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What is the best sounding compact MP3 player, Comparison of various MP3 players
OSCORD
post Aug 19 2005, 20:07
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I've noticed that most of the MP3 players seem to be "white box" or "yellow box" and generally Apple sounds better that "Golden Tunes Happy Dragon" device. But wiring, connector, DA converters - make a lot of difference. I've found that Apple seem to produce best quality audio - using same MP3 file. Some players can't even play WMA or OGG or FLAC...

Anyways, has anyone "heard" a compact MP3 player sounding better than IPod?
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skelly831
post Aug 19 2005, 20:14
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I don't know of one sounding BETTER than the iPod, but generally keep clear of no-name asian imports, my brother has a no-name flash player, and it does suck big time compared with my creative muvo (wich is not the best in any way but its still respectable compared to the no-name player), and if you want more codec options, some iriver players support vorbis and the iPod series support AAC, most other players usually just play mp3/mp2 and WMA.

EDIT: Scince the iPod shuffle has no EQ, and most people say it sound awesome, i wonder if it has some sort of preset EQ that can't be disabled dry.gif

This post has been edited by skelly831: Aug 19 2005, 20:16


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germanjulian
post Aug 19 2005, 20:21
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dont know which ones sounds best but the shuffle sounds better if not the same (dont wanna violate tos 8) then my iriver hp140. and that was a dam good sounding player.
stay away from the ipod mini's since they are apperantly underpowered to drive headphones and their own internal amp.
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atici
post Aug 19 2005, 20:37
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I think my Sony NW-E507 sounds great, as most other Sony products are by reputation. It is very compact and has 50 hours battery life (full recharge takes 3 hours).

This post has been edited by atici: Aug 19 2005, 20:38


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beto
post Aug 19 2005, 21:11
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QUOTE (OSCORD @ Aug 19 2005, 04:07 PM)
I've noticed that most of the MP3 players seem to be "white box" or "yellow box" and generally Apple sounds better that "Golden Tunes Happy Dragon" device. But wiring, connector,  DA converters - make a lot of difference. I've found that Apple seem to produce best quality audio - using same MP3 file. Some players can't even play WMA or OGG or FLAC...

Anyways, has anyone "heard" a compact MP3 player sounding better than IPod?
*


I really don't think that there's much difference among leader brands. Just keep distance of obscure brands.


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unfortunateson
post Aug 19 2005, 21:14
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I own an H140 (rockbox firmware w/replaygain and wavpack biggrin.gif )

Besides the units barely audible noisefloor, it sounds very good.
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vinnie97
post Aug 20 2005, 04:08
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The Iaudio (Cowon) I5 flash player sounds amazing but I don't have any other flash players to which to compare it. I think the claims of Ipod superiority are based more on hype than on objective truth...

This post has been edited by vinnie97: Aug 20 2005, 04:08
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boombaard
post Aug 20 2005, 10:26
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i have an samsung mt6x, which also sounds good, but mostly because it has a good set of earplugs with the player.. suppose the biggest difference is in those smile.gif
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loophole
post Aug 20 2005, 11:09
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There is this online for the iPod, i don't know how accurate it is, or anything of it's legitimacy?

www.modeemi.fi/~vesas/iPod_Audio.pdf
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breez
post Aug 20 2005, 11:33
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QUOTE (loophole @ Aug 20 2005, 01:09 PM)
There is this online for the iPod, i don't know how accurate it is, or anything of it's legitimacy?

www.modeemi.fi/~vesas/iPod_Audio.pdf
*


Possibly accurate for line level impedances, but certainly not with headphone use (too small output capacitors limiting bass response with low impedance headphones).
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BloKosss
post Aug 21 2005, 19:30
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I'm proud of my little Muvo V200, cheap and sounds very correct. I tested it's perfs with rightmark audio 5.5, and I'd like someone else to do so in order to compare the results. Here's my method:

1/ generate calibration and test signal .wav files with rmaa
2/ transfert .wav files in mp3 player by the usb connection
3/ at this stage I had to move my wav files in the VOICE folder, if not the player won't play them, and rename respectively to VOC001.WAV and VOC002.WAV
4/ unplug from usb and connect player's analog output to sound card's analog input (my sound card is a terratec phase 28, I also tested it : phase 28 rmaa test
5/ launch rmaa55, launch wizard, choose recording only (third from the top), recording device is your sound card and formats 44khz 16bits
6/ here you have to play the calibration test file (VOC001.WAV) with your player , as you would play a recorded sound with the muvo's internal microphone. Adjust the levels with the player and sound card's volumes.
7/ if the calibration test is ok, start the signal test, press ok and then play the test signal (VOC002.WAV) to the end.
8/ choose a slot and generate a html report.

Here's my test for the Muvo V200 (256Mo)


This post has been edited by BloKosss: Aug 21 2005, 22:54


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rickshaw
post Aug 21 2005, 20:19
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A great deal depends on what you feed your DAP and the codec as well as bitrate are everything.

Considering that the iRiver H1XX now has Rockbox ported over to it and between the stock iRiver firmware and Rockbox you can play the following:

mp3LAME
WMA
Ogg Vorbis
FLAC
Wavpack
WAV
MPC

Afaik the iPod product line doesw not support nearly as many options.

Rockbox folks are now efforting the port to iRiver's H300 series so that product with its skinable color LCD, user upgradeable HDD and battery plus the codec package looks to be a real winner too.

rs


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riggits
post Aug 21 2005, 21:45
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my brother is returning his iPod 40GB device in favor of a Rio Carbon. Better interface, better sound, etc.
My experience with the Samsung MT6 is that it's probably better than the iPod (hard drive models, haven't tried the Shuffle), but you have to disable that WOW crap first. Also the iRiver iFP-8xx flash players sound quite a bit better than the newest iPods. This is based on side-by-side comparisons with the same pair of excellent headphones. YMMV. I've heard things about a white noise issue with the iFP series, haven't witnessed it.
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bug80
post Aug 21 2005, 22:43
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QUOTE (riggits @ Aug 21 2005, 10:45 PM)
I've heard things about a white noise issue with the iFP series, haven't witnessed it.
*

AFAIK that issue is fixed in the 8xx and 9xx series. I have a iFP-899 (1 GB) and I am very happy with it. The only problem is limited Ogg Vorbis support:

1) The sound volume is lower than with MP3
2) Playback of Ogg Vorbis drains the battery twice as fast
3) Between songs, there's a soft "click" sound, very irritating once you've noticed it

So, I'm using Lame MP3's, which work great with this player smile.gif The sound is very good.
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pieroxy
post Aug 23 2005, 17:24
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I think it all depends about what you want to do with the unit. For casual listening in a moderately noisy environment, I tend to think that all major brand items should do it just fine. As far at nitpicking is concerned, short of a listening test, I don't know what anyone can say. All these tests are heavily subjectives.

I used to run my MP3s out of an Aiwa z3c (8cm mp3 CD player) which gave me perfect satisfaction. My iPod shuffle seems as good to my ears.


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kindofblue
post Aug 24 2005, 03:28
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Another vote for the Samsung YP-MT6. Good overall sound (I use LAME 3.97 @80kbps) and comes with good earbuds.


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QHOBBES 2.0
post Aug 24 2005, 09:31
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Has anyone tried the mobiBLU cube mp3 player? i just want to know if the quality is on par with "major brand" mp3 players


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riggits
post Aug 24 2005, 09:52
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QUOTE (kindofblue @ Aug 23 2005, 06:28 PM)
Another vote for the Samsung YP-MT6. Good overall sound (I use LAME 3.97 @80kbps) and comes with good earbuds.
*


You're lucky, mine came with absolute crap earphones. Hearing a crackling sound every so often, I traced it to static electricity getting through the cable shielding. Wearing it under my shirt made it worse. These were replaced almost instantly with a much better set.
My Samsung T5 came with much better earbuds.
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boombaard
post Aug 24 2005, 12:15
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QUOTE (riggits @ Aug 24 2005, 01:22 PM)
QUOTE (kindofblue @ Aug 23 2005, 06:28 PM)
Another vote for the Samsung YP-MT6. Good overall sound (I use LAME 3.97 @80kbps) and comes with good earbuds.
*


You're lucky, mine came with absolute crap earphones. Hearing a crackling sound every so often, I traced it to static electricity getting through the cable shielding. Wearing it under my shirt made it worse. These were replaced almost instantly with a much better set.
My Samsung T5 came with much better earbuds.
*



it was probably just defective.. you should've just taken it in for repair tongue.gif
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Cartoon
post Aug 24 2005, 17:44
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Anyone compared these to the Rio Karma? People say that is the best sounding player ever and quite a bit better than iPod.
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legg
post Aug 24 2005, 18:15
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QUOTE (rickshaw @ Aug 21 2005, 02:19 PM)
Afaik the iPod product line doesw not support nearly as many options.


apple firmware can play: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Music Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF

with ipodlinux you can play: WAV/PCM (max 96kHz), MP3 (max 320kbps), AAC (max 320kbps), FLAC level 8, mod with 20 voices, OGG, ALAC. Support for musepack is not yet in real time.

And you have a bootloader to choose which firmware to boot from everytime you turn it on.

http://www.ipodlinux.org/Project_Status

This post has been edited by legg: Aug 24 2005, 18:16


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henkersmahlzeit
post Sep 10 2005, 00:54
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I compared Apple's iPod-mini and Creative's Zen micro in a store and I really was impressed by the sound-quality of the Zen (same Headphones/different Music).
I bought the Zen and I never stopped to be amazed by it's sound-quality. With good Headphones and quit environment even Lame's -V0 is not complete nonsense. It never stutters at high bitrates (Lame -V0, WMA 98%). You may even copy and past your MP3 files from itunes to the 'Zen explorer' ...
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Cygnus X1
post Sep 10 2005, 01:43
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I'll add a vote for the Sony NW-E400/500 series flash players. I got mine today (black 1GB NW-E407), and with my -aps or 3.97a12 --preset 128 encodings, it sounds awesome. Mostly, it has vastly better bass response than my soon-to-be-sold iPod mini (through the same Grado SR-80's).

This post has been edited by Cygnus X1: Sep 10 2005, 01:44
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MikeFord
post Nov 29 2005, 22:14
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Opinions seem to vary a LOT, anybody know of a good site with reviews etc. of the best MP3 portables?

Casual tests worry me, since its VERY easy in a shop not to notice one player may have a default, "buy me" EQ setting.

MUVO TX 1GB has the edge currently in my shopping.
Pro No cable for USB connection, good sound, good brand, good format support, looks like a drive to PC with no special software required.

Con AAA battery instead of AA (12 hrs vs 40), open source linux etc support would be nice, no expansion, not sure what else.
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kritip
post Nov 29 2005, 22:26
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QUOTE (germanjulian @ Aug 19 2005, 08:21 PM)
stay away from the ipod mini's since they are apperantly underpowered to drive headphones and their own internal amp.
*


This may be valid if you got it in the EU in which case it is volume capped in the firmware, but go to:

http://gopod.free-go.net/

and you can remove the limit. With it removed, they even seem to drive my Senheiser HD-580's well, and to a loud volume. I couldn't listen to the volume >90% as it hurts my ears. Pop the ear buds back in and at full volume your asking to blow your ear drums. More than enough power i'd say!

Kritsian
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