mp3 player sound quality in computer mag reviews

  hugh-265156 02:11 18 Mar 05

FE sorry if its not computer related enough to post this here. I will chance my arm if I may? :-)

Why do reviewers mp3 players in most computer mags hardly ever mention the sound quality of the player itself? Computer monitor reviews for example, usually concentrate on picture quality first and foremost for obvious reasons.

Do all mp3 flash or hard drive players sound the same then? surly not? Is drop dead looks, size and features so much more important than sound quality?

I fancy getting myself a flash memory mp3 player maybe. This hopefully will also double up as small portable media device but when I read the reviews in computer magazines on the many models available, sound quality is hardly ever mentioned. I want to know if it sounds better than all the others in its price range first and foremost because thats what I'm buying it for.

Who cares if its got white earphones what does it sound like?

  wiz-king 06:15 18 Mar 05

'sound' is in the ear of the beholder. The quality is limited by the analogue to digital coversions used to record the 'music' and the digital to analogue conversion to play it. These would be very similar if not identical for all machines, the main differances would be in the output stage and headphones this would make it very dificult to test. I havent seen a 'frequency test recording' for mp3's but if you search there may well be one.

When you are playing to the yoof market then size, look, features and brand name are more important. Look at the mobilephone adds, they almost struggle to mention actualy talking to people.

Prehaps you need to read reviews in 'The Gramophone'rather than PCA. I think a leakage test would be usefull, when I can hear the boomp boomp at 10 feet I think something is wrong.

  pj123 11:55 18 Mar 05

I have a friend who is a Hi-Fi buff. His maxim is: The sound quality is reflected in the speakers/headphones. Buy a £30 player and £700 speakers = good quality. Buy a £700 player and £5 computers speakers = total rubbish.

As wiz-king says 'sound' is in the ear of the beholder.

My MP3 player cost £74 but when played through my car radio (Sony) with four good speakers or my domestic Hi-Fi with two really expensive speakers the sound (to me) is fantastic. If I use the headphones that came with the unit its awful, so I don't use them.

  Forum Editor 08:42 19 Mar 05

With a digital sound file all the information is there, and to a large extent what comes out as sound waves depends on speaker quality.

You aren't going to get a great deal in terms of quality from cheap speakers, no matter how good the rest of the equipment is, and although I suppose it might be helpful to have some idea of relative quality in MP3 player reviews, such opinions would necessarily be subjective - based on the reviewer's preferences.

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