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IRiver 3XX series CRAP QUALITY

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by donaldekelly, Apr 15, 2005.
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  1. donaldekelly Contributor
    Apparently IRivers are crappier than I thought. Apparently an amplifier does little for them:

    From the Mystic River site:

    "[Q] What's the difference between the headphone and line-out jack?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ideally, a line-out should do none of the things that the H300 series line-outs do; it should come directly from the output of the DAC at 1.23Vrms (pro equipment) or 0.316Vrms (mostly consumer). And at a flat level. No EQ, no amplifier, no tone controls, no volume control.

    The only difference between the two outputs of the H300 seems to be that the "line-out" has an attenuator (resistor) across it, to limit its output, making it more difficult to overload external inputs (receiver, amp, whatever). This also explains why it's difficult to drive some headphones with the line output; when I accidentally plugged my Grados into the line out, I thought there was something wrong with my player, or that I had seriously messed up when encoding the song I was listening to. I even went so far as to write down the song so I could rip/encode it again later. Then I realized I was plugged into the wrong jack, and the problem went away. Apparently this is more evident on current-hungry headphones...the attenuator across the line output jack acts like a current-limiting resistor. The headphone jack, without an attenuator, can therefore overdrive the inputs to your car stereo more easily. Sure, you can dial down the volume from the player, but that brings you closer to the player's noise floor. Hence, I would expect that most people would find the line-out to work best in a car, while the "headphone versus line-out" scenario might not matter when using headphones, depending on which 'phones you're using.

    By designing the line out the way they did, iRiver has also negated many of the advantages of using headphone amplifiers and the like. The sound and clarity of an external amplifier will be masked by the shortcomings of the internal one."

    -------------

    Anyone amped from an IRiver 3XX? Does it sound good or like crap?

    Be Fore-Warned
     
  2. Kirosia
    I don't really care for this technical mumbo jumbo, but the iriver line is decent at best. Constricted soudnstage, forward, bright, etc.
     
  3. Necros
    I don't have the the 3xx, but I use H140 to headphone amp or hifi stereo pre-amp, yeah need to ramp it to 40- but in all purposes it's at line level. Sounds better instead of using headphone out to pre-amp of course. Pretty annoying setting to 40 for line out, then reducing <25 for phones.

    btw there is no noise floor from line level outputs. Totally silent...headphone output does have a very slight hiss, but really not worth bothering about with my Grado's...I would say just audible with no music.

    If you get clipping from line out's that's to be expected...I heard clipping even with stock ear buds at 20.

    I could use optical out if line out is "bad" but 3xx lacks that.
     
  4. wanderman
    Every one I have talked to says that it improves with an amp. But how are they crappier then you thought. THis was an issue with the first h1xx using analog out.
     
  5. donaldekelly Contributor
    Maybe I am overreacting - but no real line out does cut into amping the iriver doesn't it?

    I guess the Ipod doesn't have a line out with out the base, as well.

    I just expected a line out to be a line out.

    I THOUGHT the IRivers were good sounding - but this really cuts against getting a really good sound.
     
  6. donaldekelly Contributor
    Sorry for the histrionics.

    I have my heart set on an amp to go with my IRiver and my ER4-Ps. From my testing with my home system - I believed I was nearing an important (to me) goal. Then I revisited MysticRiver.com and found the above faq.

    $300 down the drain?

    Well, I guess not. If there are any more reassurances that the 320 will sound fine with an amp - please post them.

    But, I guess most people use an ipod and they seem to amp well with out line level output (on the go). So, the IRiver 320 shouldn't be too bad.

    Ok - sanity returning. I have stopped kicking and screaming over here in the corner while people watch.
     
  7. Seijang
    Yeah you haven't even actually listened to them with an amp and you're posting a message bout IRIVER CRAP QUALITY. A bit overreaching if you ask me [​IMG]
     
  8. Juergen
    You waited to post his until I ordered my 320 today didn't you? [​IMG] Seriously, I knew that before I ordered and the features just outweighed the cons. It does seem odd that they did that though [​IMG]
     
  9. Mr Iriver
    This was posted by breez in a different thread where he showed measures of the Iriver, with different impedance headphones. Line out and headphone out both flat sound.

    Quote

    There has been some discussion whether iRiver HD players have a true line-out or not, because of the volume control and EQ issue. H120 has a DAC chip with the amplifier (or current drive, whatever) for headphones built-in. The chip also has pins for line level output (no current reserve for headphones). The volume control duties are also handled by the same chip and it is done digitally before the conversion to analog and they have made the design decision that also the line-out volume can be controlled. Volume control is in fact an attenuator and setting the volume to full (setting 40) should provide the user with 'untouched' signal from the DAC chip. So in this perspective I would call it a true line-out, but just with the added possibility of controlling the volume. Same goes for the EQ, a feature that can be turned off.

    The info on what's inside H1xx I got from the Rockbox firmware site and then just looked up the datasheet for the DAC chip. H10 is most probably a new design altogether.

    It is possible that this is still in a way a true line out.
     
  10. donaldekelly Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Seijang
    Yeah you haven't even actually listened to them with an amp and you're posting a message bout IRIVER CRAP QUALITY. A bit overreaching if you ask me [​IMG]



    Yes I suppose you are right.

    My "comment" (rant? tantrum?) was based on one of the FAQs at MysticRiver (quoted above) which said - essentially - that amps were worthless on the IRiver. I assumed the FAQs at MysticRiver would be authoritative on the IRiver. Maybe I misunderstood the FAQ?
     
  11. donaldekelly Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mr Iriver
    This was posted by breez in a different thread where he showed measures of the Iriver, with different impedance headphones. Line out and headphone out both flat sound.

    >> snip <<

    So in this perspective I would call it a true line-out, but just with the added possibility of controlling the volume. Same goes for the EQ, a feature that can be turned off.

    It is possible that this is still in a way a true line out.




    http://www5.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=112736

    Most reassuring and based on actual measurments

    I think I am now a fast cycling bipolar (apologies to anyone who actually is bipolar - just a comment on how elated I suddenly feel).

    I also am contrite - I guess anyone sucked in by my flame title will hear a stronger opposing view.
     
  12. wanderman
    This is not a direct reference to you but in general it seems like people turn a blind eye to information that proves the quality of the iriver, but every one jumped and references the thread about the shuffle. but meh who cares. To each his own.
     
  13. musicmonkey
    Surely, if you thought the H340 sounded fine before you read the line out info, then to your ears it should still sound fine at the moment?....... or am i missing some crucial nugget of info, that if "X" person says it sounds "truly amazing with open natural sound - worthy of a £2000 system" etc, then you will obviously gain listening pleasure that is measurable by "X+1" amount, due to the back-up of a forum member or vice versa.

    If you "believed you were nearing an important goal" and you let someones else's opinion sway your beliefs then i pity your insecureness with the ability to make your own decision and be content.

    Why don't you place your H340 in a shoebox full of freshly plucked down feathers from a young goosling, seal the lid with sellatape and place in a darkned room on a suspended and damped floor - I hear this really brings out the inherent "audiophileness" of the H340.


    I'm pretty impressed with my combo............. also ordering an amp next month, Supermacro or SR71 - not sure yet.

    Whatever i decide i'll be the judge as to whether i'm happy with the sound quality, not forum monkeys.
     
  14. donaldekelly Contributor
    Music Monkey:

    My reasoning went like:

    I don't use the line out because I don't have an amp. The line out is supposed to be better quality to amp with (but worse quality if used directly).

    If the line out "sucks" because it goes through the built in amp - then even if I get an amp with 0.0003 % thd (like a super macro) or whatever, you have to add in the 0.8% THD that the built in IRiver amp has - kind of ruining the quality of any amp. (And , of course there are other things besides thd to measure sound quality).

    My ears cannot measure sq on the line out port at this point.

    If this reasoning is out to lunch - let me know. I believe this reasoning is the whole idea behind having a line out.

    By the way, I have appreciated your posts since we have almost the same gear so far.
     
  15. donaldekelly Contributor
    I take the FAQs on IRiver (until today) as pretty near the truth on IRiver. For instance I just blindly followed a post by AndrewMel on how to increase the start up speed on the IRiver. I did not know what I was doing but follwed it step by step and it worked fine.

    And then, today also, I read the FAQ about getting rid of the recycle bin on the IRiver so you can have more songs on it. Now I have 10% more space on my 320.

    So, I guess the FAQs are 2 out of 3?

    Maybe you knew all this stuff the day you bought your IRiver, but I didn't and have returned to the faqs again and again to find essential info on the IRiver.

    Apparently, they just got this wrong. Or maybe they got it right? I posted over there to try to find out.

    I don't want to buy an amp and then find out it was almost worthless (as it is with some kinds of headphones) and then have to resell it a week later at a loss. Or pay higher price just to be able to return it, etc.

    Have you tried your IRiver with an amp yet? How do you know it isn't crap when amped? I have only other people's experiences and info to go on at this point.
     
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