Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

Splash Damage: MDR-EX90 사편 (Part the Quattro), NW-HD5

with 2 comments

Extra quick thoughts while SonicStage 4.0 does its job of transcoding (I know, I know, evil, evil, I’ll explain my reasoning a bit later).

MDR-EX90 is noticably more durable than its cheaper counterpart, the MDR-EX71.  More than 30 days has past since I’ve returned my first pair for cable damage, and thus far, nothing major has cropped up.  Perhaps I got a bum unit initially (it’s been known to happen with first batches of certain headphones, the Panasonic HJE50 comes to mind), or maybe it was an accident.  However, I can say that the EX90s are durable as far as these things go.
Much has been said about the MDR-EX90.  It’s not an IEM, at least not in terms of traditional noise blocking IEM, though you can say that EX90s are IEMs by technicality (definition).  Pardon me if I am indeed repeating myself, but it does bear mentioning, that it does leak in and leak out sound as much as a traditional earbuds do.  Considering that Earbuds are more surpremely popular amongst the traditional iPod set, one has to wonder why Sony wouldn’t release the earbuds based on the designs of the EX90s; or as some would just suggest, the legendary E888s.

However, considering the traditional iPod set would never dare to buy  ordinary earbuds that aren’t part of the entire iPod package…  Yes, Sony can make them white (and are releasing white EX90s to suit its white PSPs), and Sony and make them and sell them by the bundles by positioning them right next to iPods and pricing them for $50 or so (by losing the leather case for one).  That’d be too easy though.

As for NW-HD5, once I got over its quirky navigational system (which I don’t believe was shared by its predecessor, the NW-HD3 for the short while I had it), I found this to be a really nice little gem.  Anyone who’ve ever used an iPod knows that there is one function that hasn’t been used by other DAPs for some reason or for another: Shuffle Album function.  The NW-HD5 takes this further with the UNIT setting.  So, by using the Shuffle Item and UNIT ON function, you not only get Shuffle Album action, you can get Shuffle Artists, or Shuffle Genre.  That’s shuffle enlightened, and something that I’ll miss when I have to use other DAPs.  Unfortunately, Sony did mess this up by making backwards navigation all but impossible in this mode…  The typical Sony two steps forward, one step back methodology.

(Before anyone come complaining, I do know that the defunct Rio Karma had a very powerful DJ system.  However, the Rio Karma, outside of the hardcore and the audiophiles, wasn’t all that popular.  Here’s hoping that Sigmatel does bring that Rio Karma DJ functionality to its future chipsets.)

Rockbox devs, add this function.  Shuffle Genre, Shuffle Year, etc.  It’s a small thing, but small details like that is what made the iPod what it is today (+ marketing, another article).  I’m betting I’m not the only one who appreciates the shuffle album mode.

Finally, Microsoft has a name for their DAP, and it’s Zune.  Zune in, iTune out, I guess?  Well, for killing my Shuffle, iTunes has its problems, one of which is appetitie for hardware…  But that was in the past, right?


Written by Damage

07/13/06 at 11:09 pm

Posted in DAP, Headphones, Soapbox

2 Responses

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  1. Excellent. Have been reading your posts on the HD5 with interest. Keep them coming. Have had a black HD5 myself for close to a year and absolutely love it. Paired it with a pair of Shure E4C in ear monitors that I picked up in Singapore last year; the combination makes for excellent sound quality.

    What bit rate are you using when you rip CDs? I tend to go with 256kbps in ATRAC3+ these days, but started with 192.

    Anyway, enjoy the HD5! 🙂


    07/14/06 at 12:06 pm

  2. hi there, i love your blog.

    it’s pretty hard to find HD5 users around in real life, but there are so many of them on ATRAClife, it’s great!

    didn’t know the nifty shuffle thing you can do on the HD5 until i chanced upon this post. thanks!


    11/4/08 at 1:47 am

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