mrarroyo Posted June 10, 2010 Report Share Posted June 10, 2010 I did a search for HM801 and HM-801 and only found a reference in the thread on the last bought item. I hope it is ok to start this thread on the HM-801 that Fang of Head Direct sent me to try/test. I have had the pleasure to both buy and get loaner pieces from Fang in the past and I have been very pleased with his customer service. Needless to say I was excited to try this unit without having to front the $790 asking price. I did have to buy a 32 GB Kingston Type 4 SD Card, I bought it from Newegg for about $85 including S&H. Note: If the initial impressions hold over the next couple of weeks I may have be buying this unit. Anyways this is not going to be so much an impressions thread but more of what people like me need to do to make this unit work properly. I say this because I am not a very knowledgeable computer person and recently I made the transition to an iMac which further made things very difficult. So the first thing I did was to transfer a large number of my Apple Lossless files to an external USB 250 GB HD. I did this to avoid messing up the iMac which I am just beginning to learn how to use. Once done I took the HD to an old (2004) Dell PC and did a search including starting a thread here on how to convert the ALAC files to FLAC. I intended to give the HM-801 the best possible files, just like I do with my iPods where I use ALAC files. I took the advice of many and downloaded the trial version of dbpoweramp, of course I did not set it up correctly on the first try nor the second try. This meant I spent about 3 days in converting about 7,300 ALAC files instead of just 1 day. I have to thank all who assisted this "old fart" in learning (at least partially) a new software and method to convert files. BTW, not all of the 3 days were lost since I had to wait for the 32 GB SD Card to arrive. So today I finally was able to load about 1,150 FLAC files unto the 32 GB SD Card and I have been able to finally listen to the HM-801. I need to learn how to navigate through the various buttons specially to locate specific songs, until I learn it is a pain to find songs and I am just listening in the same order I loaded the files in. Luckily I loaded them alphabetically so it is not a total pain to use. As you probably know the HM-801 retails for $790 plus if you wish to have the same capacity as an iPod Classic you would need five 32 GB SD Cards at about another $410 (some savings in S&H are realized) for a grand total of $1,200 as compared with about $850 for an iPod Classic, good amp, and a good line out dock. The HM-801 by itself is larger than an iPod but when you through in the amp and line out dock the HM-801 is smaller. Since I am comparing the two I should mention the iPod Classic play time is about 3 time that of the HM-801, say 25 hours to 8 hours both using lossless files. As far as carrying the HM-801 I am not aware of any case for it so IMO it is more of a transportable unless you do not mind risking damaging the HM-801 by carrying on a cargo pant pocket. I guess a camera bag would work as an alternative for many so it may not be too bad of an option. For the first listen I used a HiFiMAN RE-252 IEM and a Grado RS-1 with the 1/4" to 1/8" Grado converter. The first two songs were by Nina Simone and Nicole Henry and I also asked "she who must be obeyed" to listen and provide feedback. How does it sound? To this old tired ears it has more detail, clarity, and treble extension than an iPod Classic 6th Generation, iPhone 3G, and Nano 2nd Generation. I also hear more air between notes and female vocals are more engaging and it is easier to understand the words being sung (weird ain't it). Again this are very quick impressions and I will let the "new toy" mentality settle over the next couple of weeks before I can truly say more. If I was to start a wish list it would include: 1. A better instruction manual either electronic or hardcopy. 2. Longer play time, I would suggest a 20 hour target. 3. A way to shut down the screen to extend the battery life. 4. Inclusion of a case, even if it adds $30. 5. The case should have a place to carry an additional two SD Cards. 6. Ability to use the upcoming 64 GB and 128 GB SD Cards. 7. Gapless which I believe it is being worked on as we speak. 8. A more common A/C plug into the HM-801 so it would be easier to secure wall warts replacements in the future. I hope to be able to add more in the next couple of weeks. I would like to extend an invitation to those Head Casers in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas to contact me and perhaps we could meet during this or the next weekend so you could try the unit, maybe over a bottle of red wine or a beer. If you have an SD Card (even if it is a 4 GB or 8 GB) you can pre-load it with some of your music so you would be able to better judge the HM-801. Cheers. PD: Sorry for the long post. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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