Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Reply
Newbie
tmck39042
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-15-2012
0
Accepted Solution

MP3 sound quality

I would like to hear opinions and suggestions on the mp3 players with the very best sound quality.  I am having Rhapsody compatibility issues with a very old Sansa e280R mp3 player, so I recently bought a clip/zip to replace it (something small for walking).  I did not do my homework, and I know this device is moderately priced ($39 at Best Buy), but I was hoping for the same richness and sound quality that I get from my iphone and my old e280R.  It's may be close enough for others, but it's not close enough for me, so I'm disappointed. 

 

I've talked to Sandisk technical support, and they assure me that the technical specs on sound quality for the clip/zip are equivalent to the e280R, but it's not to my ear.  And I've tried adjusting the sound using the equalizer settings - no luck.

 

So, I've resolved myself to losing the very high sound quality I like, since there are no other Sansa Rhapsody compatible devices out there considered superior by Sandisk.  But I'm curious - what are the very best mp3 players out there (from anybody), with a sound comparable or better than that of an Iphone.

 

Any ideas, opinions, or information to share???

SanDisk Guru
Marvin_Martian
Posts: 4,898
Registered: ‎11-17-2008
0

Re: MP3 sound quality


tmck39042 wrote:

I would like to hear opinions and suggestions on the mp3 players with the very best sound quality.  I am having Rhapsody compatibility issues with a very old Sansa e280R mp3 player, so I recently bought a clip/zip to replace it (something small for walking).  I did not do my homework, and I know this device is moderately priced ($39 at Best Buy), but I was hoping for the same richness and sound quality that I get from my iphone and my old e280R.  It's may be close enough for others, but it's not close enough for me, so I'm disappointed. 

 

I've talked to Sandisk technical support, and they assure me that the technical specs on sound quality for the clip/zip are equivalent to the e280R, but it's not to my ear.  And I've tried adjusting the sound using the equalizer settings - no luck.

 

So, I've resolved myself to losing the very high sound quality I like, since there are no other Sansa Rhapsody compatible devices out there considered superior by Sandisk.  But I'm curious - what are the very best mp3 players out there (from anybody), with a sound comparable or better than that of an Iphone.

 

Any ideas, opinions, or information to share???


The Clip/Clip+/Clip Zip , original Fuze (not Fuze+) , and the V2 E2xx series players are the best of the buch , Sansa-wise. Of course, I'm referring to non-Rhapsody use.....  

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 520

SanDisk Guru
Miikerman
Posts: 7,412
Registered: ‎12-11-2007
0

Re: MP3 sound quality

From what I've read, you should find the sound of the Clips to be even better than that of the iPhone (or, at the very least, certainly no "worse").
SanDisk Guru
neutron_bob
Posts: 5,822
Registered: ‎12-26-2007
0

Re: MP3 sound quality

[ Edited ]

Rhapsody dropped RAX format support this year, a real shame for those of us who have enjoyed the R-series Sansa e200.

 

As you've discovered, current Rhapsody media is now 160kb/s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format. This format is used for all of the current devices, and sounds very good, especially using the v2 version of the e200. The advantage of using a newer device is that you have the Rhapsody Channels feature, no longer an option with the original R series.

 

Your ears are not fooling you. The problem is basic electronics. Though the processor of the new machines is superior to the older R series' PortalPlayer chip, the diminutive Clip model has a much smaller power source than the big e200's battery. The function of a digital audio player is to decode the data, and output a varying current signal for your headphones.

 

Quite simply, the e200 has more "horsepower". If you use a more efficient earphone, especially the "in-ear monitor" type, you can recover a lot of that lost efficiency. The Clip strikes that fine balance between raw power, and play time. Overall, the sound of the little Clips is great, but there is a little difference that you can hear. The Austria Microsystems device does have a richer sound, but a little less impact; this is because the power source is smaller.

 

If you search patiently, there are v2 devices out there, but they were superceded by the original Sansa Fuze (the original one is square with a rotating scroll wheel). The v2 is actually an e200 case with a Sansa Fuze nestled within. 

 

I really like the Clip Zip. I carry one together with the Clip+, having different music on each machine. The Zip's color display gives me album art like the trusty e200, and it's size makes it really handy. But when I really want to hear the detail, that big e280 is the machine of choice. And its new 1300mAh battery lasts till the cows come home.

 

 

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Newbie
tmck39042
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-15-2012
0

Re: MP3 sound quality

Thanks for everyone's input. 

 

At this point I plan to use the zip/clip, but also try to develop some workarounds so that I can continue to use the e280R player as well, with it's superior sound quality.  I have created a playlist of all the music that was on the e280R, and will probably reformat the device monthly, if that is what is required to update the track license - then download the playlist, which will require 20 minutes or so once the bugs are worked out.

 

Appreciate all the input, especially Bob's confirmation that the music quality really is less on the smaller players.

SanDisk Guru
JK98
Posts: 2,778
Registered: ‎09-13-2008
0

Re: MP3 sound quality

[ Edited ]

Which headphones are you using? The Clip players work best with earphones or headphones that are 16-32 ohms(especially 16 ohms) and are very efficient. Using headphones over around 60 ohms with my Clip players and without a supplemental amp I do notice a decrease in sound quality. If you have higher impedance headphones(over 60 ohms), you might want to try using a Fiio E6 amp(around $25) between your player and headphones. This even  lets me use my 150 ohm and 300 ohm headphones with my Clip+.

SanDisk Guru
Marvin_Martian
Posts: 4,898
Registered: ‎11-17-2008
0

Re: MP3 sound quality


tmck39042 wrote:

Thanks for everyone's input. 

 

At this point I plan to use the zip/clip, but also try to develop some workarounds so that I can continue to use the e280R player as well, with it's superior sound quality.  I have created a playlist of all the music that was on the e280R, and will probably reformat the device monthly, if that is what is required to update the track license - then download the playlist, which will require 20 minutes or so once the bugs are worked out.

 

Appreciate all the input, especially Bob's confirmation that the music quality really is less on the smaller players.


That's really not what he said. He said the bigger unit has more output power. And often louder is interpreted as better quality.

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 520

SanDisk Guru
Tapeworm
Posts: 15,129
Registered: ‎04-17-2008
0

Re: MP3 sound quality


Marvin_Martian wrote:

tmck39042 wrote:

Thanks for everyone's input. 

 

At this point I plan to use the zip/clip, but also try to develop some workarounds so that I can continue to use the e280R player as well, with it's superior sound quality.  I have created a playlist of all the music that was on the e280R, and will probably reformat the device monthly, if that is what is required to update the track license - then download the playlist, which will require 20 minutes or so once the bugs are worked out.

 

Appreciate all the input, especially Bob's confirmation that the music quality really is less on the smaller players.


That's really not what he said. He said the bigger unit has more output power. And often louder is interpreted as better quality.


 

In fact, what he said was, "The Austria Microsystems device does have a richer sound, but a little less impact; this is because the power source is smaller."  :smileywink:

SanDisk Guru
saratoga
Posts: 1,158
Registered: ‎04-24-2009
0

Re: MP3 sound quality

The clip amp is about as loud as any battery powered device gets. If yours sounds much quieter then anything else, its probably just the volume cap.
SanDisk Guru
neutron_bob
Posts: 5,822
Registered: ‎12-26-2007
0

Re: MP3 sound quality

There is also a different processor in the earlier Sansa, the Portal Player chip. It has a different digital front end to consider as well (the D/A convertor) and a different EQ curve.

 

I was comparing the two platforms Clip and e200 series) using the v2 e280, which also uses the Austria Microsystems device. It's fairer comparison, as the primary difference between the two is the available power.

 

Both the earlier e200 and the new machines stand on their own merits. The fact that we get hours of playback from that little postage stamp sized lithium cell is the real magic. Looking back 20 years, I would naver have thought it possible!

 

On that thought, the Zip is charged up. Time to listen to more of my book...

 

Bob  :smileyvery-happy: