So, my company stuck me with a BlackBerry Z30 to replace my iPhone...
...I was pissed until I started using it for my music and now, WOW!!!! The mobile device is very cool with BBM phone calls on UERM's.
Yup, the BlackBerry Z30 is a stunning music player with ALAC files and 320's. Any file smaller than 320 is noticeably lacking body and sound stage. I run a set of cheapie Sony's, $10 with no volume control and UERM's and both are significantly improved with a darker background and spacious alive soundstage with what seems to be a more dynamic attack at lower volumes. My listening group thinks the power supply is the reason but it may also be the chip speed.
As a side note, co-workers have the Z10 and Q10 and after loading comparatively music we agree the Z30 walks on the other devices including iPhone 4/4s/5. I suspect it is the massive chip performance and the huge battery supply built into the Z30.
Another co-worker has an Astell & Kern 100 that he travels with and he agrees that the Z30 is special. Were it not for the limited storage of the Z30 he says he would not use the 100 as the Z30 is so punchy and clean (his words) that the difference between it and the 100 is negligible.
Direct music comparisons loaded and used over a two week test period by 3 fanatical listeners:
Hanuman Rodrigo Y Gabriela 11:11 883 30.6
Palestine Texas T Bone Burnett The True False Identity 941 30.2
Ganges Delta Blues Ry Cooder & V.M. Bhatt A Meeting By The River 632 45.3
There Ain't A Girl Alive Joan Armatrading Into The Blues 1145 36.6
My music buddies now want an upgraded BB device and don't quality until next year.
If anyone else has a BB10 or more recent experience let me know about it as we are curious about your experience.
Comparison against A&K devices are appreciated too.