Monday, December 31, 2012

Colorfly C3 24 Bit Portable Music Player Review

 Colorfly C3 24 Bit Portable Music Player Review (Not a Professional One!)

Specification: Chips: DAC: TI PCM1770
Output: 3.5mm
PO interface a Screen: 0.82 inch OLED screen
Data Transfer: USB, support TF card expansion
Capacity: 8GB
The audio formats are supported:
WAV :32-48KHz 8-24bit FLAC :32-48KHz 16bit
APE :32-48KHz 16bit MP3 :8-320Kbps WMA :8-448Kbps
Audio Performance: THD + Noise Ratio >97db
Frequency Range 22Hz-20Khz ± 0.5db Dimensions: 80 * 50 * 9.9 mm   

This 24 bit portable music player caught my attention recently because of its price / performance factor. I am looking for a music player which sound better than the ipod or iphone and can support 24 bit music and sound neutral. Most importantly it should not be very expensive and have good battery life.

1.Build and UI The build is very solid. Made from entire aluminium cast with a touch screen navigation. It feels solid and heavy in my hand. I have to admit the screen is a little tiny. The User Interface or UI is very straight forward. You do not need to read the manual to figure out how to use this thing. good thing is it do support swipe to lock and unlock. Hold the menu button and you will activate the hidden menu where you can choose the EQ for this player. I will go into this later. 2.

2.Sound Quality

The sound quality is good. But how good is good? Well i am not so good in literature so i can t use bombastic words to describe it. But if i have to choose one word. It is neutral and smooth. You can listen to it for hours without fatigue. Players like Hippo Biscuit have that kind of warm on stage feel but this C3 is completely a different beast. It is very neutral and transparent. So if i were to listen to music with lots of vocal and ochestra i will choose C3 anytime.

I will use a simple grading system to describe the Sound quality from Bad, Normal, Good, Very Good

High = Good
Mid Range = Very Good
Low Range/ Bass = Good

Remember i told you about the EQ setting in the menu. Selecting the Rock preset will turn this player from a neutral tone to more brighter tone. You will perceive to hear more clarity which turn the High from Good to Very Good! Bass is defnitely there but this is not a boomy player. There is no bass boost button and the BASS preset in the EQ will only make things worst. To me it is not an issue as i dont like bass heavy player. But when i need BASS i will pair this with my Fiio E11 portable AMP and it will bring this player to another level!!

 3. Storage and Memory

Alot of people is happy with 4GB or 8GB storage but you know 24 bit audio takes up lots of space! But luckily this player support micro SD card. So this is a good thing unlike Apple and even Samsung for not giving the user the option to use external memory card. If you are from Malaysia you can get this unit from me at:- Buy from this Lowyat Forum

4. Summary

At only RM360 for the 8GB version it is definitely a value buy for such a high quality portable music player. Hear it to believe it!

 Highly Recommended!

This is the Sound Garden custom made silicone case for C3

1 comment:

icarusdepicarus said...

I bought the C3 about a year ago. I was charmed by the design, the relative low price and the potential large storage capacity (8GB internal + 64GB microSD)
After a while though, I stopped using the C3 because its just not user-friendly enough. Their is something wrong with the button sensitivity (even though I have the latest firmware upgrade). It can take up to 10 tries before I'm able to lock/unlock the device, which involves pushing on a sequence of three buttons (swiping, pushing at different speeds with varying force, nothing seems to work).
The display is way to small. The interface is simply not suitable for music libraries with more then a few albums. For example; my library contains over a hundred albums. To play a certain song, I might need to push the "+" button 50 times or more. On top of that, the button doesn't respond 1 out of 3 times it's pushed. Very frustrating. Press and hold does trigger a scroll, but still, basic navigation is time-consuming and inaccurate. I can list quite a few other design flaws in the operating software, but those are irrelevant because of the major flaws in the basic navigation.
Also the player stalls on numerous FLAC-files, resulting in an error message. Pressing play again usually solves the problem, but still its annoying.
Sound quality is good, but I am not overly exited about it. There is an audible background hiss audible (I'm using a pair of Shure SE535 headphones)
All in All the Colorfly C3 is a waste of money, even though it is not very expensive. I would strongly recommend potential buyers to reconsider. Don't let positive reviews fool you. The reviewers usually use the device for a short period of time, and load only a few of their reference albums/songs on it. In that case navigation is not a big deal. For me, the search is on for a user-friendly DAP that supports FLAC playback and has a storage capacity of 128GB ore more. The FiiO X5 has my interest...