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  #1  
Old 01-21-2013, 02:58 PM
RugbyPlayer RugbyPlayer is offline
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Default Looking for High Sound Quality MP3 player

Hello all,

I will admit the mobile media player market is not something i really keep up with. Im looking for something new as a graduation present from college to myself. Im looking for an MP3 Player and a pair of headphones.

Mp3 PLayer wise i read a few old articles saying that the cowons are rather good when it comes to audio quality but seeing recent posts on here may suggest there are better ways to go. I dont want to break the bank perhaps something under 300 with an expansion slot is ideal

Headphones would be in the same price range anywhere from 2-300

I will not whatever i buy needs to have a decent range of cases available including armband type cases as i frequent the gym and like listening to music there
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:50 PM
dgb52 dgb52 is offline
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If you want a gym player look at the Sansa Clip+ or Sansa Clip Zip. It has great sound . has a card slot and is cheap
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:50 PM
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IDvsEGO IDvsEGO is offline
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your price range is plenty to get just about whatever you want.

Apple Ipod classic - no expansion slot but lots of capacity, lots of accessories, and good sound quality. hard drive based though so thats not the best for active use, theoretically.

Apple Ipod touch - tons of features, good sound quality, lots of accessories. limited capacity, premium price.

Samsung galaxy player - tons of features, good sound quality, expansion slot, several accessories and fits in generic cases. reasonable price.

Sansa Clip+/Clip Zip - good sound quality, cheap, expansion slot, light weight and perfect for active tasks. As the name suggests, it has a built in clip. I used to clip it to the collar of my tshirt and run the headphoen cables down my shirt. No snagging and easy access. It is a barebones mp3 player only.

For headphones I cant begin to give you a recommendation other than a soundmagic e10. not because they are so freaking unbelievable but because they are a good all purpose set IMO. For a more specific recommendation go check the sticky int he headphones section for what to include for your preferences.

me personally, in your budget...I would get a 2gb clip+ ($30), 64gb card ($50), philips she3590 ($10) and use that just for the gym. then I would have a Samsung Galaxy 8gb player ($190) and a set of Meelectronic a161p ($100) for every other function. just swap the memory card back and forth. all that is right at $400. For good measure, toss in a set of Comply tips at $20 for maximum confort and seal.

please dont go get a pair of beats and an ipod touch to use at the gym. I promise you the sound quality of the clip/she3590 combo will blow you away, especially for the money.

Last edited by IDvsEGO; 01-21-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:51 PM
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FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
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Standard recommendation #1...get a Sansa Clip Zip or Clip+. You can just use the clip instead of an armband. Sounds great, although it can be improved by earphones, and Rockbox.

Steve
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:01 PM
sideways sideways is offline
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For use at the gym the "beater" class of players is best. You want something light weight and inexpensive. For general use an unlocked smartphone is probably the best deal.

I can confirm that the ipod classic is no good for gym use. It weighs too much and will either be flopping around or falling out of pockets as you go about your thing. That pretty much applies for anything with a large footprint. I would avoid them. The small sandisk players (i.e the clip line) and the small apple players will both work.

The very best gym device is a stereo speaker. The way I train these days any kind of gadget on my person will either be a constant hassle or in grave danger.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:04 PM
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IDvsEGO IDvsEGO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideways View Post
The very best gym device is a stereo speaker.
ehh. I actually prefer the isolation and general feel I get with my IEMs in. way more concentrated and easy to tune out everything around you. of course, if you are in public you cant exactly drag your boombox out on the gym floor.

OP, if you do have the option, take a hard look at the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. I use it as my everyday PMP and love it. pretty much identical to the galaxy player but with a phone on it, from what I am told.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:11 PM
sideways sideways is offline
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It really depends on how and where you train. I'll still say a stereo in the room playing music you like is preferable. It's just less stuff to get in the way of you doing your thing. You do not have to take time out to micromanage it and you don't have to keep checking if the wires are ok or worrying about snagging a cable. You don't need to roll your own if you choose the right gym.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:59 PM
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skamp skamp is offline
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Two observations that I made while I was working out at my local gym last summer:

1) The TV is on all the time, playing the same 10 shitty songs over and over every single day, and some of the machines are pretty loud.
2) It was so hot (30C and above) that I couldn't wear headphones without feeling very uncomfortable because of all the sweat.

Conclusion: I needed IEMs that would isolate well. I just got the Shure SE425s and they fit the bill perfectly.

Last edited by skamp; 01-21-2013 at 05:05 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:12 PM
RugbyPlayer RugbyPlayer is offline
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If i were to drop the gym requirement how much would these suggestions change?

If i were looking purely at an audio player for sound quality purposes in that price range what would it be?

I have heard that the sansa clip is superb especially for its price range in terms of audio quality, but if i wanted something a grade above that? not necessarily the audiophile range by maybe just below? unless there is a decent audiophile player in that price range

Also would want to be able to use lossless audio files
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:52 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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The Sansa clip line IS audiophile quality. It gets knocked on other sites because of it's low price point. Audiofools need to justify exorbitant costs for their portable audio choices. The clip line are all great.

PS: 99% of the population can't tell the difference between lossless and mp3 @320kbps VBR.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:01 PM
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FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
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Hmmm...dropping the gym requirement.

Standard recommendation #1...get a Sansa Clip Zip or Clip+. Sounds great, although it can be improved by earphones, and Rockbox.

Steve
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:18 AM
dgb52 dgb52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyPlayer View Post
If i were to drop the gym requirement how much would these suggestions change?

If i were looking purely at an audio player for sound quality purposes in that price range what would it be?

I have heard that the sansa clip is superb especially for its price range in terms of audio quality, but if i wanted something a grade above that? not necessarily the audiophile range by maybe just below? unless there is a decent audiophile player in that price range

Also would want to be able to use lossless audio files
Sony also makes good players but they have no card slot
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  #13  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:47 AM
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IDvsEGO IDvsEGO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideways View Post
It really depends on how and where you train. I'll still say a stereo in the room playing music you like is preferable. It's just less stuff to get in the way of you doing your thing. You do not have to take time out to micromanage it and you don't have to keep checking if the wires are ok or worrying about snagging a cable. You don't need to roll your own if you choose the right gym.
its easy to do all of the cables securely and to make a playlist. I hit play and dont mess with it again. well, if I have to lay on my stomach I do flip the wires to my back, but that is infrequently. Like we both said, its a preference. I will love it when bluetooth is a little more viable option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyPlayer View Post
If i were to drop the gym requirement how much would these suggestions change?

If i were looking purely at an audio player for sound quality purposes in that price range what would it be?

I have heard that the sansa clip is superb especially for its price range in terms of audio quality, but if i wanted something a grade above that? not necessarily the audiophile range by maybe just below? unless there is a decent audiophile player in that price range

Also would want to be able to use lossless audio files
here you will find the biggest difference in this site and a site like, say, head-fi. we operate in the real world. what can you see, hear, touch. they operate on paper and in graphs. In my experience there is a HUGE drop off is performance gain after a certain price point. These players like the hifiman are extreme wastes of money. same with a $500 set of universals. No some decent customs would be nice for the right person that uses them a lot. musician, etc. If you drop the gym from your requirement I just recommend the galaxy player 5.0 instead of 4.2 and max out your internal storage plus the biggest SD you can find. Then buy a couple of good IEMs of different flavors. Maybe a BA and dual dynamic or something. some yin to the yang. also, lossless on a portable device is a minimal gain over well encoded mp3s. First, the protable enviroment is "lossy" by nature. ambient noise, bone conduction from walking, breathe sounds from your own body, microphonics, etc etc. all of these create extra noise that negates the perceived benefit of not chopping those really high and really low frequencies that we can barely hear in a perfect environment anyway, if at all. At home in your acoustically treated listening room? lossless all the way. riding the bus to work? 320 mp3 is way better than fine. My recommendation is save yourself some space and go 320.

Last edited by IDvsEGO; 01-22-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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