Originally Posted by teckstud
Sounds like you'd be satisfied listening to 2 tin cans tied to a string then.
If that was the only thing available and Norah Jones was being played......Yes.
IMO It would still better than listening to rap on an iPod.
It it disllusional to think that one name brand MP3 player is somehow vastly superior, sound wise, to another name brand player. MP3 players, now of days, are more than music players. Something has to give in order for you to get WiFi, bluetooth, touch screen, FM radio, longer battery life, more storage, smaller, thinner, video, ect. And it's usaully the sound chip. It's like comparing the sound quality of those less than $300, all in one, mini stereo systems made by Sony, Pioneer, JVC, Yamaha, ect. In the end it's a trade off. The one with the best speakers is the one with the crappy electronics. The best sounding one is most likely the one with the least features. And nearly all of them will sound better if you just buy better speakers.
And just what are you listening for when comparing MP3 players? All the sounds that you would listen for in a high end home stereo don't even exist in lossy MP3 files. And if they did, the earbuds you get with the player can't resolve it. Highs? Timber? Low bass? Bass detail? Detail in the midrange? Sound stage and imaging? All the stuff that was deemed non essential to the music and thrown out when the music got compressed to an MP3 file. There's a reason why most MP3 player don't advertise how much better their players sound over a competitors. And why they don't make "High End" MP3 players. It's because most MP3 players are used to listen to lossy MP3 music. And I doubt that the sound outputted is "flat". It's been equalized and being able to change the equalization levels the playing field for all MP3 players (sound wise). So long as they keep the distortion below a certain threshold, most players will sound (or can be made to sound) the same (with the same earbuds).
Reviewing the sound quality of MP3 players (name brand ones) would be like me comparing the sound quality of my 2 tabletop, crank up, Victor Talking Machine Victrolas and an Edison cylinder player. I prefer the sound of the Victrola with the internal cast iron horn over the Victrola with the external horn (like the one Nipper sits in front of) or the Edison. But does that really matter when I'm listening to sound created by what is essentially a nail running in a groove of a cirra 1905, 78RPM shellac record, recording of Caruso? (or in the case of the Edison, a Ruby needle in the groove of a cylinder made of wax.) And back in the 1900's this was like being there. It sounded as good as live. The sad truth is that there is more musical infomation in that record than there is in a lossy MP3 file. And I can only hope that my CDs' can retain it's musical information for at least 50 years. Let alone over a hundred years.
("His Master Voice" will most likely outlast "Perfect Sound Forever")
But still, I'm actually amazed that an MP3 player sounds as good as it does. (At least all of the name brand ones.) My iPod sound way better than my cassette Walkman (and Victrolas
). And nearly as good as my CD Walkman. But my iPod hold thousands of songs (plus videos and photos) and is less than half the size of just one CD case. It's still no way near my home stereo but I can't really complain. But better earbuds (headphones) improves the sound quality quite a bit.