MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART > Music Gearheads Tech Talk

Mobile Listenings

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petekelly:
I've been upgrading my out and about listenings set-ups. My venerable Sony NW-HD5 is an old hard disc based player and I think it may be on it's last legs, so I did some 'research' (internet mooching) and got the folllowing :

Sansa Clip Plus (in purple !)
A tiny thing but very good. At first I thought it was a toy, due to it's diminutive proportions. Great sound and with a 32GB micro SD card, lots of space. I've 'rockboxed' it, (http://www.rockbox.org/) but I'm still not convinced that that's such a great thing as it's made out to be.



Etymotic HF-5s
Poor mans ER-4P, very detailed sound with 'lean' bass (as they say on audiophile forums), great isolation. Replaced my old Etymotic ER6i's.



Rocoo BA
Daft name but a great little player. No Eq or any other sound modifiers, really basic User Interface and no bells or whistles at all, just great sonic performance. Plays 24 Bit wavs - which is great for auditioning work-in-progress mixes and is almost completely hiss free ! My Shure E500s hiss with pretty much everything, but not this beastie.



So, I've now got some good gear to listen to music out and about, certainly not the last word in Hi-fidelity, but pretty good to these ears. Regarding those audiophiles on the Head-fi forums and the like, I was wondering do they really enjoy their music / lovely gear or are they constantly craving the 'even better' model(s) ? I really like the immediacy of in ear phones, but I find all earphones really uncomfortable after an hour or so. However, for that hour or so, listening to high quality playback is something thats important to me (as well as listening to less than brilliantly mastered favourite works as well). 

Am curious to hear what gear are others listening to ? How are mobile phones  / iThings these days for music listening ?

Seren:
I use

8GB version and 20 GB version for 'serious' listening - although they only do MP3 or sony ATRAC files at 320KBS.
I often use these for listening to ongoing projects.

I have MP3 tracks at 320KBS on my mobile - but user interface is awkward.

I also use Korg MR1 for WAV or bitstream on projects listening but don't take it out as a portable player


These Sennheisers are for listening when out and about


Whereas these Beyerdynamics are for deeper listening


With these Grado's for when I know I wont be disturbed and really want to hear what I am listening to - whether on a portable player or straight from CD player.

Julio Di Benedetto:
Completely non mobile here...but I have some questions.

What portable device play wav, aiff, flac etc....I suppose it makes more sense to store lossless formats than fat wav files.

iPods can handle Apple lossless?

this is all new to me and something Im looking into especially with newer cars that have usb ports.....yes Im cars shopping.

Seren you have good taste in headphones.... I Love my Grado Sr325's

jdh:
A few items to look at.
First,always get the highest quality download or rip you can,WAV,Flac,Apple Lossless,AIFF.Lossless is cool as it compresses your files for storage( like a form of zip) but plays them back bit perfect.
I use a 5th gen ipod and iphone 4S as I really enjoy the I Tunes interface.The Sansa is well regarded.
The Hi Fi man player is probably the best portable around.
Headphones are more important than the player I think. Custom In Ear Monitors are hands down better than universals for portable. The better ones such as JH Audio or Westone or UE are in the $1000 plus range,a deal to me to save your hearing.I own JH and Westone. Add a headphone amp,and you got the best audio chain out there. What I am saying there is most if not all headphone out portables players sound so so to poor.Using the line out is way better.
I woud say that the Ety ER4S is still the king of universals. Bass is lean yes but what a hi fi sound. I own a pair.
Headphones- You are generally in the Grado or Sennheiser camp. I own Sennheiser. Beyer,Shure,Sony make very good models as well.
Do not get lost on Head-Fi. Very few interesting or experienced persons there.  Some value but mostly
Beginners. Plus there are a thousand headphones and amps out there.

petekelly:
Seren
A fine choice of phones and good to see a purple player - they sound the best :)

Julio
I'm not entirely sure but (apart from the 'Rocoo' players), there are other players that play lossless formats. I was keen to try 24 bit wavs, hence my choice. There's a company called 'Colorfly' that also plays flac / wav etc

jdh
Good points indeed, but as an example, there's some dudes on those forums who swear that the  hi fi man players are no good, while other rave about them.

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