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Portable audiophillia

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by mgorton, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. mgorton

    mgorton
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    I'm at the end of my teather!

    I've been researching which hard-disc audio player to get for a month and I'm getting nothing but conflicting reports.

    I come to you now as I trust in your combined knowledge... I know you will not let me down.

    Sound quality is paramount to me and I also need at least 30gig.

    I'm after as many opinions as possible so please do not hold back.
     
  2. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    For Sound quality then for me the I-pod 40gb is the clear winner from the same size I-River.
    Look at the amount of posts on here form Sony HD1 and 3 users who are having problems and notice how little there are from all of the other players. That is the main advice I would give you.
     
  3. shelteringsky

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    they are no major problems...

    hd3 is good quality sound. The only thing is, that it´s 10 gb smaller than ipod or iriver
     
  4. Phil K

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    If you dont want the battery to expire half an hour after starting to use it, dont buy an iPod ! :D
     
  5. mcfarfs

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    If you want 30gb, and good sound quality, I suggest the Limited Edition 30gb Sony NW-HD5 (the normal version will only be 20gb). This hasn't actually been released yet, but I think comes out in May. It will only be available directly from Sony.

    It has an outstanding 40 hour battery life, from a removeable battery. It also supports proper playlists, unlike the HD1/3.

    I completely disagree with this comment. In my opinion, my HD3 sounds better than the iPod, particularly when plugged into a hifi. This is, I believe, because it has a line-out.

    If you actually bother to read the posts concerning the HD1/3, you will notice that most are not complaints or from users having problems, but general queries and comments concerning the player. And yes, there are still more complaints than there are concerning other players, but in my opinion it is a great player, easy to use and with a long battery life. The HD5 can only be better! :thumbsup:
     
  6. gerbilly

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    Unfair comparison :lesson: if you are connecting to a stereo with an I-pod you have to use the dock (main criticism as it cost around 20 quid).
    When I use mine the sound is perfect. :thumbsup:

    Sound through earphones (dont use the supplied ones for any of the mp3 devices, get a pair of Sennheiser PX100's) is excellent with the i-pod.

    If you are wanting something which is very easy to use and combines this with great sound go for the i-pod.

    Dont forget to use Go Pod to unlock the volume cap as well. :smashin:

    McFarfs its obviously a war between me and you, you in the sony corner and me in the i-pod corner. :D
     
  7. mcfarfs

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    Yeh, apparantly the iPod through the line-out potentially sounds better cos it bypasses the headphone socket. Don't know if that is true?

    I have a pair of PX100s and MX 550s. The PX100s rock, great bass and for only £20! But I normally use the MX 550s, because they are more convenient. What's the point in having a nifty little player, with great big headphones that don't fit in your pocket?!

    True bout the war between us, I can't help being biased towards a product I own! :)















    (But I still think the HD3 is better :D :rotfl: )
     
  8. mcfarfs

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    Actually, whilst we are on the topic of plugging into a hifi, if you listen to your music through any portable music player it sounds fine.

    But if you then listen to the same song on CD through the same set-up, it sounds sooooo much better! Much clearer and louder!

    Sorry, I'm :offtopic: lol!
     
  9. mrtbag

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    Did you just forget to mention the posts where people are complaining about their iPod, or do you truely have selective reading skills?

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174009

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188825&highlight=ipod+problems

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185730&highlight=ipod+problems

    Just to show a few. Now I do not own either, in fact I am still undecided at what to get MP3 player wise. I think it is stupid that when people ask for advice on here, instead of singing the praises of what they think is good, lots of people chose to slag off all the alternatives, even though they haven't used one. If people would just talk about there own experiences and not get into debates about 'hear say' issues. Mgorton and myself, might have actually managed to make a decison by now.

    Rant over. :mad:
     
  10. gerbilly

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    I listened to the Sony HD3, The 20G I-pod, The I-pod Mini, Creative Zen and an I-River one around the 200 quid mark.

    As my computer is getting on a little i needed something with a firewire as I dont have usb2 and a 20gb HD was probably too big for me. Sound quality to me both mac products sounded superior with the I River one.

    So when opinions are asked for and you then criticize the opinion given why waste our bloody time. I have listened to all of these and to me the best sounding where the i-pod and the worst two were the Zen and the HD3.
     
  11. mrtbag

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    Did you peform the same tests though. My point was as follows, and before I carry on I apologise to you and Mcfarfs if I am on the wrong track.

    From reading the various posts, I thought that gerbilly had tested a HD3 via headphones, but not connected to a hifi. The same with Mcfarfs had listed to a HD through a hifi but not an Ipod. Yet you both seem to 'know' that one is better than the other!! Also, you mention 'the amount of posts on here form Sony HD1 and 3 users who are having problems'. But it is the same for the Ipod, yet you do not mention these. Can you verify these problems through the testing you did of a HD before purchasing you Ipod?

    Surely you can see why this does not help us looking to make a purchase?
     
  12. gerbilly

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    Here is someone who knows what they are talking about (See blue highlight):


    Originally Posted by diverse
    How long will an ipod battery last? Half that of HD3
    How Big is Ipod compared to HD3 = BIGGER
    How bad is audio playback on Ipod compared to HD3 = BAD
    How long will it take for an ipod battery to drain when not in use = NOT LONG
    How bad is Sonic Stage = Worse than Itunes
    How Much slower is Ipod's Firewire to USB2 = 20%
    Why can't ipod's play audio books, mix CD's or classical albums without adding gaps between tracks = BECAUSE IT'S RUBBISH
    I have had both Ipods and Sony, HD's rule each and every time, the audio quality with ATRAC is in a different league!

    Even the 5g Photo and 2g Mini's cannot touch the Sony's operating time!

    Ipods look nice and have great accessories, but they are still technically inferiour to almost every competitor, sort of like a trophy wife, nice looker, nice tittie$ but nothing upstairs



    How easy is the iPod to navigate to any track on the player? Much easier.
    How often do you see a 'please wait' while switching between menus on the iPod? Never.
    How big is the actual gap on the iPod? It's a very, very small gap.
    Can the Sony handle Lossless or Uncompressed files for ultimate sound quality? No.
    Can the Sony playlist on the fly? Well... you give it a go and tell me.
    How bad is the audio playback on the iPod actually compared to the Sony NW-HD3? Pretty much neck and neck. The HD3 has more scope for bass and treble adjustment, but the iPod has better dynamic range.


    The Sony is about the different looks, longer battery life and the small size. It's also about the display remote. Other that that, it has few advantages over the iPod and many disadvantages. I'd say that the iPod is an immeasurably better working player, but the Sony has the physical advantages. You decide what's important.


    For informed opinions, it pays to compare for real... not just to get one, then make up a list of what's wrong with what you didn't buy
     
  13. mcfarfs

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    Yeh it is all selective though isn't it. :lesson:

    The red is pointing out good features (but not bad features) of the HD3, and the bad features (but not the good features) of the iPod. The blue is doing the opposite.

    At the end of the day, people asking questions on these forums need to be specific and ask questions with factual answers, otherwise other members (including myself!) answer with opinionated dribble!

    The best thing to do is try out for yourself all the different products on the market, if that is possible. If not buy it from a shop and be prepared to return it if you do not like it! :thumbsup:

    Ami tor baaf!
     
  14. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Tbag I listened to them all through their earphones. This is what I have based my judgement on. Most of us will listen to our players that way. When you connect it to your Hifi Mcfarfs slated the i-pod for sounding worse. I am telling him that this was an unfair comparison as you need the dock to get the best out of the i-pod.
    My i-pod using the line out of the dock through my Marrantz amp sounds excellent, I do not know how good the sony is when connected to an amp. What I do know though is that I wasnt impressed when I listened to it with its earphones and then listened to the i-pods via their earphones.
     
  15. mcfarfs

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    That is not fair. I never slated the iPod, if you read my original thread comparing the sound of the two you will notice that I actually compliment the iPod.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196072

    Through headphones, my untrained ears can't tell the difference!
     
  16. gerbilly

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    ok I apologise but you did say the sony sounded better. My point is you should try it again and get your mate to buy a dock to use with his i-pod.

    As for your other point I though with the sony it sounded as though it was lacking something (via earphones) which may have been due to the compression. The others ones I listened to such as the Zen were similar to the Sony. The I-River sounded very similar in quality compared to the i-pod but connection wise it was no good for me.

    Go into a decent retailer and try them all like I did and make your own decision.
     
  17. alancolledge

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    All this blues and red talk makes me want to watch 'Westside Story' tonight.

    Any HD owners with pretty sisters? :D
     
  18. Stewtheking

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    Ok, I may just be being a retard here, but surely there might also be the dimension that no two individual players are actually the same. An "ipod" could end up being/sounding different to an "ipod" that somebody else owns... without this being flagged up as "a problem that I would have to get repaired", just being "a little bit dodgy quality...


    I dunno, stands to reason that there has to be some variation, and in a highly electronic primadonna mp3 player, this seems rather more than likely.

    Meh, what do I know.

    Stew :rolleyes:
     
  19. HMHB

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    The other major dimension to remember is that everyone hears things differently - what may sound good to one person could sound harsh to another.
     
  20. mgorton

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    Thanks everyone, you've all been very helpful :thumbsup: . After I lot of careful research and consideration I think I'm going for the ipod. This has not been an easy decision as I was completely opposed to getting one on principle. But battery life aside I think it's the best option (for me! (damage limitation)).
     
  21. gerbilly

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    good decision mate.
     
  22. Quinn

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    I think different people look for different sets of things.

    For me, with Sony's HD5, Sony’s the battery life provides almost two days of continuous playback and batteries easily obtainable from high street stores.
     
  23. caz1979

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    I bought the HD3 due to styling, storage and size not to mention battery life. My bro has an iPod Mini which I found hard to set-up and the battery life sucks. Since buying the HD3 I've found out that 2 other colleagues have the HD3 and 1 has the 2nd Gen iPod. The guy with the iPod prefers my HD3 and the other 2 HD3 owners are glad they didn't get the iPod. Each to their own I guess so go with whatever makes you happier. I prefer to stand out from the crowd and steer clear of the Mac stuff :thumbsup:
     
  24. watchinthewheel

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    personaly i would go for the hd3 it has the best sound quality imho, it does have flaws but they are pretty minor really. the only major one for you is the 20gig limit on it though.
     
  25. spl23

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    To throw in a completely contradictory opinion, have you considered Creative's Zen Xtra? I replaced a 2nd gen 20GB iPod with one of these, mainly for the improved capacity (60GB, although upgrading the drive to 80GB or even 100GB is a 15 minute job that is easy for anyone used to upgrading a PC).

    The sound quality is much better than the iPod. The gap between tracks is shorter, and the battery doesn't spontaneously go flat if you leave it unused for 48 hours - which the one on my iPod did. The battery is replaceable, and on mine, which is over a year old and uses high (~200kb/s) bitrate files, still lasts *longer* on a charge than the specified 14 hours. It's a bit bigger than the iPod, and the scroll wheel isn't as nice to use as Apple's controller, but that's it for the downsides. It's also cheaper!

    I've just bought a new 60GB iPod Photo to use in the car with a Kenwood adaptor box - the sound through the headphone jack is distorted, and Apple haven't managed to fix the glitch whereby the audio gets interrupted for a second or so just after the beginning of a song whenever the hard drive spins down, which my 2nd gen iPod had and the iPod Photo still does.

    In short, if you want a nice shiny box and aren't too fussed about sound, get an iPod. If you want a good quality portable MP3 player, and can live with a bit less glitz, save yourself some money and get a Zen.
     
  26. gerbilly

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    SPL I'm sorry but I listened to the Zen and I wasnt impressed mate, but it is all about opinion.

    You also mentioned the sound through your car from the headphone jack wasnt too good with your i-pod.

    I dont know how many times it has to be said that you need the dock to get the best out of it either via your car audio system or your own hifi.

    I have mines connected to the dock and played through my Marrantz amp and it sounds amazing.

    If I was to pick any faults with the i-pod it would only be battery life and probably the fact that you do have to buy the dock.

    If I was to buy another product the only one I would consider is I-River.
     
  27. spl23

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    It *is* connected via the dock connector in the car. I meant that the sound quality with headphones in the headphone output is very poor. The iPod Photo has a known problem with its headphone jack (see discussions on Apple's forums), whereby the output clips even at moderate volumes, causing mild distortion. It's not too bad with the stock earbuds, but they sound awful anyway - my Sony MDR-EX70s have a lower impedance, which exacerbates the problem, and the iPod Photo is unlistenable-to through those.

    The Zen has no such problem - it has much better analog headphone output stages than the iPod Photo.
     
  28. mgorton

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    I already have the zen xtra.

    I find that there is a certain amount of distortion when it is pushed, even though all my tracks are encoded at 320kbps.

    This is made more apparent as I use high quality monitoring headphones (senn HD-25).

    Was hoping that the ipod has the range without the distortion? Anybody?
     
  29. Stewtheking

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    I have the Zen Xtra (30Gb), and I find the sound to be lovely, running through both my in-ear headphones and (will amplification increased) via a lead into my amp.

    I think that as a test, the HD-25's (although quality headphones) are entirely "unfair" as a listening device. As has been stated in several threads, to get the best out of headphones, you need to drive them with appropriate power, and a portable is not designed to give enough power to do this.

    I used to run my Zen through senn heiser mx500's and have recently bought a pair of b&o A8 in-ear jobbies, and over the higher quality earphones the volume is much higher with less distortion, and I felt no need to turn on the EAX settings for extra bass (which add distortion).

    It's only fair to give these products an equal test-bed in threads like this, and running a portable player on headphones designed to be run through a studio-mixer is starting on the back foot.

    My two cents

    Stew
     
  30. mgorton

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    I didn't mean the zen is pushed by driving my HD25's I was using senn PX200's which are easy to drive and the distortion was still there, it's just that the HD25's have resolved rough edges and made the distortion more obvious. If the zen didn't have enough power to drive the HD25s there would be a much greater impact than background niggles.
     

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