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  #1  
Old 02-02-2012, 11:32 PM
themagni themagni is offline
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Default Sony NWZS544 vs. Cowon iAudio9 vs. Creative Zen X-fi3

Hi everybody.

For the last three years, I've been using a Sony NWZS544. It broke when it got wet after a rainstorm. (It was in a bag at the time, there was a LOT of rain.) I tried my best to fix it but to no avail.

I live in Canada, so my options are quite limited. For the price range I'm looking at, I can basically get the NWZS544, the iAudio9, or the X-Fi3. Each of those will have to be shipped so I can't try them out nor return them if I don't like them.

I used the Walkman for daily biking, so an external speaker is critical. I do not feel safe wearing headphones or earbuds when biking.

I also used it for teaching spin classes. It would be great if the unit could handle playlists. The Sony could not use playlists under Ubuntu, so I had to copy my music into subfolders and rename them with a number prefix to make a playlist. I could live with it but it was a pain. So a proprietary loader will not work out; I don't have a Windows machine. Drag-and-drop only. On-the-fly-playlists like the newer Sonys would rock absolutely.

I use the player most of the day at work, although I can plug it into a wall charger so battery life is not the most critical factor. (For security reasons, I would not be able to plug it into the computer.)

I did not use it for movies ever. I don't think I'd bother using movies. It's for music only. I have a netbook for portable movies. Same with camera, Internet, etc. Music is the critical thing. Actually, a camera would be a bad option at work.

Standard cables are a plus, although I have two of the WM port USB cables.

Durability is really important. I've dropped the Walkman a few times, and the worst I've had is a scratched screen and a dented case. (That was on cement.)

No matter what the interface is, I've probably seen worse. I can cope with a bad interface as long as it's learnable and has features like playlists and EQ. Normalized volume would be a plus but not a deal-killer.

So given those three options and my requirements, what is my best option? The Sony has great speakers, but they're on an armband and I have to put the player upside down to get decent sound. The other two players let me move away from the Sony and try a different system. But, since I'm getting them shipped there's no takebacks, no warranty, and no complaining.

If there's another Canada-available option in roughly the same price point (with a speaker) I would love to know about it.

Thanks, I really appreciate the time you took to read my post.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2012, 11:45 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Well, I have no experience with the X-fi3, but I did have a Sony S545, and a Cowon i9....and of the two I got more enjoyment out of the Sony. The Cowon was fun to tinker with at first, to explore the myriad of sound enhancement option, but the menu structure and touch controls ended up being a nuisance.

The Sony speakers are louder than the Cowon's one speaker, and the battery life is better than the Cowon also.

That's my two cents.....hope it was somewhat helpful.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2012, 11:57 AM
themagni themagni is offline
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Actually, that's very helpful. I've found that with traffic noise, I had to put the Sony up to max volume to hear it. BEar in mind that when I'm listening to it at my desk, I usually have the volume (with earbuds) set to 3-4.

I'd imagine that the iAudio 10 has the same speaker as the 9, that's another option that's become available. I can get the 16GB 1A10 for $160.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2012, 04:05 PM
dgb52 dgb52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themagni View Post
Hi everybody.

For the last three years, I've been using a Sony NWZS544. It broke when it got wet after a rainstorm. (It was in a bag at the time, there was a LOT of rain.) I tried my best to fix it but to no avail.

I live in Canada, so my options are quite limited. For the price range I'm looking at, I can basically get the NWZS544, the iAudio9, or the X-Fi3. Each of those will have to be shipped so I can't try them out nor return them if I don't like them.

I used the Walkman for daily biking, so an external speaker is critical. I do not feel safe wearing headphones or earbuds when biking.

I also used it for teaching spin classes. It would be great if the unit could handle playlists. The Sony could not use playlists under Ubuntu, so I had to copy my music into subfolders and rename them with a number prefix to make a playlist. I could live with it but it was a pain. So a proprietary loader will not work out; I don't have a Windows machine. Drag-and-drop only. On-the-fly-playlists like the newer Sonys would rock absolutely.

I use the player most of the day at work, although I can plug it into a wall charger so battery life is not the most critical factor. (For security reasons, I would not be able to plug it into the computer.)

I did not use it for movies ever. I don't think I'd bother using movies. It's for music only. I have a netbook for portable movies. Same with camera, Internet, etc. Music is the critical thing. Actually, a camera would be a bad option at work.

Standard cables are a plus, although I have two of the WM port USB cables.

Durability is really important. I've dropped the Walkman a few times, and the worst I've had is a scratched screen and a dented case. (That was on cement.)

No matter what the interface is, I've probably seen worse. I can cope with a bad interface as long as it's learnable and has features like playlists and EQ. Normalized volume would be a plus but not a deal-killer.

So given those three options and my requirements, what is my best option? The Sony has great speakers, but they're on an armband and I have to put the player upside down to get decent sound. The other two players let me move away from the Sony and try a different system. But, since I'm getting them shipped there's no takebacks, no warranty, and no complaining.

If there's another Canada-available option in roughly the same price point (with a speaker) I would love to know about it.

Thanks, I really appreciate the time you took to read my post.
You might want to check this out for your biking needs. I bought one for my bike and I use my Sansa Clip+ with it and its loud enough for me


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details

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  #5  
Old 02-04-2012, 08:34 PM
themagni themagni is offline
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That's a good thought, how does it hold up in the rain? That might be a better choice, getting powered speakers in a weatherproof pouch. I bike every day unless it's snowing or too icy to be safe.

I could also get my hands on a Cowon D2, it's $160 vs the $130 I'm looking at for the other two. It's unfortunate that I just can't hold the players to compare unless I've got them in my hands.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2012, 08:46 PM
dgb52 dgb52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themagni View Post
That's a good thought, how does it hold up in the rain? That might be a better choice, getting powered speakers in a weatherproof pouch. I bike every day unless it's snowing or too icy to be safe.

I could also get my hands on a Cowon D2, it's $160 vs the $130 I'm looking at for the other two. It's unfortunate that I just can't hold the players to compare unless I've got them in my hands.
I can't say how it would hold up it the rain since i do not ride in it
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