Jul 15, 2017 at 4:23 AM
I really like Rocket music player.Hello everybody
I am not audio expert, nor audiophile, but I like to listen to good music.
So I ran some test to determine the best music app to use with my HTC10.
I used Beoplay H3 IEM with comply foam tips.
I know they are not considered audiophile grade, but I found their sound very detailed. The soundstage is not very opened though.
My personal impression, contrary to what most reviewers wrote, it's that they are not lacking punch on the bass, but rather exceeding a bit in the mid-highs.
That said, while not considering myself a bass head, I like a bit of warmth in music, especially classical, and punchy bass in rock.
Soon after receiving the HTC10, I started looking better music apps than the stock one (Google music).
I was overwhelmed by the amount of choice AND misinformation.
Most reviews simply seemed to test the most popular apps already, also adding to the confusion the fact that most apps have a free and paid version whose difference can be substantial (e.g. no eq, no folder browsing or tons of ads in the free version)
Also different apps may reproduce the music differently with different devices.
My criteria for testing was first and foremost whether I liked or not the music quality listening to my earphones.
I would define the qualities looked for in the sound output as (audiophiles please forgive my possible imprecision, but I am a newbie in the field):
- sound detail: e.g. if you can hear a guitar chord clearly vibrating like if you head the body right against your hips
- sound fidelity: distortion or not distortion introduced in the music; I often found that the highs would be distorted, this being especially disturbing when listening to classical music
- equalizer (eq) quality: I use eq little to nothing with good quality sources (good mp3 or flac), but many old recordings or badly encoded mp3 need some eq to be beautified;
Other criteria I used are:
- folder browsing is a must-have for me
- UI fluidity
- possibility to control the app with IEM's remote button
- app free, free with ads, or paid
The music I used for the test were high quality flac of metal, jazz and classical music (e.g. Dream Theater, Wagner..) and low quality mp3 rock music (e.g. ACDC).
My starting point was provided by this post:
So I started with some apps which used android's native sound engine, but due to their disappointing sound quality, I soon switched to the ones using the FFmpeg decoder.
The list of the apps I tried:
APPS using android's native sound engine
Folder player by Peter Shashkin
Folder player by Zorillasoft
Google play music
PI music player
Sensor music player
Shuttle music player
... and many others which either crashed or messed with the phone's audio
Aside from the inferior sound quality I found those apps ridden with ads or missing fundamental functions.
The 2 apps that really stood out from that list are:
- Folder player by Peter Shashkin : lightweight, free, no ads, no frills, fluid, decent sound quality and decently working equalizer, stable, keeps a folder by folder memory of where you stopped playing the last time you were there, highly configurable
- Pulsar : lightweight, veery nice UI, no ads, but eq locked in the free version and sound quality inferior to folder player. Still, if aesthetics is a must, I really liked the UI.
APPS using FFmpeg decoder:
Sony music center
Captune (by Sennheiser)
The jump in quality compared to the other apps using android's native sound engine was very discernible.
Almost all of those apps were ok to very good sq wise, with 2 exceptions:
-Stellio - I also had the cracking issues when playing, which was already mentioned in this forum. Globally the music was less detailed compared to the others FFmpeg users. It is really a shame, considering that it is free, ads are inobstrusive and the UI is wonderful!
-Poweramp - With all enhancements (including DVC) turned off, sound was less detailed compared to the others FFmpeg users. With enhancements turned on (mostly DVC + bass boost), I would class its audio effects as the top ones I tried. But this introduced too much distortion and noise in the music, even for old low quality rock mp3s. This is a bit a disappointment, but I read on this forum that it may be specific because of bad support of the HTC 10.
All other apps from a sq point of view were good, but each one had at least one point which led me to discard it.
An interesting thing is that many apps failed to accurately reproduce the highs, which tended to be squeaky:
-AIMP (but superfluid UI!!)
-Foobar2000 (don't like the UI)
-Gonemad (not free + access to sound effects overly laborious)
Then those 2 seemed to have a tad less detail with hq flacs compared to the apps further below:
-JetAudio : I don't like sound effects + the free version is ridden with ads
-Neutron : my lack of understanding of all of the parameters did not allow it to really stand out sq-wise
And there come the sq winners. All these apps for me were excellent enough for hq flacs, but only few of them succeeded in equally beautify lq mp3s. Compared to the apps above detail and highs reproduction seemed a step superior. Despite differences in sound reproduction tonalities, to me all sounded flawless. The differences in the end come only to price, UI, and sound effects:
- Onkyo HF (superfluid UI, but no folder browser)
- N7player (here some highs accuracy is traded for extra sound detail; don't like the way it shows its main page, plus occasionally the UI hangs and crashes; extra paid after trial end, including folder browser)
-Sony music center (some accuracy is traded to open the soundstage; no hierarchical folder view; unresponsive to headset remote buttons; not really sure it is meant to be a local music player)
- Captune (by Sennheiser) (sq excels especially in highs reproduction; slow and choppy UI; the UI was the main reason why I discarded it)
The 3 which stood out in the finals, with no major flaws:
- PlayerPro (balanced sq, options for high res sound, but paying after trial expiry)
- HibyMusic (balanced sq)
- Rocket music player (a tad of detail is traded to add a bit of warmth to music)
I will give the final prize to Rocket music player only because its equalizer and bass boost really stand out in beautifying low quality mp3. Plus the UI is super, it is free (as I don't need the paying extras) and I like the extra warmth added to the music.
Please note that all of this comes from many hours of listening and fiddling with eqs, but there is nothing objective here. It all come to my personal tastes and impressions.
I really would like to have your feedbacks!
I would like some opinions on the quoted post