Anyone made a direct SQ comparison between Zune 30 and Zune 80
Dec 14, 2007 at 5:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

lisztian420

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Hi,

So I have my zune 30 and all my files are in 256k WMA10Pro or 320K MP3 format. Now that the Zune 80 had been out for about a month now and I am sure many fellow headfiers have both so did anyone make a direct SQ comparison between the two? I am thinking about gettin the Zune 80 but so far I think the Zune 30 has enough space for my collections. If that being the case is the Zune 80 worth gettin in my case? Is the SQ in Zune 80 better than 30s?
 
Dec 14, 2007 at 8:11 PM Post #2 of 14

Amblin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lisztian420 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi,

So I have my zune 30 and all my files are in 256k WMA10Pro or 320K MP3 format. Now that the Zune 80 had been out for about a month now and I am sure many fellow headfiers have both so did anyone make a direct SQ comparison between the two? I am thinking about gettin the Zune 80 but so far I think the Zune 30 has enough space for my collections. If that being the case is the Zune 80 worth gettin in my case? Is the SQ in Zune 80 better than 30s?



The responses have been balanced. Ive seen reviews here and other web forums giving a clear win to the Zune 80, others saying they sound the same.

From what I hear, the Zune 80 looses a bit of the warmth given that the Zune 30 has, in exchange for a cleaner, more neutral sound signature.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 9:04 AM Post #5 of 14

Amblin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kaldaim /img/forum/go_quote.gif
zune 80 you can hear the hard drive spin through headphones.

my vote goes to the 30 for that reason alone



This problem seems to be isolated to certain units. Users will hear the hard drive spin on one unit, return it for another, and have the problem disappear.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 9:56 AM Post #6 of 14

lisztian420

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Yeah, I am waiting for my Xin reference. I know it will be a really long wait and I am not sure if it will work well from my zune 30's headphone out. I was thinking if the zune 80 is significantly better/cleaner than zune 80 than it might be well worth upgrading for my xin reference. But anyways,.. thanx for the replies, keep them coming I am sure there are many out there that will also benefit from your feedbacks. Keep it up!
 
Dec 30, 2007 at 8:28 AM Post #7 of 14

Sebastianbf

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lisztian420 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi,

So I have my zune 30 and all my files are in 256k WMA10Pro or 320K MP3 format. Now that the Zune 80 had been out for about a month now and I am sure many fellow headfiers have both so did anyone make a direct SQ comparison between the two? I am thinking about gettin the Zune 80 but so far I think the Zune 30 has enough space for my collections. If that being the case is the Zune 80 worth gettin in my case? Is the SQ in Zune 80 better than 30s?



I'm in the exact same situation as you. More feedback headfiers please!
 
Dec 30, 2007 at 3:21 PM Post #8 of 14

darkswordsman17

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Not sure if its been mentioned in here yet, but the consensus seems to be that the Zune 80 has a very balanced and flat (as in frequency range) sound, while the Zune 30 has a bit livelier sound. It comes down to which you prefer. The real issue comes from the fact that you can't EQ the 80, while you can somewhat EQ the 30. Also, the 30 is supposed to have more bass.
 
Dec 30, 2007 at 3:47 PM Post #9 of 14

Penchum

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I had both the Zune30 and Zune80 at the same time. I did direct comparisons between the two and the looser was going to someone else who needed one. The Zune80 is a tough situation for many people and I'll explain why. Many Zune30 users became almost addicted to the EQ. They consider using the EQ as "normal" usage. Along comes the Zune80 with no EQ and immediately after listening, the Zune30 user will say "it is lacking in bass". Some others are using full sized headphones with amps and these may be lacking in bass as well, but the EQ on the Zune30 made it tolerable. You can see how all this would make trouble for the Zune80.

What finally made me decide to keep the Zune80 was it's flat frequency response, clarity, better dynamics and "truth" in reproduction. The bass that is present, is the exact amount there is supposed to be. The whole audio signature of the Zune80 is very accurate. It makes a much better source and when combined with a nice transparent portable amp, will put a grin on your face.
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I haven't had time yet to find IEMs that I like with the Zune80, but I do listen to it frequently through my LDII++ tube amp with Senn HD-650s. In this small setup, the Zune80 really shows how much of a good source it is.

In the end, I would say this: If you like extra bass, or always use an EQ when listening to portables, then the Zune80 is not for you. All others would find it a pleasure and worth every penny. Hope this helps some! Good hunting!
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Feb 29, 2008 at 2:39 PM Post #11 of 14

Ricardo Dawkins

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yeah, me. but I dont want to be a guinea pig.
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Oct 1, 2008 at 8:17 AM Post #12 of 14

Tribalambient

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I personally like the sound of the 80 better.

I must first say I have never heard the hard drive through my headphones so that has been a non issue for me, but apparently some folk have. I don’t know if that was ever been deemed a defective manufacturing issue or not, because it doesn’t seem to be the norm?

I personally have never been an equalizer kind of guy. I always ran the 30 without EQ so a flat “less is more” sound has always been my ticket. Some live or die without an EQ so that may be a deal killer right there.

I own both Zunes so I have compared both directly with identical tracks (from lossless to 192K) and several headphones, from so-so budget to better higher end ones. I currently run out of the headphone jack un-amped. That will not be the case when my Pico shows up someday. Justin it is coming right.
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If you don’t take into account the other features and benefits of the 80 over the 30 (smaller size, squircle interface, hard drive size, matt and aluminum case finish, etc. which IMHO are all superior) and just focus on sound quality then I would still pick the 80 without hesitation.

The 80 has IMHO much better dynamics, tighter more accurate bottom end, improved clarity, a slightly larger soundstage, more air, nicer detail, and some have said less warmth…I might say less muddiness.
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All this becomes increasing more obvious with better headphones, files and time spent critically listening. Is it an earth shattering difference? No… is there improvements to be had…yes! Is it worth the price of an upgrade? That all pretty much depends on your budget, obsession level, WAF, what you prefer in your sound signature and ultimately what you hear and enjoy since we all hear things differently.

You can pick up the 80 gig for $200 now and perhaps unload your 30 gig for $100 so the difference may only be $100. That being said that same $100 spent on upgrading ones headphones (if you own basic ones) would probably yield far better improvements all things being equal. If you already have great pair of headphones then the jump to the 80 would be a nice little step up in sound quality. I myself will never go back to the 30, but that is just me.

Happy listening!
 

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