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Sansa Fuze v Sony Nw-HD1 ( Sony has much better sound quality )

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by boogsy, Aug 1, 2011.
  1. boogsy
    Hello to everyone
    this is my 1st post,  and basically I have owned the Sony NW-HD1 for a few years now,  it is an Atrac player ( no lossless ) 
    I recently purchased a Sansa Fuze ,   and have spent sometime comparing the SQ.
    The Sony has a seriously good high end sound,   the sound has more depth to it,  more resonance,  the way notes decay seem natural,  and the sound compared to the Fuze is like comparing a high end tube amp to a class B transistor amp.
    The Fuze is a lovely design,  I installed rockbox,  and all the extra options make it close to perfect ,  thin, light, large screen,  loads of options,  plays lossless , has a sd slot ,  and has more power than the Sony (  And Ive had the Sony EU restriction bypassed )
    All my testing was with Senn. HD600 headphones
    Its a real shame I feel,  as the Fuze has wonderful features and can play lossless,  however it is also amazing that the Sony with atrac compression ( 352 kps )  still sounds superior
    to find out whether or not the Sony ' was better' or simply that I preferred the sound of it,  I also compared the outputs to my high end full size cd player ,  and the Sony sounded virtually identical,
    the Fuze on the other hand,  had lots of power,  but the sound was different,   a little hollow,  and the bass didnt go as deep,   it had a more 'airy' sound,  but it was quite different to the cd player output - the Sony was almost identical
    I tried different rockbox tweaks,  but the main limitation to the Fuze seems to be in the quality of its dac or amp section,  the sound is thinner,   the bass doesnt go very low,  and it just doesnt have the sound of a high end amp  ( The Sony does )
    I also have a Clip,  which has the same sound as the Fuze ,  I did expect the Fuze to sound better,  but it didnt
    the Sony is a 2004 model,  and Ive yet to hear anything thats better,    I suppose the newer flash Sony models would be good,  but they are limited in vol out ( EU again ) and no bypass available,  also Ive heard they do not sound as good as a NW-HD5 player  ( same internals to HD1 )
    for anyone with inear phones,  and not using high end full size phones,  the Sansa will sound very good anyway,   but because Im used to the HD600s and high end sound ,  I can tell there is a difference,   its not huge,  but its enough to make the sound far less enjoyable.....
    would be interesting to hear from anyone else who also has compared the Fuze to an Atrac Sony player,   and indeed any other comments regarding the Fuze SQ in terms of audiophile potential
  2. Achmedisdead
    You hooked up a Fuze to HD600's and thought it sounded a little thin....that's not surprising, it wasn't designed to power full-size headphones like the HD600.[​IMG]
  3. boogsy


    yes I think you are most correct,   I do hook my HD600s to all the mp3 players Ive tested,  ipod classic  ( again thin sound ) ,  the clip, fuze and some others
    interestingly the fuze goes much louder than the Sony HD1 ,   but the sound is thin ,  seems the larger sony has better amp that can drive the HD600s without problems
    what i really want is something like the Fuze but with capable amp built in
    does it exist ?
  4. kmhaynes
    Most all older Sony/Others portable CD players had higher output power and therefore higher sound quality.  The ATRAC players followed suit, but MP3 players lowered their power output because they assumed they would be playing mostly 128 kbps compressed (downloaded) files -- and the masses would just get used to poorer sound quality.
  5. boogsy


    pesky 'masses'  again  (!!!)   those masses are ruining the quality of everything,    what is wrong with these people ?   they are trading quality for quantity at every oppurtunity ,   

    they are not happy with having a few albums in high quality,  they want to carry their entire existing collection at all times - in low quality
    i have a question -  why ?!
    hmmm,  I guess there is no logic behind stupidity at the end of the day........
    oh well.............
  6. kmhaynes


    Cheaper quality stuff is cheaper to make, easier to sell, and will be easier to operate for the masses out there who only want to press Play and hear some music.  Those who want quality will have to work harder, pay more -- but it's worth it in the end.
  7. faichiu
    Sansa series players were over-rated by people in this forum. 
  8. caracara08


    at its price range, its not too bad.  what other player that costs 40-50$ sounds as good? personally, i dont own any of hte sansas any more but i owned the clip+ and fuze. they were good for what they cost.  i mean you can get a refurb for 25$ or so.
  9. psgarcha92
    The HD600s are 300 Ohms my friend, and the Sansa fuze and Clip are basically praised for sound quality, plus the fact that both can maintain the same FR curve be it smaller impedance or normal. but if u think that u'd power a 300Ohm headset using that cute little player, i dont think ur going to get anything good. More justice would be done to the Fuze if u could hook up a transparent amp on the line out of the Fuze and then power your HD600s. The Fuze, compared to the Zune and the iPod, as i have read, but cant quote the source, has a good capability of handling even very small impedances. 16Ohm is no problem for the Fuze. If u could get an amp, a transparent one, really transparent, u'd actually see how the Sound is all Balanced and i mean it. My mini^3 amp running with the Fuze and the RE0s gets a hike at some 7kHz.
    Plus the being overrated thing, the Fuze is certainly more balanced than the iPods, and it sounds sweet. while all the iPods i've used, the Classic had the best SQ, but they all have an emphasis on the Bass and the Treble. Just cannot call them natural sounding.
    To the OP, do the Fuze some justice, test with an amp and maybe u'd see what it is about. :)
  10. SouthernBoy
    I think another way experience what the Fuze can really do is to test it with some low-impedence, high-quality IEMs.  I personally like a Rockboxed Fuze with Triple Fi 10s (32 Ohms impedence).  I'm not surprised, however that the Sony a) sounds good, and b) has the power to drive higher-impedence cans.
    Edit: corrected horrendous spelling errors.
  11. Prashanth R
    I suggest u read Ayn Rand.. you'll find answers.
  12. Prashanth R

    I suggest u read Ayn Rand


  13. 12345142


    Post of the year, made me LOL.
    Also OP, try using more efficient headphones that we'd actually plug into a DAP. The Fuze is a very weak player. It sounds like you're confusing volume for power. Bear in mind as well that the Fuze is dirt cheap nowadays compared to the Sony when it was first released. I appreciate you going out of your way to write a comparison, but in terms of objectivity, it leaves something to be desired.
  14. Huxley
    Plus where the fuze really comes into it's own, is using an lod and suitable amp.
    Standard the sound is a bit flat, a good amp really brings it to life, stops it from sounding like an mp3 player and more a high end audio device.
  15. wje

    It can also depend on which iPod Classic was being tested.  The "5" is sometimes referred to as the iPod Classic / Video, too.  It was one of the first iPod players to support video.  The 30GB configuration has a hard drive to hold the music.  There is a downfall - the battery life can be a bit weak at 12 to 14 hours (approximately.)  However, there is one thing to keep in mind regarding this version of the iPod player is that it was one of their last versions to feature Wolfson DACs in it.  Shortly after, Apple converted over to Cirrus Logic chip sets and the quality isn't nearly where the Classic "5" stands.  I have the Sansa Fuze, the iPod Classic "5", the Sony Walkman "NWZ" series and the iPod Touch 4th Generation players.  About the only thing "flaky" with the Classic "5" is the rotary dial / selection button.  Since it is essentially flat with the surface of the iPod, it's a bit harder to navigate in the dark.
    All of my portable players are used with amps, too.  Be it, the O2, the C&C BH, or even the FiiO E11.
    The Sony NWZ is probably the player that pleases me the least - and, I do have a LOD cable for it, too.  To me, the sound is even weaker than the iPod Touch 4th Generation.  I'd love to find an older Sony and try it - provided it had a decent batter life, too.

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