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  #1  
Old 06-06-2007, 09:24 PM
omar27 omar27 is offline
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Default Sound quality on rockbox :O

Hi there,
let me start off by saying that you guys have a great helpful community here. I am delighted that me and my e250 are welcome to hang out on your playground. :P

Ok, so is it just me or is the sound quality on the rockbox really crummy when compared to the original sansa firmware?

Sometimes it feels as if i am listening to 92kbit music or even less.
Is there anyway i can fix this? I am using the most updated version of rockbox. (cpchan )
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2007, 09:29 PM
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pyr0sphere pyr0sphere is offline
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You just gotta play around with the settings

Everyone will say to enable Crossfeed.

I also have Dithering on, and Stereo Width at 110%


What I'm currently playing around with still is the Bass and Treble Boost. Right now, I have Bass boost at 5db and Treble Boost at 7db
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:31 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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I think this is mind over matter. Being that audio output is hardware based, I doubt if audiio via Rockbox would deviate from audio produced by native firmware.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:49 PM
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With correctly tweaked settings, Rockbox audio is far better than OF audio. Like pyr0 said, increase stereo width by around 10%, turn up treble and bass. Also load a good sound preset for the type of music your listening to (rock/jazz/etc). Crossfeed improves sound but slows the player down a lot.
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2007, 09:49 PM
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pyr0sphere pyr0sphere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musichound View Post
I think this is mind over matter. Being that audio output is hardware based, I doubt if audiio via Rockbox would deviate from audio produced by native firmware.

Heh, you must've not used Rockbox in its early stages then
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:01 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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I used it from almost the very start. I was so excited over Rockbox I could swear it sounded better than native firmware. It was a short time after I made comparisons and I could not tell too much of a difference. I did read posts in another forum that some people's audio was popping now and then but I think this was because of optimized builds.
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2007, 10:38 PM
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e260 e260 is offline
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What Headphones are you using?
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Rap and a little Rock is all I need, throw in some pop for fun.
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2007, 03:06 PM
omar27 omar27 is offline
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@ E260: I am using the stock headphones they sent with the player.

At any rate, i do feel stupid by not playing with it and asking first instead.
Thank you very much :P
Much appreciated.
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  #9  
Old 06-07-2007, 04:02 PM
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I'm pretty happy with the standard sound settings of Rockbox. Unless I'm turning the volume to +3dB or higher I can't tell much of a difference in sound quality compared to the OF.


I'd played around with dithering and crossfeed, but it wasn't really better, but made the sound sound kinda unnatural. I'm gonna play a bit furhter with treble&bass and stereo with now.
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2007, 04:15 PM
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In my honest opinion, Rockbox has the better sound quality. The Bass sounds much better to me. Maybe with stock phones you won't recognize it, but with some other entry-level headphones you'll notice that in no time.

P.S. I'm no audiophile and this is the first difference I ever recognized between OF and Rockbox. Yay!
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2007, 09:32 PM
meowmeow meowmeow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kratonator View Post
In my honest opinion, Rockbox has the better sound quality. The Bass sounds much better to me. Maybe with stock phones you won't recognize it, but with some other entry-level headphones you'll notice that in no time.

P.S. I'm no audiophile and this is the first difference I ever recognized between OF and Rockbox. Yay!
Agreed. Rockbox sounds really good at the moment, there's been huge progress made in this area.

omar27, I don't want to state the obvious but stock headphones/earbuds aren't exactly what you want to be using if you have such meticulous taste in sound quality.

Last edited by meowmeow; 06-07-2007 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Because there is no spoon
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2007, 06:41 PM
vinnie97 vinnie97 is offline
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Omar27, just be glad you weren't listening to your E280 via Rockbox installation prior to June. The sound quality would have made your ears bleed. Today it is miles better.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2007, 04:23 AM
MonoPete MonoPete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kratonator View Post
In my honest opinion, Rockbox has the better sound quality. The Bass sounds much better to me. Maybe with stock phones you won't recognize it, but with some other entry-level headphones you'll notice that in no time.

P.S. I'm no audiophile and this is the first difference I ever recognized between OF and Rockbox. Yay!
Couldn't say it better! Bass is much smoother on Rockbox. but I've got a question, what does this "Dithering" do? I haven't noticed any difference when using or not using it.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2007, 07:58 AM
chrisjs162216 chrisjs162216 is offline
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I have consulted Wikipedia (ok, that sounds really weird...) and dithering is:
Dither is an intentionally applied form of noise, used to randomize quantization error, thereby preventing large-scale patterns such as contouring that are more objectionable than uncorrelated noise. Dither is routinely used in processing of both digital audio and digital video data, and is often one of the last stages of audio production to compact disc.

I haven't used it though, so I can't say for sure if there is actually any difference
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2007, 02:44 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Dither decorrelates the quantization noise from the music. This makes a difference, but probably not one you'll notice on the Sansa. You need to have a pretty low noise floor before you'll hear the improvement.
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2007, 02:06 PM
dedalus dedalus is offline
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Dithering is a moot point if you aren't using the DSP for anything anyway, although the volume control is implemented in DSP... not sure if the stream is oversampled if you are only using only the volume control and no other DSP features. Probably better just to assume that there is resampling going on and then decide if you need or can even hear the effects of dithering.
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2007, 04:55 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedalus View Post
Dithering is a moot point if you aren't using the DSP for anything anyway,
Or if you're using lossy audio (which is basically most of the time on a flash player).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedalus View Post
although the volume control is implemented in DSP... not sure if the stream is oversampled if you are only using only the volume control and no other DSP features. Probably better just to assume that there is resampling going on and then decide if you need or can even hear the effects of dithering.
Theres no resampling for 44.1khz streams on any DAP I have ever seen. You'll generally notice when resampling is on, it kills the battery and uses most of the CPU time. Most portable hardware avoids it whenever possible.
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2007, 05:10 AM
idsearcher idsearcher is offline
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I found quality of headphones makes a difference.

I used 2 songs I know quite well and I chose them from quite distinct genres:
Daddy Yankee - Rompe (reggaeton)
Victor Manuelle - El Perdedor (salsa)

The encoding on the MP3's are Lame Encoded 320 VBR Joint Stereo from an original CD sources. So the MP3's are high quality.

I used my cheap Panasonic clip-ons and the original Sansa firmware sounded slightly better. I just feel like the sound was a little more alive, more exciting. I tried the Crossfeed and the Stereo Width recommendations. Stereo Width made a little difference, Crossfeed made the sound worse I thought. Rockbox wasn't bad and certainly still sounds better than my wife's Creative Zen V Plus firmware.

When I used my Jabra C820s headphones (with noise cancellation turned off as it has better sound this way) the Rockbox firmware was better. It brought out all the sounds/instruments better (in fact I was hearing sounds I definitely could not hear on the Sansa firmware). Instruments were definitely separating better and I could quite easily distinguish one instrument from another. I also agree that the bass on Rockbox was cleaner/smoother, I could even distinguish quite distinct nuances to basses in individual songs.

So there is the rub. I feel like Sansa firmware handled the cheap clip-on headphones slightly better which may make sense since most people will use cheap headphones or the ones that come with the player.

The Rockbox when using the full-size headphones definitely helped me hear songs fresh as I came across parts and instruments which I hadn't heard before.

I'll be using the Rockbox mostly.

PS: I would definitely increase the stereo width. The difference is subtle but it is there.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2007, 06:19 AM
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Why 320 VBR? 320 CBR has the best quality.

I think Crossfeed enhances the sound extremely, since it sounds more like it would come out of speakers (and not headphones), so it sounds more "voluminous". However the lower frequences get more boost, which makes crossfeed sound best on songs having a bias on bass.
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  #20  
Old 10-09-2007, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idsearcher View Post
I found quality of headphones makes a difference.
True.

Quote:
The encoding on the MP3's are Lame Encoded 320 VBR Joint Stereo from an original CD sources. So the MP3's are high quality.
Why so high for a DAP? Can you actually ABX it with files encoded at "-V2 --vbr-new" or even "-V4 --vbr-new" for example? 320 kbps file will lower your battery life by quite a bit. It sounds like you are not using any of the "-Vx" settings at all. You do know that the "-Vx" settings contains tunings that is unavailable from other switches.

Charles
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