Which flash-based, non-iPod audio players have the lowest self-noise (lowest noise floor)?
April 13, 2007 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Which Flash-based, non-iPod audio players have the lowest levels of self-noise (lowest noise floors)?

My mp3 player is good but old, so despite being very well-engineered in other ways it has self-noise that can still be detected over quiet or non-continuous music. Please suggest a replacement with unusually low self-noise if you know what I'm talking about.

I've read that the Archos hard drive-based players have extremely low noise floors (see the last graph on this page), but I'm looking for a light/Flash device.

Numbers like that would be great and subjective reports would also be great (like, "Of all the players I've tried, x is lowest").

(As I said, I'm asking for non-iPod products only. I'm firm on this and the reasons why are not the topic of this thread, so please respect this, thanks!)
posted by lorimer to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Clarifying... I know noise floor depends on build quality rather than age; what I meant is I'm hoping more attention is now being paid to this issue in current high-end players, than was being paid when by player was designed.)
posted by lorimer at 12:15 PM on April 13, 2007

I can only speak for my player, it's a hard-drive unit by Cowon called iAudio X5. It has no detectable noise, in my experience, and sound output quality is excellent. I would recommend a Cowon product, if you can't get any other recommendations, although obviously their flash player may not be as high quality as the HD-based one.
posted by knave at 5:14 PM on April 13, 2007

My (hard-drive-based) iRiver is the quietest mp3 player I've ever owned (among iPods, an Archos and a Rio). It seems like Cowon and iRiver get most of the non-iPod-mp3-player audiophile love these days.
posted by box at 6:02 PM on April 13, 2007

Ditto knave's recommendation and caveat.
posted by swapspace at 8:25 AM on April 14, 2007

Thanks! I agree "Flash-based" and "excellent build quality" don't often intersect. I've heard iRiver and Cowon praised in a lot of places; thanks for the comments about them. (Does anyone have any experience with the other player I've heard is unusually high build quality, the mobiBlu cube?)
posted by lorimer at 7:21 PM on April 14, 2007

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