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IPOD V's NW-HD5

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by jason44mag, Jun 29, 2005.

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  1. jason44mag

    jason44mag
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    Not sure which to invest hard earned cash into the ipod or the new sony anyone out there got any views, help would be appreciated!!


    THANKS FOR THE ADVICE ITS BEEN VERY HELPFULL AND I THINK THE IPOD HAS JUST ABOUT PINCHED IT!! THANKS AGAIN
     
  2. gerbilly

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    Plus points for Sony are battery life, size, plays gapless and if you like heavy bass.
    Sound quality is debatable some love it some dont.

    Negatives - Sonic stage software, playlists limited, earphones are crap, buttons cracking, some reports of hearing the Hard disk operating with good quality earphones.

    Plus Points for I-pod are uses AAC recording of music which is superior to ATRAC , WMA and MP3, I-tunes software is the dogz danglies, loads of accessories, well made, very user friendly and easy to operate.

    Sound Quality is good but some of the Sony fans think there is no bass.

    Negatives - You need a dock (25 quid) to hear it at its best when connecting to your hifi, battery life, earphones are crap, doesnt play gapless.


    I have an i-pod but if you like dance music or classical music you may be best to go with another player.
     
  3. davebach172

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    ive got three ipods (3g, 1st gen mini, and shuffle) and bought an hd5 recently as i was fed up with the awful battery life of the ipods (the 2nd gen mini has better life, but for £13 more i could get 14gig more in a similar size package) so decided to try out the competition - the HD5 looked like the best bet for me - and i felt like giving sonic stage a go (i really like iTunes tho!)

    heres what i noted .......

    FOR
    very long battery life
    nice sound
    great size/shape/weight
    looks great in black
    loads of info on screen
    drop protection (never dropped any player tho)
    can invert display
    (remote can display info)

    AGAINST
    control system - not pocket friendly (ie using without looking)
    no on the go rating
    pause button beeping - why the need for stop button? (front button symmetry maybe?)
    turns off quickly vs instant play ipod
    slow start up
    Building index annoying - especially when turning back on after its gone to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity.
    false advertising of turning display
    slow nav - buttons instead of wheel. easy to go past destination, and the looping lists are annoying.
    scrolling long lists is slow - can feel the player accessing the hard disk as it goes.
    sonic stage - no smart playlists/rating/date last played.
    no games/notes
    no audiobooks/bookmarking
    slow to fastforward/rewind a track.
    no good at fast forwarding - time bounces around (mp3)
    no two way syncing.
    cracking buttons on some players - will it affect mine.....

    sonic stage:
    transfer in progress annoying - cant use ss while doing this
    sonic stage slooooooooooow changing views
    no easy playlist view
    navigation awful and non-intuitive
    long loading time
    playlists dont sync well (misses tracks out).

    (have to convert all my aac files. re-enforces my plan to keep everything as mp3)

    REALLY missing smart playlists!


    so what did i do?

    well, its a month on and my ipods are gathering dust! the hd5 battery life is amazing, sound is fantastic, and i get my new fave tracks noted by putting them on one of the on-the-go lists, then updating itunes later. sonic stage really is bad - every time i load it up, the fans in my pc whir up a speed - and the time it takes to change views is rather annoying - but once you get the tunes on it, its all good!

    (im considering buying an NH1 for the remote control now too!)
     
  4. extremelydodgy

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    In my case it's the HD5 gathering dust. I appreciate the higher sound quality of the iPod with high-end headphones and more importantly, the unbeatable ease of use in loading, playlisting and connecting to car, etc.


    The current generation iPods have very decent battery life (15 hours), and the new 20Gb model is practically the same size as before (1.5cm longer than the HD5, practically no wider or thicker than the HD5) but now has a colour screen with a really nifty album cover display and photo storage/transfer capability.


    With cheap earphones however the HD5 sounds significantly more 'lively' due to the increased bass. It's smaller and pretty neat to hold and can be allied to a neat display remote.


    I expected Apple to do more (and there are rumours of a 'proper' 5G later in the year), but IMO they have done enough to get one over on the HD5.
     
  5. sohc

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    i think photo viewing on daps is pretty lame. who want to see a photo on a 2 inch screen? we already have cell phones for that.

    the hd5 is no frills, gets the job done. no fancy sliding or fading menus, no touch wheel, no games, no calanders. its all about the music. great quality, LONG lasting music. if youve got a decent computer (ive got a 2.4ghz p4), sonicstage wont be such a problem.

    however, the ipod has the advantage of available accessories. jeesh i saw cheap cases and speakers at the christmas tree shops just yesterday for it. sony will release some more stuff for the hd5 in the coming weeks.
     
  6. extremelydodgy

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    I must admit I don't use the photo facilities on the DAPs that I do have which does it. But the album display is pretty nice and it comes without huge extra faff. The iPod is exceptionally flexible for access to music and is far more versatile for listening than the HD5. That's why I use it every day and the HD5 collects dust.


    I use a fairly decent headphone so the differences in sound quality between the iPod and the HD5 are more acute (the iPod is better). But with cheaper earphones you get more bass with the HD5. Quality vs Bass in other words.
     
  7. David Mackenzie

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    I much prefer the sound quality of the HD5 - even if it does have some more light hiss on silent stuff. This is using expensive earphones BTW, not the in-the-box or 20 pound stuff.
     
  8. clivem2

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    Don't you think your campaign against the HD5 bass is getting a touch over the top? I like to think of myself as an audiophile, I have various valve amps and some seriously good speakers. For music on MP3 type player the reality is different. For my hi-fi I like a very well balanced sound. For an MD or MP3 I need to boost the bass - even with good phones. It's the same with 5.1 sound, the requirements are different. I strongly believe you are in a minority in wanting flat (bland?) bass for an MP3. I do want a flat response for my hi-fi system. The requirements are different.
     
  9. davebach172

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    i think now that the new 20gig ipod has been announced, if i had the choice again, i would have bought the ipod! photo ability with the connector would be really useful for me. im not sad i bought the hd5 - it works really well and i still cant get over the battery life, but if the new pods have improved life too, then i may just have to get another pod!

    (and - move back to iTunes - woohooooo!)
     
  10. AlexGarfield

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    well I thought that was really anoying too but you can turn it off in the menu under beep or something (too lazy to check)
     
  11. extremelydodgy

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    The iPod's response has a falloff in bass with low-impedance phones. That has to be considered against the underlying higher sound quality of the iPod against the HD5... and it's not just against the iPod that the HD5 sounds somewhat lacking against in terms of quality. ATRAC3+ and the smooth tuning of the HD5 provides a euphonic sound, but the 'flavour' can be matched by other non-iPod MP3 players with EQ and the overall quality exceeded.


    I think the ATRAC vs MP3 debate is somewhat overblown. ATRAC3+ does very well at bitrates where the word 'quality' isn't yet a major issue. 64K ATRAC3+ does a very convincing impression of an older-codec 128K MP3 for example. However at 256K, it's neck and neck when compared with a modern MP3 encoder (especially LAME).


    To get around the bass issue of the iPod is pretty simple and I don't know why it's not publicised more. Just plug in a pair of medium-impedance phones. 60 ohms will do it, and a number of quality (still portable) headphones are available with a 50+ ohm impedance. Don't get me wrong... I like a balanced sound with a slight kick in the lows, and with the headphones I usually use with the iPod (the £130 70 ohm Sennheiser HD25-1, and the £1,800 70 ohm Sony Qualia 010 with custom short cabling), there's a decent amount of bass on offer because they get around the iPod's bass falloff (and in the case of the HD25-1, it's a fairly bassy phone). Fifty quid even in overpriced UKP will get you the (typically $40 in the states) Koss Portapro, which is another higher-impedance phone with a bass kick.


    It's also not just about the sound. If it was only down to differences in the sound, I'd be leaning towards the Sony since it doesn't have the falloff. However the Sony has severely restricted flexibility in loading and also in playlisting. Control is also rather hit and miss. You may not care about playlisting because you don't use it on the HD5, but that's because the playlisting is unnecessarily tricky to use. The iPod's very advanced, highly automated playlisting facilities, controllable and easy navigation, easy track navigation with long files and it's ease of sync among other everyday-use niceties lacking from the HD5 are really what attracts me to the Apple.


    I think too many people who make a point of trying to be different from the iPod masses don't look at the fact that the iPod is basically a good player. And too many people who believe that Sony are their anti-iPod answer don't look at the fact that in many ways the HD5 represents the worst of Sony because they're rushing products to market trying to create a "SonyPod" without innovating and without thinking everything through.


    I know we can argue for ever if the player you've bought and are talking about is better or worse than something else. I have both the iPod and the HD5 as well as iAudio, iRiver, Rio and Creative etc players. And it's my opinion that the Sony has the most outwardly pleasing sound when no EQ is engaged and when low-impedance phones are used, but even if we take the iPod out of the equation the quality lags behind (sometimes by just a hair, other times in a quite major way) the other players. And since other non-iPod players have fully working EQ's, you can match the 'pleasantness' of the HD5's sound with EQ. You can also pair many of the UMS (USB Mass storage) players like the iRiver and iAudios with very powerful management and syncing software such as j.River Media Center, which makes Sonicstage look like a really bad joke. I could go on for a long time really... but it's worth taking a look at what else is avaialble.


    The HD5 is a nice enough machine for ad hoc listening and enough control over the sound to satisfy many. It also has the battery life and size. However other players offer higher sound quality and in some cases better sound shaping options. And as mentioned, the iPod outstrips the Sony in terms of innovative listening features as well as basic navigation.


    I'm not ultimately just saying 'get the iPod over the HD5' because there's many good things with other players too. However if asked to choose specifically between the iPod and the HD5 as in this thread, I'd go for the new iPod every time.



    Whew. That was an opus!
     
  12. davebach172

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    good read though - i havent really considered sq a massiev issue for me - as long as it sounds good (to me with my ex71's) while im on the bus im happy, so reading about how they perform when pared up with very expensive headphoens is very interesting - thanks for posting that.
     
  13. justdoit

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    Can I just throw something else into the equation? Reliability! Ok the hd5 has is button cracking issues, but as my mate has had his ipod 40gb 4g go down on him and his wifes ipod mini go south too both less than 6 months old. Along with all the other complaints that I have heard about batteries dying, hard drives packing up etc. made my mind up to order a HD5HS. Does 'a little bit here vs a little bit there' in sound quality really matter to most people when your on the move, if you want to hear music at home, use the hifi. The last thing I want is to be two days from my holiday and my mp3 player breaking down on me as what happened to him (then again he did buy an ipod photo in a panic over having no music for his hols, so maybe it’s a marketing ploy by apple?).
     
  14. Stuart P

    Stuart P
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    but would you really want to have only half the battery life with the newly updated ipods (quotes 'upto 15hrs' which in reality & experience with a previous model, is about 10hrs) yeah the hd5 quotes 40hrs but reality maybe 20-25hrs......don't forget the hd5 plays live / mixed cd's totally gapless...a BIG selling point i think
     
  15. The_Mz

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    Whay player/players do you recommend?

    How the Creative Zen Touch is compered to Hd5 and iPod?
     
  16. kevH

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    Looking at buying one of the two also and just wondering how does the HD5 sound when connected to a home HiFi system seemingly the Ipod via the docking station sounds pretty good. I presume the Hd5 only connects thro the headphone socket jack to HiFi where ive heard the Ipod sounds much better thro the station rather than the headphone jack.
    Any views ?
     
  17. gibbogod

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    the hd5's output can be switched between headphone and line-out for connecting to hifi equipment
     
  18. johann1979

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    Hey, I know this was posted ages ago - but did you know you could turn off the beeping pause function?
     
  19. kevH

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    Sorry to be a royal pain gibbogod are u saying that theres 2 outs ie a headphone jack and a.n.other line out for directly connecting to a HiFi. ? If so what type of connection ?
    cheers
     
  20. johann1979

    johann1979
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    I can help you with that:) No, there is only only one out jack - setting the output to lineout or headphone is a function you tick in the menu. It's just the regular 3.5mm headphone size.
     
  21. mcfarfs

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    It is the same physical output. But you can (on the menu) change it from headphone to line out. Press menu, then 5th down "Audio Out" and change it to line out.

    If listening through headphones it will go all crackily and sound crap, but plug it into your hifi and bingo! Much clearer, louder sound.
     
  22. braehead

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    My iPod died recently - see different thread re hard disk failure - and I bought the NW-HD5. Airport Dixons £170!

    Anyway my initial impression is very positive. It's a bit of a pain having to re-load my disks onto the pc but worth it for the gapless play back. On the cd's I've copied over at the moment I am much more impressed with the sound of the sony compared to the iPod (IMHO!). I've yet to use it on the train on the way to work so that will be the big test.

    SonicStage is nothing like as nice to use as iTunes but I'm sure I'll get used to it soon. Download times onto the player seem longer but from CD to PC is quicker so it's kinda swings and roud-a-bouts there.

    The thing that did it for me ultimately though was the pages of complaints I read about iPod reliability problems when my own one broke. I guess the more players that are sold the more complaints you are going to get purely due to the larger base of users. But just take a look on the web for iPod hard disk failure and you'll see how big a problem it seems to be - even on the 4G models. It would have been a huge amount easier for me to buy another iPod , stick it in the dock and away I'd go. I had a great year out of it but I've lost confidence in them now.

    I reserve the right to take it all back when my sony breaks down :rotfl:
     
  23. kevH

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    Cheers johann btw have you tried this thro a hifi system an if so whats the sound like im being told the Rio Karma or Ipod is best for this as they both have dedicated docks with line outs but the Sony from what hearing is very good sound quality wise ?
     
  24. DrillSgt

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    I run the line-out through my car stereo, it sounds great.
     
  25. johann1979

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    Yeah I use my player regularly on stereos and external speakers. I think the sound is great. I think in this case you will find the dock a hassle and it is definitely more convenient to be able to line-out directly from the unit than to have to carry a dock with you all the time.

    I seriously doubt whether *anybody* can hear a difference between the Rio, iPod and HD5 when plugged into a stereo - fair enough, some people declare themselves audiophiles and claim they can hear nano differences in this and that - in reality you need a tricky combination of expensive phones, super human ears, over priced cables, highly sensitive computers and a healthy imagination to hear these differences. Especially in the environments that the players are most frequently used, like noisy trains, buses, airports and on pavements. At home on your stereo these differences will be equally unnoticable.
     
  26. gerbilly

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    So plugging it into a Goodmans mini stereo will sound no different to a cyrrus amp with Quad speakers costing around 1,300 quid, please talk some sense Johann.
     
  27. BenBob

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    I'm thinking about getting either the NW-HD5H or Toshiba gigabeat MEGF40S, anyone got any opinions on how those 2 compare in terms of sound and functions?

    Not really bothered about the photo abilities of the Gigabeat, but its a got mixed reviews. I'm also a bit worried about the cracking buttons of the sony, and the gigabeat comes with a remote too which is a plus.

    ta.
     
  28. kevH

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    My home system is a Bang & Olufsen system an the vast majority of the time will be played thro that with decent cables so in essence im looking for a little advice on best way and best player suited to this leaning toward the Sony
     
  29. davebach172

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    thanks for pointing out the beeping setting - ive kinda of got used to it now - my complaint was at a time when i was new to the hd5 - now im used to it and thinks its quite useful.

    and yes - i think the battery life of teh hd5 wins hands down for me - been listening to ricky gervais on it all week and its still 75% full - 1 day on my mini and itd be empty.

    the lineout feature comes in useful too - we have a stereo at work and the hd5 is plugged in there a lot. just have to remember to turn it back or i get a surprise when i fire it up for the commute home!!!
     
  30. gerbilly

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    B and O are bringing out a new mp3 player with removable hd memory, sound is supposed to be excellent but it will be expensive. It is in this months what hifi sound and vision.

    If it was me I would go for the pod as long as you are not wanting to listen to live albums, dance mix albums or classical as it doesnt play gapless.
     

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