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Old 06-20-2011, 20:24   #1
supaflanka
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Default Cowon D3 SQ vs. J3

Hey guys I'm new around here and thought I'd drop by and post since the forums I usually hang are computer hardware forums without a dedicated audiophiles section.

A few days ago I made a move from J3 16Gbs to D3 32Gbs and is it just me or does it sound much more warmer on the D3?

I currently use Beats by Dr. Dre Tour IEs and I was highly satisfied with it with the J3 (after a lot of EQ tweaks).

Then I used the same EQ settings from my J3 on my new D3 with the Beats and sounds completely different! Not to mention I spent a long time tweaking it anew since the J3 applies EQ settings on the fly while D3 doesn't.

Is this the case because J3 uses a dedicated audio chip? (Wolfson DAC). I looked everywhere for detailed technical specifications concerning the D3 but found none. Can you guys shed some light? Your opinions regarding their SQ is also highly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-20-2011, 21:09   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supaflanka View Post
Hey guys I'm new around here and thought I'd drop by and post since the forums I usually hang are computer hardware forums without a dedicated audiophiles section.

A few days ago I made a move from J3 16Gbs to D3 32Gbs and is it just me or does it sound much more warmer on the D3?

I currently use Beats by Dr. Dre Tour IEs and I was highly satisfied with it with the J3 (after a lot of EQ tweaks).

Then I used to same EQ settings from my J3 on my new D3 with the Beats and sounds completely different! Not to mention I spent a long time tweaking it since J3 applies EQ settings on the fly while D3 doesn't.

Is this the case because J3 uses a dedicated audio chip? (Wolfson DAC). I looked everywhere for detailed technical specifications concerning the D3 but found none. Can you guys shed some light? Your opinions regarding their SQ is highly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
People say the chip is the same. The reason why it sounds different it probably because of the software.
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Old 06-20-2011, 21:25   #3
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Originally Posted by snakebite2 View Post
People say the chip is the same. The reason why it sounds different it probably because of the software.
Thanks! Wait, does this mean SQ will get better with firmware updates.......?

Would using Rockbox make any changes?

Also, for all owners of the D3, what earphones (or headphones) are you using?!
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Old 06-20-2011, 23:42   #4
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Man I hope the J3 doesn't sound better. (No offense, of course!)

Rockbox, when it works, gives you extra features like gapless and extra codec support. I'm not so sure about the sound as it's already going trough BBE and adding a RB EQ might really make things complicated.

I'm using my pair of HD600's with a Minibox E+, for non-portable usage. I A/B tested with my S9, and I thought the D3 had an overall better sound. But, I don't have a J3 to compare it to.
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Old 06-20-2011, 23:47   #5
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Originally Posted by supaflanka View Post
Thanks! Wait, does this mean SQ will get better with firmware updates.......?

Would using Rockbox make any changes?

Also, for all owners of the D3, what earphones (or headphones) are you using?!
I have Sennheiser IE8. I didn't get my D3 yet but that's what I'll be using.
use it and find out.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roebeet View Post
Man I hope the J3 doesn't sound better. (No offense, of course!)

Rockbox, when it works, gives you extra features like gapless and extra codec support. I'm not so sure about the sound as it's already going trough BBE and adding a RB EQ might really make things complicated..
hahaha yeah, although it would be my first time using RB, I know what it does. So wait, RB doesn't work with Cowon D3 yet then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roebeet View Post
I'm using my pair of HD600's with a Minibox E+, for non-portable usage. I A/B tested with my S9, and I thought the D3 had an overall better sound. But, I don't have a J3 to compare it to.
Hmmmm... I heard the J3 had a slightly better SQ than an S9 so I guess D3 does sound better o_O

I don't know, I'm so surprised the D3 didn't sound like what I wanted it to with like the J3. Anybody own or have owned both of them for some kind of comparison? Please!

Thanks for your feedback roebeet! I hope I can be of help around here also! I'm from Korea so I have first hand knowledge of Cowon-related stuff
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:02   #7
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hahaha yeah, although it would be my first time using RB, I know what it does. So wait, RB doesn't work with Cowon D3 yet then?
As I understand it, Rockbox for Android is still a fairly new thing, nowhere near finished, and that's probably why roebeet said "when it works".
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:37   #8
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Yeah, sometimes it flat out fails to work for me - it's "finicky", and more so on the 2.3 firmware versus the 2.1 firmware, so far. I might have to re-compile it again.
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Old 06-23-2011, 13:42   #9
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Cursing OK, final call.

OK, I'm fed up with how my new Cowon D3 sounding.

I bought a new pair of U.E Triple.fi 10 pro's. The box seems like they date back to before U.E was acquired by Logitech. Got it for cheap

Similarish sound from what I had with Dre Tours, except much more detail (treble seems good), but bass is still distorted the same way.

I tried the Trips on my computer system connected to the CARAT-Ruby MKIIs and wow, they sound really good. It might be a bit too flat for my taste but the detail, resolution, and clarity are extraordinary for me. Played the same track that's on the D3 and PC but it played just fine on the PC even with the bass settings all the way up.

I tried EQ settings with negative decible settings with lower frequencies left where they are on the D3. Bass still rolls off.

So, I have 2 questions for you guys:

Could it be a defective product?

Can newer firmware updates to the Andoird D3 improve the music playability?

I'm going to the A/S center tomorrow and check it out then seriously consider re-selling the D3 in return for a Cowon J3.
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Old 06-23-2011, 20:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supaflanka View Post
OK, I'm fed up with how my new Cowon D3 sounding.

I bought a new pair of U.E Triple.fi 10 pro's. The box seems like they date back to before U.E was acquired by Logitech. Got it for cheap

Similarish sound from what I had with Dre Tours, except much more detail (treble seems good), but bass is still distorted the same way.

I tried the Trips on my computer system connected to the CARAT-Ruby MKIIs and wow, they sound really good. It might be a bit too flat for my taste but the detail, resolution, and clarity are extraordinary for me. Played the same track that's on the D3 and PC but it played just fine on the PC even with the bass settings all the way up.

I tried EQ settings with negative decible settings with lower frequencies left where they are on the D3. Bass still rolls off.

So, I have 2 questions for you guys:

Could it be a defective product?

Can newer firmware updates to the Andoird D3 improve the music playability?

I'm going to the A/S center tomorrow and check it out then seriously consider re-selling the D3 in return for a Cowon J3.
You'll probably get the same results.
Quote:
Cowon J3 RMAA Tests
The J3 is basically the same as any other Cowon player, concerning RMAA measurements - the same bass roll-off with low-impedance phones as always, but nothing to complain about. Same as the O2 and V5 in listening tests, the J3 has no hiss at all reasonable volume levels, even with very sensitive phones. It's slightly better than the S9 and much better than eg. the D2 in that aspect.

With difficult to drive multi-armature phones it performs very well (due to its low output impedance) - with those kinds of phones it technically beats players like the Sony A845 and Hifiman HM-801, only to be bested by the Sansa Clip/Clip+ in frequency response. In reality, only the A845 couldn't properly drive those phones according to my listening tests, all other players perform basically the same.
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=56713
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:54   #11
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I noticed a difference in SQ when I compared the Cowon J3 with the D3. I used the same BBE+ JetEffect settings and IEMs with both DAPs and the D3 seems to have a bigger depth in soundstage and the bass seems to have a lot more depth to it which brings out a 3D soundstage compared to the J3.

It would be great if Cowon could bring out a firmware update for the J3 to make it sound like the D3.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:31   #12
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Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
It would be great if Cowon could bring out a firmware update for the J3 to make it sound like the D3.

heres hoping
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:54   #13
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This tired old placebo topic seems to crop up with every new player being released, just the people claiming to hear "huge differences" are changing...

The J3 and D3 sound exactly the same - which also is exactly the same as any other modern Cowon (or any other non-broken player, for that matter). People claiming they hear a difference are talking complete nonsense. Or maybe they indeed have a broken player - or don't know how to volume-match two players for a honest AB comparison.

I did a lengthy volume-matched AB test between the D3 and J3 (both matched to within 0.5dB SPL), with both dynamic driver (Sennheiser IE8) and multi-armature (Earsonics SM3) IEMs, and there is not even the tiniest noticeable difference to be heard. Besides flat output I also tested various BBE settings on both players, and they also sound exactly the same.

I wish this spreading of lies and placebo preconceptions about differences in sound quality where there are none would stop. But some people like to believe in fairy tales, it seems.

Besides listening tests, here are the RMAA measurements for the D3, compared to other players: http://iaudiophile.net/forums/showthread.php?t=39607
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