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I recently found that I could no longer buy an iPod Classic 160GB. Now I'm searching for the best solution to the problem - I need to store at least 160GB of audio in the smallest convenient manner. I use lossless formats and would be happy with either FLAC or ALAC compatibility. Does anyone have any ideas? So far iriver looks the best! Any feedback would be appreciated.

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You might look at the Fiio X5 or X3 or X1 depending on your budget. They do up to 192/24 rates, and many different music formats including FLAC and ALAC. The two less expensive models only use up to 128 GB SD cards. The X5 will do 256 GB.

 

Amazon.com : FiiO X1 : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Amazon.com : Fiio X3 Mastering Quality Music Player w/ Wolfson DAC WM8740 24Bit 192K : Digital Media Players : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Amazon.com : 2014 Newest MP3 player digital music player Fiio X5 Portable Lossless Music player Dual Core CPU Purpose DAP + USB DAC Quad Balanced Power Supply. : MP3 Players & Accessories

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I recently found that I could no longer buy an iPod Classic 160GB. Now I'm searching for the best solution to the problem - I need to store at least 160GB of audio in the smallest convenient manner. I use lossless formats and would be happy with either FLAC or ALAC compatibility. Does anyone have any ideas? So far iriver looks the best! Any feedback would be appreciated.

 

There are hundreds of iPod Classic 160GB on eBay, new and used.

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I recently found that I could no longer buy an iPod Classic 160GB. Now I'm searching for the best solution to the problem - I need to store at least 160GB of audio in the smallest convenient manner. I use lossless formats and would be happy with either FLAC or ALAC compatibility. Does anyone have any ideas? So far iriver looks the best! Any feedback would be appreciated.

 

How much are you looking to spend? The use of the term "Best" in your thread title have me feeling brave enough to post this link below. Be sure to bring your wallet though :)

 

Astell&Kern

 

If I were in the market one of these would be the only option I would choose

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You might look at the Fiio X5 or X3 or X1 depending on your budget. They do up to 192/24 rates, and many different music formats including FLAC and ALAC. The two less expensive models only use up to 128 GB SD cards. The X5 will do 256 GB.

 

Amazon.com : FiiO X1 : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Amazon.com : Fiio X3 Mastering Quality Music Player w/ Wolfson DAC WM8740 24Bit 192K : Digital Media Players : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Amazon.com : 2014 Newest MP3 player digital music player Fiio X5 Portable Lossless Music player Dual Core CPU Purpose DAP + USB DAC Quad Balanced Power Supply. : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Another vote for the Fiio players, I have an X3 and think it's the Bee's Knees .... but all three are great players. You can use 128GB mSD memory cards, if you want or any others although, I don't know about 256GB ... is there such a thing ?

 

The X5 mainly has a better interface and is the newer model, my audition suggested it did not sound much different from an X3 and similarly, the X1 has a more minimal interface but sounds very good also. These things will play DSD as well as FLAC.

 

So perhaps not equal to an A&K, but a whole lot less $$ also ... Fiio also has great small battery powered amps also.

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Thanks everyone for your advice! I've done some research based on the brands you have told me and decided that the Fiio X5 is probably the best option for me at the moment. i.e. best storage, size, formats and price. This will have to do while I save up for an Astell & Kern AK240, which definitely looks like it's the best quality portable player.

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  • 6 months later...
I'm looking again in the $300-$500 range.

Any input on the Fiio X5ii? Compared to the AK Jr? The Cayin N6?

 

I have the 1st gen x5, and while it is a little bit of a sonic compromise, for portable use and at the price, it is a compromise I can happily live with. Sonic upgrades are relatively easy too, due to the coax digital out.

Vinyl is a hugely overpriced way to get flawed sound. Digital is an inexpensive way to get less flawed (though flawed nonetheless) sound.

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The PONO sounds great and stores a ton of my AIFF, FLAC, ALAC and DSD music, especially if you add a bigger SD card, which is easy. The user interface and overall user experience are not smooth, however. I personally find it's worth it for the great sound that a small Ayre device delivers, but YMMV.

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You might look at the Fiio X5 or X3 or X1 depending on your budget. They do up to 192/24 rates, and many different music formats including FLAC and ALAC. The two less expensive models only use up to 128 GB SD cards. The X5 will do 256 GB.

 

Amazon.com : FiiO X1 : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Amazon.com : Fiio X3 Mastering Quality Music Player w/ Wolfson DAC WM8740 24Bit 192K : Digital Media Players : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

Amazon.com : 2014 Newest MP3 player digital music player Fiio X5 Portable Lossless Music player Dual Core CPU Purpose DAP + USB DAC Quad Balanced Power Supply. : MP3 Players & Accessories

 

 

HiFiMan makes some really nice (and good sounding) portable players in all price ranges.

 

HIFIMAN Home

 

HIFIMAN Home

 

These two URLs might look the same but they are two different units.

 

If you are only interested in MP3 and or FLAC/Wave (etc), I can recommend the SanDisc Sansa Clip+. It's cheap (the 4 Gig model sells for under $50 from Amazon) comes with 4 or 8 Gigs of memory, and has a slot for a micro SD card (I have a 32 Gig card in mine which the player treats as contiguous memory). It's only 16-bit 44.1 KHz sampling rate (CD quality), but that's all your iPod is as well. The battery lasts forever (so it seems) and I cannot stress strongly enough how incredibly tiny this thing is, but it does have an easy-to-read OLED screen. Oh, yes, it sounds excellent!

 

Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player by SanDisk

 

If you want High-Res and great sound quality, I'd look at the Astrell & Kern players (but they are pricy) or the Pono Player. The Pono is the best sounding portable player I've ever heard and it has user expandable memory too. The electronics on the Pono Player were designed by Ayre acoustics and have design elements borrowed from Ayre's famous QB-9 DAC and their US$20K preamp. The Pono has a balanced output mode as well, which with a good quality pair of headphones which allow balanced operation, will give top notch High-Definition up to 24-bit/192 KiloHertz sampling! At $US400, it's well priced, but it's physical form factor (it 's shaped like an Italian Toblerone Candy bar) does put a lot of people off.

 

Astell&Kern

 

https://www.ponomusic.com/ccrz__Products?viewState=ListView&cartId=73b3f59e-5fae-4723-8c05-d14258c0dc69&categoryId=a0GA000000XyD0NMAV&store=ponomusic

 

Hope these help

George

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The X5 sounds great with their matching amplifier and they have a kit that stitches them together as a single unit. Without the amp I had trouble getting full sound out of my UE IAMs, though it sounded good with more regular IAMs (Shure, Klipsch, etc.).

 

My complaint with all of the portable players I have checked out thus far is that they sort at one or maybe two levels at best. It would be great if a player would give me Genre > Artist > Album > Track. My X5 holds 256 GB and that's a lot of music to search through when limited to two levels of sorting.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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The X5 sounds great with their matching amplifier and they have a kit that stitches them together as a single unit. Without the amp I had trouble getting full sound out of my UE IAMs, though it sounded good with more regular IAMs (Shure, Klipsch, etc.).

 

My complaint with all of the portable players I have checked out thus far is that they sort at one or maybe two levels at best. It would be great if a player would give me Genre > Artist > Album > Track. My X5 holds 256 GB and that's a lot of music to search through when limited to two levels of sorting.

 

Thankfully that has never come up for me as I only ever play randomly or sort by Artist or Album. I guess I'm pretty easy to satisfy when it comes to UI. Are you talking about the E12 amp?

Vinyl is a hugely overpriced way to get flawed sound. Digital is an inexpensive way to get less flawed (though flawed nonetheless) sound.

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HiFiMan makes some really nice (and good sounding) portable players in all price ranges.

 

HIFIMAN Home

 

HIFIMAN Home

 

These two URLs might look the same but they are two different units.

 

If you are only interested in MP3 and or FLAC/Wave (etc), I can recommend the SanDisc Sansa Clip+. It's cheap (the 4 Gig model sells for under $50 from Amazon) comes with 4 or 8 Gigs of memory, and has a slot for a micro SD card (I have a 32 Gig card in mine which the player treats as contiguous memory). It's only 16-bit 44.1 KHz sampling rate (CD quality), but that's all your iPod is as well. The battery lasts forever (so it seems) and I cannot stress strongly enough how incredibly tiny this thing is, but it does have an easy-to-read OLED screen. Oh, yes, it sounds excellent!

 

Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player by SanDisk

 

If you want High-Res and great sound quality, I'd look at the Astrell & Kern players (but they are pricy) or the Pono Player. The Pono is the best sounding portable player I've ever heard and it has user expandable memory too. The electronics on the Pono Player were designed by Ayre acoustics and have design elements borrowed from Ayre's famous QB-9 DAC and their US$20K preamp. The Pono has a balanced output mode as well, which with a good quality pair of headphones which allow balanced operation, will give top notch High-Definition up to 24-bit/192 KiloHertz sampling! At $US400, it's well priced, but it's physical form factor (it 's shaped like an Italian Toblerone Candy bar) does put a lot of people off.

 

Astell&Kern

 

https://www.ponomusic.com/ccrz__Products?viewState=ListView&cartId=73b3f59e-5fae-4723-8c05-d14258c0dc69&categoryId=a0GA000000XyD0NMAV&store=ponomusic

 

Hope these help

 

Doesn't the pono only support 64gb+64gb? I ask because the OP said it has to have at least 160gb.

Vinyl is a hugely overpriced way to get flawed sound. Digital is an inexpensive way to get less flawed (though flawed nonetheless) sound.

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Thankfully that has never come up for me as I only ever play randomly or sort by Artist or Album. I guess I'm pretty easy to satisfy when it comes to UI. Are you talking about the E12 amp?

 

Yes, thank you I couldn't remember what it was called :)

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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I tried out the X5 last winter -- I didn't like the UI for the same reason you mention. And the lack of quick-scrolling. When I loaded a lot of music, it was a PITA to find what I wanted to listen to. On the other hand, I really like the 256 gb capacity. I expect to move away from my 160 gb iPod, and I don't want to lost storgage capacity. But the AK Jr looks nice, and I like the UI better.

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Doesn't the pono only support 64gb+64gb? I ask because the OP said it has to have at least 160gb.

 

 

I don't own one so I don't know for sure, but a friend who does says that he was told that the system will address 128 GB SD cards. That would be 192 GB, more than enough. But I doubt if the OP would go for the Pono anyway as his requirements are to store 160 Gigs + "in the smallest convenient manner." That ain't the awkwardly triangular Pono (in spite of it's true high-end audio quality)! I just threw it in as an alternative for him to look at.

George

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I can confirm that both the Pono Player and AK Jr. can use 128gig cards, for total storage capacity of 192 gigs.

 

The Pono Player is the best sounding player, so long as your preferred headphone is not the Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor. The Pono Player's relatively high output impedance (it measures at around 4 ohms) makes it a bad match with the UERM, notwithstanding Charlie's claims about the benefits of the diamond buffer output topology.

 

The AK Jr. sounds almost as good as the Pono Player, and adds bluetooth (well, kinda; my experience using the AK Jr. and Noble BTS at the gym leaves a LOT to be desired).

 

It's also worth noting that both the Pono Player and AK Jr. have miserable user interfaces compared to any iOS device.

 

I'm strongly tempted to sell off my AK Jr. and go to a 128 gig iPod Touch.

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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For me personally they all have too small of storage space. Why doesn't someone make something like an ipod classic with a 2gb notebook drive in it?

 

Size--both size of drive and size of market. AFAIK, there are no Tb size drives (platter or SSD) that match the 1.7 inch ZIF drive form factor of the iPod Classic. Any device with a 2.5 inch internal drive is not going to be pocketable (take a look at the Aurender Flow, for example). And other than a few hundred nut-cases here and at Changstar, who's going to buy it?

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

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For me personally they all have too small of storage space. Why doesn't someone make something like an ipod classic with a 2gb notebook drive in it?

 

 

I suspect you meant to write 2 Tb. Somebody will get there, capacity wise, sooner or layer. But it won't be with a mechanical HDD, I don't believe. The trend is to solid-state storage, and that much capacity would simply cost a fortune right now. In the next five years, I'll bet it will be as cheap to do 2 Tb as it is to do 32 Gb today.

George

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I can confirm that both the Pono Player and AK Jr. can use 128gig cards, for total storage capacity of 192 gigs.

 

The Pono Player is the best sounding player, so long as your preferred headphone is not the Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor. The Pono Player's relatively high output impedance (it measures at around 4 ohms) makes it a bad match with the UERM, notwithstanding Charlie's claims about the benefits of the diamond buffer output topology.

 

The AK Jr. sounds almost as good as the Pono Player, and adds bluetooth (well, kinda; my experience using the AK Jr. and Noble BTS at the gym leaves a LOT to be desired).

 

It's also worth noting that both the Pono Player and AK Jr. have miserable user interfaces compared to any iOS device.

 

I'm strongly tempted to sell off my AK Jr. and go to a 128 gig iPod Touch.

 

I will agree about the Pono Player's UI. But then most UIs for players, phones and Pads are lousy compared to iOS! Apple has always been the champ when designing user interfaces (mostly. There are exceptions).

 

The problem that I find with recent iPods is their sound. The original iPod as well as the Classic and the original Touch sounded very good (keeping in mind that they were limited to 16-bit/44.1 audio) but the later ones don't sound anywhere near as good. When a friend of mind died in a surfing accident a couple of years ago, his widow gave me his iPod Nano. Now I also have a first gen iPod Touch, and the difference in SQ is profound. Not that the Nano sounds bad, it's just that the old Touch sounded so much better. Well, I was using the Touch in the car and the Nano won't work in the car because it relies on the headphone load to keep it from turning itself off. The auxiliary audio input in the car stereo wasn't enough of a load for the Nano, and it will switch itself off after 2 minutes - every time. So, when my old Touch was stolen out of my car, I went to the Apple store to listen to the latest Touch to replace it with. It sounded very much like the Nano and nowhere near as good as the old Touch. I don't know if it does the same thing that the Nano does (i.e turning itself off when connected to an amplifier via the headphone jack), but I didn't like the SQ, so that was that. I ended up buying a SanDisk Sansa Clip+ from Amazon for US$35. It sounds much better than the latest iPods, has user increasable memory, prodigious battery life, is tiny and if it gets stolen out of the car, it's not the disaster that a stolen iPod Touch would be.

 

Anyway. My advice is to listen carefully before buying a new iPod anything. I doubt seriously if any of them sound anywhere near as good as your AK Jr. :)

George

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