08-09-2008 01:08 PM
I found the volume control. The options are Normal and High. High isn't high enough. I have found Equalizer, and made note that Normal vs. Rock, for instance was different. Still not loud enough. Is SanDisk trying to protect me? It's too late for that. How do I crank it up some?
08-09-2008 01:43 PM
Obviously, it goes without saying that listening to excessively high volumes can and will damage your hearing. Permanently. Smokie the Bear says only you can prevent forest fires. TheMarkster says only you can prevent hearing damage.
You could consider an external headphone amp. Here's one for $8.50, including shipping and handling. It is said to be the smallest portable headphone amp in the world. I haven't tried it myself, but the reviews are all pretty good.
There are probably some better options, though. All headphones are not created equal. The two key specifications to look at are sensitivity (measured in dB -- the higher the better) and impedance (measured in ohms). Generally speaking, the higher the sensitivity rating the louder the headphones will play. Lower impedance levels will mean the more power the amp (external or built-in) will be able to output through the headset. Thus, all other things being equal, an amp should be able to drive more power through, and thus play with higher volume, a headphone with lower impedance. Lower impedance does not necessarily mean higher quality, though. In fact, some of the most expensive (and presumably best) headphones have higher impedance levels and actually require sophisticated external headphone amps in order to drive them to satisfactory volume levels. I have a set of Sennheiser MXL-51 Street ($24.95 through newegg.com) headphones -- 64 ohms, 116dB sensitivity. I find the volume levels and overall sound quality produced through these phones to be more than adequate for my needs.
In addition to the specifications, some headphones do a better job of blocking out external noise than others. Some even have active circuitry to do this. There are 3 basic types of headphones: ear buds, ear plugs, and circumaural. Ear buds fit loosely in the ears, blocking out the least external sounds. Ear plug style (sometimes called inner ear phones) fit more snugly into the ear canal, blocking out external sounds. The circumaural type is the one that fits all the way around the ear. These also do a good job of blocking out external sounds, but are also larger and more cumbersome, better suited for stationary listening rather than on-the-go. My personal preference is the ear bud style. I find they are more comfortable, and for safety reasons, I don't want outside sounds blocked too much. Excellent quality headphones can be found in all 3 types.
Another consideration is the media files. You might notice that some of your files play at appropriate volume levels while others play at too low a volume level. This can sometimes be remedied by using a software program, such as mp3gain, to boost the volume of the media file. Mp3gain purports to do this without any degradation of the sound quality. It's a free program, so there's nothing to lose in giving it a shot. I find the default 89dB somewhat on the low side. Feel free to experiment with higher settings.
You already mentioned the EQ built into the player. You can try using a custom EQ setting, and putting all of the bands to a higher level. This can increase the amp output somewhat. Be advised, however, that some users have reported using a custom EQ setting can disable output in one of the channels on some models. If this happens, simply revert to the normal EQ setting and normal playing will resume.
08-09-2008 01:57 PM
Thanks for the response. I'm using the plugs that came with it. It's MP3 format off the pc. Sennheiser MXL-51 Street. Hmmm. I may consider this or another. I figured it was just a control that I was missing. I'm sure my hearing isn't what it once was, but at this point, I'm not too concerned. If my hearing decreases at the existing rate, I'll be dead before I'm deaf. Thanks again. I'm sure I'll be referring back to your answer as I study over this player.
08-09-2008 02:13 PM - edited 08-09-2008 02:14 PM
Oh, man. I didn't know about the blue outer ring around the button. That's what I needed. I feel like kind of a moron now, but hey, I didn't know. Now I can get on with the deafen endeavor.
Message Edited by SlowwHand on 08-09-2008 02:14 PM
08-09-2008 02:24 PM
Ha ha. I don't know that I would have admitted that. o_O