High Quality Portable Music Player??
Audity
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#1
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
High Quality Portable Music Player??

I can't do the iPod/cheap op-amp/compressed files thing any longer. I'm searching for a dedicated portable music player that will let me store uncompressed WAV files for both casual and critical listening.
Of course there are plenty of portable players that fit this bill, but for the life of me, I can't find a single spec or professionaly written review for any of them. It's a little bit saddening how little consumers are concerned with the quality of audio that they are getting.
But anyways, I'm hoping you guys may have some suggestions for a reasonably priced ($300-400 perhaps) unit that has good quality amps and high quality, uncolored sound. Thanks!!
#2
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #2
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
I'm looking for something like this too. Im not interested in a software solution. I'd like a piece of hardware.
#3
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 

MEE TOO

I am still using a portable minidisc player for all my custom playlists. YOu may laugh, but it is very convenient and ATRAC compression is far nicer sounding than MP3. And the later ones DO allow full .wav storage and playback.

It records on the fly, too.
#4
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #4
Sounds like a manufacturers opportunity. The way to compete with itunes may well be in audio quality....Hmmmm
#5
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #5
Banned
 

Me quintuple too.

All the ones I see have a visual display. It'd be nice to have a *tiny*, compact, portable .wav player with just a minimal LED song index display.

I want to be able to load in the entirely unconverted 24-bit .wav file I work with in my DAW to listen to..... for *pleasure*.



And no, I don't go near ear buds. I like those huge, old school headphones which make you look 'nerdy'.
#6
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

A Walkman and cassette tape.
#7
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #7
Banned
 

Cassettes ? Been there, done that, enjoyed it at the time, but was ultimately frustrated by the imperfections.

I want something more stable (regarding pitch), far less hissy and entirely transparent. I'll *never* fast forward or rewind another cassette tape, ever again.
#8
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #8
Gear interested
 

I use a Sansa Clip - tiny little thing I got at costco for $30. I A/B ed it with my wife's iPod nano for a few years back and the Sansa sounded better - test file was an MP3 because the Sansa can't do aiff or ac4. (Can't remember if it can do wav...)

...But it does do FLAC which is my portable music file choice.

Also it can take micro SD cards - so you can have multiple cards loaded with different files etc....

Now are there others devices out there that are better - probably. I was originally going to get a SONY X series player, then I found this Sansa for $30 and figured I'd give it a shot. So far it's good enough - I still might a SONY in the future.

Also I have read good things about the Cowan (S9?)
Audity
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#9
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #9
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Thread Starter
#10
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #10
Banned
 

Audity ? Grrrrrrrrr. That's the problem and why they aren't taking off. They don't look sleek, they look clumsy, bulky and are way too expensive. The website font and layout looks horrible.


This 5$ item is what they are competing with. 320kbps MP3's loaded in do *not* sound bad if the mixing and mastering of the file is tastefully, dynamically and musically done.




Combined with these 15$ Sennheiser HD201 headphones, the sound is really friggen good for low-enders. Seriously !




Now combine the 2 : you've spent $20 and have tremendous bang for the buck.


Still, I want a 24-bit .wav player though, lol.
Audity
Thread Starter
#11
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #11
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Thread Starter
Haha their website was a little "wtf", and the thing is pretty ugly... But they look like they put a lot of effort into selecting parts and components.
If it's really as stellar as some reviewers say, I'd put $200 down for an ugly box that gives me good results.
Again, I'm saying "IF" ...I have never actually seen or used one.
#12
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #12
Banned
 

Don't get me wrong, I want dedicated 24-bit .wav file players to overtake MP3 players and eventually wipe MP3's off the map.

But there's a right way to do that and there's a wrong way to do that.
Audity
Thread Starter
#13
5th February 2012
Old 5th February 2012
  #13
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Thread Starter
Here ya go, here's a 192kHz/24bit player that is certainly "stylin"

I don't even see a link to US dealers, but I'm sure it's a pretty penny lol

Colorfly | Colorfly Pocket HiFi | 192KHz/24Bit

...anyways, I'm still hoping that SOMEONE out there makes a media player with a decent, uncolored amp in it. I even was looking at the Sansa players at lunch today, but they felt a little too "consumer-ey." So without any type of specs, I'm hesitant to trust their accuracy.
#14
7th June 2012
Old 7th June 2012
  #14
Gear interested
 

I use the iRiver audio devices.

iRIVER H340 40GB is a killer, and the i340 before that too.

They have additional digital in/outs (optical), can play and record WAV and sound great.

Cowon audio players are good too. (www jetaudio com)

They can both use the Rockbox firmware, so can be very configurable.

Hope that info's not too out-of-date.

-Currently, i would say ZOOM make the best audiophile portable device (the one with the direction mic on it) (www zoom.co.jp/products/h1)

A final glimpse at the market reveals this
Colofly device (www colorfly.eu/product_index.html)

Seems out-of-this-world ..

Hope you listen!
#15
7th June 2012
Old 7th June 2012
  #15
Gear addict
 
DoctorG's Avatar
 

I just bought a Sony PCM-D50 portable recorder that has excellent audio quality and doubles as a player. Records and plays 24-Bit/96k or MP3. Also has digital I/O.
#16
7th June 2012
Old 7th June 2012
  #16
Rocket Scientist
 
foldback's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audity View Post
I can't do the iPod/cheap op-amp/compressed files thing any longer. I'm searching for a dedicated portable music player that will let me store uncompressed WAV files for both casual and critical listening.
Of course there are plenty of portable players that fit this bill, but for the life of me, I can't find a single spec or professionaly written review for any of them. It's a little bit saddening how little consumers are concerned with the quality of audio that they are getting.
But anyways, I'm hoping you guys may have some suggestions for a reasonably priced ($300-400 perhaps) unit that has good quality amps and high quality, uncolored sound. Thanks!!
The iPod works with uncompressed digital audio.

As for cheap op amps you won't find better in another brand of player. Apple uses premium low-current components.

I've done extensive testing on iPods and it's garbage in = garbage out.

The converters provide very flat response from 16HZ to 19KHZ (plus or minus .5HZ from actual testing not mfr specs).

I plug my Audio Technica ATH-50 headphones right into the iPod and listen to uncompressed stereo master files, they sound really good to me.

We have a variety of iPods too, even the original white plastic stick iPod Nano actually had quite good reproduction capability and if you checked it with a distortion analyzer you would find that it was a perfect -10dB signal generator.

Try the uncompressed audio files on an iPod with some great headphones.

Good music to you!
#17
7th June 2012
Old 7th June 2012
  #17
Gear addict
 

#18
7th June 2012
Old 7th June 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
Take a look at the Korg MR1. It is less expensive than the current MR2

Korg

and does the same thing. Files all the way up to recording and playing DSD.
#19
8th June 2012
Old 8th June 2012
  #19
Gear nut
 

The QA-350 MOD V2 only plays back 16-bit 44.1 kHz wav.

It looks like the Cowon Players aren't capable of 24 bit wav playback, however, 24 bit files can be converted to FLAC and can be played back with no loss in fidelity.

Korg's MR2 can definitely play back 24 bit wav files (up to 192 kHz) but only offer MP2 and MP3 as a compressed format.

Tascam's handheld recorders (DR-08, DR-2d, DR-05, DR-100 MKII) play back up to 24-bit/96kHz. It also plays back MP3 but no FLAC. Like the Korg, you'll end up paying for mics you may not need. The DR-100MKII has detailed specs on the Tascam website.
#20
8th June 2012
Old 8th June 2012
  #20
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

iPad? When I drag 16bit mixes into iTunes to burn a CD, they don't get converted to mp3, they stay at 16bit. If I then transfer that playlist to the iPad, I'm pretty sure the songs stay at 16bit, although since files and folders on the iPad remain hidden, there's no way to know what Apple is doing to them.

Another advantage of the iPad (besides the much larger graphic interface) is the composite AV cable, which gives you a 5 foot long cable with rca plugs for your left and right audio outs, so you don't have to worry about the integrity of the mini headphone jack. You do lose the output volume slider that way though...
#21
2nd August 2012
Old 2nd August 2012
  #21
Gear interested
 

I use the Sony Walkman NWZ-745 - they play .wav files as Linear-PCM. It's the real deal. 16GB capacity is only so-so but that's still 17-18 albums in full quality. I'd rather have that than 100's in anything less. Drag and drop file transfer, too.
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