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Okay, so let's stretch the budget and start asking more about SQ and memory

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by metllicamilitia, Jun 5, 2011.
  1. metllicamilitia
    So, I've decided I may as well save up and not just get something to tide me over. I want a good solidly built mp3 player that will not break on me anytime soon. I have about 2,000 songs, however they are all in mp3 or wma format of varying quality. I only own the cd's for about half my music and have paid for the downloads of about half of the music I don't have cd's for. So I only have control over the quality of the file for about half the music I listen to. So I'm basically looking for a solidly build mp3 player that has great SQ, hopefully one that doesn't destroy low quality audio but can still bring out the best in a lossless file, I'm not sure how possible that is. As far as which IEM's I will be using, I'm not sure yet as I need some new ones and I've been out of the loop. The bands I listen to range from Paul Simon to Cradle of Filth and I've come to the conclusion that I prefer mids slightly out above the rest. I'm not too sure how much of this really applies to an mp3 player search, but I figured I give it to help as much as possible. As far as budget goes, I want to look realistically, I'm not looking to drop $500 on an mp3 player along with the cost of new IEM's and possibly an amp. But for the most part I'm looking with an open budget. Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm still trying to learn to do all this on my own, but I don't know the first place to look for up and coming players, most current players, and what I'm looking for as far as specs go.
  2. BotByte
    Um... TL;DR
    2,000 is songs is pretty low. Most people measure their libraries by how much memory they have taken up.
    Me: 3.5 TB, mostly mp3 320kbs and 20% FLAC.
    Just get:
    Cowon S9 16gb - $160
    Brainwavz M1 with Fiio E5 with express shipping from MP4nation - <$90
    This will serve you with everything you need as long as you update the Cowon firmware, swap the J3 theme with the stock S9 theme and pick the right ear cups for the Brainwavz
  3. Aevum
    If you´re gonna get a S9 just jump to the J3 and you can use MicroSD cards to expend it when you have more cash on hand.
  4. metllicamilitia
    So it seems Cowon is the way to go....again. I had a D2 a few years back, loved that player, but the screen cracked made it hard to use, then cracked again rendering the right side of the screen completely useless. Are the screens of the S9 and J3 better quality? In their defense though it cracked due to being in my pocket.
    I measured it by number of songs due to the vastly differing file sizes. But as far as the earphones go, it's looking like it's between the JH Audio JH5 and the Westone AC2's, but I'm leaning toward the JH5's.
  5. DaddyC
    Cowon has the BBE sound quality that really stands out.  Not sure whether you are fussed about the size of the player but the Cowon J3 seems to marry the size and vid quality of the S9 with the best of D2 (expandable memory).  If you want the added bonus of video go the J3 but it'll be a larger player in your pocket compared to the D2.  Not sure if you want something larger or smaller in your pocket though.  I reluctantly just returned a D2+ under warranty - the MP3 was a delight SQ wise but was finnicky with tags for me - I found myself spending too much time under the hood and not enough time enjoying the audio ride.  The D2+ is apparently now 'discontinued' but it has a robust following on forums (for tips), a recent firmwarde upgrade, cranks (37mW/16ohms) relative to the other players, is compact and has solid battery (52hrs audio).  Should drive most headphones/IEMs for a long time.  There is also the new Cowon C2 just released in June - the specs look very reasonable and just a tad behind quality of the D2+ (C2 is same size as D2+ but lighter).  It has "BBE+" so SQ should be a pleasure - and it's cheaper than the D2+. 
    For me, I was after compact size with great SQ as I don't care for video or album art.  For the interim, I picked up a refurb 8GB Sansa Fuze (discontinued but at @$80 in Australia - cheaper in US - it is more compact that D2+, still great SQ (using the Custom EQ) plus a small screen, microSD expansion, podcast friendly and money left over in your case for better headgear).  I'll chuck in a 16GB microSD and have easily 2500+ songs at 320kbps at my fingertips and even convert some to FLAC soon.  Will wait to see how the new Cowon C2 pans out with the reviews.  I want to see how the C2 handles podcasts - as podcasts will be my next digital audio adventure.

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