iPod Nano or Sony NWZ-E464 ?

jockohomo

Standard Member
I've just lost my trusty Sony Walkman. Can't remember the exact model but was purchased around 3 years ago, mid-price range, silver with orange trim.
It was great. However, I've just added music for the first time to my iPhone 4 and I'd say the sound quality is better than the Sony.
I still want a separate, small. mp3 player though and my first instinct was to simply get another Sony, the 464 in fact which is only £60.

I am intrigued by the Nano, it looks good and would have novelty value. I'm no Apple fanboy but have the iPhone 4 and a Mac Book Pro ( would never go back to PC!) and they are quality pieces of kit.

Sound quality is my number one concern, which is best? I know Sony will win on battery life but not a huge issue. I don't like the Apple headphones so would need to replace with in ear bud types, an added expense onto the £115 Nano.
As an aside, which headphones up to say £20 ? Heard Skull Candy have good sound but don't last, true?

Good, high volume is a must to defeat the racket of the London Tube. Both my old Sony and the iPhone go far louder than I can tolerate but it's good to have power in reserve.

Thanks for any insights.
 

Berties

Banned
Looked into small MP3 players, the Nano looks a stupid design, 1.5" touchscreen lol. Recently picked up a Sandisc Clip+ 8GB for £30 (rather have that than a Nano) and some Soundmagic E10's. Both very good, happy with both purchases.

If you really want a Ipod, I'd look into a 5th gen Nano. At least it's a sensible design.

As for "loudness" it's safer to block out noise, with your phones lower, rather than having it louder to block out the background noise which the phones don't attenuate (ie having Grados on loud to get around their open design) is a really bad idea...if you value your hearing.

And no Skull Candy are not good at all. For headphone advice, go to headfi (a lot more headphone users here, obviously as it's dedicated to portable audio)

As for ipod versus Sony, I bet both would require own software to sync? Pain in the backside really, and means have to rely on software support. Or if you don't like the syncing software you're stuck. I believe Media Monkey can sync to ipods, not sure which models, so at least get around the god awful itunes. Not sure about the Sony.

Don't use syncing software, prefer copy and paste in Windows explorer.
 
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Steven

Senior Moderator
All modern iPods are iTunes but modern Sony's are all drag and drop (not sure what you mean by copy and paste) from Windows explorer and have been for several years
 

jockohomo

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies. I am thinking about the Sandisk Clip as it gets good reviews and is really cheap. However, it looks a bit thick, my Sony was wafer thin which I liked and the controls seem to make a horrible, plasticky clicking sound, at least they do on the YouTube vids.
All that said, still looks like a bargain and I might get it along with the Nano.

No one has commented on the Nano's sound quality yet, its very small size is a bonus in my book.

As for volume, I am aware of the dangers inherent in blasting one's ears and I don't think I do. My Sony went up to 30 and I always ran it on 12. I play the iPhone with the slider at the half way mark, 50%. This is nearly always on the London Tube which is very noisy.

Good in ear bud type headphones at around £20?

Thanks again.
 

Berties

Banned
yeah clip+ is a little plasticky, but for £30 not complaining- having thumbpad and screen makes up for it, rather than the badly designed shuffle and nano.

Also ear buds don't block out noise- like I said that means you'll have the phones louder than a safe level to overpower the external noise- have it far louder than you would at home, and possibly get hearing damage, if you want safe levels and noise supression for canal phones. ie when hoovering with ear buds still can hear the hoover, but with canals it's far lower in volume. So I don't have to ramp up phones..

Clip+ allows Rockbox which means no itunes.

Bought Soundmagic E10's for £27, nice. Getting on much better with small silicon tips, compared to small silicon tips that came with the Ultimate Ears.
 

jockohomo

Standard Member
Update. I went for the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip, 8GB internal with 16GB SD card for £37.99 from Play.com. Although they seem to have forgotten to send the 16GB card with it so I'm sorting that out with them.

The good, and most importantly, the sound is excellent, better than the old Sony and iPhone 4. That's with the supplied earphones which I find to be quite comfortable. I set the region to North America and the volume goes far louder than I can use. It's light as a feather and the clip could prove to be useful.

The bad, and not terribly important, it's ugly, plasticky and thicker than I'd like.
The Sony was a beautiful object and a pleasure to hold and manipulate.
This is purely utilitarian and can't be faulted for its functionality.
Only time will tell if it has longevity.

I still fancy a prettier player and I still don't have a handle on the iPod Nano's sound quality with very mixed opinions out there.

Thanks for the replies and I am very tempted by those Soundmagic E10's mentioned in the last post.
 
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Berties

Banned
Stock sansa ear buds are quite muffled in comparison. Not bad for stock buds though.

Rockbox is out on Clip Zip but it's in beta stage.

SansaClip < Main < Wiki

Haven't used stock since putting Rockbox on my Clip+
£3 for a silicon case
 

jockohomo

Standard Member
Further update. The Sansa is faulty. After only a few days play it's distorting and slowing down tracks.
I guess you get what you pay for. Very disappointed as initial sound quality was great. It might be unreasonable of me but I won't buy Sansa again. Sure, it could have been a rare bad apple but it could also be indicative of shoddy quality control.

Oh, and Play.com still haven't got back to me about the missing 16GB card. and now I've got to go through the palava of returning it. Not happy.

Back to square one.
 

jockohomo

Standard Member
I bought an iPod Nano. It's a delightful little object and the touch screen controls are no bother at all. The sound is good but I was a bit concerned that I had to have the volume up a around 95% to hear it on the Tube.
However, my e10 headphones arrived and they are amazing. I now have the volume at around 40 - 50%.
They really bring the Nano to life and show off just how poor Apples supplied head phones are.
Play.com finally got back to me and apologised for forgetting to pack the 16GB card and it's now in the post.
Still undecided on whether to get a refund or replacement for the Sansa, it would be nice to have a spare.
Are they known to have reliability problems or was I just unlucky?
 

Berties

Banned
I'd have a Sansa, hopefully Clip Zip should get Rockboxed fully soon and it'll be a great player. Can't stand itunes and locking in system. Not tried apple lossy but certainly vorbis is better than mp3, been using 100kps vorbis and it sounds great. If that were Mp3 wouldn't be able to listen to it. And a device with limited capacity want to get low as possible, but still wanting good sound.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Are they known to have reliability problems or was I just unlucky?
You was probably unlucky because the Clip line is pretty much universally recommended as the budget player of choice on both feature set and SQ. Used to own a Clip and currently own a Clip+. Will probably check out the third iteration when can be bothered, perhaps see if that Play deal is still going on pay day end of the month :laugh:
 

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