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Thread: best portable audio player - sound quality wise?

  1. #1
    Jin's Bodyguard
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    Question best portable audio player - sound quality wise?

    I have a custom sound system in my car and am always listening to something while I drive. I normally connect my android phone(via blue tooth) to the stereo. I've tested with various android phones over the years, although most recently with a SanDisk Clip(terrible sound quality) and a new iPad Pro(best sound quality so far).

    Ideally though, I'm looking for something that's going to be used exclusively for music(320 MP3's & some occasional FLAC files). I'll most likely only be using it with the stereo in my car. Was thinking about getting an iPod or an iPad Mini... but what else would work(non-Apple wise)? I do not care to get a 2nd phone. I also know there's fancy $600+ portable players for audiophiles... but I'd rather not spend that much.

    Thank you

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    Look into the Fiio players and see if those look good to you. I got a X1 a while back and love it, although if I were to do it again I'd probably get an X3 instead. I loaded it full of FLAC files and it sounds almost as good as a real dedicated CD player hooked up to my sound system.

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    iPod Touch and iPhone

    It's very easy to load your own music onto them, no need for iTunes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyMachineGun View Post
    iPod Touch and iPhone

    It's very easy to load your own music onto them, no need for iTunes.
    Oh lawdy no.


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  5. #5
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    The Fiio X1 & X3... a side from the physical differences, would there be much difference sound quality wise? I see they both handle the same formats and do 192kHz/32bit

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    Mai's Bosom Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cylotron View Post
    The Fiio X1 & X3... a side from the physical differences, would there be much difference sound quality wise? I see they both handle the same formats and do 192kHz/32bit
    I bought the X1 from a member on here. I was kind of regretting it because I figured the X3 would be better. But once I actually got the X1 in-hand, the sound quality blew me away. Seriously, I was stunned. I'd imagine that there's a diminishing return on sound quality, since the X1 is that damn good. Also, I personally would probably need better headphones to even notice any improvement over the X1.

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    I suggest getting an 8-track deck
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    The X3 can push more power if you've got really good headphones. It also has a dedicated line output, where the X1 used the same Jack for both and you change it in settings. If you're using earbuds the power won't matter.

    I ended up buying a Fiio headphone amp to pair with the X1 for when I use my bigger cans. It also works as a nice USB DAC which is pretty sweet.

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    I won't be using headphones at all. It's just going to stay in the car and connect to the stereo with blue tooth or aux. There are separate amplifiers for the speakers and subs so I'm guessing the X1 should be fine.

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    I have an X1 and an X5.
    If you are just using it as a player, you will be fine with either.
    If you are going for Sound quality, you would probably want a to get a DSP, upgraded amps, and speakers in the car.

    Might not be worth it, so just get the one you are comfortable buying.

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    I had an x5iii a while back. Sound was decent but the UI was clunky and sluggish.

    I ended up selling it and now I just use an android phone with UAPP plus a chord mojo. I can highly recommend these little black boxes. SQ is fantastic.
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    Yeah, just set the X1 for line out and forget it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cylotron View Post
    I won't be using headphones at all. It's just going to stay in the car and connect to the stereo with blue tooth or aux. There are separate amplifiers for the speakers and subs so I'm guessing the X1 should be fine.
    Personally, I've never bothered with sound quality in my car. It would be too expensive to upgrade my speakers and amps, plus factor in the road noise, wind noise, etc, and I don't think I'd ever be satisfied. If you have a great car setup, maybe that's different. But I really don't think I'd notice a difference between MP3 and lossless in my car.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregN View Post
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    Cats > Dogs GregN's Avatar
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    I have a focus and sync and a 2010 iPod. Just plug it into the USB and use voice navigation. Works good for me.



    Pre-Order now to avoid disappointment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fakeXsound View Post
    Personally, I've never bothered with sound quality in my car. It would be too expensive to upgrade my speakers and amps, plus factor in the road noise, wind noise, etc, and I don't think I'd ever be satisfied. If you have a great car setup, maybe that's different. But I really don't think I'd notice a difference between MP3 and lossless in my car.
    Neither have I, but if you have a custom sound system in your car, you should get equipment that will take advantage of the system. +1 for the x1
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    I use an iPod 4GB (the metal one) connected to Aux. Set your EQ on the car stereo to music on an FM station (not Satellite!) of your choice. Then on the iPod, set EQ flat, and lock volume at 60%. Then adjust ipod EQ as required.

    dude, you're awful at this, you didn't even tried.
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  17. #17
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    LG v20 phone (don't have a v30 to confirm). You get some quality wired speakers or headphones and the sound this thing puts out is amazing.
    .

  18. #18
    Jin's Bodyguard
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    I ended up ordering the X1 2nd Gen and a Samsung Evo Plus 256GB micro SD card. Should be here on Tuesday.

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    Post your impressions after you get some use with it!

  20. #20
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    I've actually been looking at the X1/X3 for a minute. For those who have one, how is the interface and how well does it pull in metadata from your tracks? We all know iTunes sucks a dick and I've had middling success with Android-based music software in the past.

  21. #21
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    I'm not sure I can properly answer your question. All the music I have on the player are FLACs I ripped myself using Exact Audio Copy, which handled the tagging and such. Copied it to the player and picks up everything perfectly. I don't know how well it would do with digitally downloaded stuff.

    The interface is functional, has a good implementation but you won't be blown away. But, I can play whatever music pretty quickly and use the volume/skip buttons without looking at it, sot hat's a plus. It looks like they cloned some of the older music only Ipods for controls but I never used any of those so I can't say if they did an exact copy or not. UI's in these little players is always an issue, but the X1 does better than any player I've used that lacked a touchscreen.

    My only main gripe is that since the X1 has one line out for both amped headphone and unamped line outputs if you want to switch you have to stop the music and go dig in the menu to switch it to one or the other, then it gives you a warning, then you have to go back and start the music again. You can do it all in like 10 seconds but it's more annoying than it should be. The X3 wouldn't have this problem since it has separate outputs.

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    Mai's Bosom Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 100proof View Post
    I've actually been looking at the X1/X3 for a minute. For those who have one, how is the interface and how well does it pull in metadata from your tracks? We all know iTunes sucks a dick and I've had middling success with Android-based music software in the past.
    It's great with metadata. But the interface isn't too hot but it only takes 5 seconds to start an album. Very Hong Kong. Personally, I just go Category > Artists > Album. But then again, I really only listen to full albums; I don't really skip around so even though it's not good, the interface doesn't bother me.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregN View Post
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  23. #23
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    I'm curious about how one of these Fiio players would compare to something really cheap, yet still capable of playing hi-res audio. The Chinese are notorious for not giving the full specs on their devices. I'm not a stickler for extreme sound fidelity. For years, I've used a Zen Stone mp3 player for my music on the go, but the OLED display started giving out, and eventually it was too dim to be legible even in complete darkness, with contrast set to full. Plus, the battery life wasn't what I expected.

    I started looking around for something good to upgrade to, but I had a hard time making up my mind, and not wanting to spend a ton of money on something I wouldn't be entirely pleased with, I bought an mp3 player from China. It's a Ruizu X02. Of course, it has a video playback feature, it can display laughably small images in various formats, including gif, jpeg and bmp, but I was surprised to see it can play not only FLAC files, but APE files as well.

    I rip all of my mp3's in 320 kbps, and these could be played on the Zen Stone, so Ruizu has absolutely no issues with them. I don't know what the upper limit on bitrate and frequency is when it comes to FLAC and APE playback, but I can tell you one thing. It's supposed to last for 80 hours of use, and thus far, it hasn't died on me once. I listen to it constantly, and usually, when I connect it to the PC to transfer files, it charges enough to just keep going. I can fall asleep listening to music, I wake up, it's still playing. I'm using it on my way to and from work, I can repeat this routine throughout the week, and it's still going. Colour me impressed, at least with battery life.

    I'm sure real audiophiles and bats would be disgusted with the sound quality, but I've seen people on hi-fi forums praising it for being as good as it is, while costing as much as it does. I paid around $13, shipped.

  24. #24
    Jin's Bodyguard
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    I now have the X1 2nd gen. It's physically bigger then what I was expecting it to be(which is nice). Had trouble getting the "cheap" screen protector to stay on properly. Changing the language from Chinese to English wasn't very difficult to figure out & the firmware update was easy. As for sound quality, definitely a big improvement over the Sandisk Clip. With the EQ turned off, it's comparable to both my Android phone and the iPad Pro I tested. I'd have to spend some time tinkering with the EQ... but for $99, this is very much worth the price.

  25. #25
    Mai's Bosom Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cylotron View Post
    I now have the X1 2nd gen. It's physically bigger then what I was expecting it to be(which is nice). Had trouble getting the "cheap" screen protector to stay on properly. Changing the language from Chinese to English wasn't very difficult to figure out & the firmware update was easy. As for sound quality, definitely a big improvement over the Sandisk Clip. With the EQ turned off, it's comparable to both my Android phone and the iPad Pro I tested. I'd have to spend some time tinkering with the EQ... but for $99, this is very much worth the price.
    Awesome - glad you like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregN View Post
    Grocery stores are like chinese and mexican places; some of them are local.

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