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  #1  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:48 PM
singer12 singer12 is offline
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Default Sony 1050 vs cowon j3 sq

Ok I know this has been discussed before and there is another thread,but I am puzzled of which of these two players sound better.i own the Sony player after i tried to find it so much even in the us lol and I got it as a present last summer.But I hear from people say how awesome is the sq of cowon, and I also love the fact that you can customize that player . .so I wanna know if the j3 sound better than the x does? Or is their sq the same. I wanna hear from people who used both of these players .becouse I wanna change the x Walkman over this one ,but becouse I am an audiophile I don't want to regret it , I owned the iPod and the Zune hd but I didnt like their sq so much that's why the sony was the ideal option for me.and now there is this player and I am confused although I love that you can expand the memory with memory cards something that you cant do to with Sony players unfo

Last edited by singer12; 01-29-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:23 PM
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Each has it's own unique sound signature when effects are used. It's all about the features after that. Especially since you're NOT going to get a "Cowon sounds better,.." or a "Sony sounds better,...". It's all about what sound sig you prefer.

Borrow/buy a Cowon and try one out. Just make sure there's a good return policy IF you don't like it.

I've owned BOTH, and I loved both. I prefer the sound setting & enhancements MORE on the Cowon J3. But, that's MY personal taste,...YMMV.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:47 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Also, if your music collection is lossy MP3 it will likely not sound as good on the J3 as lossless FLAC sounds, which is stunning.

If you're using a Sony-proprietary music format for your files on your Sony player, you may want to consider this as part of your decision process. A conversion to high-quality MP3 or better yet FLAC (if your Sony music is also lossless) will be required.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Also, if your music collection is lossy MP3 it will likely not sound as good on the J3 as lossless FLAC sounds, which is stunning.

If you're using a Sony-proprietary music format for your files on your Sony player, you may want to consider this as part of your decision process. A conversion to high-quality MP3 or better yet FLAC (if your Sony music is also lossless) will be required.
OK, here we go with THIS debate. mp3 @192 kbps VBR and above sounds indistinguishable to lossless files to 99% of the population. I really don't think going there will be advisable,...we've all been through this debate on ABi many times over.

Lossy mp3's sound great on BOTH the J3 or the Sony X1050.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:04 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by singer12 View Post
But I hear people say how awesome the cowon sq is and I also love the fact that you can customize that player compare to the x Walkman .so I wanna know does the j3 sound better than the x? Or their sq is the same.
Cowon players have lots of DSP effects and good EQ. Otherwise their analog output is fairly typical. If you want lots of effects, then they're better in that sense. If you just want to listen to music as its recorded, pretty much any Apple/Sony/Cowon/Sandisk player will work pretty good for most headphones (somedifficult to drive headphones might need an amp, especially if used with non-sandisk or non-apple players).

Also, get chrome or some newer web browser with a spell check

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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Also, if your music collection is lossy MP3 it will likely not sound as good on the J3 as lossless FLAC sounds, which is stunning.
The difference between properly encoded mp3 and flac is so difficult to detect it requires careful choice of samples, practice and incredible patience. Anyone who thinks its "stunning" has obviously never compared either. Or if they did, they screwed up something really badly. No offense, but if you're this uninformed, you shouldn't be giving advice until you've at least done a little more of your homework. It helps no one to spread misinformation.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:50 PM
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Sony are bad players from a technical standpoint. High output impedance, low output power (at least some EU versions), background hiss. Cowons are audibly better (meaning linear and noiseless) with some sensitive multi-armature IEMs - with full sized headphones there isn't an audible difference I noticed (apart from the different sound enhancements of course - which I personally find better on Cowons as well).
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:23 PM
singer12 singer12 is offline
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ok thanks for the answers and sorry for any grammar spelling. second the sony x walkman has an EQ too and with some settings the sound is really amazing.On cowon j3 ve heared that you have to play a lot with the eq settings to get a very good sound.Is that true or the sq sounds awsome without playing with the eq.unfo i cannot go to a store and test the player becouse they didnt bring it to my country and i will have to order it from ebay.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:20 PM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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Originally Posted by singer12 View Post
On cowon j3 ve heared that you have to play a lot with the eq settings to get a very good sound.Is that true or the sq sounds awsome without playing with the eq.
If we put aside the special cases discussed above, the sound quality of all good MP3 players is about the same. With signal processing, however, the resulting sound signature might please some users more than others. If you tell us which headphones you are using, you might get more specific advice. Earlier, you said that you disliked the sound quality of your iPod and Zune.

Is it because they did not have an equalizer? Why did you dislike their sound quality? What, specifically, are you looking for from the sound quality? The more information you provide, the better the chances of someone being able to help you.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:03 PM
singer12 singer12 is offline
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If we put aside the special cases discussed above, the sound quality of all good MP3 players is about the same. With signal processing, however, the resulting sound signature might please some users more than others. If you tell us which headphones you are using, you might get more specific advice. Earlier, you said that you disliked the sound quality of your iPod and Zune.

Is it because they did not have an equalizer? Why did you dislike their sound quality? What, specifically, are you looking for from the sound quality? The more information you provide, the better the chances of someone being able to help you.
in my opinion and ears the sony sounded better than the zune hd waaaaaaay better to be exact and yes maybe becouse the x walkman had an eq with clear bass something that was missing from the hd. and also the zune sounded better than the ipod when i first bought it lol.so when i bought the x walkman i stopped using the zune and i sold it.i am using the sunherh something like that ear buds and they are very good. in many threads i hear that the cowon j3 is better than sony thats why i had to ask.I listen a lot of music and i wanna have a great mp3 player that will sound very good and till now and apart from the zune the ipods and my cell phone werent that good as mp3 players in my op always.
Anyway i guess i ll buy the cowon becouse apart from the customitation you can put memory cards and so i wont have to stick with 16 gb of memory only.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:48 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singer12 View Post
the sony x walkman has an EQ too and with some settings the sound is really amazing.On cowon j3 ve heared that you have to play a lot with the eq settings to get a very good sound.Is that true or the sq sounds awsome without playing with the eq.
As others have already stated, it really does depend on what you listen to the player through... as to whether or not the EQ is required, desired, beneficial or needed.

In my own case when I'm not traveling (and using my Shure SRH940 headphones) I'm only listening to the J3 plugged into the AUX input of my car's very fine audio system. The EQ and speakers for the car's sound system are already set up for appropriate tone control, so in this listening mode I set the J3 to "normal" (i.e. FLAT), completely disabling the EQ in the J3. And the net result IN THE CAR is terrific. Sounds like I have a CD player in the car (which I do, actually) when playing FLAC files through the headphone output of the J3 to the AUX input of the car.

In contrast, I cannot use "normal" (i.e. FLAT) with my Shure headphones, as it's just not adequate. I need EQ tone control, some "gain", and some BBE effects, in order to make the sound really terrific through the headphones. On the other hand, I cannot use the old USER1 setup I had when I was using an older Sony CD950 headphones before acquiring the Shure. It just sounds bad when used with the Shure, very harsh... because the Shure headphones are far superior to the Sony CD950 and reproduce the highs much much better than the CD950's did. So I had to "tone down" my USER1 into a new USER2, in order to achieve satisfaction.

Well neither USER1 nor USER2 is usable in my car. In fact, even the very modest BBE preset (just a little up-tweak from "normal") doesn't sound as good in my car as "FLAT" does, so that two EQ's are not competing and interfering. The car's EQ and amp/speakers makes "FLAT" from the J3 sound terrific.


My point simply is that the need for and benefit of an EQ in the J3 is entirely dependent on what you listen to it through. The better the sound reproduction system (including external home audio or car sound system), the better the J3's raw sound quality will be shown to be as a portable music player.

And not to begin the discussion again, I simply mention that FLAC (i.e. lossless 100% original-quality <-> WAV from the CD) out of the J3 is like having a CD player and playing the original CD. It sounds identical. On a high-quality sound reproduction system (like in your home or car), not earbuds, FLAC will sound "perfect" whereas -v0 LAME-produced 320kbps VBR lossy MP3 will be just somehow "different". It sounds different, and of the two FLAC is definitely the winner.

That's what 64GB of J3 can let you do... use lossless FLAC, instead of lossy MP3, at least for your "favorite favorites". This represents about 20% of my own 6700 file collection, with 1100 FLAC and 5600 -v0 MP3.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:01 AM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
On a high-quality sound reproduction system (like in your home or car), not earbuds, FLAC will sound "perfect" whereas -v0 LAME-produced 320kbps VBR lossy MP3 will be just somehow "different".
This is silly. I suggest you actually try listening to the two side by side. You'll be quite surprised. Everyone always thinks they can hear the difference right up until they try. Then they find out why most people struggle to ABX 128k MP3 files. Turns out its hard, and the only people who think otherwise are noobs who have ever done a proper comparison.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
On a high-quality sound reproduction system (like in your home or car), not earbuds, FLAC will sound "perfect" whereas -v0 LAME-produced 320kbps VBR lossy MP3 will be just somehow "different". It sounds different, and of the two FLAC is definitely the winner.
http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_abx.

DSperber, please ABX at V0 using LAME 3.99, and report back to us. Incidentally, -V0 is very unlikely to produce MP3s at 320 kbpsmore like c. 245 kbps.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
most people struggle to ABX 128k MP3 files
I'll freely admit that I still have trouble doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
That's what 64GB of J3 can let you do... use lossless FLAC, instead of lossy MP3, at least for your "favorite favorites". This represents about 20% of my own 6700 file collection, with 1100 FLAC and 5600 -v0 MP3.
Lossless on portable players is overkill IMO, but it's nice to have the option there.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:35 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Years ago I tried to use this program, but the absence of documentation teaching me how to use it was frustrating. I knew what I was supposed to be doing, but didn't know how to do it. I didn't know how to end up with something that was useful or that quantified whether or not I had actually distinguished successfully. Others seem to have no problem using it, but for me it was totally baffling. The interface was NOT intuitive or self-explanatory.

If you can point me to REAL DOCUMENTATION on exactly what the user is supposed to do, how the snippets to be compared are to be legitimately selected (since isolated snippets can probably be found to produce any one desired result vs. another), how long snippets should be (since being too short or too long will interfere with the mind's ability to distinguish), etc. etc., I will give it another shot.


Quote:
DSperber, please ABX at V0 using LAME 3.99, and report back to us.
Just because LAME does an excellent job of producing high-quality MP3 that is very difficult or impossible for most people to distinguish from the original WAV (or equivalent FLAC) does not mean it is BETTER or that I want to use lossy MP3 given a reasonable lossless alternative just because it takes up less file space. MP3 is essentially a "fake counterfeit, albeit a good one" of the original. It is NOT the original... it is a psychoacoustically transformed alternate to the original WAV that if done well "is hard to distinguish from the original".

But I am sure if you were given a "magic music server" that could hold all of your physical CD's in original physical form including all original or equivalent WAV files, but would fit in the palm of your hand and also supported metadata/tags, that you would immediately accept that magic device. You would never have even considered MP3 whose only reason for existing is to be smaller than the original WAV but sound about the same and support metadata/tags.

For me, that's what FLAC buys. And I like it. I don't want to buy or wear a Rolex knockoff even though nobody would notice the difference. I don't want to use paint when wallpaper is what I want, even though paint can be applied to look like wallpaper. I don't want to have an epoxy outdoor patio that looks like flagstone to most everybody, when what I really want is real flagstone. I don't want a Japanese replacement "equivalent" front windshield for my car instead of an MBZ-original even though the Japanese glass is cheaper but "works the same".

The original is WAV from CD, and that's what I want. Anything else is an imitation... except a lossless version of WAV, such as FLAC. And the J3 allows me to have that, in the 64GB palm of my hand... at least for my "favorite favorites". For everything else, high-quality MP3 is "perfectly acceptable for government work", although I still know "it's a fake".


Quote:
Incidentally, -V0 is very unlikely to produce MP3s at 320 kbpsmore like c. 245 kbps.
Of course it has an effective average bitrate which is not the maximum 320kbps. But we're talking about semantics, and how I stated it earlier.

But that's why I also described it as VBR. I was really trying to say that -V0 VBR supports everything up to 320kbps as required to reproduce the original sound as best as possible. If it didn't come across to you that way, well tht's certainly what I meant. That's what VBR means, as opposed to "320kbps CBR", and we both know that.

Perhaps it would have been more precise to call it ">320kbps VBR" or just left it out entirely since I specified -V0.


But this "average bitrate vs. maximum bitrate, when VBR" isn't really germane to whether MP3 at all is "better" or "distinguishable" vs. FLAC/WAV. Fact is... MP3 is "an imitation of FLAC/WAV", plain and simple. A good one, but an imitation none the less.

And given a free choice with no cost and no downside, you'd choose the original (lossless, by definition) WAV/CD/FLAC vs. anything lossy that was "derived from the original". I'm sure of that. Me too.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:41 PM
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Lossless on portable players is overkill IMO, but it's nice to have the option there.
That is your opinion, but my goal is not to have smaller files. If my J3 can support FLAC as it can, then that is a next-best thing to having a CD music changer in the trunk of my car which can hold 1100 CDs.

And I'll take the original CD anytime over a counterfeit. That's just my opinion, and my perspective.

And people on this thread who "call other people names" (like noob, and ignorant, and ill-informed, and spreading mis-information) just because they have another opinion even though it might differ from the elites over at Head-Fi who in lock-step agree to the wonders of LAME-MP3 vs. anything else and condemn all others who don't agree... well that is simply the height of arrogance and rudeness. Uncalled for, and inappropriate.

MP3 in any form is by definition a "lossy fake transform of the original", and is not the original. Good to be sure, perfectly acceptable to many (including to me for 80% of my collection), but not the pristine digital original. And that's a fact.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:50 PM
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http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=16295

A bit of a long read when it comes to ABX testing, but very detailed.

If you compare a FLAC and mp3 file knowing which is which, you're likely affected by expectation bias. Since you know FLAC is 'better', your mind will invent differences even if you hear none. You'd be surprised at how these invented differences vanish once you don't know which is which.

EDIT: I've ABXed a FLAC and a v2 file and the best I've done was 6/10
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:55 PM
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The initial argument was this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Also, if your music collection is lossy MP3 it will likely not sound as good on the J3 as lossless FLAC sounds, which is stunning..
Which is wrong. Properly encoded MP3 files sound exactly the same to human ears as the source material. No matter in which directions this whole discussion spiraled in the meantime, the initial argument was flawed from the start. It doesn't matter which acoustic technicalities or storage space concerns got mentioned so far - what matters is ABX or GTFO before stating such false claims that lead to these tedious redundant threads.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El C View Post
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=16295

A bit of a long read when it comes to ABX testing, but very detailed.
Thank you for this reference, but again NOT documentation that teaches me how to use Foobar to actually DO this test!

I understand full well all the concepts and notions of an A/B blind test. What I don't understand is HOW TO USE THE PROGRAM.

Where is HELP or a document describing how to use the program, and what I actually do to use Foobar to accomplish the blind comparision... assuming I've created two snippets that are truly IDENTICAL so I'm not tipped off by even the slightest difference in starting point.

Actually, I suppose the right way to deal with that latter problem is to have one single starting WAV snippet, and then (a) create FLAC version of that WAV snippet, and (b) create MP3 version of that WAV snippet. Assuming no false lead-ins or other minor but easily detected giveaway differences inserted by the encoding process, I guess this is the only real possible way to try and create 100% theoretically duplicate A/B snippets to compare.

Anyway, I'm still searching for "step-by-step instructions" (maybe with screenshots ideally) on how to do an A/B comparison using Foobar.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:06 PM
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Select the 2 files you're testing and right click, there should be an option to ABX the files under Utilities > ABX Two Tracks.. (make sure you've downloaded and installed the ABX component first). You should get a window like this:



So right away A and B are assigned. Once you listen to them you can play X and Y and determine whether X=A or X=B. Make your guess, and hit 'Next Trial'. You don't need to make snippets since you can choose the start/end point.

I believe the link I posted earlier said that you should hide your results until you're done.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:15 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
That is your opinion, but my goal is not to have smaller files. If my J3 can support FLAC as it can, then that is a next-best thing to having a CD music changer in the trunk of my car which can hold 1100 CDs.
No one has a problem with you liking FLAC. I do have a problem with what you've said above though because its extremely misleading.

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Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
And people on this thread who "call other people names" (like noob, and ignorant, and ill-informed, and spreading mis-information) just because they have another opinion
Lets be clear here, when you say that you have heard a dramatic difference between two formats, and then two posts later admit that you never actually compared them, you have not disagreed with someone else opinion. What you have done is lied about what you know. Perhaps its a white lie, and perhaps you didn't mean to do it, but in the end you still said something that was not true in order to deceive other people. That is not an opinion. Its simple fact. You said something you knew was false and people will think less of you for it.

That said, I realize you're a new user and you don't know any better. But you do now. Be honest. If you don't know, or aren't sure, just say so. Do not make things up. These forums are about educating and discussing audio. But that only works if people are honest. If you're not up front with people, they're going to assume you're a noob and call you dishonest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
MP3 in any form is by definition a "lossy fake transform of the original", and is not the original. Good to be sure, perfectly acceptable to many (including to me for 80% of my collection), but not the pristine digital original. And that's a fact.
Of course. The question though, is: "can you tell the difference?"
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