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Sony NW-ZX300

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by riotgrrl, Jul 10, 2017.
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  1. Mark2010
    I just noticed a major difference in sound quality on the zx300 when I turned on "high gain".

    I have the player months but I never noticed that feature.

    They should have the zx300 set to high gain straight out of the box.
  2. Weaves
    Sony players have primarily been made for iem's. High gain, by default, could ruin quite a few of them.
  3. Mark2010
    I use iem's high gain does not seem to have harmed them at all.
    oakbloke likes this.
    I played the movie Jurassic World balanced through the ZX300.
    And heard no difference with standard.
    I’m guessing movies don’t have the right audio format for balanced listening? Is that right?
  5. Bepli
    No, balanced is a connection type and doesnt have anything to do with what plays well or not. Even the lowest bit-rate MP3 will just play fine and will have the same benefits and disadvantages as if you played a different file.
  6. marvin3003
    I am new on this forum en my in ears are akg k3003, ie80s, shure se425, ie 60, akg k374 and an old pair of cx300. Most of the times i listen from my notebook or galaxy s8 through a dragonfly red. I am planning to buy the sony m7 or m9 depending on the exact pricing here. These m7 are m9 are supplied with balanced cables if i recall correctly.
    I am guessing that the balanced output of the zx300 will give better sound quality than the dragonfly red but how is the sound quality difference between the se output of the zx300 compared to a phone with a drogonfly red. If i would buy the m9 it will be the only one in my collection with a balanced cable. I could upgrade the cables of the shure se 425 and the ie 80s to use the balanced output of the zx300 but it would be a shame if my akg 3003 would sound worse on se zx300 than out of my dragonfly red.
    is there anyone who can give a brief comparison between a dragonfly red en zx300 se output?

  7. Bepli
    From my listening and the measurements I saw, the DragonFly Red and Black are much worse than even the SE. The player performs way better, the most awkward thing is that the DAC implementation on the DragonFlys is advertised as 24 Bit (also actually 24Bit only in Windows and co), but it can not output more than 16Bit. The ZX300 outperforms both, the only thing the DragonFly Red is better is power output (On SE only I think).
  8. pr0b3r

    Love the punch of midbass from ZX300 + EMX500 buds.
    I feel for balanced listening in case of music files, higher resolution files like DSD than MP3 does make a difference.

    But in case of video files I know dvd audio sounds worse than Blu-ray or 4K video.

    But in the case of iTunes HD movies vs Blu-ray or 4K video is the audio compressed, since there are Blu-ray cd that play uncompressed higher resolution files than cd. This is in the case of INXS 30 Anniversary CD that came with a Blu-ray Disc with high res files.

    I haven’t figured a way to play Blu-ray/4K movie discs to ZX300.

  10. Bepli
    While the player does sound better from the balanced port, it doesnt make a difference what file you play. It will always sound the same either way. Will the different files show a improvement ? Yes, but that has nothing to do with the balanced port, you will see the same improvement from the SE.
  11. nanaholic
    Not quite true for the ZX300, as only the balance port has native DSD playback whereas SE is converted to PCM. So a difference could easily be attributed to the different conversion method.
  12. Bepli
    But you cant compare the two outputs when they dont do the same. If you compare them with the same conversation method (Changing the option in the settings) it wont matter. His original question was if he needs higher quality files to get the improvement of the Balanced output and that isnt true, all files will have the same improvement. (If DSD is played native or not is not comparable because you can not output native on the SE)
  13. GreenBow
    Wow, this thread slowed down a little bit.

    You're not going to believe this. My ZX300 arrived on 26th June, but it's still in its box new and factory sealed.

    I think I was just putting off opening it until had some reasonable headphones to use with it. I only had Sennehieser MX500 which are actually good for what they are. Plus a pair of AKG Y50 on-ear headphones. The Y50 though, cause quite a seal and cause quite a thumping noise with footsteps. ... Anyway after lots of deliberating, I eventually bought some AKG N40. I could not be more pleased. I tried them on my Hugo 2, and my £50 IPod Shuffle 4GB 3rd gen last night.

    I was startled at how good they sounded on my IPod Shuffle:
    The What HiFi AKG N40 review, said the treble can be rather hard and incessant on cheaper sound sources. However I found them brilliant on my Shuffle, and even ended up laid out, Shuffle listening. I also took Shuffle for a walk. They isolate and so cause some footstep booming too, but it's more than acceptable. The beauty was the level of isolating, in that it blocked the worst of traffic noise. Yet left enough traffic noise to stay aware. (By the way, I have never owned in-ear/headphones before, so this is all new to me.)

    Anyway long story short, I think I will try out the ZX300 today, and report the synergy. I expect it will be good. I keep having thoughts of leaving the ZX300 sealed new. Then getting a Poly for my Chord Mojo. ... However the Sony has far better battery life. The Poly has been problematic, but is still getting sorted. (I think newer models are perfect, and there may be a old for new Poly, exchange policy in place too.) Plus as yet I don't have a smart-phone to operate the Poly. Mojo//Poly is also a lot of money to carry about.

    Anyway I will let folk know how the AKG N40 work with ZX300. .......... I honestly think the pairing will be good enough/excellent/more than substantial, etc. Even so though, I can on odd occasion still pair ZX300 with Mojo.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    crabdog likes this.
  14. umbrellaus
    Tried to pair my Astell&Kern T8ie MKII with zx300, and to be honest, it is not a good idea even if switching to 4.4 balance output. I can't tell the difference between the two ports. However, ak320 does has a great improvement when switching 3.5mm to 2.5mm balanced output.
    I think the reason is that the zx300 is tune for more bass and the T8ie MKII is also more bass tuning than the Xelento which makes it worse.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  15. geagle
    I don't know about the A&K T8ie MKII (as I don't have them), but my Xelentos with my ZX300 is one of my favorite pairings :)
    superuser1 likes this.
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