Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4
The audiophiles' PMP
Review The true audiophile is likely to have many questions concerning the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi, but chief among them is likely to be ‘How f*%&ing much??!?’ At £549 this Chinese-made high fidelity portable music player is nobody’s idea of a bargain, but if you’re one of those brave souls who still cares about sound quality, who appreciates the convenience of digital but feels cheated by the compressed sound, Colorfly might just have something here.
Listening skills: Colorfly's Pocket Hi-Fi C4
Everything about the Colorfly is designed to give the impression of quality, from the black walnut wood shell with engraved back to the supplied gold-plated USB/mini USB cable. At least some of this is pure affectation – gold-plated connections may be popular on hi-fi gear, apparently delivering a more robust connection, but on USB cable this seems like overkill.
The old-school aesthetics of the volume slider and big, chunky buttons won’t appeal to everyone, but it feels very solidly built and combined with the interface – that includes metering of your audio levels – gives the air of reliability and class.
Virtually all digital music players these days make claims for ‘great sound quality’ but few take it to the extremes of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi. It claims to be the only portable player capable of handling 24bit/192kHz audio files. By comparison, CD audio is 16-bit/44.1kHz and you could argue that there’s no real need for such a high resolution, but music production kit is capable of producing recordings at this level, and so here’s a portable player to match.
Among the controls, the music note button lets you scroll through the half-dozen equaliser settings. The SRC button has upsampling options which will help clocking with other high-end digital gear – the Colorfly does feature coax S/PDIF I/O, after all – and any noticeable audible benefits of effectively oversampling will be in the ear of the beholder.
Metering on-screen: ah, takes you back
Admittedly, you might need the hearing of a dog to notice improvements in high frequency decoding the Colorfly has the potential to deliver. Likewise, the Colorfly makes great play out of the C4's jitter performance – minimising timing errors that have an impact on vocal reproduction.
Next page: Taking the Flac
Design - as the AC above says, it's boomboxtastic. Fail
Classy logo - badge of the would-be oligarch.
Ergonomics - vertical volume slider on a device designed to be taken vertically in and out of a pocket.
Gold plated USB. Gullibility alert.
Upsampling crappy MP3s. Gullibility red alert.
'Testing' - confirmed it supports various file formats. That's some serious testing!
Equaliser - if you're going to spend serious you'll have serious phones and wont need eq. This thing will end up plugged into Beats by Dre or Bose so will need all the help it can get.
Bargepole - it should come with one
A rich seam of gullibility
I intend to produce a mat to complement this device. To the untrained eye it may look like a beer mat (possibly due to the Fosters logo on it) but in reality it is part of a signature series of mats hand engineered to dampen background electronic interference, and increase acoustic resonance producing a rich and warm sound. The mat will be on sale shortly for £600 which I'm sure you agree is a bargain for anyone who strives to attain the ultimate sound reproduction system.
I was one of those.....
...that had a full Meridian Audio setup, would strip and clean my system down every few months, had the spiked tables, the £200 cables between CD player and amp etc. etc.
All you do with those setups is listen to the hardware, not the music. Very few 'audiophiles' ever learn this or will admit to it. They cant as they feel idiots to admit they spent all that money and have forgotten the key element in it all...the tunes. Just enjoying the tunes.
Since then the Meridian gear has gone into storage (I might get it out as an ironic joke one day) and most of my listening is now done on a separate PC speaker system through a Spotify account on my PC.
I now listen to far more music and really enjoy it. I don't care what the hardware is doing anymore.