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  #1  
Old 11-09-2010, 02:57 PM
Daanish Daanish is offline
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Default Sound Quality in Sansa Clip vs. Fuze vs iPod vs Cowon J3

Bear with me here guys. I am interested in a purchasing an mp3 player for someone but the sound quality from the player has to be top quality as I will be getting top quality IEM's with them. I have a Cowon J3 and they are they the best in terms of sound quality I have ever heard. I have heard iPods with good headphones and never liked the sound, very lifeless, lacking clarity and muddy... needless to say I rank them last in my preferred mp3 players list.

So I want to know how the Sansa Clip and Fuze stack up against them. I know the clip is well know for its sound. Is the Fuze sound essentially the same? How do they both stack up against the J3 and the iPod?

Thanks for your help
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2010, 03:06 PM
glove4 glove4 is offline
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I have never noticed a serious difference in sound quality from one mp3 player to another, leaving EQ presets or custom EQ off. You have to be using top notch audio equipment with them to really hear a difference, if in fact there is one, which I am certain somebody here will whip out graphs to prove or disprove this. The iPod Touch 4G actually has great sound quality, assuming you are using top quality IEM's or otherwise, in fact, sound quality-wise, I don't see any reason to choose the iPod Touch 4G over a Fuze or Clip, unless you are watching your budget. If you want serious customization, then the J3 is your best bet. I don't buy any of the rubbish by some who claim that they hear a significant difference in sound quality between these players. Only if you add in which of them have more options for enhancing the audio is there a real difference, and I don't count EQ presets as enhancements, as they usually make music sound worse.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:11 PM
Daanish Daanish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glove4 View Post
I have never noticed a serious difference in sound quality from one mp3 player to another, leaving EQ presets or custom EQ off. You have to be using top notch audio equipment with them to really hear a difference, if in fact there is one, which I am certain somebody here will whip out graphs to prove or disprove this. The iPod Touch 4G actually has great sound quality, assuming you are using top quality IEM's or otherwise, in fact, sound quality-wise, I don't see any reason to choose the iPod Touch 4G over a Fuze or Clip, unless you are watching your budget. If you want serious customization, then the J3 is your best bet. I don't buy any of the rubbish by some who claim that they hear a significant difference in sound quality between these players. Only if you add in which of them have more options for enhancing the audio is there a real difference, and I don't count EQ presets as enhancements, as they usually make music sound worse.
I don't know maybe its my ears then, but I haven't really ever liked the base iPod sound, my iriver H10 before this sounded better and my cowon sounds better I'm not sure how to explain it, I don't have any biases against apple or anything honest !
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:58 PM
glove4 glove4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daanish View Post
I don't know maybe its my ears then, but I haven't really ever liked the base iPod sound, my iriver H10 before this sounded better and my cowon sounds better I'm not sure how to explain it, I don't have any biases against apple or anything honest !
I have no bias against Apple either, I just wish they would manufacture their iPod lineup with better audio enhancements and a custom EQ, which they easily have the capacity to do, but continually do not. But stock EQ, I happen to like the iPod Touch 4G (the 3G isn't really much different, for that matter), but I am using Ultimate Ears 700, and using the latter with every other PMP I try, I don't get any significant difference in SQ. Now, BBE on Cowon PMP's is simply awesome if you are into tweaking your sound to ridiculous levels, something you simply will never be able to do on an iPod, or Fuze. The Clip+, on the other hand, is capable of running Rockbox, which many on here will say is worth the price alone of the Clip. Maybe an admin should repost this thread in the General Mp3 discussion as you will not get much attention in the Clip+ subforum.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:16 PM
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Adub Adub is offline
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My clip+ and my iphone 3gs don't sound noticeably different when used with no sound enhancements and volume matched. The reason i can't enjoy my iphone for music is that there is no way beyond the EQ presets to bend the sound to my preference. I always use the EQ/xfeed when i'm using my clip+ and it's a far more enjoyable listening experience in comparison with the iphone.

One thing i will say is that ios4 really improved the EQ presets. I have a hard time explaining the difference, but basically they used to add a recessed veil over the whole low/mid frequency range. The presets are far better now, but not as good as a parametric eq and crossfeed .
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:29 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Just a heads up. All Fuzes are not created equal. The Fuze and Fuze+ are very different from one another. The Fuze+ doesn't have a Rockbox port. All versions of the original Fuze do. Any tweaking of sound settings that can be done on the Clip and Clip+ can be done on those also.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:21 AM
hannyjuca hannyjuca is offline
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Originally Posted by Adub View Post
My clip+ and my iphone 3gs don't sound noticeably different when used with no sound enhancements and volume matched. The reason i can't enjoy my iphone for music is that there is no way beyond the EQ presets to bend the sound to my preference. I always use the EQ/xfeed when i'm using my clip+ and it's a far more enjoyable listening experience in comparison with the iphone.

One thing i will say is that ios4 really improved the EQ presets. I have a hard time explaining the difference, but basically they used to add a recessed veil over the whole low/mid frequency range. The presets are far better now, but not as good as a parametric eq and crossfeed .
I couldn't care less about applying DSPs on the fly, because when I send my files from the PC to the Sansa Clip+ I use a Foobar2000 converter preset that will apply my Dolby Headphone settings directly to the audio file, wich is a win/win situation on my book, because I've never found a PMP that has a better Crossfeed than Dolby Headphone, not to mention the increase in battery life, since there'll be no additional processing taking place, rather than decoding the FLAC itself.

And if you life EQing that will work wonders too, because you can add any VST equalizer you like to the DSP chain as well, wich will be better than any PMP equalizer I know of.

Last edited by hannyjuca; 12-24-2010 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:47 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I've tried creating "pre-equalized" files with fooby2k before and found the results to be suboptimal. The files themselves sounded decent when they were created and listened to at the computer but they just didn't work on the go. One simple reason for that. What happens when you change headphones?

I've learned that when you're doing it right you are equalizing to balance the output to match your headphones. Not making sound effects. If you change headphones you're screwed. The output you create using your method may sound great on one set of 'phones and becomes a sound effect on the next.

The 5 band parametric equalizer in Rockbox allows you to make and save presets for each set of headphones you use. That's part of the reason for the popularity of Rockbox. It frees you to use your equipment how you want rather than confining you to a narrow set of options. I can grab any one of several sets of headphones I have for on the go use and be sure that I will be able to use them with every music file I have on my player. I just load the preset I've created to match that set.

When I've tried to re-equalized a pre-equalized file the usual result has been an unacceptable level of distortion. I also use my player as a mini-DJ machine. XMPlay and a portable install of foobar2000 travel very well. I'll drop by a friends house and have something tasty I want to share. If I've predistorted the files on my player they sound horrible when played I try to play them back on other equipment.

BTW, the Dolby Headphone Wrapper in foobar2000 is a surround effect not a crossfeed. There's a big difference.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:24 AM
hannyjuca hannyjuca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
I've tried creating "pre-equalized" files with fooby2k before and found the results to be suboptimal. The files themselves sounded decent when they were created and listened to at the computer but they just didn't work on the go. One simple reason for that. What happens when you change headphones?

I've learned that when you're doing it right you are equalizing to balance the output to match your headphones. Not making sound effects. If you change headphones you're screwed. The output you create using your method may sound great on one set of 'phones and becomes a sound effect on the next.
You're absolutely right, there's no use to EQ something with a particular audio chain and the listen on another, change the source or the speakers and you're worst than before, my bad.

And that's exaclty why I never use EQ for headphone listening, changing them to my taste whenever I want a certain sound signature always worked best for me.

Last edited by hannyjuca; 12-24-2010 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:27 AM
hannyjuca hannyjuca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
BTW, the Dolby Headphone Wrapper in foobar2000 is a surround effect not a crossfeed. There's a big difference.
It's the best "virtual speakers" I've ever tried when used with stereo sources, being the only DSP I see myself using for headphone listening.

Crossfeed itself sounds very unnatural to me, and I've tried lots of those, including the Clip+ Rockbox's (wich I love btw).

Last edited by hannyjuca; 12-24-2010 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:20 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Different strokes for different folks. I was just pointing out that "precooking" your files can be very limiting if you do use the equalizer. As I said Rockbox frees you up to do things your way and I'm glad you found a setup that works for you. My battery benches both with and without the EQ on have shown mre the hit on battery life is negligible. Longer times listening to music I'm not enjoying fully wouldn't work for me.

One thing I definitely agree with you on is the Dolby headphone wrapper. I've tried some other surround effects, reverbs and stereo wideners. None of them has approached the realism of this one Yirkha has written. For me it's in another class.

First time I installed it and fired it up I thought my headphone cut off had broken. It was late at night and I scrambled to turn off the speakers before I woke the family. Once I yanked off the headphones I realized that extremely realistic speaker sound was being delivered by the the headphones. Simply fantastic component is all I can say.
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:35 PM
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The Meier V2 cross feed patch which is available in the clip+ rockbox thread is fantastic crossfeed. I prefer it to pretty much every other crossfeed i've used.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:28 PM
rohit3192 rohit3192 is offline
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The question is some what lost.
How Sansa Fuze & Clip+ with Rockbox(I added) stack up against Cowon J3?
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:31 PM
saratoga saratoga is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohit3192 View Post
The question is some what lost.
How Sansa Fuze & Clip+ with Rockbox(I added) stack up against Cowon J3?
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...%20Clip%2B.htm

The clip is a bit better, but the difference is so small its not worth caring about.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:20 PM
rohit3192 rohit3192 is offline
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^ These comparison done at Flat EQ and volume matched settings?
If yes ,then I would like to know how RB Clip+/Fuze match against Cowon sound enhancement features?
Comparison purely with regard to sound enhancements.
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