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Best Audiophile Mp3 Player?

by SternumMan / May 15, 2010 9:17 AM PDT

Hey there, I have been attempting to decide on a next gen Mp3 Player for my music addiction and am at a bit of an impasse on what to purchase. Audio quality is a must of course(flac compatible would be nice), and a built in or easily attachable/non-bulky head phone amp is needed for serious output. Size is also a large(no pun intended) concern. My 80gb Zune is nearly at the bursting point. Recommendations?

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by make_or_break / May 21, 2010 5:05 AM PDT

Your last sentence is telling. Right now at this moment, you don't have very many options at all beyond 80GB of storage, let alone considering all of the other criteria you listed. Aside from iPod Classic, I'm not aware of any relatively small form factor players with storage space beyond 80GB, and from my own experience I'd hardly consider the Classic a great-sounding device.

It wouldn't surprise me if the next-gen Touch pushes its storage cap up to 128GB, with the Zune HD (or its generational successor) following shortly thereafter. The same could be said for an uprated device from Creative, with perhaps Samsung, Sony and Cowon right behind since the 64GB cap will already have been the standard for a year going into this fall. But right now for large cap devices, all that's out in the wild from any of the majors is the iPod Classic and the big footprint of the Archos Internet Tablet, neither of which are noted as being that phenomenal at feeding out superb SQ.

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I went Ipod ...
by charl114 / June 3, 2010 8:18 AM PDT

I had the same problem a while ago. I was pretty happy with my Rockbox modded Sansa Fuze playing Ogg and FLAC files. Until I helped a friend buy an Ipod Classic (7g). I was impressed by the Ipod's sound quality and the fact that there are docking stations that allow you to use the unit for more that just headphones.

As for sound quality; using Apple Lossless rips created using EAC and then played back on the Ipod via a Cambridge Audio ID50 dock. The sound quality here rivalled my Arcam CD62 CD player. Now I am upgrading further to an Onkyo NS-D1 dock which takes the digital signal directly from an Ipod, bypassing the inbuilt DAC and headphone amp and passes this to an external DAC (I have a Musical Fidelity V-DAC on order). I expect this combination - which effectively turns an Ipod into a media hard-drive player - to produce audio of exceptional quality.

Headphone listening: using Grado SR80 or Philips SHE9850 in-ears I find the Ipod's sound superior (just) to the Sansa.

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Anytime you can...
by make_or_break / June 5, 2010 5:37 PM PDT
In reply to: I went Ipod ...

...take the iPod's internal D/A conversion OUT of the picture, you're a HUGE step ahead. The Wadia Transport Dock is truly exceptional. If I were to look at an iPod as use as a media storage device @ home, this is definitely the way to go.

That said, this doesn't do anything for those times when hoping to get the best SQ while listening to an iPod on-the-go. Sound quality is wholly subjective for sure, but I've still yet to hear an iPod (performing on its own with any set of cans of one's choice) that I think sounds anything close to excellent. Adding a decent portable amp (like an Emmeline Mustang, for instance) certainly helps, but to date an iPod on its own still has some ways to go in my book.

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by Prestige7777 / December 4, 2010 6:40 AM PST

Does anyone know of a MP3 player with a 10 band or better equalizer similar to the Meizu M6? All the ones I found only have a really lame 5 band equalizer with only 2 bands for bass and they all pretty much sound the same, which is generic.(especially the i pod Touch) I really liked my M6 however I lost it and I would like something comparable with better video playback.

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