud. 

 

 

 

It appears we see things the same way :beerchug:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

Perhaps I should have been more clear. There was zero raw improvement from any of these sources over even my clip+ or ipod classic. Of course I know my view may not be popular, but I see absolutely no reason to drop anywhere close to what these players cost if SQ is the primary objective. If you want more driving power or different capabilities, then that's up to you how much those things are worth. 

 

The minuscule differences I described had to do with the tuning of the devices, and how they affected things like detail perception. My files are carefully chosen and well mastered. "Hi-res" files mean nothing to me because I have MANY times bought and converted these mega lossless albums to 320 MP3, and I've never heard a difference, even from my desktop Sabre setup and HD600. 

 

I am a musician. Music is my first love. I play 5 instruments. Last week I placed second in my school's talent show performing Rivers and Roads by The Head and The Heart with a few friends in a band. Again, the ASG-2 has the most resolving midrange I've heard, and the treble and bass are no slouch. Look at my profile to see that I don't make these assertions from thin air.

 

If a listener wants to evaluate gear superiority based on sound signature, then so be it. I'm not one of them. I consider all devices featured here equal in SQ.

 
post #131 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tympan View Post
 

I've also own the HM801 (balanced mode) for 4 years... and it sounds quite better than my iphone 4, the few desktop DAC I've come across, and the HM700-RE400 pairing (working on a quick review soon to appear on Head-fi)

 

In regard to your concern that your HM801 may be at the end of its life, know that Hifiman will replace it as long as supplies last and you buy their $99 one year extended warranty currently available from Head Direct. I just went through that last week (Hifiman customer service has always been absolutely awesome in my experience ; )

 

This being said, I haven't heard any of the DAP reviewed in this thread except for the iphone 4, which I find surprisingly good sounding too (especially when playing .flac files with the buggy Accudio Pro app)...

I know they offer the replacement :D I've had one of those on hold for about a year now. My concern is how much longer will they offer that service >.> I know that at some point they will stop which worries me, seeing as I LOVE the way the hM801 sounds, a very nice organic sound. I worry the HM901 won't have the lush sound the hm801 has, although it's mostly my fasination with the PCM and NOS based Dac chips, ANYTHING with one of those high end chips and a line out will work as my DAP. I'm not ready for a triple stack yet q.q

 

Ehm, that said I'm happy to report my hm801 is still chuggin along 

post #132 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

My concern is how much longer will they offer that service >.> I know that at some point they will stop which worries me, seeing as I LOVE the way the hM801 sounds, a very nice organic sound. I worry the HM901 won't have the lush sound the hm801 has, although it's mostly my fasination with the PCM and NOS based Dac chips, ANYTHING with one of those high end chips and a line out will work as my DAP. I'm not ready for a triple stack yet q.q

 

Ehm, that said I'm happy to report my hm801 is still chuggin along 

I'd hope a babied HM801 would last over 10 years average. Mine failed because of a charger issue that damaged the DAP's ability to recharge the battery but it was still working strong when connected to a new charger.

Worst case scenario, with all the new DAPs flooding the market, pre-owned HM801 should be relatively easy to find. Meanwhile, judging from others initial impressions, seems like the HM802 would be a solid alternative for us, the organic/NOS sound signature fans : )

post #133 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tympan View Post
 

I'd hope a babied HM801 would last over 10 years average. Mine failed because of a charger issue that damaged the DAP's ability to recharge the battery but it was still working strong when connected to a new charger.

Worst case scenario, with all the new DAPs flooding the market, pre-owned HM801 should be relatively easy to find. Meanwhile, judging from others initial impressions, seems like the HM802 would be a solid alternative for us, the organic/NOS sound signature fans : )

I do hope so... still dual wolfsons vs NOS/PCM based chips >.> I hope I hope

 

speaking of which... I wonder if I'll even own one of Kingwa's PCM and/or NOS based balanced dacs *drools* 

post #134 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 

If anything, this thread has taught me three things:

 

  • I'm not the only one who hears only small differences between DAPs.
  • There'll probably never be a broad agreement on the significance of¬†these differences.
  • <$500 DAPs are considered "lower end" nowadays.

 

:beerchug: 

Thinking I'm going to hang on to my low end iPod/CLAS a while longer.  Still don't feel like dealing with DAP's that may sound really great but still function like a Beta test site project.

post #135 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiascogarcia View Post
 

Thinking I'm going to hang on to my low end iPod/CLAS a while longer.  Still don't feel like dealing with DAP's that may sound really great but still function like a Beta test site project.


iPod/Clas rig is way more expensive to be considered a low end I believe. iPC + 2 Cypher labs products (or Theorem 720) costs around 1k or even more I think.

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