The HiSoundAudio AMP3 PRO1 "Audiophile" MP3 Player: A Pathetic Piece of Garbage
Mar 1, 2010 at 10:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 100

dfkt

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So everyone and their dog have been feverishly awaiting the arrival of the new Jesus players for audiophiles, the HiSoundAudio RoCoo and AMP3 PRO2, or STUDIO 1, or HAROLD, or whatever it's called. I don't care; I'm too lazy to look up what fancy names they made up to extract some more money from your wallet.

I borrowed the older AMP3 PRO1 from a friend, and I'm speechless that it's actually worse than I thought it would be. A lot worse. A lot.

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So the con artists who made that piece of crap allegedly stuck some "Class A" amp in it and called it a day. No wait, I give you the whole marketspeech drivel, it's even more awesome. That hunk of junk has a: "PDAA - Portable Digital Acoustic Amplifier". Sounds super manly and all astonishing and science-y, eh?

Too bad it actually sounds worse than your average decent brand player. I've tested it against the Sansa Clip and the Cowon S9, volume-matched to within 0.5dB - and both sound better than the AMP3, no matter what phones. Well, with IEMs the AMP3 is actually completely unusable, it hisses more than the FiiO E3 or the Minibox-E+. The hiss is louder than on any other player I've ever heard - and that includes $5 DealExtreme players. It hisses constantly, and it hisses and warbles some more when accessing the memory. "Class A", my ass. How about building an MP3 player that actually works, not some useless piece of crap sold with the help of fancy sounding rubbish and lies?

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The firmware matches the rest of the stinker. It's something some script kiddie cobbled together on a spare afternoon it seems. The player has extremely slow bootup, a sluggish UI, terrible usability, an awful file browser, and the list goes on. It's almost impossible finding an audio track with the sorry excuse of the braindead mix of ID3 and folder browsing they implemented on the crappy 3-line display. The player crashed on me a few times, and the ripoff iPod Shuffle controls are abysmal to operate. They react to every 3rd or 4th press if you're lucky.

It's plain pathetic, only a true con artist would sell such a piece of garbage for that ridiculous price, and have the nerve to call it an "audiophile" product. I pity the poor souls that fell for all these lies. But then again there's a lot of peer pressure on forums, and rarely anybody likes to admit that they fell for a scam - and so the lies spread. Anyways, enough of that - this player has no redeeming features. None at all, it's all bad, sad, and pathetic about it. Well, the battery life should be nice. No wonder since it's such a brick.

The AMP3 PRO1 is so extremely bad in every aspect; it's the ultimate in "Emperor's New Clothes". Just needs a $500 cryo-treated USB cable that matches the player. But seriously, I hope this writeup serves as a warning to people who are actually considering buying some dubious piece of hardware from some shady Chinese manufacturer with no moral standards (and their European or American strawmen).

Here's my RMAA test of that pathetic piece of junk: RMAA - AMP3 vs. Sansa Clip+. Results aren't even mediocre. I don't think I have to add anything to that.

Frequency response:

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THD:

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IMD:

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Stereo crosstalk:

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Mar 1, 2010 at 10:32 PM Post #2 of 100

feverfive

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Such flowery prose!! j/k.... Thanks for the heads-up; I'm in the market (maybe) for a DAP to use in addition to my iPod Classic....if I can ever get myself to re-encode to something other than ALAC. These "boutique" DAPs kinda make me scratch my head.
 
Mar 1, 2010 at 11:06 PM Post #3 of 100

superpiper

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well, say it like it is.

Ive never heard it, so there yer go, but id believe you tbh.

There is a lot of waffle posted on these boards
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Mar 1, 2010 at 11:11 PM Post #4 of 100

Scott_Tarlow

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dfkt I have agreed with some of your more recent reviews. Thanks for writing this one up.
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:13 AM Post #8 of 100

shigzeo

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Well, while I don't like the PRO2 for earphones (of less than about 100Ω), it is a good-sounding player for headphones. I know that HiSound have the AMP3 out of production now, may be looking at rockbox for GUI, and are focusing on the driving power and lessened hiss levels for their new products.

Still, seems a pretty 'ouch' way to attack a review. The exact same RMAA results can be found in the AMP3 thread when I wrote them up, but my complaints are geared to getting the device on track.

Other than that though, I like the solid 'brick' feel of it though find it a bit big. HiSound DO have to address the hiss and frequency response which is shy of Cowon's 'iAudiophile' performance. If they can put a non-hissing version out with Rockbox, I'd use it over a lot of different players; if they brought it up to be able to drive the included earphones well, I'd favour it.

The AMP3 seems like a beta test which is unfortunate as I really like it otherwise, but HiSound should back it with more outboard testing. It could have really rocked. I think they are addressing most of the issues with the Rocoo and the Studio. I am borrowing the Rocoo from another HFier to see how or if it has improved, and I hope it has as I don't feel against the product, but I feel the it was completely rushed and/or brought to market with too little research.
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:14 AM Post #9 of 100

nukaidee

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Frankly I have to agree with you, I borrowed a friends Amp3 and it made me go buy a clip+ instead. On regular impedance headphones they're hissy... and with my livewires ... well.. it sounds like a bad piece of noise cancellation hardware..
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:30 AM Post #10 of 100

Punnisher

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I didn't realize that an RMAA test had been done before. Thanks dfkt and shigzeo for doing that. It was one of the only things preventing me from getting an amp3. Now that I know it has terrible bass rolloff, I won't even think about it.
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:43 AM Post #12 of 100

newfier

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I do enjoy your review especially the graphs.

I enjoy your called us who love the sound quality of AMP3 as "strawmen".

I appreciate you are wiser than all of us. We all make big mistakes which we are misunderstanding the sound quality of AMP3 for you have a big discovery the sound quality of AMP3 is worse then CLip.

One thing I want to blame you why don't you tell us earlier of your discovery? if you did, we were not be suffered on AMP3 for long time.

Thank you for "borrowing" a previous player to warn us not try the new models of HISOUNDAUDIO
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:44 AM Post #13 of 100

swanlee

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Even when people defend the amp3 I still have to wonder how anyone making this product could have pushed it to the audiophile crowd with the amount of hiss it produced according to the reviews. I don't care what type of hardware it has if the audio is buried in hiss how can people think it sounds good?

Hiss and audiophile hardware do not go together today even the most pedestrian DAP's produce little to no hiss.

I know there are ALOT of other factors to sound quality then a low noise floor but a high noise floor can completely negate good SQ.

So why did the people making and the people buying it put up with the hiss?
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:48 AM Post #14 of 100

shigzeo

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From what I understand, HiSound built the original model to work with headphones, not earphones. I have the Pro2 which is supposed to hiss less, but I don't know as I've not heard the Pro1.

But, the included earphones hiss without engaging the in-lineattenator.

Engaged, the AMP3 has no hiss (you have to use like volume 25-30) and suddenly gets all the deep bass stuff it didn't before - makes me wonder what it would sound like with a high quality attenuator for expensive iems.

It is a hard call.

But then, I enjoy certain parts of the AMP3 Pro2 and am really expectant of the next version.
 
Mar 2, 2010 at 12:53 AM Post #15 of 100

swanlee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by shigzeo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
From what I understand, HiSound built the original model to work with headphones, not earphones. I have the Pro2 which is supposed to hiss less, but I don't know as I've not heard the Pro1.

But, the included earphones hiss without engaging the in-lineattenator.

Engaged, the AMP3 has no hiss (you have to use like volume 25-30) and suddenly gets all the deep bass stuff it didn't before - makes me wonder what it would sound like with a high quality attenuator for expensive iems.

It is a hard call.

But then, I enjoy certain parts of the AMP3 Pro2 and am really expectant of the next version.




Why should a player that costs this much hiss at all under any circumstance? You'd think that would be the number one thing to fix before releasing it.
 

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