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[Multi-Review] Hifiman HM901, Fiio X5, Sony ZX1, Hisound Studio 3rd Anv, iPhone 4 - Page 16

post #226 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

Your arguments are invalid if you don't know what the source is meant to sound like in the first place. What are you comparing to ?
Blame the moon or blame people who can't appreciate good audio and therefore spread the mantra of ABI ie Clip is God
Clip is amazing value for money , but compared to a serious source it sounds poor.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

Again, look through my methodology in the original post. What do you disagree with? You have to find a reason to invalidate my comments. Such is the beauty of the scientific method :)

 

 

Given our respective headphone histories, I'm pretty sure I can "appreciate good audio" better than you.

post #227 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

Your arguments are invalid if you don't know what the source is meant to sound like in the first place. What are you comparing to ?
Blame the moon or blame people who can't appreciate good audio and therefore spread the mantra of ABI ie Clip is God
Clip is amazing value for money , but compared to a serious source it sounds poor.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I hear a lot of rhetoric - yet little substance.  Please describe your method of comparison.  I tried something very similar to Eke using:

 

NFB-12 (desktop)

Fiio X5

Studio Anniversary V3

iPhone 4

 

Headphones used included both the Sennheiser HD600 and Beyer DT880

 

Importantly - the tests were level matched using an SPL meter, used the same files for comparison, and I performed both standard A/B testing + a series of blind A/B tests (where my wife switched the sources out without me knowing which was which).

 

My findings closely mirror Eke's - take the sighted aspect away, and closely level match - and perceived differences become very small.  There was practically no difference between NFB-12 and X5, whilst the AV3 was simply a brighter presentation.  Interestingly - by applying some EQ to both the NFB-12 and iP4 (iP4 was with an app), you could very closely approximate the AV3 signature.

 

The important thing was that to my ears - all of those sources became very competitive with each other under true blind and volume matched circumstances.

 

So why have different sources?  Easy answer - my iPhone has neither the power to drive full sized cans, nor the space to hold all of my music.  Hence the preference for AV3/X5.

 

So - how did you perform your own testing to be refuting Eke's findings so strongly?  What was your method?  What were the parameters? Curious minds desire enlightenment ...... ;)

 

 

Oh and  - BTW - I know what the source is supposed to sound like.  I played guitar when I was a lot younger.  My mother and grandmother both played piano.  I have been to many live concerts, including classical and ballet. 

post #228 of 324

Plus the Idevices have a nice line out and can be amped to get into regions that their headphone out cannot reach. Sure, they are limited to ALAC but the benefit of HighRes files has been discussed a lot elsewhere and the discussion is not over AFAIK......

So we all can agree to disagree.... please

And yes I also know how the music is meant to sound

post #229 of 324

I'll throw my $0.02 in here...

New to Head-Fi, but I've been anonymously lurking (and listening vicariously) through y'all for a while now. Music has always been a passion for me, I listen to music ranging from rock to heavy metal, with forays into other genres (excluding most pop/rap/rnb), and I have been playing guitar for about 14 years (electric primarily, and not with your $300 xmas gift box set guitar/amp combo), so I like to think I know how I like my music to sound to some extent.

Now, before I say anything, I'll say up front that I definitely wouldn't classify myself as a hardcore audiophile, the only semi-serious headphone I own is a pair of TF-10's with the RC-UE2 FiiO replacement cable (more for comfort than SQ upgrade), others include a JVC FRD-80 (which I bought after reading the reviews on here, for the bang-for-buck), Sony MDR-1RBT/MDR-10R (I'm a member of Sony X in Australia, so I get discounts, which makes Sony gear much more appealing, slowly converting me into a Sony fanboy), very recently a Sony ZX1, and miscellaneous cheap IEM's.

Given that I came from listening to music through my Xperia Z Ultra, the ZX1 was a notable upgrade, crisper and with more definition... But in my humble opinion, purely based on SQ, not $560 AUD worth of upgrade. The experience on the whole, definitely worth it, the solid chunk of aluminium is glorious; the ZX1 is one of those devices that gives me joy from just holding it. Plus I got my MDR-10R bundled for free with it as a special pre-order deal, so that definitely helped seal the deal.

So on the whole, I would tend to agree with eke2k6, though I would put it more in terms of the law of diminishing marginal returns (I'm an accountant by profession/training, so excuse the economic rhetoric): most baseline players (iP4, iPod, etc) I imagine would sound pretty good these days, more than enough for most of the masses. The jump from them to the cheaper end of the "audiophile" grade devices, for most people, would be noticable but slight improvements, and the jump from those to the even higher grade devices would be even slighter improvements. Whether the improvements between them is worth their price tags is purely dependent on the person on the listening end, and their perception of value.

To put the prior paragraph a different way: would you be willing to pay $600 to have crisper trebles and fuller bass lines in your music? $1200 for a wider soundstage? It's a rhetorical question, as everyone's perception of the differences in the SQ and how they quantify those differences is unique.

Sorry for the long post, guess it turned into $0.05 from a noob :P

post #230 of 324
@satish89- First welcome to Head-Fi. This is a great place... to help you part with your hard earned money!!

Great .02, I mean .05. I am waiting on my Sony zx1, it will be in my hands tomorrow. I purchased it pretty much believing that my untrained ears will not hear much, if any difference, at least from my Ipod. From my Note 3, I expect a difference as I do get some interference from one of the radios.

Anyway, my main reasons for purchase were aesthetics, it's beautiful, and it's an Android. If I enjoy the sound more, that's a bonus. I expect to have that same joy you have when I first hold the unit.
post #231 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by satish89 View Post
 

I'll throw my $0.02 in here...

New to Head-Fi, but I've been anonymously lurking (and listening vicariously) through y'all for a while now. Music has always been a passion for me, I listen to music ranging from rock to heavy metal, with forays into other genres (excluding most pop/rap/rnb), and I have been playing guitar for about 14 years (electric primarily, and not with your $300 xmas gift box set guitar/amp combo), so I like to think I know how I like my music to sound to some extent.

Now, before I say anything, I'll say up front that I definitely wouldn't classify myself as a hardcore audiophile, the only semi-serious headphone I own is a pair of TF-10's with the RC-UE2 FiiO replacement cable (more for comfort than SQ upgrade), others include a JVC FRD-80 (which I bought after reading the reviews on here, for the bang-for-buck), Sony MDR-1RBT/MDR-10R (I'm a member of Sony X in Australia, so I get discounts, which makes Sony gear much more appealing, slowly converting me into a Sony fanboy), very recently a Sony ZX1, and miscellaneous cheap IEM's.

Given that I came from listening to music through my Xperia Z Ultra, the ZX1 was a notable upgrade, crisper and with more definition... But in my humble opinion, purely based on SQ, not $560 AUD worth of upgrade. The experience on the whole, definitely worth it, the solid chunk of aluminium is glorious; the ZX1 is one of those devices that gives me joy from just holding it. Plus I got my MDR-10R bundled for free with it as a special pre-order deal, so that definitely helped seal the deal.

So on the whole, I would tend to agree with eke2k6, though I would put it more in terms of the law of diminishing marginal returns (I'm an accountant by profession/training, so excuse the economic rhetoric): most baseline players (iP4, iPod, etc) I imagine would sound pretty good these days, more than enough for most of the masses. The jump from them to the cheaper end of the "audiophile" grade devices, for most people, would be noticable but slight improvements, and the jump from those to the even higher grade devices would be even slighter improvements. Whether the improvements between them is worth their price tags is purely dependent on the person on the listening end, and their perception of value.

To put the prior paragraph a different way: would you be willing to pay $600 to have crisper trebles and fuller bass lines in your music? $1200 for a wider soundstage? It's a rhetorical question, as everyone's perception of the differences in the SQ and how they quantify those differences is unique.

Sorry for the long post, guess it turned into $0.05 from a noob :P

Very nice post, and welcome to Head-Fi.  Yes, the law of diminishing returns is, in fact, the driving factor behind oh so many disagreements among members regarding one's preference in equipment.  It kind of keeps the skillet sizzling around here, so to speak! :rolleyes:

post #232 of 324

Thanks for the warm welcomes. I have to say, the longer I hang around, the more I start realising my $560 was a relatively small investment compared to some of the gear being talked about around here! That being said, I'm very happy with my ZX1 purchase. Definite improvement from the Xperia Z Ultra/Xperia Z/Nokia Lumia 800/Galaxy S II etc that I've become accustomed to listening to music from, and I'm very used to Android, so using it is natural for me. It's the first device that has even made me consider moving away from ultimate convenience of using my phone for everything.

 

I had become somewhat of an armchair elitist, having picked up the vibe from reviews and the like that iPods, iPhones, Android phones etc all had pretty mediocre sound output. The first time I tried my TF-10 from the box I was floored, overwhelmed by the details in my music I had been missing out on. After my TF-10 purchase, I thought to myself, "Wow, if that can come out of my "mediocre" phone, what else am I missing out on?"

 

Eventually I stumbled upon Head-Fi, and anonymous lurking led to reading reviews of all sorts of gear, but after having received a reality check as to what to expect from higher-end players in the form of the ZX1, I've come to form the view that the majority of phones and iPods that people use actually sound pretty good; I guess my baseline for SQ was pretty unrealistic. That is probably also because my TF-10's are the limiting factor, and that the better players/amps only do justice to better headphones; maybe when I eventually take the plunge and buy some really serious headphones, I'll be floored all over again. I'm nothing if not open-minded, I like to think :smile_phones:

Coming back to the actual reviews, I find my ZX1 on the brighter side too - almost so much so that it feels like the bass is under-represented, but I feel that with increased usage I'm getting more used to the sound and liking it more and more. The main advantage of the ZX1 is that it brings out minor details and nuances compared to my Xperia Z Ultra (though I'm willing to put money on the iPhone 4 sounding better than the Z Ultra) and it just feels more clear, almost clinical I suppose. That's just my opinion, coming from my "untrained ears" as @warrior1975 put it. Guess I need to hang around here a little longer to pick up the proper terminology eh? 

post #233 of 324
@satish89-Very well said. I am rather new here as well, but I made the plunge into getting a very nice pair of IEMS, let me tell you, I will never go back to what I had. I could never enjoy using through a "regular" headphone again. If you have the funds, I hate to say it, but go for it. The difference is remarkable.

Anyway, I'm truly looking forward to this unit. I know I'm going to love it. I'm already searching for some small improvements. Working on getting a custom carbon fiber LOD to my amp.
post #234 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

Your arguments are invalid if you don't know what the source is meant to sound like in the first place. What are you comparing to ?
Blame the moon or blame people who can't appreciate good audio and therefore spread the mantra of ABI ie Clip is God
Clip is amazing value for money , but compared to a serious source it sounds poor.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Have you read the whole thread? The number of people agreeing with Eke is not small. I'm definitely one of them. I just got my ZX1 and my impressions are pretty similar to his. While I can say that the sound is overall warmer and fuller than that of my iPod Classic, it's really not a large difference, and most of all, it's all about synergy ‚Äď which wasn't very good with my Roxanne, by the way. My tests with my previous HM-801 and DX100 were pretty similar to this.

 

And I'm not a person without references... I'm a bass player and know how instruments sound like, and my experience with headphones is not exactly small (I haven't owned all of these though, but many of them stayed with me for weeks ‚Äď sometimes months ‚Äď for reviews).

post #235 of 324
From my limited experience, my zx1 is a noticeable upgrade from my Note 3 and my 1g touch. I haven't really compared it to my girls 5g touch, probably because I truly believe I won't hear a difference. I'm no expert, but I am confident I won't hear much if any difference. Plus, right now I'm extremely happy with my recent purchase, so why bother? Like they say ignorance is bliss, if I think this is better, I'm a happy man. I'm not going to get caught up with crazy comparisons, I'm just really enjoying my new portable rig. Don't forget, that's what brought us all here to begin with.
post #236 of 324

I think more or less we all agree that good iems/cans and better mastering make more difference than other factors.

post #237 of 324
As long as better cans or iems make a big difference, the DAP can remain untouched. And there is always the possibility to add a decent amp to further enhance the soundquality.
post #238 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by pietcux View Post

As long as better cans or iems make a big difference, the DAP can remain untouched. And there is always the possibility to add a decent amp to further enhance the soundquality.


Yup. I agree. However for portability and keep things simple, good mastered tracks with resolving c/iem and a decent dap would be more than enough for most of us.

 

For home systems, I can justify buying high end dacs and amps with reference cans but you know what? I am not that rich so I guess I will use my ciems at home too :D

post #239 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


Yup. I agree. However for portability and keep things simple, good mastered tracks with resolving c/iem and a decent dap would be more than enough for most of us.

 

For home systems, I can justify buying high end dacs and amps with reference cans but you know what? I am not that rich so I guess I will use my ciems at home too :D

I think the other thing to consider here to is each of us as listeners and what we want with are portable needs

 

I carry a bag within a bag for my portable gear, meaning I have a ton of crap with me, and my portable rig costs a touch more than my at home, sounds almost as good to...

 

it's also how we use our portables! I'm not a cIem and Headphone out guy, I'm a full sized Headphone, lineout to amp kinda dude lol

 

Not to mention the PB2 is very resolving, the quad channel amplification leads to the amp refelect it's source very strongly, hence is why I use LEM 4990 op amps and dummy buffers in it. It's pretty transpart. Just a powerful and clean sounding amp. 

 

Still how we use our DAPS creates a differance in our expectations, the same can be said for the design of the DAPS them selvs, the hm801 had Line Out and Coaxial In, there was a LOT of focus on it's Dac design, and it had optional AMP cards mine and possibly Ekes being the standard card. either way, the two DAPS have different goals in mind during the design process, there fore the pros and cons of each really on how each is being used

 

And yes I'll admite the HM801 Stock Headphone Amp sucks... BADLY... but that's not what I use it for nor why I bought it :/ so I think so long as each of us uses out DAPS differently, like Amber wanting and all in one solution with some cIems, and me wanting a killer Dac with a UI and Line out to an Amp+full sized cans, will change how highly or critically we look at any DAP 

post #240 of 324

You might want to take a look at DX90. Killer dual dac with line out, coax out and apparently very strong amp section too, if you want to treat lightly sometimes.

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