Author Topic: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)  (Read 6848 times)

Offline Carlman

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Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« on: November 19, 2014, 11:30:04 AM »
I've got a new job, working 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.. a 3-yr-old, and a wife.. I work a different job some weekends too.  So, got very little time to listen to music... I decided to get my fix at work, with headphones when I do tasks that don't involve other people.

The only downside is I can't completely detach.. I have to still pay attention to what I'm doing and not get lost in the music.  

I started by using an Android - Samsung S4 playing .flac.  It sounded pretty good.  The android music player plays .flac natively.  Sweet.  That was 1 very nice thing about Android.  1 more nice thing was the ease of moving files between the Android and the PC.

I hated the android os for a phone and email/text device.  (Long story short)  Also, AT&T didn't cover me at my new office.  I bought a Verizon iphone 6.  I had an iphone 4... And I know the iphone wants me to use itunes... which I don't care to do...

Somewhere along the way I'd installed Pandora on the S4 and was also enjoying that at work.  I really like the idea of listening like a radio to music I might already be interested in... some of which I know/like, some I might not.. perfect.

The SQ of Pandora (paid) is acceptable to me.  It doesn't sound bad... not OMG but better than I thought it would.

Most recently, I installed Onkyo HF on the phone, and copied .flac's into the specified location of the app so it can play them.  No itunes integration! :)  Just add/subtract through the app within itunes... not bad... easy enough for me.

What I wasn't expecting was the giant leap forward in SQ.  On the S4 if the .flac/music player was a level '6' out of 10 in detail, impact, musicality, etc... then the iphone + Onkyo is about an '8'.  (or more)  It's just so much more real sounding.

The difference between Pandora and the .flac over Android music player was enough to notice but it wasn't 'oh crap' like it is between the Pandora experience and iphone/Onkyo player.  

There really wasn't much difference from the Samsung to the iphone with Pandora... if anything, the iphone sounded a tiny bit better...

The detail really is astounding... string plucks, cymbals, etc. all sound more real.  Sounds are more distinct, less digital 'blur' between things... When certain high noises occur on the S4 it just made a kind of digital etch noise whereas now on the iphone/Onkyo it's clearly the instruments/voices/etc. that are differenitated and delineated.  Just neat to hear...

So this is kind of a problem... Now I'm pretty distracted by the compelling music... It's very interesting and arrests my attention. There is decay, presence, a sound stage, etc... that I can immerse myself into.  If I had fancier headphones I think I'd stop working for long periods of time. :)

Oh well, back to work.. just took some time to share what was on my mind.

-c
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline richidoo

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 12:02:20 PM »
Our speech is violence and their violence is speech

Offline rollo

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 06:15:35 AM »
  Good find Carlman. Congrats on new job. Enjoy those kids when their young. lots of time for music later.
   Do not listen to Audeze headphones you'll get nothing done.


charles
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Offline mdconnelly

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 06:22:04 AM »
Carl,  damn, haven't seen you in way too long.  Congrats on the new job.

Have you had a chance to try an external DAC/headphone amp between iphone and headphones using the Onkyo HF player?  Shane turned me on to the iFi Micro iDSD which I'm loving.  But I have yet to try the Onkyo HF player on the iPhone.

What I have been using is Tidal for streaming lossless (30 day free trial).  Quite impressive!  Just not sure I'm ready to pay the $20/month for it.  Gotta give the Onkyo player a try.  Thanks!

Offline hometheaterdoc

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 07:10:45 AM »
Did I not tell you about Onkyo HF Player, Mike?  Hmmmm... could have sworn I mentioned it....  I'm slipping in my old age :)

Carl, have a listen to some of the stuff here on Saturday again...  with better cabling on it and the Micro iDSD and Bakoon, Audeze cans sound ridiculous....

that reminds me... I need to see about getting custom cable for Urbanite demo headphones... and opening up and breaking in a set of iOS version Urbanites before Saturday...  the wiring for the inline microphone for Galaxy version is a bit wonky when trying to use it into external amps...
Shane Sangster
Night & Day Audio - AMR, Alpha Design Labs, AURALiC, Audeze, Bakoon, Devialet, ENIGMAcoustics, Exogal, Harbeth, iFi Audio, Lumin Music, M2Tech, PS Audio, Pure Audio, REL Acoustics Ltd, Sennheiser, Tannoy, Unison Research, WyWires & more

Offline Carlman

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 10:25:05 AM »
Thanks everyone...
I plan to drop in, Shane... and yes, the Audeze are by far the most musical experience I've heard via headphones... and surpasses many high end speaker systems I've heard.  .. But the weight was a bit much for me.  I like lighter setups.

I don't remember if I heard the iDSD.. I know the Fostex amp was pretty good... It's been a while.

A small setup at home for when I don't want to crank up the big system is a nice option... but the iphone/phones may be enough for me.  

I like simple and easy access to music that moves me.  I have no desire for ritual. (blasphemy I know) What's more is I think less gear is better for me. (double blasphemy)  Powered speakers and 1 or 2 pair of headphones would be all I need to fulfill all my musical fantasies these days.

But... I have a turntable, phono preamp, DAC, preamp, amp, and speakers.... so might as well use them every once in a while. ;)  Oh, and all those other systems too.  I must have at least 3 or 4 hifi systems in my house.. maybe more.

But right now, getting to enjoy this setup is just magical.  I'm hearing new things I haven't heard before.  Lovin' the Onk.

-C
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline mdconnelly

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 10:37:23 AM »
Sadly, I'll be out of town this weekend so won't be able to make it to Shane's G2G on Saturday.

Shane - you did tell me about the Onkyo player!  I just kinda forgot about it and never checked it out - enjoying the iFi too much all by itself.

Carl, I listened to both the Fostex and the iFi.  Personally, I liked the Fostex a bit more - seemed more relaxed and engaging.  BUT, I fell in love with the flexibility of the iFi.  Now I just gotta try out the Onkyo player.  Not sure how many flac albums I can fit on my iphone!


Offline hometheaterdoc

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Re: Onkyo HF + Flac = :)
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 09:26:50 AM »
I bought the Note 4 with microSD slot so I can stick in 128GB memory sticks and it was one of the only options with expandable storage and image stabilization camera for taking photos of the little guy on the road (he won't sit still long enough to lug the big, bulky DSLR around all the time and get it pulled to get a shot).

So I'm using USB Audio Player PRO on android to play high rez and DSD out to external portable DACs and amps... works great...  I hate the phone, but like that I can play the music I want and it takes ok pictures (not as good as I was hoping).... otherwise, I'd still have a legacy flip phone for business use.  I carry two phones anyways and don't need this behemoth smartphone for anything other than talking on the phone with customers, music, and occasional pictures...  before anyone calls me a dinosaur, I have custom built PCs in every room of my house, several laptops, a surface pro tablet combo device (love it compared to the competition).  I just don't need a giant screen phone to be a computer as well for me like some others where it would be their only computing device :)  The wife has carpal tunnel and neck issues from being permanently attached to her iPhone 6 Plus...  I'm not that person :)     
Shane Sangster
Night & Day Audio - AMR, Alpha Design Labs, AURALiC, Audeze, Bakoon, Devialet, ENIGMAcoustics, Exogal, Harbeth, iFi Audio, Lumin Music, M2Tech, PS Audio, Pure Audio, REL Acoustics Ltd, Sennheiser, Tannoy, Unison Research, WyWires & more