I assure you that the latter is exactly how it sounds to me. My native tongues are Catalan and Spanish, so I guess I'm used (more or less) to this kind of sounds, which in both languages are very similar to Portuguese, but in a much more marked way. I can see, for instance, that Portuguese has several vocalic phonemes that sound like combinations to me; for example, the letter “e” (in syllables like “se” in “consequências”) uses to sound like [i] + [e], being the former very fleeting and easy to miss. Portuguese is really rich phonetically and requires a well-trained ear, which is something I'm starting to develop just now. It will take time.
I have studied a number of languages myself and am absolutely certain about what I am hearing. I remember on an earlier occasion that there was a differing of opinion among a number of people as to what they were hearing and it turned out that there were actually two different versions floating around. Maybe this is another case of that phenomenon. At any rate, I appreciate your input.