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Looking for very good SQ, high battery life, not Apple

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by sirylj, Nov 4, 2012.
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  1. sirylj
    I've looked over many Cowon products thinking about J3 as my choice (X9 if I can't find a J3).
    However, I was wondering what other players are out there (older Cowon models too) that are known for good SQ,
    as well as having very high battery life (X9 can't be beat on that, but then again I don't know if it's too accurate).
    Any info or opinion on favorite player (SQ & battery life, not design, UI, etc.) would be great.
  2. Dyaems
    hisoundaudio studio V i think is the best one when it comes to battery life (around 50 hours on flac), next is the cowon s9/j3/etc (20-30hours on flac) and then rockboxed sanza fuze (15-20 hours on flac).
  3. Sefelt103
    Isn't what you are asking for a contradiction in terms. High sq generally means low battery life because hi-fi type electronics require lots of power. All the high quality players have short battery lifes. HM801 8 hrs, Colorfly C4 6hrs. An ipad might fit your requirements due to its massive battery however I've just noticed you don't want Apple. Many Cowon models have high battery lifes, they also tend to have quite small batteries which leads to compromises in sq. They tend to sound too colourful for my liking although with earbuds/iems most would find their sound pleasing. Its just with over the ear headphones that the compromises made for battery life become apparent. Perhaps a 7" tablet with a large battery might be what you're looking for, most small ultra portable players are incapable of high sq/high battery life.
  4. sirylj
    Though what I'm searching for is hard to find (ask for one, get less of the other, etc.), I don't feel that it is too contradictory of a request.
    Though the majority of DAPs that fall in one category (eg. SQ) lack in the other (eg. battery life), there are some out there that fall in the respectable middle ground, of having above average SQ (though probably not the best, but at least better than Apple products), and decent battery life (around 50+ hours).
    Some Cowon products fall near this category (of course, SQ is a personal opinion), but I'd still like to rake in other peoples opinions on DAPs they have used that they believe sound good to them, and have a decent battery life that fits their lifestyle.
    * Just want to add that though I would be using over-ear headphones (MHP-839), a tablet of such size is not what I am looking for, and even if it fit both SQ and battery life requirements, the size factor would be the reason I would pass by it.
    image.png [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. dwatanabe
    Cowons definitely color the sound a little but they do it in a good way. I had an s9 and enjoyed it with my sr225s because of the great equalizer. However, I honestly think that a sansa clip+ with rockbox sounds better than the s9 or any cowon player I've tried(s9 and older). The battery life is pretty good, I charge it every two days, not the best battery life but I think that it's adequate. I've never heard any of the higher end players though so I'll reserve judgement on those but for ~$30 they are a steal and the best feature, IMO is that they are nearly disposable. If you lost or damaged your hm801 or colorfly you'd have a horrible day and be out a lot of money but damaging a clip just means you go to bestbuy and pick up another one for about 30 usd, cheaper than any decent, entry level headphones.
  6. sirylj
    The Sansa Clip+ sounds fine for being used as a cheap DAP that can be replaced without hassle, but I already use my 2nd Gen shuffle for that purpose (though price is slightly different).
    I'm looking for a higher end player, as you say, and though I would like to get the best deal as far as price/quality goes, I'm not really searching for something like the Clip+ (ie. I've been looking at the Hisoundaudio Studio V and the Cowon J3, so this is kind of the area I'm checking around).
    image.png [​IMG][​IMG]
  7. Dyaems
    note that the j3 is discontinued model so you might be having a hard time buying a new one. i hope not!
  8. sirylj
    Oh, besides getting money for it I have had a very difficult time finding a J3. The only one I have found is on some French site.
  9. H20Fidelity Contributor
    Possibly a Cowon C2 is what you're looking for. I rate it just below the S9 for SQ, supports microsd, 50 hours for music, Jet Effects 3.0 And whoever said a Clip+ sounds better than an S9 I totally disagree, all the Clip+ has over the S9 is more clarity (when both are set flat) which people perceive as "better sound" take into consideration the dynamics, soundstage, separation, detail levels amoung several other areas I'm not going to babble on about and you got yourself one lacking Sansa Clip+
  10. dwatanabe

    Well, I know these sorts of arguments are not taken very well in this forum but objectively, from an engineer's point of view, the clip has the flattest frequency response curve and an almost ideal 1 ohm output impedance(an ideal operational amplifier has zero output impedance). What all this means is that you will have low distortion( a lot of clarity) on headphones of most impedances, it will drive most headphones to a decent level, and not color your sound unless you use rockbox and use the eq. I know some people prefer colored sound and the cowon has some of the best dsp i've heard on a player.
  11. HideousPride
    Not sure how easy it'll be for you to find one these days, but I am an absolutely huge fan of the J3 with IEMs. I haven't demoed the $500+ DAPs, but have tried a few others in the ~<$200 range, including the Clip+ and still think the J3 is preferable. YMMV of course.
    It does well with full size headphones, with my only slight gripe being that it lacks a line out. Battery life is the absolute selling point for me. I've gone on week long vacations/business trips listening to the J3 for hours on end without having to charge a single time.
    Would highly recommend it for its price point if you manage to snag one.   
  12. sirylj
    I'm sure the Clip+ is just fine for regular use, but the only time I see myself getting one is when my Shuffle dies.
    The J3 has been the DAP I've been searching for, so if I manage to find one (for an affordable price) I'll pick it up, but I'll check the C2 out as well, because I've already changed my targeted DAP several times as new information comes to light (quality, availability, etc.).
    After looking at the C2 images on Amazon, I want to ask, does it have any physical buttons controlling the song/volume? If it is only a touch screen device like the iPod touch (or has lacking buttons like the touch and it's two side buttons), I'm not sure I'll be looking into it too much unless it's on a big sale somewhere.
    Now if I had a dream DAP (or at least a very good one), it would probably be the Hisoundaudio Studio V after reading up on it. And if I had dream, it would be to afford it...
  13. H20Fidelity Contributor
    Cowon C2 has volume up/down pause, power buttons. the volume can be set to change tracks visa versa depending on what settings you assign the buttons too. For example, when on hold it will do track change forward/reverse, hold off volume etc etc.......

    The cheapest place you'll find one is here.


    And here's a good review on Studio V

  14. sirylj
    Look, something I have enough money for!
    I'll add the C2 to my list of possibilities for the price, and just to clarify (as I think I found it on the eBay listing but not on the Cowon website), the size for the C2 is just the internal storage, but it can have space added on by using a SD card, correct? If so, it will be top of the list in the coming holiday season.
    Also, thanks for the Studio V review! I found some on Head-Fi earlier, but this one offered a different shade of thought so I found it pretty enjoyable.
    image.png [​IMG][​IMG]
  15. H20Fidelity Contributor

    Yeah those $105 C2 are only 4GB, but just use mircosd cards. I hardly bother with internal storage. I look at it like a reserve really.

    There's another interesting comparison here you can read regarding a few popular players. If you could live with 15 - 18 hours I would actually suggest the Colorfly C3 too, but make sure you do some reading up on it, make sure it suits your requirements. It's purely only for audio, no funky features. Select a folder > play > listen style. But owning both C2 and C3 the Colorfly is a better choice in SQ by quite a margin.

    Here's that comparison.

    http://tupperwav.com/le-materiel/colorfly-c3-comparatif-avec-4-autres-baladeurs-a-vocation-audiophile/ (good for all you Clip+ owners too) :wink:

    And here's the C3 review thread. It's becoming very popular but as I said 15 - 18 hours for FLAC.


    Good luck!
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