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Best Portable Audio Solution 2013, and mp3 player vs phone
leon11
post Jan 28 2013, 00:02
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Hi there, Im looking to buy a new portable music player (but not apple). I also dont want a volume-capped EU product (im in the UK), so I need to be able to buy it from elsewhere...or the device needs to be able to be flashed or modded to remove the cap!
I am a bit of a perfectionist and would like some nice sound to help inspire my work!


I have done a fair amount of research but it is still a tough choice, and would love to hear peoples thoughts or advice!

I am currently attracted to the Sony z-series (mainly the Z1050 / 60) which I can still get on ebay from japan (uncapped)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SONY-Walkman-NW-...=item3a7db9eba3

this seems like a lot to pay for something that I cant make calls on though! I understand that it is the amp which bumps the price up.
but...is this kind of player not obsolete now?



And this is part of the brief I guess...my phone is a bit crap so I was thinking that maybe some of the new phones may be good enough for my audio needs.


- I read samsung have good audio, for one...and that many of today's smartphones compete with cowans players for examplem in terms of sound quality

- And ive also seen the new HTC range with 'beats' audio...although I know that the beats brand is somewhat of a gimmick..
HTC one http://www.handtec.co.uk/htc-one-v-black.html ...which I may be able to flash or mod to remove the cap.

- I have always liked sonys products and have also considered an xperia J ...or even an old w995 etc! Apparently the sonys also have a 'warmer' sound.

- I will also be getting some decent headphones (been looking at the IE9's etc...but will cross this bridge when I have a player in mind biggrin.gif)

videos and web browsing are less important to me. I would also probably be disabling any wifi ability as I dont think the frequencies do your body any good.

On this note...has anyone ever looked at the frequencies headphones produce?! biggrin.gif



any help appreciated...thanks for reading
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saratoga
post Jan 28 2013, 01:04
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QUOTE (leon11 @ Jan 27 2013, 18:02) *
Hi there, Im looking to buy a new portable music player (but not apple). I also dont want a volume-capped EU product (im in the UK), so I need to be able to buy it from elsewhere...or the device needs to be able to be flashed or modded to remove the cap!
I am a bit of a perfectionist and would like some nice sound to help inspire my work!


I have done a fair amount of research but it is still a tough choice, and would love to hear peoples thoughts or advice!

I am currently attracted to the Sony z-series (mainly the Z1050 / 60) which I can still get on ebay from japan (uncapped)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SONY-Walkman-NW-...=item3a7db9eba3


For what its worth, the Z series uses some awful nvidia reference design thats meant for tablets and not actual headphone output:

http://www.markuskraus.com/RMAA/Z1060/Z1060TF10.htm

Consequently, its probably one of the few devices you can buy that won't be transparent with even fairly easy to drive headphones.

QUOTE (leon11 @ Jan 27 2013, 18:02) *
- I read samsung have good audio, for one...and that many of today's smartphones compete with cowans players for examplem in terms of sound quality

- And ive also seen the new HTC range with 'beats' audio...although I know that the beats brand is somewhat of a gimmick..
HTC one http://www.handtec.co.uk/htc-one-v-black.html ...which I may be able to flash or mod to remove the cap.


Nexus phone? The volume cap basically doesn't matter at all when you're completely unlocked. Just flash the official ROM and its gone. Roughly the same price as that ebay link you posted too.
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yourlord
post Jan 28 2013, 02:57
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It's been said a million times before, but sansa clip+ or sansa zip..
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Gregory S. Chudo...
post Jan 28 2013, 04:09
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I love my Cowon J3. Gapless playback, flac/ogg support, and to make it almost unique - 50 or 60 hours of battery life.


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 28 2013, 16:51
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QUOTE (yourlord @ Jan 27 2013, 20:57) *
It's been said a million times before, but sansa clip+ or sansa zip..


+1

Or Fuze. For us older folks the larger display has its moments. And I've done well playing videos on it.

So cheap as to be nearly disposable.

So well-engineered as to make you wish that the headphone jacks on far more expensive stuff were as good.
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xedge
post Feb 7 2013, 23:23
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take that 230, save yourself 150 on this;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-Galaxy-Mem...5626&sr=8-1
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probedb
post Feb 8 2013, 09:04
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Another for a Sansa player, Clip+ here and love it. The only feature I miss is a physical lock button.
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Mach-X
post Feb 9 2013, 07:16
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Another vote for the clip+, btw it locks by holding down the home button under OF, and there's another button if you've rockboxed it, just can't remember currently.
You were rather unclear as to whether you wanted a dedicated music player or asking 'which phone has the best sq'. The clip+ as a dedicated dap is cheap, has been tested extensively to be linear, and can be loaded with the rockbox firmware to provide nearly limitless audio options. Did I mention it's cheap? You won't gain anything with a sony player other than a pretty interface, and sub par amp performance. You need to decide if you want a seperate dap or a phone with playback capabilities. If just a dap, the clip+ will give you everything you need with linear playback and a microsd slot. Phone wise, both iphone and android devices offer fine playback. If going android I recommend samsung simply because it's the most supported device line, but if you just want a small, powerful, customizeable music player, clip+ all the way.

This post has been edited by Mach-X: Feb 9 2013, 07:28
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probedb
post Feb 9 2013, 15:50
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But that's no use when it's turned off...and you accidentally catch it in your pocket.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 12 2013, 15:57
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QUOTE (probedb @ Feb 9 2013, 09:50) *
But that's no use when it's turned off...and you accidentally catch it in your pocket.


In my book the Clip and the Fuze are interchangeable except that the Fuze does video and has a larger screen that means something to us old turkeys.

There are also protective covers for Fuzes that will probably address the problem of inadvertently pressing buttons when they are off. There may be covers for the Clip as well - google is your friend!
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Jplus
post Feb 12 2013, 17:35
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Just a question out of general interest: what made you decide that you specifically don't want an Apple product?
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francesco
post Feb 12 2013, 20:27
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QUOTE (yourlord @ Jan 27 2013, 20:57) *
It's been said a million times before, but sansa clip+ or sansa zip..

me too , but the battery does not give a long autonomy, sadly
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botface
post Feb 12 2013, 21:15
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I've used a Sansa Fuze for 3 years or so now. I've been perfectly happy with it until I installed a 32GB microsd card and put about 20GB of music on it. When I unplugged the Fuze from my PC it froze while doing the database update. On checking the Sansa website it seems there is a limit to the size of database it can handle and they don't recommend exceeding 16GB. That didn't bother me too much as I use Rockbox anyway and that did indeed handle the database update although it took a long time - not sure exactly how long as I left it running overnight.

On the other hand my Samsung Galaxy Ace with the same files loaded to a 32GB card does the update in a matter of minutes. I'd be reluctant to draw any firm conclusions though as it might be unfair to compare a modern(ish) smart phone with much older DAP technology
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andrew_berge
post Feb 12 2013, 22:04
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QUOTE (Gregory S. Chudov @ Jan 27 2013, 22:09) *
I love my Cowon J3. Gapless playback, flac/ogg support, and to make it almost unique - 50 or 60 hours of battery life.


The Cowon J3 is really good, but it's also discontinued and rather hard to get.
But hey, if you do see one: grab it.
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MrEnergizer
post Feb 16 2013, 16:48
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QUOTE (xedge @ Feb 7 2013, 23:23) *
take that 230, save yourself 150 on this;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-Galaxy-Mem...5626&sr=8-1


I 2nd that. You need to install poweramp from the apps store cos the built in player is crap. But all in all a nice player with a decent dac and good quality sound
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Mach-X
post Feb 17 2013, 03:13
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QUOTE (Jplus @ Feb 12 2013, 11:35) *
Just a question out of general interest: what made you decide that you specifically don't want an Apple product?

1.overpriced
2.limited format support
3.dont like apple telling me what I can and cant do with my devices (the ridiculous lawsuits)
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scuttle
post Feb 17 2013, 16:35
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QUOTE (Gregory S. Chudov @ Jan 28 2013, 03:09) *
I love my Cowon J3. Gapless playback, flac/ogg support, and to make it almost unique - 50 or 60 hours of battery life.


I have a Clip+ and a J3. They're both excellent, but the Clip is a LOT cheaper. And strange things often seem to happen to J3 batteries with age - I think mine is now down to pretty much the same playing life as my Clip+.

Re. the Fuze: a lot of people seem to hate the newer trackpad driven Fuze+ and, regrettably, NOS older model Fuze prices are getting silly on ebay.
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GrindheadJim
post Feb 17 2013, 17:13
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QUOTE (MrEnergizer @ Feb 16 2013, 09:48) *
QUOTE (xedge @ Feb 7 2013, 23:23) *
take that 230, save yourself 150 on this;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-Galaxy-Mem...5626&sr=8-1


I 2nd that. You need to install poweramp from the apps store cos the built in player is crap. But all in all a nice player with a decent dac and good quality sound


Third! I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone, and I love its media funtionality, especially with all the apps available. One project you really need to consider is Subsonic. it turns you computer into a media server, and there's two different versions of the android app that allow your phone or Galaxy player to stream the files. Absolutely worth it.


QUOTE (Mach-X @ Feb 16 2013, 20:13) *
QUOTE (Jplus @ Feb 12 2013, 11:35) *
Just a question out of general interest: what made you decide that you specifically don't want an Apple product?

1.overpriced
2.limited format support
3.dont like apple telling me what I can and cant do with my devices (the ridiculous lawsuits)


This. Apple, frankly, treats their customer base as if they are all idiots. Between that, and the aforementioned limitations, no thank you. Android works perfectly for me.


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Kohlrabi
post Feb 17 2013, 17:41
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Have you considered the Altmann Tera Player? It's a high-quality audiophile DAP. I have recently conducted an objective test of the device, and it beats the venerable Clip+ 5:0. But see for yourself:

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Feb 17 2013, 18:06


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DonP
post Feb 17 2013, 18:06
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QUOTE (Jplus @ Feb 12 2013, 11:35) *
Just a question out of general interest: what made you decide that you specifically don't want an Apple product?


For one, it cost me under $20 to add 32 GB to my Sansa. With ipods that offer a choice, an extra 32 G will cost $100, and no option to upgrade beyond that other than buy a new one in a couple of years.
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DonP
post Feb 17 2013, 18:20
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QUOTE (botface @ Feb 12 2013, 15:15) *
That didn't bother me too much as I use Rockbox anyway and that did indeed handle the database update although it took a long time - not sure exactly how long as I left it running overnight.

On the other hand my Samsung Galaxy Ace with the same files loaded to a 32GB card does the update in a matter of minutes. I'd be reluctant to draw any firm conclusions though as it might be unfair to compare a modern(ish) smart phone with much older DAP technology


Not sure what the Fuze has for clock speed, it's predecessor (e200 V2) has a 250 mhz arm compared to a typical hi-ish end phone has multiple CPU's in the GHz range.

"Update" on my older Rockbox player (80 mhz arm) with a 32 GB card runs pretty quickly if I'm adding a few albums as acquired or updating podcasts. If you're adding 20 GB at once would it be faster to generate the database from scratch rather than update?
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mzil
post Feb 17 2013, 18:35
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I hate carrying around anything, especially things which need the maintainance of recharging. I use my cellphone's music player for my portable music, since that kills two birds with one stone and it keeps me down to only one such device I wish I didn't have to carry, and if there was some aspect about my phone's music player that I didn't like, I'd get a new cellphone.

This post has been edited by mzil: Feb 17 2013, 18:37
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scuttle
post Feb 17 2013, 18:41
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Feb 17 2013, 16:41) *
Have you considered the Altmann Tera Player? It's a high-quality audiophile DAP. I have recently conducted an objective test of the device, and it beats the venerable Clip+ 5:0. But see for yourself:


Is it compatible with handmade silver cables? Because I might have to garrotte some weirwolves.
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stephan_g
post Feb 17 2013, 20:27
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QUOTE (botface @ Feb 12 2013, 22:15) *
I've used a Sansa Fuze for 3 years or so now. I've been perfectly happy with it until I installed a 32GB microsd card and put about 20GB of music on it. When I unplugged the Fuze from my PC it froze while doing the database update. On checking the Sansa website it seems there is a limit to the size of database it can handle and they don't recommend exceeding 16GB. That didn't bother me too much as I use Rockbox anyway and that did indeed handle the database update although it took a long time - not sure exactly how long as I left it running overnight.

That doesn't seem right. My Rockboxed Clip+ rattles through about 15 gigs worth of MP3s in about a minute when updating the database. However, it be noted that the files are neatly organized in folders by artist and album here. Having a non-negligible number of files - worstcase: all of them - in a single folder can slow down indexing considerably.

Database updating in OF always took much longer.
QUOTE (botface @ Feb 12 2013, 22:15) *
On the other hand my Samsung Galaxy Ace with the same files loaded to a 32GB card does the update in a matter of minutes.

Now that's about the kind of performance I would normally expect.
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saratoga
post Feb 17 2013, 21:07
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I think building the database is almost entirely constrained by the relatively slow read speed of the low power SD controllers on these devices.
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