The Sansa Clip (combined with Rockbox - Free Music Player Firmware) always get a good rating.
It's always bugged me this one. I have a 1st Gen iPod Touch and my wife a Creative Zen from around the same period. However I always seem to get more joy sound-wise from here Creative rather than from the iPod no matter how I play with the settings. Now it's 5 years down the road and there are whole raft of manufacturers selling MP3 players (of varying quality) yet none (apart from Apple) seem to advertise or promote them, and I'm pretty sure that at least one company has spent more time developing the sound quality rather than the 'image' of their product. So my question is this:
'Which MP3 player has the best audio quality/technology?'
I'll also allow Phones to be included in this as many are placing the top flight MP3 technologies into their phones these days as well. So which one?
For me its the creative zen x-fi. I have the 1st version wifi with 32gb of storage (plus a 32gb SD Card). I always go on the arguement that creative, from the Live! soundcards have always impressed me and will never own an apple audio device until they can themselves release an audio card which trumps.
After some extended research and field tests I purchased a Sony Walkman Z 32gb touchscreen thing back in 2009. The audio quality IMO is far and above anything else Ive heard.
maybe a little uneducated in this department but I was under the impression that they are all pretty similar and it was more down to the headphones
Apple iPod's are pretty good. Audio quality will depend more on the quality of headphones and the bitrate the mp3 is encoded at. Higher the bitrate the better the quality.
The ZuneHD used to dominate. I don't know if it still does, but the audio quality was always considered much better than the iPods. That said, audiophile is pretty overrated, and it's pretty hard for most people to even tell a difference.
I went with the original Sansa Fuze... as it played Lossless FLAC files
Cant really get much better sound quality
Headphones: Yes, they are important. I have rather nice pair of AKGs so I'm not lacking in that department, although the price of decent cans seems to be skyrocketing ATM due to them being the 'in' thing to have now. Whereas before you could get something very decent for about £30-£40 they seem to have raised the barrier to £80-£100.
Bitrate: Whilst bitrate is important in improving the sound quality contain within a file it is all for nought if you are playing it through rubbish hardware. It's a bit like listening to a transistor radio and expecting to hear the full quality of a track, which is the point of this thread.
The sound chips used in various MP3 players vary to a very large degree. From low-end generic chips to higher specced versions backed up by extra sound processing hardware (such as the aformentioned Sony Walkman Z) to make them sound even better. For instance, I have just founf out that my 1st gen iPod Touch has a highly regarded Wolfson audio processor (which makes me feel slightly better) whereas all versions after that have one made by Cirrus Logic whic according to this article - Expert audio quality test: 5th gen iPod vs. iPod classic | CNET UK - leave a bit to be desired. As my iPod is 5 years old now I was just seeing if anyone was aware of any amazing new sound facilities that certain manufacturers may be including on their kit.
Last edited by Dos_Box; 17th April 2012 at 10:03 AM.
I have the HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio technology and that sounds pretty awesome with the bundled iBeats earphones.
Another vote for the Sansa Clip, cheap and cheerful and sounds pretty good.
The way modern music is mastered, quality is a moot point. They may as well have recorded on an 8 bit system, for all the dynamic range they use. Just Google 'Loudness Wars' then you'll realise why buying the latest CDs are a waste of time and money. I had a CD for my birthday and while I liked the songs, it sounded like a cheap FM radio when played on my mid-range Marantz/Rotel/Mission separates system. It could have sounded so good, but it sounded like junk as it was mastered with ridiculous levels of dynamic compression.
And all this is before we even consider MP3 compression.
For expert discussion on this, head over to the Hydrogen Audio forums.
Rant over. As you were.
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 17th April 2012 at 10:33 AM.
Sansa clip as well here for the gym.
Its hugely dependent on headphones and personal preference to be honest. Some people like lots of bass, others prefer clarity.
Far better use of money is on some beats headphones. They are incredible once you test them out.
Also remember your listening to mp3s and they vary in quality hugely. I store all my music in lossless so the portable player choice is limited. Apple lossless does work in ipods though if you want a restricted format.
Last edited by zag; 17th April 2012 at 10:27 AM.
Hello, sorry for touching a 4 months old thread, but I see many have recommended Sansa clip as a good quality mp3 player. My questions is: which one is better? Sansa Clip+ or Sansa Zip(which seems to be newer)
The Zip can play AAC, has a color screen. Seems to be the only difference.
If you want album art, get the zip !
Thank you, I've ordered clip+ 2gb (with thoughts about buying a microSD card later) after reading this review: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/...-measured.html
Looks like it's all the quality I need. Now I just need to find quality headphones to match this player (thinking sennheiser and audio technica, can spend twice as much as spent on mp3 player).
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