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Ultra small DAP with decent sound

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a ultra small Digital Audio Player to replace my Cowon U2 (I know it's ancient, but it was made well).  Anything on the market or on the horizon that can match these qualifications? :

1. Small device (the smaller the better).  Don't need to play video so screen can be ultra small
2. Quality build and quality sound (MP3, WMA, FLAC support) with half-decent headphone amp
3. Ability to bookmark! I listen to long lectures and want to bookmark in the middle of a lecture and easily jump from one lecture to another.
4. Ability to playback at faster than normal speed
5. Voice recording would also be nice

Last time I checked all the Cowon MP3 players were rather large nowadays. Want something really tiny. Don't need large screen, video, touch, etc. Not crazy about Sansa Clip+, honestly. Closest I've seen is Sansa Zip, though I heard it doesn't have greatest build.

Any ideas?

post #2 of 17
The iAudio 9+ (Cowon i9+) is "small" imo (43 x 95 x 8.9 mm). How small do you want exactly? I don't know about the bookmarking, but it does everything else on your list. Mine's filled with FLAC and OGG files. It's even got an external speaker (no good for anything except voice).

I drive IEM's at a little over half volume and Grado headphones at a little over 3/4 volume, so it's amplification is what I would consider pretty good. I especially enjoy the Grados with it.

It's the same device you linked to. A 32 gb model is 150 USD at Amazon in the US.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sounds good, but I was looking for a device closer to size and shape of a stick of gum (fits easier into bottom of my pocket).  Ideally would like enough sound that I wouldn't need  a dedicated headphone amp.

post #4 of 17

Sanza Clip Zip is the way to go

post #5 of 17

Go team Sansa ClipZip ! Great entry-level DAP.

 

Tip, I'd pick it up refurbished as there is some part that is weak on these that causes a lot of returns.

 

EDIT : Rockbox it.


Edited by Lohb - 7/21/14 at 3:26am
post #6 of 17

Lohb

Does Rockbox improve SQ or only functionality?

Thanks

post #7 of 17

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iPod-shuffle-1st-Generation-512-MB-NEW-REDUCED-PRICE-AND-REDUCED-RESERVE-/271551041546?pt=Other_MP3_Players&hash=item3f39b4100a

 

 

These are the smallest DAPs and best sounding I have found. One member here has 9. This one is $45 bucks.

 

 

EDit. Sorry does not do half the stuff you want.


Edited by Redcarmoose - 7/21/14 at 4:25am
post #8 of 17

If you can hang on fiio x1 is right round the corner, though could be too big.

 

Otherwise, clip plus or zip is way to go!

post #9 of 17
I did not see the need to go above 16/44 on the requirements list.

I think a rockboxed sansa is a good idea. The rockbox interface adds more file playback options. Might sound better, might not. My old sansa is now rockboxed. Unlike my old ipod, I did not think the sound improved with rockbox but I liked the additional file playback options.

If you want a hi res machine, then Fiio etc. gets interesting.

I don't buy in to the the old ipod shuffle idea. My old shuffle started having battery problems, and that was years ago. Plus you are very much locked into the apple ecosystem unless there is a rockbox for that also, which I have not researched. I sold my old shuffles and would not go back.
post #10 of 17

wait for the new fiio.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

How about the Pono?  Looks small and cool (though not crazy about triangular shape).  Can you drag and drop files to it or will you be tethered to their subscription service?

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by romrom72 View Post

How about the Pono?  Looks small and cool (though not crazy about triangular shape).  Can you drag and drop files to it or will you be tethered to their subscription service?

Ponomusic.com

5" x 2" x 1" seems like it's way out of your size range. I know it's out of mine. And $399 seems high for a device that's going to push you to use their download service and their interface software (copying the Apple business model it seems). And I only read that it will support FLAC up to 192/24 for hi-res. I also am too old to be an early adopter any more. Definitely not a bandwagon I plan on riding. If I personally were getting a hi-res player today it would be the Fiio X5 at $349. Or their "smaller" X3 if money was an issue.

If I were waiting for a hi-res player, (I kinda am), it would be one of the new offerings in the near future from Fiio, or the new Cowon Plenue P1 that was just released in Korea and will hopefully hit the State's in the next 12 months. I trust Cowon quality, both sound and build. They've been designing, engineering and building players in Korea for a long time. They know what they're doing.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

What's so special about the Plenue P1?  I also think Cowon makes some great devices (I have the U2), but I heard the Plenue will be around $700!  What makes it better than the DX90 or Fiio X5?  Unibody aluminum?

post #14 of 17

The Sony Walkman E (475) series can do most of the stuff on your list.

Same size as an iPod Nano 5th gen, small, good solid build, great battery, and it has a more than decent amp. It has bookmark, playback speed control and voice recorder. It also sound pretty darn good.

The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of flac support.

 

 


Edited by RoMee - 7/22/14 at 10:14am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by romrom72 View Post

What's so special about the Plenue P1?  I also think Cowon makes some great devices (I have the U2), but I heard the Plenue will be around $700!  What makes it better than the DX90 or Fiio X5?  Unibody aluminum?

I saw it for sale on an Asian site for $1200-$1300. Too high for me and maybe not worth it. Hopefully it drops.

Why do I believe it will be better? Cowon user interfaces tend to be quite polished and well thought out at release. Firmwares typically have the bugs worked out. Build quality is always great. Jet Effect 7 will be the most advanced Jet Effect to date (I know eq-ing and DSP aren't thought too highly of on Head-fi, but I like to tweak and I want the best sound possible). Nice Burr-Brown DAC implementation. Temperature compensation. Low jitter. Low THD. Multiple Graphical Stereo Meters! Just a lot of stuff that I've always wished a Cowon player had. In the last 12 hours the Plenue page went up in English on www.cowonglobal.com. You can read the specs yourself.

I just really have had great experiences with Cowon products so I'm excited about this new device. Do I believe it's the best solution for the OP? For everyone? Heck no! But I believe it will be a very nice device. You may disagree.

EDIT: for grammar
Edited by JES - 7/23/14 at 11:02am
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