iPod VS Beosound 6

Has anyone tried the new Bang & Olufsen portable music player?

It would be nice to have a stylish, well built device with digital out.

Or is it just another Ferrari body kit on a Ford Taurus?
Not as of yet -- does look rather interesting albeit as you suggest the sound will make or break the deal.

If you already have the iPod already the Wadia 170 iTransport is the hot ticket.

For a multi-purpose digital device the Blue Circle USB Thingee is the real deal (head amp, DAC & digital IO conduit all rolled into one). Turns the MacBook into one killer transport.

I have actually had the opportunity to directly compare a Beosound 6 directly with an iPod Nano . . . and the Beosound 6 is definately a big improvement in sound quality when using the same files and the same headphones. It's battery life is also ridiculously long. But there's no digital out, and I'm not sure that what it does for uncompressed file types, if any. B&O probably feels that a portable is a portable, period. I happen to agree with them on this one.

As far as the user-interface goes . . . they're about the same . . . meaning that I don't really like either one. The B&O's display is a little more readable, and I like the fact that the volume control is separate from the selection buttons. But its little leatherette case is silly, and makes it harder to operate the buttons. The shiney finish gathers fingerprints like nobody's business, and . . . well . . . it says Samsung on the back. I at least respect that if Samsung is heavily responsible for the product, that they tell you so.

I own B&O's other MP3 player, the Beosound 2, and really like it. It uses a standard SD card for memory, has no display, is very, very simple, and sounds great. For a portable player, I like it this way . . . I just want to take a handful of music with me, not my entire collection. I can stick the SD card in my laptop, drag over some music, and then put the card in the player. It even tolerates if I use the same SD card for my camera, with a mix of pictures and music on it.

Oh and their headphones are really nice and available separately . . . and they're really generous with the 3-year warranty.

Thanks. If I am the rare and eccentric user who does not actually need 500,000 songs in my palm for my 20 minute workout, can I use WAV files on the Beosound 2?
Hi Cwlondon . . . No, I don't think that the Beosound 2 supports WAVs, but I've never tried it. It came out at a time when a huge, expensive SD card was 512MB, so uncompressed files were considered way over-the-top for portable use. Also it's battery life is somewhat shorter with the really big (4GB) cards, but even then it's at least as good as an iPod.

I generally use 320kbps MP3s, which gives me plenty of music on 1GB card . . . and the 1GB cards are REALLY cheap these days. I have never been anything other than thrilled with the sound quality -- I also use it in my car (2006 BMW) and work truck (1986 Ford with Sony CD/Boston speakers), and in both cases it sounds noticeably better (playing MP3s) than a CD playing directly on the system.

I guess that B&O did a pretty decent job with all of those other details (DAC, codec, audio preamp/amp, clocking, PC board layout, etc.) Oh and there's the cool factor - nobody else has anything that looks at all remotely like it.