Rockbox Technical Forums

Third Party => Repairing and Upgrading Rockbox Capable Players => Topic started by: brlmat on January 10, 2015, 07:23:33 AM

Title: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 10, 2015, 07:23:33 AM
Hey everybody!

Sorry for posting here, i know it's not the corresponding category, but i couldn't see any other with a closer resemblance.

I am looking forward to buying a rockbox-able portable player. I currently have (or not, i have to search for them) SteelSeries Flux In-Ear headset which i love. I mostly listen to high bit rate mp3s and a few flacs, but i am looking forward to replacing all my mp3's with flacs.

I can get the players in the title for:
H340 - 40$
Fuze - 35$
Fuze+ - 48$
Clip Zip - 53$
Clip+ - 61$

I can also get an iPod video for roughly 45$, but I've had bad experiences with it. Sounded decent, but it broke extremely fast, it hung and it was sluggish (not a real problem tho)

As always, i am on a tight budget. I may be getting an amplifier later, but i am not sure.

Which one makes more sense to get? I've read that the h300 series has excellent sq, true or not?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 10, 2015, 06:24:01 PM
Thats a pretty good price for an H340 (those are very rare these days) and rather expensive for the others. 

All of those devices will have similar output, except for the H340 which is a fair bit worse than most modern devices. 
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 11:26:25 AM
Compared to an iPod Video, how's the sound quality of the h340? Is is at least as good? Also, does it have a true line out?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: gevaerts on January 11, 2015, 12:29:16 PM
Compared to an iPod Video, how's the sound quality of the h340? Is is at least as good? Also, does it have a true line out?

I have no opinion on sound quality, but yes, the h340 does have a separate true line out.
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 12:44:32 PM
Thanks, that helps too !

Also, which one is more rugged? I will be taking it snowboarding, so not shattering is a strong argument. I suppose the h340 is the one after which i should be looking for.

Also, what about the fuze of fuze+ ? I know fuze+ is only partially supported by rockbox, but i think it's manageable. How is their sound quality? Especially, how's the sound compared to the ipod video or the h340?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 11, 2015, 02:36:34 PM
Compared to an iPod Video, how's the sound quality of the h340? Is is at least as good? Also, does it have a true line out?

Fairly similar as I recall. 

I will be taking it snowboarding, so not shattering is a strong argument.

Any of the Sandisk players. 
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 02:52:20 PM
What i failed to mention is that if i'm getting a Sandisk player, i have to pair it with a sd card, which i don't have, so more money.

As for the h340, i have the ipod hdd which i could swap it for (easily swapable and readily working if i recall correctly) in case i manage to damage it. It hasn't happened to my ipod after falling off a suspended moving chair type of ski lift (i have no idea how it's called).


Buuut, most important of all. Sound quality. And hardware eq controlled through rockbox. (all players have it, right?)
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 11, 2015, 03:27:34 PM
Buuut, most important of all. Sound quality.

Any of the sandisk players, although in practice the others may be good enough that you won't notice the difference.

And hardware eq controlled through rockbox. (all players have it, right?)

None of these devices have a hardware EQ and you most likely wouldn't want to use one anyway.
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 04:01:27 PM
So, out of all, should i get a fuze? I wouldn't jump and get the fuze+ or clip+/zip because i am on a tight budget. I will only if it is really worth it

So i could now get, without breaking a bank, the following:

Fuze 4gb with usb cable, lightly scratched, for 26 usd
Fuze 8gb without usb cable, lightly scratched, for 35 usd
H340 with usb cable and wall charger, no scratches, for 40 usd
Ipod 5G 80gb (so 5.5G) without usb cable, for 40 usd.

So which has the best SQ, ruggedness and price ratio?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: [Saint] on January 11, 2015, 04:24:31 PM
My opinion is likely quite biased, but I'll offer it anyway.

If you're going to be doing any large amount of high quality recoding, I would lean towards the H340.

If that's not a priority, and especially if you want a more sensible (in my mind) form factor, I would lean towards the iPod Video (especially if its the 64MB variant, for the sake of efficiency, due to the reduction in disk accesses provided by the larger audio buffer but this isn't really something worth searching for, its just a nice bonus to have over the 32MB variants).

The benefit of both of these devices, although both significantly larger, and heavier, than either of the other models you listed, is that they can be readily expanded with aftermarket HDDs, or a ZIF->CF/ZIF->mSATA adapter, and give you (if you're prepared to spend the money) anywhere from 240GB to 1TB+ of  storage. Whereas you'd be limited to ~136GB (assuming an 8GB device with 128GB uSD, are 256GB uSDs accessible in the consumer market yet? I dunno...anyway) presently with any of the other devices (and high capacity uSD cards are still pretty ridiculously expensive, and in my mind not particularly reliable).

The flash based SanDisk players have a pretty questionable build quality, and remind me quite a lot of McDonalds Happy Meal toys. I treat them as being essentially disposable myself, while they don't have a mechanical disk to fail, their build quality is what I would describe as flimsy at best.

If you are familiar with modern Android handsets, they are the Samsung of the DAP world, if you understand the analogy. Nice internals, built around a needlessly shitty, flimsy, creaky plastic case that feels like it will break if you look at it the wrong way. It won't actually do so, but it feels like it will. Whereas the iPod and H340 feel rather a lot more substantial, with a particular emphasis on build quality from the iPod (Apple sure knew how to build hardware, I say "knew" (past tense) deliberately, as that certainly isn't the case any more, but I digress).

That's my $0.02 worth, anyway.


[Saint]
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 04:58:38 PM
I won't be doing any kind of recording. Form factor is not a problem and i won't be carrying more than say 30 gigs of music (currently 10 gigs).

I suppose that by android handsets you mean phones. Yes, i am definitely familiar. I  love my s3. It produces decent audio with modded kernel and levels not too high. Definitely manageable. Yet, i want a separate player, dedicated to playing music, such as the ones in question. Also, rockbox. You can't install rockbox to android just yet.

What i need is sound quality and ruggedness. Keep in mind, i managed to destroy my iPod Video (in Apple's defense, i have dropped it, stepped on it, all by mistake, and the plastic front lost it's clips long time ago due to heavily opening the ipod for changing the battery.). By destroy i mean that the motherboard is dead, otherwise everything is tested and functional.

From what you are telling me, it's either the ipod, the h340 or the sandisk players with bubble wrap around them.

I have found the iPod a bit thin sounding at first, but i managed to tune it to my ears using the graphic eq and a few days of listening and tweaking. Needless to say, i have to redo all that as i have no note of the settings. Do the other players have a better dac?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 11, 2015, 05:04:07 PM
What i need is sound quality and ruggedness.

Just to be clear, all modern devices are going to sound the same as your S3.  Its only older devices like the H340 and iPod Video that might not be limited be 16 bit audio when driving normal headphones (exotic ones might be different). 

From what you are telling me, it's either the ipod, the h340 or the sandisk players with bubble wrap around them.

You drop most sandisk players all day and it won't matter.  They weigh too little to be damaged by falling and have no moving parts anyway. 
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 05:18:42 PM
The stock s3 has awful sound. It sounds thin, analytical, relatively distorted at all levels, and lacks detail. By modding the kernel, you could implement certain tweaks that allow it to sound less distorted and more detailed. The thin and analytical sound can only be corrected using the eq. Unfortunately, the bass roll off is so strong with the s3 you have to compensate +8db if not more to reach a nice enough level. All this translates into high cpu usage and short listening times. Not to mention it hisses like hell.

How do the others compare to this?

Also, it's not about dropping the player, it's about falling on it. Shouldn't be a big problem tho since the small form factor of the sandisk series. The ipod and h340 look like the could withstand abuse (if the ipod case is intact, not as mine was)
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 11, 2015, 05:22:37 PM
The stock s3 has awful sound.

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9300_galaxy_s_iii-review-761p8.php

Accurate to about 15 bits.  Hard to do much better than that for 16 bit audio.  If you have a problem, its not the phone.

By modding the kernel, you could implement certain tweaks that allow it to sound less distorted and more detailed.

No you can't.

Unfortunately, the bass roll off is so strong with the s3 you have to compensate +8db if not more to reach a nice enough level. All this translates into high cpu usage and short listening times. Not to mention it hisses like hell.

Ignoring that it doesn't have any bass roll off, if you actually apply +8dB gain without a similar amount of precut, yes I would expect to hear a lot of distortion.

Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 11, 2015, 05:42:47 PM
Of course it's precut. Also, my headphones have a bit of bass roll off so i am compensating for that too. I am estimating +5db should suffice if perfectly flat headphones are used.

My s3 behaves exactly the way i told you. God knows, my s3 might have been broken from factory, but this opinion is not only mine. Thousands of other s3 users that took their time to search the web and actually post it said that it actually sounds bad. Really, best sounding player i've heard so far is the nexus s with modded kernel. It's on par with a rockboxed ipod. I've had them both at the same time and i compared them.

Anyway, i don't want to start an argument about phones and such. Believe me if you want to. If not, that's ok, everybody has their own opinion. And honestly, i am not trusting gsm arena with anything else than phone specs and camera comparison.  I can't see how what they say about the sound can be true. Especially the noise level. It's damn noisy.


So back on topic.

Quote
Fuze 4gb with usb cable, lightly scratched, for 26 usd
Fuze 8gb without usb cable, lightly scratched, for 35 usd
H340 with usb cable and wall charger, no scratches, for 40 usd
Ipod 5G 80gb (so 5.5G) without usb cable, for 40 usd.

So which has the best SQ, ruggedness and price ratio?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 11, 2015, 05:50:47 PM
My s3 behaves exactly the way i told you. God knows, my s3 might have been broken from factory, but this opinion is not only mine. Thousands of other s3 users that took their time to search the web and actually post it said that it actually sounds bad.

Seeing as they sold ~50 million, if a couple thousand thought it sounded bad, then that would be < 0.01% of people, which is actually pretty good.  I'd expect at least a couple percent of people to be completely wrong about almost anything. 

I can't see how what they say about the sound can be true. Especially the noise level. It's damn noisy.

Measure it yourself?  I'd be surprised if they're wrong here though.  Its been a long time since there was any difference between typical devices.  If they'd found a difference, then I'd want someone to double check. 

Really, best sounding player i've heard so far is the nexus s with modded kernel.

No.

So which has the best SQ, ruggedness and price ratio?
[/quote]

This has already been answered two or three times.  See above. 
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: [Saint] on January 11, 2015, 06:33:29 PM
I suppose that by android handsets you mean phones. Yes, i am definitely familiar. I  love my s3. It produces decent audio with modded kernel and levels not too high. Definitely manageable. Yet, i want a separate player, dedicated to playing music, such as the ones in question. Also, rockbox. You can't install rockbox to android just yet.

I was referring to Android handsets, Samsung in particular, alluding to their terrible build quality.

Regarding Android on Rockbox, that is simply and plainly untrue, I'm afraid. I am unsure what lead you to this conclusion, but it is quite simply not true. We do in fact run on Android (with the exception of the 5.x branch of the ART runtime, which accounts for less than 0.2% of all activated Android handsets to date) and have done so for many years now.

Regarding your statements about sound quality, this is going to be very hard for us to address, as many of us strive for accurate reproduction, and this doesn't seem to be anything you're interested in. We measure "good" sound quality by how faithfully the original samples are reproduced, and as saratoga stated, it is accurate to 15 bits, which is more than enough for faithful reproduction for almost all mass market media. Most 16 bit media doesn't use all the available headroom and can be reproduced with complete accuracy in 15 bits or less.

I, too, do not want to start an argument. I am simply attempting to point out that your views on sound quality and ours seem to differ rather greatly. We (generally speaking) want accurate reproduction, not artificially coloured sound.


[Saint]
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 12, 2015, 05:14:53 AM
Can we drop this s3 thing ? I accept the fact that i may be wrong. I might have gotten a s3 from a bad batch. Mine sounds pretty bad, but i managed to tweak it to sound decent. Noise level is very high but it has an auto mute feature if there's no audio playing which may have lead to the low noise ratings. Anyway, it is really not the point of the thread.

The nexus s is known for it's dac and honestly, it sounds pretty good even before tweaking. I've seen people tweak it and using it as a hi-fi player. Anyway, again, not the point of the thread.

My question about the SQ, ruggedness and price ratio hasn't been really directly answered. Yes, i have been told that they all sound good, h340 is decently rugged, sansa series is ok  and that their price is a bit high. The h340 seems to be a pretty good competitor especially because of the price and condition it is in. Also, i've been reading a lot about players lately and came to the conclusion that the h340 is pretty good for what i need.

What do i want from this player as far as SQ is concerned: good sound space, clear trebles, separation of instruments, low noise andlow distortion. Everything else can be corrected by a fair amount. The iPod for example does a pretty good job at this but i'd like to move away from it due to the condition i can get it in. The other players are in good condion, h340 being in the best one.

Regarding the rockbox on android, that's what i've seen on the rockbox webpage. It's listed as unstable port. Didn't dig in because i didn't care too much.

Don't get me wrong, i really appreciate your input. I don't consider myself as a know it all kind of guy. I mean, that's why i asked you.

Sooo, in conclusion, is a h340 a solid competitor and a good choice? Should i reconsider the iPod? Is the sansa series better than i think it is? Better than the h340 or ipod for what i'm looking for ?
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: saratoga on January 12, 2015, 02:28:45 PM
The nexus s is known for it's dac

You should probably ignore people who judge devices by their DAC.

My question about the SQ, ruggedness and price ratio hasn't been really directly answered. Yes, i have been told that they all sound good, h340 is decently rugged, sansa series is ok  and that their price is a bit high.

I don't know why you think that, at least I would not have come to that conclusion if I were reading this thread. 
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 12, 2015, 03:17:16 PM
Quote
I don't know why you think that, at least I would not have come to that conclusion if I were reading this thread.

Ok, i might be retarded. Would you be so kind to sum it up? Otherwise we are talking apples, cars and skyscrapers.
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: [Saint] on January 13, 2015, 03:55:30 AM
Quote
I don't know why you think that, at least I would not have come to that conclusion if I were reading this thread.

Ok, i might be retarded. Would you be so kind to sum it up? Otherwise we are talking apples, cars and skyscrapers.

I am honestly completely unsure why you consider this to be unanswered. You have even answered your own question in your previous post, despite claiming otherwise, you then state the complete opposite:

My question about the SQ, ruggedness and price ratio hasn't been really directly answered.

 ...???

Yes, i have been told that they all sound good, h340 is decently rugged, sansa series is ok  and that their price is a bit high.

 ...:-\

It honestly seems to me that you have already made up your mind and you just want someone to validate it, but being given objective experience based answers seemed to confuse you and apparently wasn't what you actually wanted.


[Saint]
Title: Re: H340 vs Fuze vs Fuze+ vs Clip Zip vs Clip+
Post by: brlmat on January 13, 2015, 06:38:49 AM
No, i haven't made up my mind. I'm just trying to find out which one is the best one i should get. H340, fuze and ipod video are the affordable options. I don't know which one to get and whether i should make the jump to the clip.