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J3 Sound Quality a step down vs. X5L and iaudio 7?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by frankrondaniel, Jul 18, 2012.
  1. frankrondaniel
    I've been a very happy long time owner of both the iaudio X5l and 7.  However, I've found that neither supports gapless and the battery life of the X5L is getting pretty bad (the 7 still runs forever on a charge - amazing).  So to obtain gapless support I purchased a J3 mainly based on reviews that I've found here and elsewhere.  However, I'm somewhat stunned in the step down in sound quality between the J3 and my other devices.  Whereas the X5L and 7 both have a full, clear sound that I've always loved, the J3 strikes me as thin and brittle.  It seems that no amount of playing with the equalization or BBE settings makes much of a difference - some settings just sound less worse than others.  I'm using an identical set of headphones (Westone 4, Etymotic ER-4P, Sony EX-1000) and source files (all FLAC), so it seems the J3 accounts for the difference.  I'm curious to hear other's experience along these lines.
  2. kmhaynes
    I came to the J3 (with Etymotic ER4P) from a Sansa Fuze with Rockbox, and an older Zune 30gB.  The Zune has pre-configured EQ settings, but on the J3 and the Fuze I set custom EQ for the ER4P to give it some bottom end fullness and rumble.  Don't know about the iAudio7 or X5L, but I find the BBE settings give me the ability to shape sound on all my regular head/earphones (ER4P, MS-1i, SHE 3580, Senn MX-760) -- not thin and brittle at all to me.
    My BBE settings for the ER4P are:
    80Hz: 4 Wide
    300Hz: 3 Wide
    1.1kHz: 0 Normal
    3.0kHz: 1 Normal
    11.7kHz: 2 Normal
    BBE: 6
    Mach3Bass: 8
    MP Enh: On
    Stereo Enh: 2
  3. frankrondaniel
    Hi.  I appreciate your response and your suggestions.  I did give your settings a try using my ER-4Ps.  Still no luck though.  Moving from the J3 to either the 7 or X5L results in a much preferable sound for me.  I wish I had the words to accurately describe the differences that I hear.  It's certainly disappointing for me to have the older Cowon devices sound noticeably better to me than the J3.
  4. a_tumiwa
    for sound quality, i prefer X5L over J3 too, but it is too big and only have a few features
  5. frankrondaniel
    It's good to hear that it's not necessarily my imagination!  I do agree with you that the X5L is kind of big with minimal features.  It would be ideal to have the X5L sound in the J3.

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