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

post #46 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

Regardless of the encoding of your files, I see no sonic benefit to those players. Have a look at this post to get a better understanding of this "hi-res" deal:

 

 http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded

 

Also, the spoiler at the bottom of this post: http://www.head-fi.org/t/646411/lossless-vs-128kbps-mp3-vs-320kbps-mp3-blind-test

 

The mids of the ASG-2 are kind of dry in character, which is what makes them stand out. It's a generally warm signature, but possesses one of the clearest and most engaging midranges I've heard. It uses a 15mm full-range dynamic complemented by two balanced armatures. No crossover is used either.

 

Seriously the ZX1 is the epitome for me in UI and software features. The X5 is right beside it thanks to dual microsd slots, DAC function, DSD playback (I tried the new alpha firmware, and DSD works), and seriously good UI. Plus it has the power to drive cans.


Interesting those threads especially the 16 bit 24 bit one. I have a lot to read but now I don't have much time. I will see in the future. I have a feeling like I should downsample everything I have to 16 bit cd quality level (sorry still I don't feel like going to 128 kbps mp3 but 320 kbps can be okay-ish).

 

In that case I will have more capacity and be able to use more daps like Studio V 3rd anniv (I didn't buy it before because the lack of 24 bit playback otherwise great battery life, form factor).

post #47 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post


Interesting those threads especially the 16 bit 24 bit one. I have a lot to read but now I don't have much time. I will see in the future. I have a feeling like I should downsample everything I have to 16 bit cd quality level (sorry still I don't feel like going to 128 kbps mp3 but 320 kbps can be okay-ish).

In that case I will have more capacity and be able to use more daps like Studio V 3rd anniv (I didn't buy it before because the lack of 24 bit playback otherwise great battery life, form factor).

Oh yeah I never go below 256 personally.

Do yourself the favor of converting your 24 bit stuff to 16 bit and A/B. I never went back after doing that. I still do it once in a while to remind myself though, since the talk around here can be strong enough to make you doubt yourself.
post #48 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post


Oh yeah I never go below 256 personally.

Do yourself the favor of converting your 24 bit stuff to 16 bit and A/B. I never went back after doing that. I still do it once in a while to remind myself though, since the talk around here can be strong enough to make you doubt yourself.


With my current ciem SE5way I have a slight right ear fit problem, after refit I will do it. Then we will see if I should go after a 24/192 playback dap or just simple 16 bit one.

 

This master takes too much time I can't even get an appointment with audiologist for new ear impressions. Once I settle down and have big time for this hobby, I will decide which road I should follow.

post #49 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post


With my current ciem SE5way I have a slight right ear fit problem, after refit I will do it. Then we will see if I should go after a 24/192 playback dap or just simple 16 bit one.

This master takes too much time I can't even get an appointment with audiologist for new ear impressions. Once I settle down and have big time for this hobby, I will decide which road I should follow.

I understand. My roommate is doing his too. His thesis on the genetics of Drosophilia species. He's in the lab all night and stumbles into the apartment at 4:30 am. Naps, showers, then heads right back.

Looking forward to your thoughts.
post #50 of 324
Your iP4 must sound better than my iP5 because I think my iP5 doesn't really sound that great to me. My Classic is better, my X3 is much better, and my 602 is much much better.biggrin.gif
post #51 of 324
And conversely I think my ip5 sounds great, and found it very similar to the RWAK100. I'm not a fan of the classic and think it sounds edgy, at least the two I previously owned (7g) did. Never been a fan of Fiio amps in the past and their warmed up house sound. Although the Tera player's warm sound was quite nice when the synergy was right.
post #52 of 324
Thread Starter 

Right after finishing up this write-up, I sent a PM asking probably the most respected head-fi'er in portable-fi what he thought of it. I respect his ears, and he's always been consistent in how he evaluates gear. He sent this to me. I'll name him if he allows me to.

 

Quote:
 

Hey,

 

I'm assuming you mean the thread where you've compared a bunch of hi-end players?

 

That’s a very tough question but you’ve hit the nail on the head as to why I've long since stopped recommending portable amps and high-end sources in the vast majority of cases. Most people, if they are honest with themselves, will probably be disappointed by the magnitude of the difference between a $30 clip+ and $1200 HiFiMan. I personally think it's pretty normal – there’s really no magic in audio. The differences I hear with various earphones between the 901 and my cheap sources range from “none” to “noticeable if I listen for them”, but nothing beyond that. The magnitude is also earphone-dependent.

 

The cases that lean towards “noticeable” depend also on the source being used for comparisons – iPhones actually do much better than most other common devices, including my Nexus 5. There’s the low output impedance requirement for IEMs with low, non-linear impedance. There’s also IEMs that have complex crossovers that result in wild impedance swings. My Cowon J3 doesn’t have the current output to keep up with these properly. And then there’s genuinely power-hungry headphones. The HM-901 does a noticeably better job with my HD600 than my J3, for example.

 

That said, the vast majority of portable headphones and earphones don't really benefit, at least not proportionately to the cost of the 901. The reason I use the 901 myself is consistency – I’ve never heard it mesh poorly with any earphone or headphone - and also the ability to play all file formats without stuttering or any other issues.

 

post #53 of 324
I do wonder a bit just how good portable audio can get. There are compromises of course as I use it mostly on my commute and the outside sounds does mean some details won't be heard even with customs that fit well. People do have different definitions of a large change in sound but it really isn't huge compared to changes that can be made compared to a full sized rig.

I wonder if we are close to as good as it gets in portable audio. I find it hard to fathom getting that much better than where we are now.
post #54 of 324
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

I do wonder a bit just how good portable audio can get. There are compromises of course as I use it mostly on my commute and the outside sounds does mean some details won't be heard even with customs that fit well. People do have different definitions of a large change in sound but it really isn't huge compared to changes that can be made compared to a full sized rig.

I wonder if we are close to as good as it gets in portable audio. I find it hard to fathom getting that much better than where we are now.

 

I've been chatting with a few friends about this very topic. We were discussing how it will take a drastic change in technology for there to be large improvements in portable audio.

post #55 of 324
How about the pono music player 😌
post #56 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

Right after finishing up this write-up, I sent a PM asking probably the most respected head-fi'er in portable-fi what he thought of it. I respect his ears, and he's always been consistent in how he evaluates gear. He sent this to me. I'll name him if he allows me to.

 

...  including my Nexus 5 ...

 

Dang, you fool gave him away. The anti-objectivist squad is on it's way as we speak... :blink: 

post #57 of 324

The lack of HiDef goodness isn't about the HiDef but about the portable format itself. Sitting still in a reasonably quiet space, I could go through the different formats and hear improvement through 24/192 wav on a known track (done with top kit and a Nagra VI) with an AK120 but when I consider about how it actually gets used and quality of most files, I think 24/48 is great way to go for space vs sound with music on the go. On good enough home kit, the format stuff is easily and repeatably demonstrable from my experience. I haven't heard a USB DAC where I feel the bit rate was the weakest link so I understand why many don't feel as I do about HiDef.

post #58 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

The lack of HiDef goodness isn't about the HiDef but about the portable format itself. Sitting still in a reasonably quiet space, I could go through the different formats and hear improvement through 24/192 wav on a known track (done with top kit and a Nagra VI) with an AK120 but when I consider about how it actually gets used and quality of most files, I think 24/48 is great way to go for space vs sound with music on the go. On good enough home kit, the format stuff is easily and repeatably demonstrable from my experience. I haven't heard a USB DAC where I feel the bit rate was the weakest link so I understand why many don't feel as I do about HiDef.
I'm extremely skeptical about this. Even in well controlled experiments, the differences between high resolution and standard 16/44.1 audio are very small, if even noticeable.

The CD pressing master and the studio HD master on the other hand can be very different. If you down-sample an HD master to 16/44.1 though, your findings will probably be not as you expect.
Edited by miceblue - 3/19/14 at 12:55am
post #59 of 324

+1 on mastering has more importance than the bits/sample rates.

post #60 of 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post


I'm extremely skeptical about this. Even in well controlled experiments, the differences between high resolution and standard 16/44.1 audio are very small, if even noticeable.

The CD pressing master and the studio HD master on the other hand can be very different. If you down-sample an HD master to 16/44.1 though, your findings will probably be not as you expect.

I have access to original and properly down sampled masters. I don't compare different pressing or masters to avoid what you're referring to. I can even prefer some record dubs to downloads due to the origin of the master and processing sometimes used. I also don't think a lot of the HiRes downloads are all that they could be in general. You'll even find that different record pressing are remarkably different depending on country or origin, tape dub used and when pressed etc. I've been aware of these differences for longer than digital has been around.

 

 Happy to play a res sequence for anyone that wants a listen in the Chicago area. No problem with your doubting or disagreeing but no need to assume me doing it wrong. I would suspect those well controlled experiments may have flaws as well. There are often poor assumptions made on both sides of this argument. How do you compare formats when you don't know the recording intimately or use the very best home kit? If not, it becomes a relative result and not an absolute one.


Edited by goodvibes - 3/19/14 at 2:04am
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