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Subjective Comparsion of IOS based Media players(Apple vs Korg Iaudiogate vs Hibiki vs Onkyo)

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Old 21-02-2016, 11:27 AM   #1
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Subjective Comparsion of IOS based Media players(Apple vs Korg Iaudiogate vs Hibiki vs Onkyo)

Apple Music Player:
Subjective impressions:
Apple Music Player sounds okay-ish. It doesn't consume much resources. Subjectively from an Audiophile listener stand point, with certain types of music or instruments(violins) can sound "unrefined" with abit of graininess or jagged like a saw tooth.

Sound Check Function:
I find that it's a double edge sword with this function. Although It helps with keeping all music in my library sound some what volume matched, however it tends to soften dynamic range and fast loud transients.


Korg IAudiogate:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iaud...997209451?mt=8

Subjective Impressions(High Quality Mode):

Good:
Thicker and Smoother sounding. That are the two words I will use describe the sound reproduction of this player. With High Quality mode, your IOS device will heat up more than usual, but you will get a more thicker(more bass slam, more warmer and analogue/tube like) sound as well as a buttery smooth mid and treble although it seems to lose abit of high frequency.

Bad:
Warms up the device quite abit on high quality mode. Probably consumes more cpu and battery life than other players.

Fast transients sounds abit slower than other players. Missing High frequnecy(Hiss)

Onkyo HF Player
https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/onky...704139896?mt=8
Subjective impressions:

Good:
It's Free. The upsampling function does sounds better than the Apple music player interms of less grainy and resolution. High Frequency retained.

Bad:
There seems to be some kind of time smearing(blurriness) to the sound that makes the sound stage sounds more closed-in. Also sound "glassy" with certain music.

Hibiki 3.6 Player:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hibiki/id592396897?mt=8

Subjective Impressions:

Good:
Fast and Transparent. Just two words I would use to describe the sound. Fast Transients sound just right without any kind of delay. Bass isn't as deep as Iaudiogate, however Hibiki sounds much more transparent and neutral than Iaudiogate with less loss of high frequency.

Bad:
The player doesn't allow for output sampling rate selection, it will always just default to the highest output sampling rate supported by your device. e.g. My Yggdrasil DAC will always output at 192KHz even though my musc source file is sampled at 44.1KHz. I have spoken with the developer and he mentioned that in March, he will release a new version which allows for output sampling rate selection.

Conclusions:
If you want something that colours the sound(warm and smooth), do give Korg Iaudiogate a try. Coupled with external dac/amp combo, you might just use this player and probably skip buying portable DAPs all together.

Hibiki 3.6 although with it's current bugs, still sounds the best to me in terms of sounding the most real/natural to my ears. Fast music Transients seems to be more accurate than Korg as they sound more cleaner with any kind of delay.

Onkyo HF player sound better than Apple Music player but it is not as good as the above paid players.
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Last edited by dqwong; 21-02-2016 at 04:01 PM..
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Old 21-02-2016, 12:12 PM   #2
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Very appreciated with recommended a good audio apps here.

Just download for iAudioGate player, the sound signatures was totally different from iPhone music player.

Now the music output really smooth than before
This guy help up a lot.
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Old 21-02-2016, 11:07 PM   #3
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Iaudiogate is a nice player, it feels like adding a tube(valve) buffer to your IOS device which helps with reducing the digital glare on most mainstream content(as opposed to well recorded audiophile recordings)

Frankly the audible differences between the players can be harder to notice with less analytical sounding equipment.

Only buy the Korg player if you can afford the price tag, if not Apple Music works just fine or just try out the Onkyo HF and its upsampling features as its free to download.

The thing is there are some music content which I prefer played non-upsampled while there are some music content(especially older recordings) which clearly benefits from addition of upsampling.
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Old 22-02-2016, 07:04 AM   #4
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Currently there's a time limited 50% sale on the Iaudiogate. Grab it with discount or regret later.
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Old 22-02-2016, 09:02 AM   #5
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Just discovered another player:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/neut...766858884?mt=8

Will test it out and report back.
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Old 22-02-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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saw this at canjam

http://www.radius.co.jp/app/neplayer/
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:52 AM   #7
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Neutron Player:

Subjective impressions:

Good:
It is really jam packed with alot of advance functions: 64bit processing, Dithering, 32bit audio output, phase inversion, stereo balance adjustments just to name a few.

Crossfade works really well!

Crossfeed on headphones is impressive with HD800.

The replay gain is so much better than Apple's soundcheck as it does not seem to affect dynamics. It actually makes music more listenable on the go as you don't have to keep adjusting volume control as often with albums that have large variance in loudness between the tracks.

Sound quality wise, although it doesn't colour and smoothen the sound like Korg, I am very impressed with it, it has holographic, rich detailed sound which even if you play your songs at really soft volume, you can still easily hear the lyrics of the singers.

This is the player I recommend if you don't like upsampled sound.

Bad:
Can take a while to understand all the functions.
Very complicated user interface.
Up-sampling function smears sound.
Manual Fixed sampling rate selection(No Auto switching)
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Last edited by dqwong; 05-03-2016 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
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SACD ISO file support?

have you guys come across any player for iOS that supports SACD ISO file playback?
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:15 AM   #9
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Just in: Neutron player has a new version that made improvements to it's audio engine, will have to re-evaluate the player again:

- audio engine: 24-bit transparency for 32-bit mode and 53-bit for 64-bit;

https://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/neut...766858884?mt=8
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Old 16-06-2016, 04:22 AM   #10
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IOS10 beta's Apple Music player is worth trying out. Subjectively it has improved soundstage depth and airiness.

to get iOS10 beta, see guide on everythingapplepro YouTube channel.

Last edited by dqwong; 16-06-2016 at 04:27 AM..
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Old 16-06-2016, 09:26 AM   #11
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ok. .. please let us have a ipod touch pro 512gb
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Old 16-06-2016, 04:51 PM   #12
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How about KaiserTone?
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Old 16-06-2016, 04:55 PM   #13
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ok. .. please let us have a ipod touch pro 512gb
Such as dual Amp?
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Old 17-06-2016, 10:55 AM   #14
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How about KaiserTone?
Evaluating the player now. Initial impression seems good. Very Detailed sounding.
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