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[Multi-Review] Hifiman HM901, Fiio X5, Sony ZX1, Hisound Studio 3rd Anv, iPhone 4 - Page 19

post #271 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by fzman View Post


Actually, i believe that what he says is indeed correct. Our perception of what we hear is completely based on the frequencies we hear and the relative difference in phase and amplitude which both ears pick up. If you look at some basic audiology readings, you would realise that the frequency response curve of the pickup of sounds by our ears varies largely on the direction at which the sound comes from because of the way in which different frequencies radiate out and the way our auditory system is built physically. So yes, in a way, all this soundstage simply comes from 2 things, the difference that each ear hears and the tone(affected by frequency response). Both these parameters are processed by the ear, and based on all of the brain's experiences, it does its own magic to give you an idea of placement of the instruments. So yes by altering the frequency response to match the natural decay of instruments when panned widely, the earphone can give a larger soundstage as well. And this difference can in fact be rather vast.
post #272 of 324

Is it possible to give a "bottom line" suggestion for someone who is as conscious about usability and utility as sound quality? I quite like my 6Gen Nano + E5 combo, but hate having to deal with itunes and yet another format or two to deal with. The usability part should go without saying, but obviously the more user-friendly a device is the better the experience will be with the 'administrative' parts of our hobby: arranging songs and albums, tagging, file transfer, etc.

post #273 of 324

Get iPod classic, rockbox it, be happy with your 160 gb (148 available) Rockbox'd player. It plays everything, wonderful UI and customization options, easy to use, drap/drop file transfer, folder view, gapless playback..... I can count more but you got my point. If you need more power, you can add an amp to the link though because of Rockbox, dac/amp's are not supported so no Theorem 720 or Hifi M8 but you can always use Duet or any other portable amp with line in.

post #274 of 324
I got me a Sony NWZ-F886 out of curiosity a few days ago. Until now I can only say there is a difference compared to the Ipod Classic 120 Gb that I own, but I cannot tell if it is any better sounding...... If I will find out that it's better, it will only be by a small margin.
Edited by pietcux - 5/19/14 at 12:48pm
post #275 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 

Get iPod classic, rockbox it, be happy with your 160 gb (148 available) Rockbox'd player. It plays everything, wonderful UI and customization options, easy to use, drap/drop file transfer, folder view, gapless playback..... I can count more but you got my point. If you need more power, you can add an amp to the link though because of Rockbox, dac/amp's are not supported so no Theorem 720 or Hifi M8 but you can always use Duet or any other portable amp with line in.

 

x2

 

How are you liking the Classic, Amber?

post #276 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

x2

 

How are you liking the Classic, Amber?


I did install Rockbox successfully after some crazy efforts. Now it is awesome. It plays all my files, huge capacity (while I prefer even higher, 160 gb is cool enough for the moment). At the beginning, I took your advice to manage and get used to the Apple's UI but man, after all those years, I really hated it so much and couldn't stand more than 1 day.

 

It doesn't have huge amount power like let's say X5 or HM901 but for portable cans and pretty much all c/iems it should be fine. Anyway for power hungry people there are amps available, call it Duet or MK3 B+ etc.

 

As for the sound quality. Well, I don't have access to high end daps, so I can compare to my smartphone (Galaxy S2) and Clip+ also Rockbox'ed. I don't hear a big difference, there is absolutely no huge gap between them. My smartphone has the worst sound. Clip+ and IPC seem like more or less the same. IPC seems to have slightly more power than Clip+. With my GMP 8.35D I can't hear a big difference. Maybe IPC sounds slightly more in your face? Need to do more test in between. I think, IPC sounds more intimate and Clip+ is slightly more open. Then again, differences are really hard to hear. Then again, GMP 8.35D is not providing the highest resolution out there.

 

The problem is, I am still waiting to receive back my ciem, SE5way. Also I am getting Custom Art Music One too, so I can compare both daps with ciems, which I believe it will give me a better about idea their sound signatures and qualities. Especially with SE5way, the resolution and details are incredible, definitely the end of the line product. So I believe, if I want to compare both daps, I need SE5way. That will reveal all the differences in between, if there is any.

 

So far, the bottom line of my feelings is: get a dap that is ergonomic, easy to use, gives you features that you value, decent battery life, high capacity and play all your files. The SQ difference in between daps are "way less" important than the headphones-c/iems and mastering quality. At this moment I can't say convert all your files to 320 kbps mp3 and call it a day but I can say, 16bit cd quality is actually more than enough, the rest seems like a waste of space and battery especially in portable life.

 

Hey, high resolution or dsd fetishists, keep those babies for home audio to use with 10k+ systems, not portable products, because it is not worth it at all. You wanna "live" dsd recordings? Get a reference level headphones (SR009?) and high end dac and high end amp (so called summit fi in here) then find an empty/silent room and enjoy those resolutions, sample rates and bit rates.


Edited by AmberOzL - 5/19/14 at 7:52am
post #277 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by pietcux View Post

I got me a Sony NWZ-F886 out of curiosity a few days ago. Until now I can onky say there is a difference compared to the Ipod Classic 120 Gb that I own, but I cannot tell if it is any better sounding...... If I will find out that it's better, it will only be by a small margin.

 

I have a ZX-1 but reports indicate that the ZX1 and F886 sound very similar if not identical. I can agree that the difference between a regular dap or in my case my Galaxy S4 phone and my dap is not huge by any means. It's worth it for me but I can see many people not finding the different in sound worth the $700 or however much it costs.

post #278 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 

 

 

nice. I switched back to rockbox too. I'm really digging the usefulness overall.

 

Enjoy!

post #279 of 324

Interesting discussion here which is mostly off topic.

 

I just search for comparison between X5 and ZX1 and saw all the things about compressed audio sounds similar to raw....

 

All things aside, these are subjective.

Yes, type or IEMs or HP makes a difference. How the album is mastered made a difference, but to say it is more than any of other factors is just strange.

 

I have not hear or dare compare (no matter how many HP, IEM, DACS you have) as none of us have the same (even cables).

I came from multi track recording studio to digital, than trying to make the ends meet on my home rig and portability to reproduce that.

Things have changed for last 3-4 years:

- Codec had improved

- more types (DSD, DXD)

- Mastering techniques have also changed due to mastering formats and digital

- Mic techniques and types.

 

With all this, there is no way to really compare

During the analog days, the type of copper cables linking mic to mixers and down to tapes (now HDD) is critical in how things sound. Again, subjective. Some engineers like it warm, some like it fast and sharp.. some like it laid back. But than, these "small" copper, codec, types does make a hell a lot of difference. (difference between a hydrid cable, to silver and copper)

 

I would not even like to discuss about MP3 and FLAC. It is like comparing JPG and RAW. Sure, in JPG, you can still see the face of the person you love, same as in RAW but 3-4x the size. But there is a reason.

 

FLAC is created as initially an on-disk Archival format for CDs. Mp3, AAC are developed for the pass devices with less or not so big storage. That make sense. But with a few details removed. (just look at a JPG file and RAW, they has more or less the same concept as MP3 vs FLAC). Interpolation by devices made the difference is how MP3 sound. There is no decoder sounding the same from the same MP3 files.

 

The sole reason why I have a need to go DSD (even DXD) is the fact that, it was ORIGINALLY mastered into DXD or DSD format PRIOR to down sample to CDs, FLAC, MP3, AAC from most modern studios now. DXD size is prohibitive. Doesn't make sense for portability. What about DSD. Unlike Mp3, AAC, FLAC, ALAC..etc, DSD is based upon 1bit. It is very different. 

 

I have compared this with similarly recorded FLAC 192/24, FLAC 44/16, DSD2.8 and DSD 5.6. I am pleasantly surprise at the differences. At 192/24 flac, could be very well argue to be similar to that of DSD2.8 or even DSD 5.6. It is all down to how much I can fit into a portable unit or how much it cost to purchase the original masters. (2-3x the price of a CD in fact). DSD2.6 and FLAC 24/96 or 192 has similar  file size.... maybe even smaller.

 

If you have X3 or X5 with latest firmware, go to a few sites *particularly 2L and download a few comparison samples (FLACs and DSD). Enjoy.

 

So, i will use MP3/aac or itunes for Bluetooth music, FLAC and DSD for rest. Reason why I am looking at X5 or ZX1 is because, X3 sucks with the latest Beta firmware, and the LO clipped out my car's Burmester sound system (which I use mostly when travelling) Home I use full DSD DAC. Travel, hopefully use the X5 or ZX1. Only thing is, X5 plays DSD 2.8 and ZX1 doesn't.. bummer. However, I am ok with Flac, but there is still no downsampling decoder from DSD to Flac... at this moment, given I have a few DSD files already.

 

Rgds

post #280 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madsumm View Post
 

Interesting discussion here which is mostly off topic.

 

I just search for comparison between X5 and ZX1 and saw all the things about compressed audio sounds similar to raw....

 

All things aside, these are subjective.

Yes, type or IEMs or HP makes a difference. How the album is mastered made a difference, but to say it is more than any of other factors is just strange.

 

I have not hear or dare compare (no matter how many HP, IEM, DACS you have) as none of us have the same (even cables).

I came from multi track recording studio to digital, than trying to make the ends meet on my home rig and portability to reproduce that.

Things have changed for last 3-4 years:

- Codec had improved

- more types (DSD, DXD)

- Mastering techniques have also changed due to mastering formats and digital

- Mic techniques and types.

 

With all this, there is no way to really compare

During the analog days, the type of copper cables linking mic to mixers and down to tapes (now HDD) is critical in how things sound. Again, subjective. Some engineers like it warm, some like it fast and sharp.. some like it laid back. But than, these "small" copper, codec, types does make a hell a lot of difference. (difference between a hydrid cable, to silver and copper)

 

I would not even like to discuss about MP3 and FLAC. It is like comparing JPG and RAW. Sure, in JPG, you can still see the face of the person you love, same as in RAW but 3-4x the size. But there is a reason.

 

FLAC is created as initially an on-disk Archival format for CDs. Mp3, AAC are developed for the pass devices with less or not so big storage. That make sense. But with a few details removed. (just look at a JPG file and RAW, they has more or less the same concept as MP3 vs FLAC). Interpolation by devices made the difference is how MP3 sound. There is no decoder sounding the same from the same MP3 files.

 

The sole reason why I have a need to go DSD (even DXD) is the fact that, it was ORIGINALLY mastered into DXD or DSD format PRIOR to down sample to CDs, FLAC, MP3, AAC from most modern studios now. DXD size is prohibitive. Doesn't make sense for portability. What about DSD. Unlike Mp3, AAC, FLAC, ALAC..etc, DSD is based upon 1bit. It is very different. 

 

I have compared this with similarly recorded FLAC 192/24, FLAC 44/16, DSD2.8 and DSD 5.6. I am pleasantly surprise at the differences. At 192/24 flac, could be very well argue to be similar to that of DSD2.8 or even DSD 5.6. It is all down to how much I can fit into a portable unit or how much it cost to purchase the original masters. (2-3x the price of a CD in fact). DSD2.6 and FLAC 24/96 or 192 has similar  file size.... maybe even smaller.

 

If you have X3 or X5 with latest firmware, go to a few sites *particularly 2L and download a few comparison samples (FLACs and DSD). Enjoy.

 

So, i will use MP3/aac or itunes for Bluetooth music, FLAC and DSD for rest. Reason why I am looking at X5 or ZX1 is because, X3 sucks with the latest Beta firmware, and the LO clipped out my car's Burmester sound system (which I use mostly when travelling) Home I use full DSD DAC. Travel, hopefully use the X5 or ZX1. Only thing is, X5 plays DSD 2.8 and ZX1 doesn't.. bummer. However, I am ok with Flac, but there is still no downsampling decoder from DSD to Flac... at this moment, given I have a few DSD files already.

 

Rgds

 

 

Nothing to do with the whole which format is better debate, but I doubt the x5 or the zx1 would fulfill your needs. I understand that you want to use DSD files because that is what it was originally produced in, and that conversion would always degrade the file. That I agree. However, neither the x5 nor the zx1 play DSD natively, and still do conversion to PCM on the fly before going through the DAC stage. Thus, carrying around DSD would be wasted no?

 

Also, I believe that at this stage, many SACD's are actually remastered from high sample rate PCM sources. In that case, wouldn't using DSD simply be causing the same problem you tried to avoid, the problem of degradation from conversion of format?

post #281 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCDchee View Post
 

 

 

Nothing to do with the whole which format is better debate, but I doubt the x5 or the zx1 would fulfill your needs. I understand that you want to use DSD files because that is what it was originally produced in, and that conversion would always degrade the file. That I agree. However, neither the x5 nor the zx1 play DSD natively, and still do conversion to PCM on the fly before going through the DAC stage. Thus, carrying around DSD would be wasted no?

 

Also, I believe that at this stage, many SACD's are actually remastered from high sample rate PCM sources. In that case, wouldn't using DSD simply be causing the same problem you tried to avoid, the problem of degradation from conversion of format?

 

 

In addition to this, DSD is a mastering format that perhaps allows the engineers to take greater control of the creative process. Converting to PCM will carry over every single change that the engineers made. 

post #282 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

In addition to this, DSD is a mastering format that perhaps allows the engineers to take greater control of the creative process. Converting to PCM will carry over every single change that the engineers made. 

I believe you mean DXD as DSD is on its own not editable due to it being 1 bit. Which brings us to another point. Even if the track is recorded in DSD, any editing would have to be done on the DXD conversion, after which it would then be re converted back to DSD. In this case, it seems like even using DSD gives quite a bit of conversion already :)

post #283 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCDchee View Post
 

I believe you mean DXD as DSD is on its own not editable due to it being 1 bit. Which brings us to another point. Even if the track is recorded in DSD, any editing would have to be done on the DXD conversion, after which it would then be re converted back to DSD. In this case, it seems like even using DSD gives quite a bit of conversion already :)

 

 

"S" and "X" are pretty close on the keyboard. :o

post #284 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCDchee View Post
 

 

 

Nothing to do with the whole which format is better debate, but I doubt the x5 or the zx1 would fulfill your needs. I understand that you want to use DSD files because that is what it was originally produced in, and that conversion would always degrade the file. That I agree. However, neither the x5 nor the zx1 play DSD natively, and still do conversion to PCM on the fly before going through the DAC stage. Thus, carrying around DSD would be wasted no?

 

Also, I believe that at this stage, many SACD's are actually remastered from high sample rate PCM sources. In that case, wouldn't using DSD simply be causing the same problem you tried to avoid, the problem of degradation from conversion of format?

Use to be standardized to PCM. But it is not per -say, easily editable. Like JPG compared to RAW, or lossless format like DNG in photography.

 

Now most high res production are done directly to DXD format, which is uncompressed raw format, which is than downsampled to DSD, or other hi res like FLAC or ALAC. It is editable as it is a very hires form of PCM. However, strangely, most studios will use DXD and convert to DSD for SACD masters. So to say, that path seems to be preferred, as it seems to stay true to the recording itself.

 

There will be degradation in whatever way you look at it. If anyway I am taking around hires FLAC which is almost the same size as DSD or even smaller size for DSD, it makes sense to do this.

 

You are right no Natively playing the DSD. I do know only a handful that does this from source to DAC to output. (Korg is one with both software and hardware decoding from source to DAC to output). For Korg, you can definitely feel the difference, leaving all the rest the same.

 

Again, I can bear with degradation in some form or rather, but as of now, I could not re-sample/downsample from my DSD collections and would not rather spend another set or monies to purchase FLACs. Rather just use it as it is, since size is not an issue currently.


Edited by Madsumm - 5/20/14 at 7:28am
post #285 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by WCDchee View Post
 

I believe you mean DXD as DSD is on its own not editable due to it being 1 bit. Which brings us to another point. Even if the track is recorded in DSD, any editing would have to be done on the DXD conversion, after which it would then be re converted back to DSD. In this case, it seems like even using DSD gives quite a bit of conversion already :)

I think most studio try to avoid that. But it could be the case as most recorders out there are DSD, not DXD.

Again, I beg to differ on editability. Korg can do it on DSD.  But of course, limited. Not as in DXD which is fully compatible with PCM therefore very editable.


Edited by Madsumm - 5/20/14 at 7:29am
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