Nw-hd3

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by LFC, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. LFC

    LFC
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    Just a few first impressions.

    Picked one up from Richersounds for £249, little over the odds but stock seems a bit thin at the moment if you can wait a few weeks then unbeatable have them for £226.

    The unit itself is stunning, very compact, high quality finish easy to read display with cool blue backlight. The usb adaptor itsn't to big and has a charging light. it took about 2.45 hours to charge the battery.

    First impressions of sonicstage are ok, it is not particularly intuitive but easy enough to work out in a few minutes mainly working out the different phrases compared with media player. Copying files from CD takes a little longer than expected but tranfering onto the player is very quick.

    In terms of audio quality atrac 132 seemed fine havn't had a chance to vary the eqauliser yet but as good as 164 wma on my previous player a creative muvo2.

    I can't really make any comparisons with an ipod as have never had one but it all looks good so far.
     
  2. britwood

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    Thank you for sharing your first impressions. Been thinking of obtaining an MP3 player for some time - undecided as to which. Planning a lengthy plane journey in the near future and the Ipod battery life has put me off it. The HD3's battery is just the ticket for the journey.

    What made you choose the HD3? I have read somewhere about the HD3 producing a hissing noise, especially when used with a good set of headphones - have you noticed this effect?
     
  3. LFC

    LFC
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    No hissing so far on mine, I am using some Sony in ear phones about £20 (think they were reviewed by What Hifi).
    Overall compact size and good battery life were important 20g not much bigger than most mini players. I generally like Sony's had a couple of MD players before.
    Having dumped a load of stuff on Sonicstage has been okay, about 10 seconds to rip a 4 minute song at 132 and then about 2 seconds to tranfer onto the player. The players menu system works well you can scroll through the tracks while still playing one.
    The usb adaptor is a slight incovience but keeps the unit size down I guess.

    My creative muvo was not bad but build quality little poor and player menus were very basic, the ipod pretty much the same as Sony but bigger/heavier with shorter battery plus hard to find a 20g in stock.
     
  4. akan7

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    got one on 24 dec from Richersounds in liverpool for £249
    http://www.richersounds.co.uk/ doing it for £219
    phone richersounds up they say come in for £30 cashback :thumbsup:
     
  5. LFC

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    Cheers
     
  6. britwood

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    Thanks for the added info.
     
  7. extremelydodgy

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    The review you read was from someone who didn't understand the headphone he had properly. The E5c is one of the most sensitive headphones on the market. There is no hiss with the NW3 with most phones.


    The European NW3 is badly 'crippled' though... low volume levels and a slight reduction in dynamic range resulting from that does handicap it against the other (Korean) players with working EQ's. It's more or less as precise as the iPod for sound, but the Apple machine is light years ahead in terms of operation and software.


    As a former Apple, Creative, iAudio and iRiver owner, I'd say that on the whole it's the best built, best finished, best looking player of utter mediocrity I've got my hands on so far.
     
  8. tHatDudeUK

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    What colours do RS have available. I'm tempted by one of these myself. Not sure which colour to get though :)
     
  9. Matt Horne

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    Yeah if you are using the e5c you'll get hissing from any player.. but to be honest once the music starts playing the hissing is a non issue.. I use e5c with my vaio pocket!

    Matt
     
  10. akan7

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    RS nw-hd3 black
     
  11. Cheenis

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    Not sure if anyone is interested, but the key points for me buying the Sony rather than the iPod were:
    1) Proper recording mix CDs - I'm yet to find a way (and according to the apple forums, there isn't one!) to record mix CDs using iTunes without loosing all the track information and the track marks. If you record it straight from the CD into iTunes then you get a little gap in the music. It is incredibly annoying - it is like your CD is skipping right in the middle of a mix! Any CD that has continuous play between tracks is therefore ruined by iTunes. The only way around it is to group the whole CD together and record it as a single track, but then you loose all track marks, so you can’t just jump to track five and carry on listening.
    2) The battery life. 12 hours is fine for commuting, or any other listening that you can dock regularly, but it is poor for a holidays to remote beaches etc.

    The Apple is better for on the fly play lists – you cannot add albums on the Sony but you can add by genre, track or artist. No real big thing to me, but I’m sure some people love this function of the apple. Not got around to doing play lists on the sonic stage yet (only just got it) but I believe that the apple is light years ahead on this. Personally speaking, the ability to create play lists is not a massive thing for me. I used to use them a lot, but then the novelty wore off.

    I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this, but I reckon that ATRAC3 is a significantly better codec than mp3, so it is no big deal to convert to them – I have also read that it is far more efficient, hence why the Sony boasts such a long battery life…

    *Has anybody done a battery test just playing mp3s with the Sony? *

    Conversion couldn’t be easier:
    - I loaded the software
    - it asked me if I had existing files to add
    - I pointed it at my mp3, etc collections
    - I selected the desired bit rate
    - I pressed the transfer button
    It takes a long time, so I did it at the end of the day, went to bed and hey presto it was complete!

    Chris.
     
  12. SeaneyC

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    Sure i read a review that said playing 160-192kbps MP3s got about 15 hours out of the Sony. Not the ultimate, but around twice the real life of the iPOD playing similar files. I'll try to find it sometime.
     
  13. dvdmike007

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    just ordered a black one from amazon uk £219
    my philips hdd100 is dying and i just dont like the ipod design (im a back in black guy lol)
    i needed a replacement for the hdd as dixons screwed me over with the coverplan i took out on it
     
  14. Sh4rk

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    Amazon claims that it has WMA support, this true?
    What's the sound quality like?
    Pity they don't do a 40GB one.

    edit:/
    What method of scrolling do they use? Is it any good?
     
  15. mick's cat

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    Yes, ATRAC3 is better than mp3, but it's still not as good as AAC (the iPod's native format).
     
  16. tHatDudeUK

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    As usual sony are milking the market. They could have easily made Himd higher capacity. I'm guessing the same applies here and a 40gb model will be released later with sony hoping those who got the 20gb will "upgrade" to the 40gb one.

    Just face it all companies are after is your money. They're never going to give you exactly what you want unless there's some massive changes in the market place as a whole.

    As for WMA it doesn't appear to be mentioned on the box I've seen.

    But AAC takes up more disk space.
     
  17. dvdmike007

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    dolbys worst invention

    and wma is much better
     
  18. DVDNUT

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    I am really interested in getting one of these.

    Has anyone used it with any other software than Sonic Stage, and/or in particular used it with iTunes?

    Is it a simple matter of just dragging encoded files over to the player, if it is I may well stick with iTunes.
     
  19. tHatDudeUK

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    AFAIK it will not work with iTunes. Best used with Sonic Stage. It is possible to download it from www.connect.com to try it out. Sonic Stage is definitely improving.

    The NW-HD3 should also be usable with real player.
     
  20. DVDNUT

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    I think I made a confusing post. What I meant was, if I have all my MP3's already encoded on my hard drive (done with iTunes or something else) - can I then just drag them onto the NW-HD3.
     
  21. tHatDudeUK

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    AFAIK any existing MP3's need to be copied with SonicStage from what I have read. Something to do with Sony's copy protection. Also you can't simply upload the MP3's on the hard disk onto another PC.
     
  22. extremelydodgy

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    Yes, it only works with Sonicstage and the MP3's are encrypted as they're stored on the HD3. All I can say is that as I'm using the HD3, I'm having extreme iPod withdrawal symptoms. It looks nicer (IMO), its better made (IMO) and it's of course smaller (no need for IMO :D ) but it's a relative pig to use.
     
  23. sacd

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    Can anyone tell me what the connector next to the headphone socket is for on the HD3?
    'extremelydodgy'-----what makes the HD3 so bad?
     
  24. extremelydodgy

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    What's 'bad' about it is that it has the same user interface for track navigation and playlisting as Sony's Minidiscs and MP3 Discmen. This is fine up to a point if you have, say, a couple of gigs sitting on your machine. Maybe even 5-7Gb. Beyond that though, you start to struggle to access songs in a seamless manner. It's also the slightly chaotic arrangement of what you should press in what situation when navigating tracks/albums/groups. I thought the iRiver iHP was slightly counterintuitive in this regard, but actually the iHP comes off as pretty logical when compared to the HD3. The playlisting is very, very basic, allowing you to define groups in which to add tracks you want to play. It's clumsily handled. Usable playlisting is one of the things most neglected on many hard disk players, but none neglects this more than the HD3... and when done properly (like on the iPod or the newest Creative hard disk players) it can become indispensable.


    If you are the sort of person who listens repeatedly to the same tracks regardless of what you've got stored in your portable, then the above may not matter so much. For me, it's a major deal.


    The socket next to the headphone socket is the remote connector. It takes two different display remotes. Scrolling through albums actually becomes a bit easier with the RM-MC40ELK remote, but the 3-line display shows so little it can get a little frustrating at times.
     
  25. jjshoeshine

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    extremeleydodgy says that the european version has low sound levels. I have a european mzn 710 mini disc and am very dissapointed with the volume level. Where can i get a non european modelof the nw3, you said korean, that does not have these problems?
     
  26. Stahlhart!

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    Hey!

    What's the reason for the low volume level of the european version? Did you try out the RM-MC33EL remote with the player? I heard it would work...
     
  27. tHatDudeUK

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    It's european laws that think we don't know what too loud a volume is on a portable audio device, unfortunately.
     
  28. Cheenis

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    You could try some better headphones! I use closed back headphones that cancel out the background noice so even european levels are very acceptable. I believe that Sony have also produced some awesome in-ear headphones that block out most of the outside noise. They are about £35 and very popular - can't remember the model number off the top of my head.

    The european levels should be fine if you have decent headphones and are not already deaf. If the levels are not fine with decent headphones then you soon will be deaf - just ask any DJ!
     
  29. extremelydodgy

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    Euro regulations are the reason. The sound level is about the same as lower-model Sony Minidiscs. (The MZ-NH1, the current top of the range is 'unrestricted' and goes about 50-75% louder than the NH3). The 33EL will work as a remote, but you won't see anything on the display.


    "Use better headphones" is vague: I have lots of 'better' headphones but not all of them are acceptably powered by the HD3. It is true though that very efficient / very closed phones can go to acceptable level with the HD3. The thing is though, when I try the Sony MDR-G74SL (a headphone which I consider reasonably efficient) on the HD3 with appropriately loud material, it's merely at a comfortable sound level at full volume. The European HD3 does definitely lack amp power.


    Try the following for maximum perceived volume: Shure E3c, Shure E5c, Etymotic ER-6i
    The following also work acceptably: Etymotic ER-4P, Sennheiser HD25-1
     
  30. mg-paul

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    Okay, here's a newbee's thoughts on it.

    I am fairly PC compentent, so get to "fix" the odd PC issue, so when a friend of my Farthers got given an iPOD for Christmas, it was not long before I got a call to ask if I could "help" get it working with their PC.

    Unfortunatly they were running windows ME (agghh). So to cut a long story short I ended up having to upgrade their PC to XP (home).

    The iPOD still refused to work, so upgrade to SP1 and they got it working (if a bit slowly as only USB1 on the PC). Eventually added a Firewire card and then it all seemed to be much happier.

    Well having spent about a week (evenings only as I work during the day) on this I had a fair chance to play with the iPOD (my first chance to use a hard disk based player). And have to admit that I liked the idea and it made a bit of a joke of my exiting MP3/WMA players (flash based 256MB and 1GB units).

    So got hooked on the idea, especially as I have 15GBytes + of already ripped WMA files (from original CDs). So thought about it and fancied the iPOD as I really liked the wheel control (very sexy and very easy to use). But having read this review and a few others, I ended up getting the NW-HD3. Which I am now listening to as I write this.

    So overall both systems are fairly new to me, so hopefully I can give a fairly independant view:

    Useability of unit on own iPOD 1st Sony 2nd (that track wheel is SOOOO good)
    Useability of unit with PC Sony 1st iPOD 2nd (sony just worked out of the box)
    Sound Sony 1st iPOD 2nd (the sony does sound better, to my untrained ears but this may be down to the apparently poor headphones which came with the iPOD)
    Software Sony/iPOD joint 2nd....yes 2nd as I Really do not like software that tries to take over from the user. I Still like the simple drag/drop in Explorer.
    Looks Sony/iPOD joint 1st, the iPOD is sleek and simple, the Sony is more technical and looks like a slightly larger mini-disk player.
    Battery life Sony 1st, Apple 2nd purely on specs as I have used both system on/off chargers mostly so never had chance to try a long term soak test.

    So overall, I went for the Sony purely because I didn't fancy the hassle of trying to get another (Windows 2K pro) PC working with an iPOD. Probably this would have been fine, but deceided to try the Sony. So far I am happy I did. Maybe after a while when it is full (20G as opposed to the 40G of the iPOD) I will regret it. But that remains to be seen.

    The only thing I will say is that the Sony although it says it used WMA,MP3 etc seems to convert the WMAs to it's own format (Atrac3) which is annoying and I will see how long it takes to download my library when I get back home (as I am away working on a sub-set on a work laptop at the moment).

    As a side note I also have the BeoSound 2 (which was a present) which is a lovely LOOKING unit and does sound quite good... but to me this unit stinks when it comes to Software which is just a pain to use and with a 1GB SD card takes forever to update over the USB1 only connection. But it is saved by the wonderful sounding and looking headphones :) Now to try them on the Sony and see if it's the best (or worst) of both that comes out.

    As a 2nd Side note, I better say that I have had a few Mini-Disk players and always found them good (just overtaken with the new technologies) so maybe this would bias me a bit (better say that before anyone deceides that I am being anti -Apple).

    Also I managed to pick up the HD3 at heathrow from Dixons (I do a lot of travelling hence the interest in mobile sounds) for £212 (in Red).

    Paul
     

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