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post #121 of 859

SONY HD1 VS SONY HD3

Hey

Which player should I buy BE HONEST.

SONY HD1 ore SONY HD3

Price is no issue. I just want the best player. Quality and SOUND.

Now that the SERVICE UPDATE for HD1 is here, the choice is more difficault.

I like the HD1 better (Design,Clean and Cool) The HD3 look more PLASTIC ?? Is this true, does anybody here have it. ??

BUT on the other hand, the HD3 looks REALLY cool with BLUE display, and Colors like BLACK AND RED. And that is cool.

have a look:
Black:
http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P...2.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Red:
http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P...2.LZZZZZZZ.jpg


Those of you who have it, how is this compared to the HD1 ??

I have Red the Review here on Head FI. But the review was bad because Mavis had an DEFECT player. So that review was just a big mess.

But what do you GUYS THINK.

WHAT IS BEST THE HD1 ORE THE HD3. If I buy the HD1 I will send it to SONY CENTER right away and pay 20$ or something.

Please give your opinion so we can help others too. Cus I know there isen't just me who would like to know which one is the best

Thx
post #122 of 859
i didnt mean that your review is bad, or not a proper one either (i dunno what i meant by that) i just meant that because your hd3 was faulty (perhaps) then people shouldnt use your review as guidance for buying one, sorry for the misunderstanding, ryan
post #123 of 859
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by randle
i didnt mean that your review is bad, or not a proper one either (i dunno what i meant by that) i just meant that because your hd3 was faulty (perhaps) then people shouldnt use your review as guidance for buying one, sorry for the misunderstanding, ryan
It's cool, just wondering ...

BTW it seems my unit was NOT faulty, other people are reporting the same hiss when using those headphones too. Something to bear in mind if you drop $400+ on good canalphones, they don't work so well with the HD3.
post #124 of 859

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beethovenian
About play unit, the unit it plays is the unit inside which you are. So if you want to play only a certain album, you have to be viewing the list of tracks for it before pressing play. If you press when viewing the album name, it will interpret that the current play unit is the whole list of albums for the artist you're seeing. It may seem complicated at first, but when you master it, it gives you a lot of possibilities, especially if you're using shuffle (you can shuffle tracks or albums in the whole player, only for an artist, a group, a genre etc).
Thank you for this - very helpful. Not at all obvious from the instructions which are very limited. Also very fiddly to use. But many thanks
post #125 of 859

NW-HD3, the best portable hard-drive based player bar none...

Hi all,

I have been reading your comments and I thought I might as well add my experiences...

First of all, I would like to start by saying that Apple is a computer company while Sony is a hi-fi (among other things) company. With this in mind, I can now continue...

My experiences with MP3 go back to 96 when, as a student, I was the only one in my circle to experiment with the format. Back then, I was looking for an efficient way to listen to music through my laptop (I really hated those Principles of Marketing lectures) and a small file size was a major goal as big sized hard drives were at a premium. Coming from an audiophile background, I was not impressed neither by the sound quality of the MP3 nor by the process of converting .cda tracks to .wav and .wav to MP3 through a series of DOS commands.

I have been looking for a portable hard drive solution for a while now and I have been carefully studying reviews and visiting hi-fi shops to see what the items sound, look and feel like. I was hoping that after all these years, and since MP3 was still here, an awful lot should have changed with the format. For a whole year I was hugely disappointed because nothing sounded as good as my 4 year old MZ-R91 minidisc; including the iPod.

Before I listened to the iPod, it was at the top of my list as it was (is) getting remarkable reviews. You an imagine my disappointment when I first listened to one. Looks aside (which is something totally subjective) the hardware is rubbish. Those headphones are some of the worst I have tried and the size of the thing... The iPod is by no means portable.

Just as I was getting disappointed, Sony brought out the NW-HD1. The Walkman was totally slated by the magazines because if it's lack of native MP3 support. However, to me the spec looked particularly attractive and I had a go at it this Christmas. By the time I went to the shops to have a first listen, Sony had brought out the NW-HD3... so I bought it.

In terms of portability, the NW-HD3 is truly portable for a 20GB player. The finish is generally high quality with magnesium body although the matte gray plastic at the top and bottom looks a bit cheap and easily scratched. The headphones are the usual low cost Sony items and are well and truly crap; the do not fit my ears properly and the sound is harsh and unnatural. I swapped them for a pair of Bang & Olufsen immediately. The B&Os are not the best headphones either but I found that for this piece of equipment, they perfectly match and they are the most comfortable earphones ever.

Looking further into the box, I was massively disappointed. You get the usual charger, a USB thingy which attaches to the USB cable and the power supply, a case and... that's it. There is no cradle or remote control; unacceptable for something that costs £250.

I installed SonicStage 2.3 without any issues and started converting CDs to ATRAC straight away. The actual encoding is slow but the transfer over USB2 is dead quick. At this point I should mention that the only format worth encoding to is ATRAC3plus at 256kbps. This is not as high quality as minidisc (296kbps) but it sounds as close to fantastic as current portable HD technology allows.

And the player sounds really good. The sound does not appear to be compressed and sounds quite natural for a portable device. Overall, I am impressed with the little thing. With regards to humming, my player does not produce any such noises neither at low nor at high volumes.

The user interface is easy to learn even if you are not used to Sony UIs and it does pretty much everything and quickly. Navigating through the songs is easy enough using the arrow keys and by pressing and holding the "Mode" button you are taken back to "Now playing".

Negatives? Of course...
- There is no 296kbps encoding. This is a major limitation for those who want the quality of minidisc on a hard drive system.
- There is no drag and drop support; one is tied to using SonicStage.
- The bundle is poor; a remote control and docking station should be included at this price.
- The unit recharges during transfer reducing battery life. Furthermore, strangely enough the unit needs to be connected to a power socket during transfer!
- Song tags can only be edited through SonicStage.

While comparing the iPod to the NW-HD3, the difference soon became apparent. The iTunes software is miles ahead of SonicStage and the iPod interface is slightly better than that of the Sony unit. However, NW-HD3 sounds miles better that the iPod... So, my conclusion is this: The iPod is designed by computer geeks with high compression, highly portable files (as opposed to the unit itself) and user friendly UIs in their mind while the NW-HD3 is designed by hi-fi geeks with sound quality, device portability and battery life in their mind. It's a matter of priorities and it's up to you what's more important; I have made my choice and I'm glad.



Question: Does anyone know of a compatible remote that can be bought in the UK? Sony's acessories website has not been updated yet.
post #126 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel
Question: Does anyone know of a compatible remote that can be bought in the UK? Sony's acessories website has not been updated yet.
I'd order an RM-MC40ELK. If you can't find it in the UK, Audio Cubes sells it for $79 + shipping $14 + duty + vat.
post #127 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel
So, my conclusion is this: The iPod is designed by computer geeks with high compression, highly portable files (as opposed to the unit itself) and user friendly UIs in their mind while the NW-HD3 is designed by hi-fi geeks with sound quality, device portability and battery life in their mind.
What exactly is it about the NW-HD3's sound quality that makes it so superior to the iPod?
post #128 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by bLue_oNioN
What exactly is it about the NW-HD3's sound quality that makes it so superior to the iPod?
Apart from Sony's know-how in portable hi-fi (well, they invented the thing), the NW-HD3 is using the ATRAC codec. Compared to MP3, ATRAC is a more complex compression algorithm exploiting certain psychoacoustic principles. In short, it removes the frequences the human ear can not hear as opposed to compressing the entire range. Of course, ATRAC has not got it entirely right as even though these frequencies can not be heard, they do make a difference to the overall sound. But, at this moment in time, when it comes to compressed sound ATRAC is the best I have used (I haven't used Ogg Vorbis yet).


P.S. Thanx Latexxx.
post #129 of 859
Actually no codec removes frequencies if we don't take account to lowpassing. Psychoacoustic codecs just save different parts of the original signal at different precision. Atrac and its 3 and 3plus variations do have severe problems with transitions. There are some double-blind listening test results available at http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...&hl=atrac3plus . I would personally use lame aps mp3s if I had hd3 but I don't have an hdd player (and I'm not going to buy one in near fute either because reliability problems when do sports), instead of I have an mz-nh900 and I've standardised my portable listening to atrac3plus @ 256k. As somebody said at HA earlier, anything is more than enough for nomad listening @ 256.
post #130 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel
Apart from Sony's know-how in portable hi-fi (well, they invented the thing), the NW-HD3 is using the ATRAC codec. Compared to MP3, ATRAC is a more complex compression algorithm exploiting certain psychoacoustic principles. In short, it removes the frequences the human ear can not hear as opposed to compressing the entire range. Of course, ATRAC has not got it entirely right as even though these frequencies can not be heard, they do make a difference to the overall sound. But, at this moment in time, when it comes to compressed sound ATRAC is the best I have used (I haven't used Ogg Vorbis yet).
mm I understand that the NW-HD3 is capable of utilizing ATRAC, but this does not really address my greatest concern -- characteristics of the sound itself.

Allow me to rephrase my question

You stated that "The iPod is designed by computer geeks with high compression, highly portable files (as opposed to the unit itself) and user friendly UIs in their mind while the NW-HD3 is designed by hi-fi geeks with sound quality, device portability and battery life in their mind."

Regarding sound quality, what exactly is it about the NW-HD3's sound signature (i.e. specific traits in what you actually hear, not a description of the technology used) that makes it so superior to the iPod?
post #131 of 859
Holla Emmanuel

Which color did you bought ? And I have seen alot of pictures from Sony and the HD3 has BLUE LCD Light is this true ? BUT THE SILVER ONE HAS NOT. ?? (as the pictures shown)

From January this countries can Update there players so they can have Direct MP3 Transfer and Playback

http://www.sonydigital-link.com/DNA/...Upgrd.asp?l=en

So I dont know really what player I want ?? You said that it has plastic on it ?

Well if thats the case I might just go with the HD1.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel
Hi all,

I have been reading your comments and I thought I might as well add my experiences...

First of all, I would like to start by saying that Apple is a computer company while Sony is a hi-fi (among other things) company. With this in mind, I can now continue...

My experiences with MP3 go back to 96 when, as a student, I was the only one in my circle to experiment with the format. Back then, I was looking for an efficient way to listen to music through my laptop (I really hated those Principles of Marketing lectures) and a small file size was a major goal as big sized hard drives were at a premium. Coming from an audiophile background, I was not impressed neither by the sound quality of the MP3 nor by the process of converting .cda tracks to .wav and .wav to MP3 through a series of DOS commands.

I have been looking for a portable hard drive solution for a while now and I have been carefully studying reviews and visiting hi-fi shops to see what the items sound, look and feel like. I was hoping that after all these years, and since MP3 was still here, an awful lot should have changed with the format. For a whole year I was hugely disappointed because nothing sounded as good as my 4 year old MZ-R91 minidisc; including the iPod.

Before I listened to the iPod, it was at the top of my list as it was (is) getting remarkable reviews. You an imagine my disappointment when I first listened to one. Looks aside (which is something totally subjective) the hardware is rubbish. Those headphones are some of the worst I have tried and the size of the thing... The iPod is by no means portable.

Just as I was getting disappointed, Sony brought out the NW-HD1. The Walkman was totally slated by the magazines because if it's lack of native MP3 support. However, to me the spec looked particularly attractive and I had a go at it this Christmas. By the time I went to the shops to have a first listen, Sony had brought out the NW-HD3... so I bought it.

In terms of portability, the NW-HD3 is truly portable for a 20GB player. The finish is generally high quality with magnesium body although the matte gray plastic at the top and bottom looks a bit cheap and easily scratched. The headphones are the usual low cost Sony items and are well and truly crap; the do not fit my ears properly and the sound is harsh and unnatural. I swapped them for a pair of Bang & Olufsen immediately. The B&Os are not the best headphones either but I found that for this piece of equipment, they perfectly match and they are the most comfortable earphones ever.

Looking further into the box, I was massively disappointed. You get the usual charger, a USB thingy which attaches to the USB cable and the power supply, a case and... that's it. There is no cradle or remote control; unacceptable for something that costs £250.

I installed SonicStage 2.3 without any issues and started converting CDs to ATRAC straight away. The actual encoding is slow but the transfer over USB2 is dead quick. At this point I should mention that the only format worth encoding to is ATRAC3plus at 256kbps. This is not as high quality as minidisc (296kbps) but it sounds as close to fantastic as current portable HD technology allows.

And the player sounds really good. The sound does not appear to be compressed and sounds quite natural for a portable device. Overall, I am impressed with the little thing. With regards to humming, my player does not produce any such noises neither at low nor at high volumes.

The user interface is easy to learn even if you are not used to Sony UIs and it does pretty much everything and quickly. Navigating through the songs is easy enough using the arrow keys and by pressing and holding the "Mode" button you are taken back to "Now playing".

Negatives? Of course...
- There is no 296kbps encoding. This is a major limitation for those who want the quality of minidisc on a hard drive system.
- There is no drag and drop support; one is tied to using SonicStage.
- The bundle is poor; a remote control and docking station should be included at this price.
- The unit recharges during transfer reducing battery life. Furthermore, strangely enough the unit needs to be connected to a power socket during transfer!
- Song tags can only be edited through SonicStage.

While comparing the iPod to the NW-HD3, the difference soon became apparent. The iTunes software is miles ahead of SonicStage and the iPod interface is slightly better than that of the Sony unit. However, NW-HD3 sounds miles better that the iPod... So, my conclusion is this: The iPod is designed by computer geeks with high compression, highly portable files (as opposed to the unit itself) and user friendly UIs in their mind while the NW-HD3 is designed by hi-fi geeks with sound quality, device portability and battery life in their mind. It's a matter of priorities and it's up to you what's more important; I have made my choice and I'm glad.



Question: Does anyone know of a compatible remote that can be bought in the UK? Sony's acessories website has not been updated yet.
post #132 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel
Apart from Sony's know-how in portable hi-fi (well, they invented the thing), the NW-HD3 is using the ATRAC codec. Compared to MP3, ATRAC is a more complex compression algorithm exploiting certain psychoacoustic principles. In short, it removes the frequences the human ear can not hear as opposed to compressing the entire range. Of course, ATRAC has not got it entirely right as even though these frequencies can not be heard, they do make a difference to the overall sound. But, at this moment in time, when it comes to compressed sound ATRAC is the best I have used (I haven't used Ogg Vorbis yet).
At bitrates over 192kbps, the difference between codecs is so minimal, especially for portable applications, that it doesn't really matter which one you use.

In a portable application, I've got MP3s ranging from 192 to 320kbps on my iPod Mini, as well as 224kbps AAC. Using it portably I can't tell which songs are encoded in which method. There's just not that much of difference.

At low bitrates is another story. MP3 is famous for being bad at low bitrates. Ogg is rather good; ATRAC3+ is better than MP3. The point of the matter is, who cares? Who among us sound-quality freaks are going to use a bitrate lower than 192kbps anyhow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel
The iPod is designed by computer geeks with high compression, highly portable files (as opposed to the unit itself) and user friendly UIs...
The iPod is smaller than its other competitors other than the Sony. It's smaller than the iRiver iHP series and MUCH smaller than the Zen Touch.

I find that most people down on the iPod's sound because it doesn't sound the way they are used to things sounding. It has a very flat response, even out of the headphone out, which is neutral and some people don't like that. Most Sony products I've tried made after 1996 tend to have the full bass and treble signature: not my cup of tea.

Also, the iPod (both normal and Mini) are equipped with a 30mW into 32 ohms headphone output. This is vastly superior to Sony's miniscule and pointless 5mW into 16 ohms.

The iPod, to me, appears designed with sound quality first, and I'm quite pleased with the sound quality of my iPod Mini.
post #133 of 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeriyn
I find that most people down on the iPod's sound because it doesn't sound the way they are used to things sounding. It has a very flat response, even out of the headphone out, which is neutral and some people don't like that.
I have to remind you that flat response isn't there with low impedance phones and that's a fact with some actual measurements to back it up unlike some people's claims that "<insert non-apple dap> has exaggerated bloated bass".
post #134 of 859
To clear up a couple of concerns raised earlier in this thread, I've had my NW-HD3 for a few days now and it certainly does remember the last position (song / album) if you press the left button instead of Mode, and even with MP3s it seems pretty gapless to me. It starts the next track virtually instantly.
post #135 of 859
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by breez
I have to remind you that flat response isn't there with low impedance phones and that's a fact with some actual measurements to back it up unlike some people's claims that "<insert non-apple dap> has exaggerated bloated bass".
Ok, and the Sony has a terrible hiss when paired with highly sensitive phones (but the iPod doesn't) ... What's your point?
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