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Is sound quality an issue for MP3 players?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by theo cupier, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. theo cupier

    theo cupier
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    Is there any real noticeable difference between all the different players?

    If they all had comparable battery lives, interfaces, looks etc, do any stand out as noticeably better reproducers of sound?

    Obviously, quality of headphones is going to be an issue... does any make / model ship with worthwhile headphones? Has anyone used 'benchmark' headphones to compare a range of players? Does it matter since you listen to them 'on the move' in not ideal listening environments (in which case, do any combat these conditions better than the others)?

    Interested to read your thoughts...
     
  2. ipodstudio

    ipodstudio
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    Yes, there is difference. They don't have the same headphone outs, lineouts etc...and the quality of other components can influence the sound.

    The Rio Karma is known to give a good sound signal, has gapless playback and RCA outs in the dock. This obviously helps when hooking it up to a larger system to play via home speakers etc....

    The iRiver IHP-120/40 has a nice sound and has the added advantage of optical out allowing you to hook it up to a DAC (digital to analogue converter) for an even better reproduction.

    The ipod is also known for having a decent sound signal, though I can tell you that the equaliser is a joke and unusuable IMO for most music. YMMV.

    The ipod's standard earbuds suck, I'm afraid. Rio have done a little better and shipped the Karma with Sennheiser MX300 earbuds which are better than the ipod buds but still pretty awful.

    I wouldn't think too much about the buds when choosing as the chances are you'll replace them anyways with some nice Shures or Sensaphonics..;)

    If you want to find out more about this the ipod studio has a ton of info on ALL the different decent mp3 players (not just ipods). The main topic of that site is hooking up your mp3 players/DAPs to good headphones, speakers and amps. Take a look, you'll get a shock when you see what's actually out there on the market.. ;)
     
  3. probedb

    probedb
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    I have to say having experienced both with high-quality VBR MP3s and Sony earbud earphones that the Zen Xtra has a little better quality than the iPod.

    Tho I just removed the volume limiter and have yet to test it again :) Stupid EU laws, if I want to deafen myself that's my look out ;)
     

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