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HM-601 or J3

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by flentge, Jan 24, 2011.
  1. flentge
    Hi all, looking into new portable music source. I have Grado SR-60i and will be picking up RE0 in the next month or so. I am looking for the best audio quality. I want something that will play flac, and have good size storage whether it be on board or small card storage. I have a 120g ipod now I will be selling. The music will be 95% live music, audience recorded at the event. Grateful Dead and other Bluesy guitar rock, and jam. I am looking at the HM-601 and Cowen J3 now because those seem to be getting good reviews in the audio quality area and are at the top of what I will pay. Is there anything else I should be looking for in that price area that will fit my needs?
  2. flentge
  3. Somnambulist
    I haven't heard either, but I have an S:Flo2 which the majority of people state sounds better than a J3 (but is less user-friendly). The majority of S:Flo2 owners who've moved to the 601 or heard both say it was an upgrade in sound quality. Sound is only one part of the equation though, things like battery life, UI, if you need a lot of storage and don't mind swapping micro-SD cards should all be taken into consideration.
    Comparison here:
  4. sz1999


    best SQ? then definitely not J3. 
  5. cardozo
    The Cowon is an excellent device, but the sound quality of the HM-601 is, without any doubt, better. When comparing the two, the J3 has a digitized, very thin, and unnatural sound. Hifiman, already, has an organic, expansive and musical sound, while still maintaining a high level of definition.

    If we count the size, usability, battery life and other features, the Cowon is indisputable the winner.
    My rank in SQ:
    1 - Hifiman HM-601;
    2 - Cowon J3;
    3 - Sansa Fuze with original firmware, Cowon X5 and Nationite S:Flo2 are in the same league.
  6. DLRStudio
    I was considering the same two devices. After reading everything I could find here about each, I decided on the 601. It should be here any day, as should the GR10 I ordered last night. I wanted to order the RE-262, but they're nowhere to be found. I was watching the Sale/Trade Forum, but they get snatched about as quickly as they're posted. But it sounds like the GR10 should pair very nicely with the 601. I'm pretty excited.
  7. flentge
    Thanks guys

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