Recommendations for a mp3 player for my Sennheiser HD558?

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by bartjan, May 6, 2013.

  1. bartjan

    bartjan New Member

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    May 6, 2013
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    Location:
    Amersfoort, The Netherlands
    I'm looking for a portable mp3 player (even better if it supports ogg and/or flac) to use with my headphones.
    When I compare the headphones when connected to my receiver to when they are connected to my laptop, I notice a huge difference (with the receiver being the better one, of course).
    My requirements are modest, but it's very hard to Google for them (all hits I get are about good headphones for mp3).

    Which portable player has the following features:
    - Good audio output for my headphones
    - Works with Linux (this disqualifies everything Apple)
    - Support for flac/ogg/rockbox
    - Battery life would be nice
    - Price / value for money

    I'm not really interested in using an external amplifier, as this would be less portable.
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Location:
    Charleston South Carolina
    How big is your budget, and given your music file sizes, how much capacity do you need? If the player has removable media, can you buy several of those and swap them if the player doesn't have enough internal memory including whatever plug-in cards are installed at the same time? I assume you don't want to be erasing and rewriting tracks constantly due to lack of memory.
     
  3. bartjan

    bartjan New Member

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    Location:
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    It does not need to have a lot of room; if I can fit a few of my favorite albums on it, and be easily able to swap out some music once in a while (preferably just like an USB drive), I can manage with less space.

    The majority of players on the market right now are 4GB in capacity it seems. I'll survive 4GB (but would go for 8GB instead, if that's a choice).

    I don't have a set budget for this, but price is important: I'm not willing to spend a lot of money on features I don't need (like video playback). If you really want a number, I do not see a reason for the portable player to be more expensive than my headphones (for which I paid 129 euro).
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    When you mentioned lossless formats, I assumed you wanted a player that not only played those tracks, but would have a good enough amp to resolve the extra details those formats provide. There is nothing for €129 that qualifies to my knowledge. Besides that, the capacity for those formats needs to be much greater, or else you'll be carrying the equivalent of a 1990's Diamond Rio, which I had and would not recommend today, due to unworkable capacity limitations.

    My recommendations are: For simplicity and low cost you could try one of the Cowon, Creative Zen, or low-end HiFiMan models. The next level up (where I live) is something like an iPod Touch 64 gb, which can store large numbers of MP3s, or when used with an external DAC and amp, about 1300 WAV tracks, which would make sense when using a high-res amp. The next level up from that is the advanced portable players that have amps that can resolve lossless music, but those cost a lot.

    Edit: One additional thing I forgot to mention: If you have really excellent hearing, you can tell the difference between a lossless track and the same track converted to a 320k CBR MP3. But the difference will be barely audible (if at all) on a low-cost portable music player. Adding to that, the difference will be equally hard to hear on an expensive music player outdoors or on public transport. And then the combination of low-price player and outdoor use would make 128k MP3s as good as anything else.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
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