Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: 15+15 = 5+5, or am I deaf?

with one comment

No, my math’s not screwed up, but Sony’s might be.

With their newly unannounced release of D-NE330 (the 4th generation of their ATRAC CD player, 5th if you want to count the initial MP3 CD offering… or is that sixth if you want to count the D-NE005?), the box and the unit now totes the following feature:

15mW + 15mW LOUD SOUND

So, does it really equate to louder sound? It should be something that I can easily compare, seeing as how I have several D-NE units gathering dust. And the initial verdict? Eh…

Even with moderately inefficient phones (around 60 to 80 ohms is where my phones top out at when it comes to impedence), there isn’t any silver bullet to say one unit is louder than the other. Sure, now I can use the XD400s as a set of cheap speakers should the need arise. I now apparently need a better way to quantify this objectively, since my subjective measurements came with an asundering… meh…

Not that there aren’t any noticed improvements mind you. The CODEC chip looks to have been improved, and the SQ on the 64kbps ATRAC3plus files are much closer to what I’d expect from 128kpbs MP3 file (or equivalent). This does validate that ATRAC3plus as a codec is at least as competent and other modern sets, such as MP4/AAC and WMA type. Unfortunately, the ATRAC CD users are still aped when it comes to bitrate support. If you’re going to open up the bitrates, then do it consistently across the entire range. Please, none of this bitrate pick and choose between CD units, MD units, and other units. And don’t get me started on the lack of Lossless file support… But that’s another post.


Written by Damage

02/6/06 at 6:40 am

Posted in DAP, Soapbox

One Response

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  1. Heh, I was going to say something to the effect that my understanding was that higher mW didn’t always mean louder… but then Sony goes ahead and advertises it as such. Hmmm…. in any case, in my limited experience the extra mW seem to give the unit a better quality signal (more full perhaps? I’m not able to describe the difference I hear very well). If my D-NE300 gives out perhaps this will be an alternative.


    04/8/06 at 7:52 pm

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