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[resolved] Portable music @ 400$ , SQ being the main preference here.

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by akkib89, Jul 11, 2012.
  1. akkib89
    EDIT1:Will the 6gen Ipod nano do it or should I buy the J3 (because I don't want to compromise on audio quality). My budget can stretch a maximum upto 400 $ and that said, I will be grateful if head-fiers could provide me with other alternatives that I have failed to consider. Storage capacity is not a factor here and 16gb will suffice.

    EDIT2: after going through various threads I have come to realize that people praised DAC/amps like the FIIO 11 for increasing the quality of sound output. So i think they will as well be included in my portable audio setups. Also after reading ipod 7g reviews, I think 7g is a tad better than the nano and the touch? Is it true?
  2. akkib89

    After going through a number of threads in this Section of head-fi , I realized that cowon J3 doesn't have a line out and no LOD support. Most headfier here claim that using LOD improves the quality if coupled with DAC/amp combo. Even the line out ,if used with an Amp, helps improve the sound quality. How does the COWON Z2 fit here. Any improvements over the j3? What about SANSA clip+ and nationites's S'flo:2? Someone mentioned they sound better than the cowonD2s. Also, as I have ipad2, I have started wondering if the LOD works on ipads.
  3. JK1
    I say save your money and go cheap. Spend $50 total and get a Sandisk Clip+ 2GB and a 32GB microSDHC card to put in it for $50 total, giving you a great small 34GB player. The Clip+ is the favorite player on anythingbutipod.com. I am listening to mine now. It is very small and has a built in Clip. It has great sound quality, and no amp is needed unless you want to use inefficient high impedance headphones.
  4. forbigger
    ^^ this and if you can stomach it, get an used pico or pico slim. But let me warned you, the sq not gonna be night and day difference. Or FWIR ALO National for $299. I have pico slim and heard pico. Both are pretty close. I have left the world of portable amp as I believe the sq improvement doesnt justify the cost and portability issue. Rather than splurge on portable amp, might as well upgrade the headphone. I'm now happy with my old but trusty Cowon D2 and JH13. Sometimes I use Clip+ but I just hate its battery life.
  5. akkib89
    Thanks for your recommendation. The Clip+ seems to be the best portable player out there for daily use, but could you, please, elaborate more on the quality of audio output it delivers. Like I said earlier, for me, the SQ is a bigger factor while deciding the DAP/mp3 player than its portability and this player is so damn cheap that I doubt it can match ipod classic's or cowon's standards. Still, you may know better. How does the Cowon D2 fair against it. Has the D2 aged or does it still offers superb sound quality? JUST to give you an example, I earlier have used a Sony B series mp3 player (the ones shaped like a pen drive) and was so much disappointed with its below average SQ, that I sold it to my room-mate(he loves bass).
  6. akkib89
    Thanks for pulling me away from portable amps, seems they underperform for the price. I saw the Clip+ in pictures and doubt their SQ. How would you rate them against your D2 in terms of SQ? Have you listened to Cowon J3 or the newly launched Z2 ? What is your advice about them, how do they fair against sansa and apple products?
  7. forbigger
    D2 and Clip+ is quite at each other opposite. D2 is clinical and bit dry whereas Clip+ is warm. No, I havent been listening to the ones you mentioned. Clip zip which is latest Clip seems nice too. But seriously, for $40 frm Amazon, if you dont like them, pack it back and give to relatives for Christmas present.
  8. JK1
    "Like I said earlier, for me, the SQ is a bigger factor while deciding the DAP/mp3 player than its portability and this player is so damn cheap that I doubt it can match ipod classic's or cowon's standards. " The Clip+ can't match the ipod Classic or Cowon's sound quality, since the Clip+ sounds better! Don't trust me, ask the people at http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/ The one thing the Clip+ does skimp on is battery life, only around 12 hours. When I want extra battery life, I use mine with small external usb battery packs. The Clip+ will play while charging(but you need to use a power only cable to do this with a pc). I am now listening to my Clip+ connected to a Tekkeon mp1550 usb battery pack(the mp1580 is the latest model).Look at the $30 Veho Pebble XT 5,000 mah one if you want a very compact, high capacity one. Another usb battery pack to consider is the Tekkeon mp1580 which is larger and heavier since it uses 4 AA nimh batteries. The Cowon D2 offers much longer battery life than the Clip+, however it weighs four times as much and is much larger. The Clip+ has a built in clip so it can be clipped to your shirt. The D2 has more sound enhancements than the Clip+, however I have no interest in using sound enhancements. I like the sound straight.
  9. JK1
    Sandisk might come out with a new version of the Fuze in around 6 weeks(based on their history of player releases over the past few years). The original Fuze is great(I love mine), but the Fuze+ has horrible controls. Since the Clip+ is so cheap, you could buy that now, and also perhaps buy Sandisk's next player that might be out in around 6 weeks. The very small size of the Clip+ and built in clip make it great for portable use.
  10. akkib89
    Thanks again for the references. After going through multiple reviews out there regarding the CLIP+'s SQ and the comparisons vs. iPod, I was pretty amazed by what the Clip+ offers for its price. Now since I'll save a lot on the DAP itself, I think, I can cash out on the headphones or IEMs, the latter being more preferable.. Please recommend me a pair of IEMs (below 150$) that go well with the player. 
  11. Dyaems
    sanza clip+ (or fuze for longer battery life) > LOD/IC > FiiO E6 > GR07 would be my recommendation, the setup synergizes well for me. and it costs less than 400usd!
  12. akkib89
    Seeing this and readong the comments below, I am once again confused. Sflow'2 sounds better that clip+! I can now presume why people go for IPODS to avoid this utter confusion over which DAP is the best sounding!
  13. akkib89
    Thanks for the recommendations. Have you rockboxed your Clip+ or just use the factory loaded settings. Also, is the original Fuze still in the market or has is it been upgraded to Fuze+. There is a general opinion among head-fiers that after rockboxing clip+ sounds better than most DAPS out there? Is it true?
  14. JK1
    Read this review. http://anythingbutipod.com/2009/08/sandisk-sansa-clip-plus-review/#more-989 Here is a review comparing the Clip+ to the Clip Zip. http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64913 A comparison of the Clip+ to the ipod Nano. http://reviews.cnet.com/2722-6490_7-795.html Now that microSDHC cards are so cheap, imo it makes no sense to buy a player without a micro SDHC card slot. I recommended the Clip+ rather than the Clip Zip since when playing songs the Clip Zip only shows a progressed bar, and not time elapsed. The Clip Zip also doesn't show the number in the series(ie album) you are playing, while the Clip+ will show for example 3/9(the third song in a series of 9 to be played). This is with the original firmware. I didn't Rockbox my Sandisk players since doing so might permanently disable the ability of them to play protected music. I have some Slotradio cards, which have protected music on them. I also like the simplicity of the Sandisk firmware. While Rockbox offers many options for screen appearance and many settings, it is also much more complicated to use than the Sandisk firmware. I downloaded and read through the Rockbox manual as I was curious about it. Ask Achmedisdead about Rockboxing Sandisk players. He has Rockboxed a few of them. There are some people on the anythingbutipod.com website(such as Saratoga) who are Rockbox developers.
  15. JK1
    The original Fuze has been discontinued almost two years ago, so it is hard to find a new one at a good price. While the Fuze has longer battery life than the Clip+ and a larger screen, they sound the same. Since the Clip+ is much smaller than the Fuze, and the Clip+ has a built in clip which the Fuze lacks, I use the Fuze only at home. The annoying thing about the Fuze is the proprietary cable. If you like the idea of a Fuze, then wait another six weeks. We might see a new Fuze model released in around 6 weeks. Many have both the Fuze and Clip+(or Clip Zip). If the new Sandisk model is good, then I plan to buy one of those as well. At just $30 for a 2GB Clip+, it pays to buy it as a spare player or player for gym use even you plan to buy a larger player as well.

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