Ok, here's the thing. I have an Etymotic HF3 that I have been using for I guess more than a year already. When I left the states last December, I also left my Powerbook. The Powerbook back was not used so much because I have a macbook that I use for my work. I am an equipment engineer that my work involves traveling for the most part of the week. I am basically living in hotels and airports, flying every week to different locations in the States. Anyway, I am now working here in the factory in China, now assigned to the subsidiary here. I have asked my friend to bring me my Powerbook here in China, and just last week I got my Powerbook back. I am not an audiophile per se, but I want that whenever I listen into something, I want the sound to be clear crisp and accurate. I don't want my bass to be powerful I want it to be tight and accurate and at least I can hear all the instrument in the background, in other words I want to be as real as possible. Its as if the singer and musician is in front of me. I have my equalizer setting already preset on my macbook, so that I can balance the sounds to my liking. Since, I opted to use my Powerbook at work, I plugged in my IEM's (Ety HF3) on it. Tinkered with the equalizer in iTunes to balance the sound to my liking. Wow! The Powerbook audio out sounds better than the macbook eventhough the powerbook had an older audio chip. The sound is warm, clean and the frequency response is almost flat on the equalizer. With the macbook I have to boost the lower frequency to get a decent bass and of course the more you go higher you'll get distortion but you don't get the kick. The macbook sounds dry. I am very thankful that my friend brought it for me. The PB uses a Crystal Semi chip while the MB uses an Intel HDA. Does it mean the older Crystal semi is much better in encoding than the newer Intel HDA?