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Old 02-22-2012, 05:36 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,876

The advice I gave was sound. I'm not going to base the advice I give on anyone's subjective test. Especially someone that believes there's a difference in sound quality based on which chip is in the player they are "evaluating" I'll consider someone's subjective opinion when they include the objective test results to back them. Until then I consider their opinions useless.

Sighted testing when evaluating audio performance in inherently flawed. The post you link to states
the best iPods are those with a Wolfson audio chip
That's a fan statement, not a reflection of reality. The current generations of iPod products produce a signal that doesn't take a backseat to anything. They aren't based on Wolfson chips so where does that leave the "Wolfson is best" idea?

A Wolfson fan will think the Wolfson is better as long as they know which chip is in use. Once you take away that knowledge and have them attempt to identify which is better in volume matched, A/B testing they are unable to identify which chip is producing the signal.

There's just nothing special about a Wolfson chip that makes it able to produce a superior signal. That's audiophile nonsense. If the signal being produced tests the same as another beyond any limit of human hearing, the sound produced is the same. The name of the maker is irrelevant.

Take a look at the dfkt's J3 review and his RMAA testing using the J3 and Clip+. The Clip actually is technically superior to the J3 in the signal it produces. The differences are so small you probably will never hear the difference, but it's there.

You could also check NwAvGuy's blog where he does more detailed testing of the Clip+. Those and dfkt's tests aren't sighted tests that can easily be influenced by expectation bias and placebo. The tests measure the signal produced and allows you to judge each in a meaningful way. You don't have to rely on someone's opinion that can and will be influenced by knowing which player is producing the signal.

You'll see that the Clip+ stands it's ground easily against the Touch. Better in some ways, not as good in others, but so close you would do best to follow the advice I gave earlier. Don't try to shop sound quality, shop features.

The Fuze has the same audio hardware as the Clip+ so it's not a bad idea. The audio quality is the same. You can see that in test results on the NwAvGuy blog.

You might want to take a look at the links in Enigmatic's signature. I believed quite a few of the audiophile myths before I explored those links and did my own subjective testing based on what I found there.

That's where my advice that the best way to maximize sound quality is to get the best headphones you can. I had bought a number of DAPs looking for better sound quality. I based my buying decisions on the same type subjective articles you linked to. Once I finally bought better headphones I discovered that I had been buying the same top notch quality over and over. I just hadn't been able to hear what they were producing with the low quality headphones I was using at the time.

Last edited by skip252; 02-23-2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Added the word "special"
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