Audiophile Questions - What Does It Sound Like?

I’m very interested in buying the Fuze as a present for someone. However, I’m a tad confused by the varying reports in the reviews about the Fuze’s sound quality. Some say it’s average and nothing remarkable, while some say it’s awesome and amongst the best in its class. Can anybody clarify this for me? What is it like compared with other players of the same price range or type?

Also, I’ve read it contains the same chip as the Clip (which got very good reviews for its sound), so theoretically it should have the same sound quality, but, with a different set-up this might not be the case. So, is it really comparable or is there a noticeable difference?

Finally, I know earphones/buds etc make a huge difference. What affordable alternatives to the supplied earphones would people recommend getting for the Fuze?

Thanks for any answers.


Message Edited by Emms on 08-09-2008 09:41 PM

I have an iPod (4th-gen, one of the better versions sound-wise), a Creative Muvo, a Fuze, and my daughter has owned an iPod mini, a Creative Zen Vision:M and most recently Zen X-Fi.

All of these are known for good sound (except the mini).  We expected the X-Fi to be pretty amazing because of all the rave about X-Fi sound cards, but really when you get down to it we both agreed the Fuze is the best of the bunch. She’s happy with her Zens because they’re better for video (and they still sound pretty good), and I’m happy with my Fuze because I’m all about audio. The iPods have all changed to cheaper components in recent versions; I don’t think any of them use the great Wolfson DAC anymore.

As far as earbuds go, you really have to say how much you’re willing to spend. At the low-end, you have the Sony EX series. We have two pair of the EX-51s for flights. The Sennheiser CX-300s are new; I’d have probably gotten those over the Sony because I’m a Sennheiser fan. I also have a pair of MX-400s for plain buds. Personally I don’t like in-ear buds because you can’t hear what is going on around you, but they do have much better sound than regular buds. For more expensive buds, check here.

I’ve come to like headphones better for the combination of low cost, great sound, and ability to hear around you. The Sennheiser PX-100 is fantastic. My only complaint is that the cord is kind of long, and snags on things easily.

Message Edited by bdb on 08-09-2008 09:54 PM

The Fuze does indeed have excellent SQ and is among the best out there.  However, like most players, the inlcuded phones do indeed suck, so maybe that’s the source of lukewarm reviews.

As for affordable phones, I’m using some JVC Air Cushions and have been quite happy.  They’re among the best in-ear phones under $50.  You can find them at Circuit City for $35 or online for less.

Thanks for the replies. After reading your responses and checking up on a few audiophile fora, I’ve bought one and ordered a pair of Goldring GX200s to go with it.

Many thanks.