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Sharp Auvi Vs Hi-md

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I am thinking about buying a new MD unit for a good friend who cares about sound quality more than the amount of music, but I am not sure if I should buy my friend a Sharp Auvi unit or a Hi-MD unit?

(Which really has better sound quality, a Sharp Auvi unit or one of Sony's current Hi-MD units?)

I know Sharp Auvi units have:

(1)Delta Sigma/1-bit digital amplifier

(2)4 pole headphone plug(but that can be trouble some, right? Do 4 pole plugs give off a better sound?)

(3) Sharp has their own slightly altered Atrac codex, I think?

(4)And more than a few reviews I have read about Sharp Auvi units claim it to have better sound quality than anything Sony has.


Sony's Hi-MD units have the ablity to record and play PCM, and PCM sound quality should in theory sound better than Sharps Atrac codex. Hi-Sp is sounds pretty good, too. Also, don't Sony's units have their own amplifiers, or lest 2 different kinds can be found among sonys portables.

The Auvi units really seem to be famous for high quality sound, but Hi-MD 's PCM is also cool. Both seem like good options but which one is the best?

If, any could share some advice with me I would greatly appreciate the help.

Thanks in advance,


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Actually, the thing about the Auvi amps is that they sound very good at extremely low voltages (these amps run on 0.9V typically).

This is good for battery life; Sharp MD generally has the best battery life of any MD or DAP. But the Auvis have lots and lots of problems on some headphones... current draw and low voltage output equals suboptimal sound.

Efficient (high sensitivity) headphones helps a lot here, but I don't care what anyone says...

All other things being equal, a more powerful output will ALWAYS sound better. Always. No matter what headphones you use them with. An MP3 player with a Wolfson unbuffered DAC with an output of 5mW+5mW will sound worse, always, than the same MP3 player with a 30mW+30mW output.

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Hello Kurisu,

Straight PCM will rock ATRAC3/plus any day.

I say wait for Sharp Hi-MD, get the best of both worlds.

Thanks for the quick reply biggrin.gif ! I will keep that in mind cool.gif . I hope Sharp and others will come out with a HI-MD portable player/recorder, soon! So, that Hi-MD could grow without being stuck to one company. I know sharp posted something on their internet site about optical pickups for Hi-MD and normal MD media. I hope those sharp guys and gals will post some cool digi pictures of what they have in store(or will have in store laugh.gif ) for us.

Till next time,


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Thanks aeriyn,

Actually, the thing about the Auvi amps is that they sound very good at extremely low voltages (these amps run on 0.9V typically)..........

This is good for battery life; Sharp MD generally has the best battery life of any MD or DAP.

Thats, good to know. I guess that makes sense to me, now. After all when most people in Japan do most of their listening while ridding on a busy train, a bus, a bike, or walking to a bike, bus, or train laugh.gif then Auvi amps will shine since, they sound good at low voltages happy.gif ! And I guess most people will use sharps standard four pole ear phones and will aslo not be using high voltages at those times.

But, the problem might come in if someone wanted to plug a portable auvi up to some speakers, or to nice headphones(that are not 4 pole and/or require higher voltages) sad.gif . I do not like sharps ear phones very much they usually do not fit in my ears, and their headphones usually have some sort of rubber clip that fits around the outside of ones ears but those can hurt if someone is also wearing glasses. So, sharp sounds good(at low voltages) but their ear phones are not so nice. I hope Sharp will bring out a cool HiMD Auvi with nice ear buds.

Thank you for your relpy!


I like the Boa pic. She came out with a new album last month, but it was basically just her best singles from the past few years, with a DVD.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the record, I'm listening to my Sharp DR-7 right now on standard 'phones (Koss Pro25)--great sound. I haven't had any trouble plugging the DR-7 into any set of phones or my car stereo. I'm sure it would sound better with the four pole plug, but I don't have the option. It also has plenty of volume for noisy situations.

At the moment, the DR-7 also makes the best recordings in the house (clearest sound & few artifacts). Personally, I don't think I can wait, but I'll agree with Kurisu: see what Sharp has in store for Hi-MD, as it's only a matter of time. You may find your dream unit, and it should work just fine with your favorite set of 'phones. happy.gif

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The only real difference between using the 4-conductor headphones is the benefits of dual mono... that is, better channel separation and lower crossover distortion. The sound using the typical shared-ground plugs is not much different.

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