12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2011 12:24 PM by Science_man

    Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

       

      I love the NC for reading and web browsing, but music playing is disappointing. 

       

      I realize that the Nook Color is an e-reader but Barnes and Nobles did supply a music player and Pandora, so they obviously thought it could be a good MP3 player as well.

       

      I had low expectations for decent sound with the built in speaker but I thought I would be able to get decent sound from the audio jack if I used good ear buds.    The music quality I get on the NC with my high quality ear buds is HORRIBLE.   It sounds like tin can music.   I get amazing sound with the same ear buds on my cheap panasonic MP3 player that I purchased back in 2003.  

       

      It is just me, or are you all of the same opinion?  What gives??

       

       

       

      Hopefully they'll have a band equalizer ap with the next upgrade...

        • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

          I'm listening to Pandora on mine right now with some really cheap ear buds that I keep here at work and it sounds great. Just like if I listen to Pandora over my PC.

          • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

            Try a soft reset of your nook. Yesterday I was watching a movie on my NC, very dissappointed to find that the sound balance was off, with the right ear sounding significatly louder than the left. I verified with music and the Pandora app that that was the case. i was all bummed, thinking I'd have to return my NC, but I decided to try a reset (shutting the mahine off and turning it back on) just to be sure. And sure enough, it came back with the sound levels correct.

              • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

                I find that the background hiss is just too much unless the NC's volume is up to around 70-80% (about where I run my iRiver H320).  That might be too much for just going straight into earbuds, but since I'm either running the NC's output into a car stereo or a portable headphone amp (with pre-amp volume control) and then into a pair of Grados, it's not a problem.

                 

                 

                 

                 

                BTW, the phrase "good quality headphones" (as in your title), should never be associated with the term "earbuds."   :smileyvery-happy:

                 

                 

                 

                  • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

                    I also find the noise floor (hiss) on the NC a bit annoying.  But SQ is only a bit worse than on my motorola (original) Droid phone.  I don't use either for critical listening (and for that reason have not tried to amp either of them), but I find them both to be adequate for Pandora and for casual background music when away from a better source.

                     

                    OP:  I would suggest a reboot, and reload the NC with high-quality music files.  I rip all my MP3s at VBR V0, and find most of the files indistinguishable from the FLACs when I listen through Foobar 2000 on my PC at home (with a HRT MS II off-board USB DAC and a Gilmore Lite Amp with Grado HF-1 headphones).  Using good quality source files is the first essential step to getting decent sound. 

                     

                    @riffraff:  I disagree with your (probably tongue-in-cheek) comment about good quality headphones being incompatible with earbuds.  My Yuin Pk1s really do rival the sound of full-size cans (I am also a Grado fan, and have owned 2 other models before settling down happily with my HF-1s).  there are also some pretty good earbuds in the more moderate price range (Senn, Jays, Head-Direct, MEElec, Sony). 

                      • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

                         


                        htbyron wrote:

                        I also find the noise floor (hiss) on the NC a bit annoying.  But SQ is only a bit worse than on my motorola (original) Droid phone.  I don't use either for critical listening (and for that reason have not tried to amp either of them), but I find them both to be adequate for Pandora and for casual background music when away from a better source.

                         

                        OP:  I would suggest a reboot, and reload the NC with high-quality music files.  I rip all my MP3s at VBR V0, and find most of the files indistinguishable from the FLACs when I listen through Foobar 2000 on my PC at home (with a HRT MS II off-board USB DAC and a Gilmore Lite Amp with Grado HF-1 headphones).  Using good quality source files is the first essential step to getting decent sound. 

                         

                        @riffraff:  I disagree with your (probably tongue-in-cheek) comment about good quality headphones being incompatible with earbuds.  My Yuin Pk1s really do rival the sound of full-size cans (I am also a Grado fan, and have owned 2 other models before settling down happily with my HF-1s).  there are also some pretty good earbuds in the more moderate price range (Senn, Jays, Head-Direct, MEElec, Sony). 


                         

                        Dang!  Am I that transparent?

                         

                        Never did make a good troll.

                         

                         

                         

                        Yeah, the NC's strong suit isn't as a DAP,but when playing .ogg files, it's acceptable.  But I still feel that people just aren't cranking up the volume enough to get above the hiss.  That being said, I still throw my H320 in my briefcase, rather than rely on the NC for music.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                  • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones
                    Ya_Ya

                    There's at least one other thread around here discussing a similar issue.

                     

                    The poster said he had reasonably good sound quality with inexpensive earbuds.  When he used the fancy schmancy headphones (or an amp) he got a significant hiss.

                    • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

                      I agree -the sound is less than I'd like.  I can plug it into my car stereo or home stereo and fiddle with the sound to make it fairly good, but head phone listening sounds like there bacon frying in the next room. Treble is bacon-y too. These are bought MP3s.  Interestingly, converted movies to my ears don't have the sound problems.  Or the background hiss.  So no swiss army media player is my nook.  Wish guys could wear purses to carry all these media gadgets I gotta lug around.

                      • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

                        Seems any set that has noise reduction causes hissing...:smileymad:

                          • Re: Music sounds bad with good quality headphones

                             

                            Thanks for the advice everyone.    I am using Shure headphones, which sound awesome with other DAP's.     I've tried rebooting the NC, but this doesn't help.  The sound is very thin, lacks any depth at all. I guess that's a shortcoming to be had with the NC.    Hopefully this will be addressed with future updates.