First off i'm an Apple fan and not a hater...i own 2 macs, 1 iPod, 1 iPhone, AEBS yada yada Anyway one thing i've noticed is Sony MP3 players tend to pump out better sound than iPods, now that doesnt mean iPods are crappy sounding, far from it. They sound pretty good but sony players have the edge IMHO when it comes to audio quality (and no, i dont listen to 128k AAC files...the lowest i have is 192kbps but most of my tracks are 256kbps/Lossless nor do i use the stock headphones). Is it just down to the audio chipset used?. Apple uses Wolfson/Cirrus right?. Do Sony make their own chipset or what?