Saturday, 17 October 2015

Mobile Phone As A Source?

Yesterday, the iPhone 6S was made available to the Malaysian market. As much as I was a big Apple fan, I can't help but to feel that it is no longer value for money item. I have used iPhone from the first model till iPhone 5 before I switched to Samsung Note 3. But not for long before I landed onto Blackberry Passport. I did have intermediate Blackberry experience with the Bold, Torch and. Curve, Z10 before but mainly because it was provided my company as one of the perks.
So, why am I writing about mobile phones as a hifi review?

Like it or not, I cannot deny the convenience of network or wireless music. The streaming technology has improved vastly especially in the past 4 to 5 years. What's gone is the unstability that the wireless kingdom can offer.... let alone the sound quality. I have tried so many of these devices and wireless medium where I believe it is currently has reached the pinnacle.... at least for now. From the days of Apple Airport Express to Logitech Squeeze to Sonos to dedicated network media player. This was all based on wifi or ethernet connection.

And then there was the Bluetooth medium. From BRIK Audio to QED uPlay puck to dedicated BT DAC. Nowadays it is quite standard for any good branding DAC comes equipped with BT AptX module. Your truly have 2 units that offer this function... Musical Fidelity M6 DAC and the Oppo HA-1 headphone amp and the recently added QED uPlay Plus.

Now, the part that most hifi manufacturer failed to address is the source when they offer BT function. And which sector has picked up this opportunity? The mobile phone industry!

iPhone has been the most successful music library on the go kit for many years. That time has long gone where its rivals in the likes of Samsung, Oppo, Sony and the 'lag in technology' Blackberry have been offering a more flexible operating system, bigger storage capacity and AptX BT for many years. Not to mention the ability to play hi res audio straight out of the box.

Yours truly have been using Blackberry Passport for nearly a year now and have been very satisfied for the following reasons:
  1. Sound quality when streaming via BT
  2. Big storage capacity with 32 GB built in plus 128 GB external microSD which it manages smoothly
  3. Able to play FLAC files with inhouse app
  4. Excellent battery life

This is compared to my previous experience with iPhone and Samsung. And with iPhone particularly, have not evolved in any area of music delivery apart from better built in speakers over the yea. Its BT have yet to adopt Aptx and still cannot play FLAC unless you use a third party app.
I am looking forward for Blackberry Priv and do hope the Malaysia Telco companies would still have some faith in Blackberry.

Although no indication of the price for this unit, but traditionally, Blackberry flagship model (apart from the Porsche design) has never been priced above RM 2,400 (~USD 600) which makes it more value for money compared to iPhone with respect to music playing.

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