Looking for the impossible MP3 player?

esc4p3

Active Member
I have a 16gb Sony NWZ-S639FB MP3 player which I absolutely love. The only thing wrong with it, is it is full up and I need a 32/64gb player. However the best thing about the Sony is a) it is very good sound to my ears and b) it is highly portable. I love being able to just reach in my pocket and change tracks, start/stop the playing.

So I look around and my choice seems to be an iPod Classic/Touch or indeed use my phone (HTC One X). Trouble is, a touch screen I find less than useful to control the music and a few of my mates have had trouble with breaking their Classic's. I know you can get in-line controls for phones, but for HTC's I've only seen volume control not track control

I really don't want some fan-dabby-dozy Android MP3 player like the Galaxy, just want to play music, not video's.

The other complication is that I do have a pristine 32gb iPod Touch, which I only use in the house on a docking station (plus a bit of Internet surfing/gaming) then I have a USB memory stick in the car with another 20+gb of music on. So 3 different things to sync and keep up to date.....Ideally, one gadget would rule them all, but I'm :confused:

Any ideas?

EDIT: Any opinion's on the Sansa Clip's, I know they have expandable memory, but again someone I know wasn't impressed with theirs....
 
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esc4p3

Active Member
What a great review, thanks for posting that. That has changed my opinion about the Clip+, interesting about FLAC too...although not keen on having to re-rip my entire collection :rolleyes: (I have promised it to myself on my 'music bucket list')
 

probedb

Banned
What a great review, thanks for posting that. That has changed my opinion about the Clip+, interesting about FLAC too...although not keen on having to re-rip my entire collection :rolleyes: (I have promised it to myself on my 'music bucket list')
Rip to a lossless format then you never have to do it again ;)

I use MP3 for portable listening, I've done some ABXing and found a level I'm happy with.
 

esc4p3

Active Member
I know you're right.....I tend to use 192kbps MP3's and I find them satisfactory in the car and on the Sony, but I've never had a player that could do FLAC, so I sense an evenings entertainment coming on at some point!
 

Ari33

Active Member

esc4p3

Active Member
I am liking the look of the Fiio X3, thanks for posting - and I have a birthday not long after the scheduled release date :cool:
 

FredBare

Active Member
Keep an eye on the forthcoming Fiio X3, it has a high spec and has a very powerful amp that will be able to power even full sized high impedance headphones of up to 300 ohm already built in. It is expected to retail for around $200 and could be a true giant killer.

See- Fiio X3: Appreciation and Impressions Thread. (UPDATE: MARCH 20th) READ THE FIRST POST BEFORE POSTING.

Will probably be my next purchase if user reviews are as good as the specs suggest they should be. ;)
The problem with Chinese manufacturers (& Korean to some extent) is that they tend to release stuff before it has been fully developed resulting in a buggy DAP (DX100, AK100, HiFiMan 801 etc.), if your a computer genius & patient that's fine...

then we come to the Reviewers on Head-Fi which really should be taken with a 'extreme pinch of salt', most are paid Reviewers by the Manufacturer so they will be biased no matter what as they will want to keep the goodies coming... the best reviews will be from Customers as people have actually invested in the device.

IF the FiiO is sold directly in Europe it could also be affected by the dreaded Euro-Cap which in some ways affect SQ, they will have to comply with this piece of legislation because it's the Law... so ask the question before you buy from a UK stockist, is it 'capped or 'uncapped'.

If you buying a FiiO product always buy direct from Amazon because of their returns policy. FiiO's customer service is a nightmare to deal with I wouldn't be surprised to find their Headquarters listed on Elm Street, they'll only repair and not refund.

IF, they get it right the FiiO X3 could be a game changer for sure and I'll be over it like a rash when it's released... some manufacturers are charging stupid money because the DAP can play certain file types which has nothing to do with the other pieces in the chain that actually produce the sound, the DAC & Amp.

Until there's a bug-free DAP I'll stick with my bugless Sony Z1070 (64gb Japan model), the sound is pretty much up there with the best & has the hugely impressive S-Master MX amp powering it, if it had a SD-Card I would look no further (Sony F-Series is on Par).

Good luck with whatever you decide on.
 
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esc4p3

Active Member
Thanks OKGuy, I have looked at a few of those overseas Walkman models, and they do appeal (including yours) other than they are touch screen and not as portable as what I had in mind. Although they do tick every other box apart from having to have fairly deep pockets. I am a sucker for a Sony though.

Wise words on the Fiio too, I will be keeping an eye out for reviews on the units when they finally get released.
 

FredBare

Active Member
The F-Series Walkman has a smaller form-factor to the WM-Z, it is roughly the same size as a X-Series or that Touch thingy from Apple.... there a couple of physical buttons on it for volume and the other enables control of basics without unlocking it.

It also plays Flac like the WM-Z... both have similar specs.
 

Ari33

Active Member
The problem with Chinese manufacturers (& Korean to some extent) is that they tend to release stuff before it has been fully developed resulting in a buggy DAP (DX100, AK100, HiFiMan 801 etc.), if your a computer genius & patient that's fine...

then we come to the Reviewers on Head-Fi which really should be taken with a 'extreme pinch of salt', most are paid Reviewers by the Manufacturer so they will be biased no matter what as they will want to keep the goodies coming... the best reviews will be from Customers as people have actually invested in the device.

IF the FiiO is sold directly in Europe it could also be affected by the dreaded Euro-Cap which in some ways affect SQ, they will have to comply with this piece of legislation because it's the Law... so ask the question before you buy from a UK stockist, is it 'capped or 'uncapped'.

If you buying a FiiO product always buy direct from Amazon because of their returns policy. FiiO's customer service is a nightmare to deal with I wouldn't be surprised to find their Headquarters listed on Elm Street, they'll only repair and not refund.

IF, they get it right the FiiO X3 could be a game changer for sure and I'll be over it like a rash when it's released... some manufacturers are charging stupid money because the DAP can play certain file types which has nothing to do with the other pieces in the chain that actually produce the sound, the DAC & Amp.

Until there's a bug-free DAP I'll stick with my bugless Sony Z1070 (64gb Japan model), the sound is pretty much up there with the best & has the hugely impressive S-Master MX amp powering it, if it had a SD-Card I would look no further (Sony F-Series is on Par).

Good luck with whatever you decide on.

Wise words indeed, I totally agree with everything you've said. If actual user reviews are positive and it turns out to be as good as it has the potential to be.. I will get one but I'll certainly wait for a 2nd or 3rd batch model by which time any teething problems should be sorted.


I'm a fan of the Sony sound too, I've had many Sony music players over the years even since the early tape walkmans. I have an X1060 currently which is a fantastic little player let down only by its non replacable battery and not having SD card capability. I mainly use a Samsung Galaxy 4.2 media player (Wolfson DAC) and Neutron with my TF10's though and they are actually a better combo than with the X-series. The only things I'd do to improve the Galaxy 4.2 is have the Sonys tactile control buttons on it and would love to be able to get it voodoo'd to turn up the amp a tad but it doesn't look like Supercurio is going to do it after all... otherwise it's excellent.

I was going to buy one of these chinese C&C BH amps for it but I think I'll wait and see what happens with the X3 first.
 

roygbiv6

Novice Member
One day someone will make an mp3 player that is good enough for me to replace my modded iriver h140. I put a 128gb ssd drive and a larger battery in there and with rockbox playing flac it's pretty much my perfect player. I think it's 10 years old now that model as well. Crazy. Cant believe nobody else thought to do a remote with a screen either.

I've probably bought about 20 mp3 players from the tiny creative stone thing up to the dx100 over the years and always end up back with the h140 or h340 eventually. I don't think there is such a thing as the perfect player but diferent ones for diferent uses.

But I am liking the look of the x3. Do people think it will sound as good as the dx100? If it sounds as good and is smaller and less than half the price with better battery life the dx100 becomes a very tough sell.
 

roygbiv6

Novice Member
IF, they get it right the FiiO X3 could be a game changer for sure and I'll be over it like a rash when it's released... some manufacturers are charging stupid money because the DAP can play certain file types which has nothing to do with the other pieces in the chain that actually produce the sound, the DAC & Amp.
This is so on the money. I really hope they pull it off as like you say there is no reason for those devices to cost that much.

Until there's a bug-free DAP I'll stick with my bugless Sony Z1070 (64gb Japan model), the sound is pretty much up there with the best & has the hugely impressive S-Master MX amp powering it, if it had a SD-Card I would look no further (Sony F-Series is on Par).
You've made me want to check this player out. I haven't used a Sony mp3 since I bought one that made you use a nightmare iTunes travesty to put music on it about 5 years ago.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator

Ari33

Active Member
But I am liking the look of the x3. Do people think it will sound as good as the dx100? If it sounds as good and is smaller and less than half the price with better battery life the dx100 becomes a very tough sell.
After a certain level sound quality becomes entirely subjective because we all hear differently, what sounds fantastic to one person may sound mediocre to another and vice versa. Then you have 'synergy' where some devices can be better suited to certain headphones ie; a warm sounding player for cold analytic headphones.
There really is no substitute to listening to a player/headphone combination to find out for yourself.
 

roygbiv6

Novice Member
Not everyone has the scale to stack em high and sell them cheap. Then you have to consider covering the cost of research, development, manufacturing, marketing, staff, returns and customer fraud. Or just charging it because you can.

Good read, remain modest or reach?: Buying Audio Gear: Zen and The Reach | Confessions of a Part-Time Audiophile
Yes I understand the costs involved but when (or if as the x3 hasn't been released and I'm going by the info in the head fi thread) a small company like fiio can make a player with equally good sound components for less than half the price as the dx100 and ak100 then it does highlight how totally overpriced those units are.

I thought the ibasso dx100 was definitely in the 'because they could charge that much category' and way overpriced. I'm lucky that I only lost about £50 on it really. Noticed they are going for about £350 on eBay lately. They'll get even cheaper if the x3 is as good as it promises. That's why I hope it's good as it means that the price of the 'audiophile' players has to come down.

Interesting article as well. I've always believed in buying better than you need and giving yourself room to grow without restrictions....... and not letting the mrs know how much things cost.

I can totally relate to the 'if I spend another few £'s I can get x feature say....but then if I add another few £'s I can get this etc' and then I've ended up spending twice as much.
 

roygbiv6

Novice Member
After a certain level sound quality becomes entirely subjective because we all hear differently, what sounds fantastic to one person may sound mediocre to another and vice versa. Then you have 'synergy' where some devices can be better suited to certain headphones ie; a warm sounding player for cold analytic headphones.
There really is no substitute to listening to a player/headphone combination to find out for yourself.
Good post. I wish it was easier to hear certain combos without having to lay out the cash and just buy them to find out.
 

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