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Order by sound quality

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by authistic, Sep 16, 2010.
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  1. authistic
    Hey guys..
    I know this is a quiet .. stupid thread but I am quiet new to mobile sources.. I need to get a good overview..
    So I would love to know which players are "omg-damn-nice" and which are the "bah-dat-sux" =)
    So could anyone please order the following players by sound quality?
    Of course this is always based on "personal impression", so I guess there will be some different opinions. But I just need a small overview.
    Ipod Nano 5
    Ipod Classic
    Ipod Touch 3G
    iPhone 3GS
    iPhone 4
    Sansa Clip+
    Sansa Fuze
    Cowon J3
    Cowon S9
    Cowon D2 / + (any dif.?)
    Cowon iAudio 9
    Cowon iAudio 7
    I don't/won't use any sort of portable amp, if that's important to say.
    Thanks a lot guys
    and sry for my english ^-^
  2. Hero Kid
    I'll list the players I've heard.
    iPod (Classic) Video 5.5g (Rockboxed) → Cowon J3 → Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed) → Cowon D2+.
    Keep in mind I was using a set of Earsonics SM3s which are a low impedance BA IEM.
    Now in my opinion the differences in sound are quite minute, there, but minute. So don't go for the best sounding player if you don't consider it practical, or it doesn't have the features you desire.
    I have this very important question to ask you. What headphones/IEMs do you plan to use with this player?
  3. GeorgeGoodman
    The Hifiman HM-601 is supposed to sound better than any of those on the list. It has a pretty good amp inside, too. 
    Tha HM-801 is probably the best portable player today, but it is also $790. the HM-601 is only $260, and it comes with some limited edition IEMs called the RE-Zeroes that are sold for $100 f you order it now.
  4. MrGreen
    Try www.anythingbutipod.com. They swear by the sansa clip. I'm inclined to agree.
  5. GeorgeGoodman
    The Sansa clip is a normal sounding player. It doesn't do anything really wrong, but then again it doesn't do anything exceptionally well. I have a Fuze that is supposed to sound the same and the sound is pretty flat and non dynamic. I have tried other players that sound much better, such as the S:Flo2 and the QLS QA350. 
    Anythingbutipod.com is a good site, but sometimes I want to start anythingbutsansa.com to counteract their sansa madness. They are irrationally crazy about the clip because it measure flat on some test. Guess what? it sounds flat as well, and not in a good way. The clip has its place as an ultra portable cheap player that sounds decent, but decent is not anywhere near good. 
  6. MrGreen


    It sounds flat in a GREAT way to me.
  7. GeorgeGoodman
    Almost any other player with the exception of some ipods sound better to me.
  8. Youngblood

    Thanks god I ordered an S:flo! 
  9. igor0203
    I'm looking for replacement for my iPod Nano gen.1. It's nothing wrong with it it's just that I have huge collection of music in FLAC and don't want to convert all music just that I can play on Nano. Plus it's only 2GB.
    So I was looking around and thinking to buy Sansa Fuze/Clip+. Will I downgrade in terms of SQ? I don't want cheap **** player, I want decent sounding one. Or maybe Cube C30/its derivates?
    Also is S:Flo2 small enough so that I can take it on jogging?
  10. Achmedisdead


    If it sounds too flat to you, then use the Rockbox tweaks that are available. [​IMG]
  11. GeorgeGoodman
    Rockbox only fixes so much. It is good, but can not take it a level above other players. 
    I never listen to music while running, because I am on the road and want to be aware of my surroundings and because running is a good time to unwind and think about whatever. But if you still want to listen while running, the Clip+ is good for that. Just don't expect an incredible sound. There are much better sounding players out there.
  12. Darkchaser
    Source is the most fickle part of an audio rig. There is never 1 source that is good in everything for sure. I know this coz I've had my fair share of DAPs. I can surmise the following:
    iPods - they are OK sounding players. The iPod 5G is probably the best sounding one I've heard, plus you can use Rockbox on it. Still, I do find that I need to amp the iPods to get a decent sound. 
    clip+ - After having only iPods, the clip+ was a big surprise. Much better sound quality from a much smaller player. Unfortunately the poor battery life and small screen and size really killed it for me. 
    s:flo2 - Bad customer service aside, the s:flo2 sounded excellent. It deserves the praise it gets for its SQ for sure. However for me, SQ isn't everything, and eventually the really bad UI and awkward shape made it a bad package overall. 
    Fuze - Currently using and so far it's the best. Good battery, easy navigation, Rockbox. Don't underestimate the Rockbox impact. Coupled with the Fuze's amp, it pretty much nullifies the need to use an amp for me. I've tried iBasso D12, P4, D4, Cordas, everything short of RSAs, and find that there is very minimal gain using an amp. I think a lot of people can atest to this, judging by a good number of Fuze rigs here without amps. 
    So yeah, I don't feel the Sansas are overrated. They are definitely bang for buck, and then some more. Maybe Cowons or the s:flo2 may sound better, but they all have their own problems. After the nightmare that is mp4nation customer service, I'm inclined NOT to spend too much on a source anymore. :)
  13. GeorgeGoodman
    The Cowon J3 reportedly has a great UI. I have the Sansa Fuze, but it falls a little short of good sound. It is definitely better than an Ipod and good for the price especially with Rockbox, but there are better sounding players. Also, the internal amp is not that great. I find headphones clip a lot when I try to do a significant amount of EQ.
  14. Guidostrunk


  15. Achmedisdead


    In the ReplayGain menu, you need to enable "Prevent Clipping"......problem solved![​IMG]
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