Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Are iPods a no-go for audiophiles?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are iPods a no-go for audiophiles? - Page 22

post #316 of 329

Of course there are mis-matches and poor set-ups using top notch gear, but good god I think when you get to 'that' level of gear it becomes more a matter of preference.  Unless we're judging using some sort of benchmark such as reproducing 'x', it is all about how much enjoyment you get out of it- huh?

post #317 of 329

So what's the verdict?

 

All similarly priced portable players sound the same? Any sounds significantly better than others without costing significantly more? With EQ off, of course.

 

Comparing portable players to other sources, do external DACs that are priced similar to portable players sound much better?

 

Does line out sound much better than headphone out, when both driving the same external amp?

 

Does iPod distort at max volume, even when the headphone out is not driving a high current load, e.g., when the headphone out is connected to an external amp?

 

Is there any line out with coiled cable?

post #318 of 329
Wait a few months. Apple is going to incorporate Thunderbolt into new iPods. Having optical out is going to change everything. An optical-out iPod will work with a variety of DACs, making all the various iPod mods irrelevant.
post #319 of 329

 

Quote:

All similarly priced portable players sound the same? Any sounds significantly better than others without costing significantly more? With EQ off, of course.

 

Apple has pretty good DACs.  The amps are not as strong as say HIFIMAN's or Cowon's.  But if you are running IEMs (especially universals), an amp isn't really going to get you much.  Regular 'cans' are a totally different story.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jung View Post

Comparing portable players to other sources, do external DACs that are priced similar to portable players sound much better?

 

I recently returned a Cambridge Audio DacMagic (~$400) because for the life of me I couldn't hear a difference between it and the line out on my iPad.  I think I have pretty good hearing and I think the least that can be said here is that you probably won't see much if any difference going from iPod/Pad/Macbook DACs to anything <$200.  I mainly listen to well recorded Rock and Jazz, and I was listening with my UE TripleFi10s and AKG K1000s.

 

Quote:

Does line out sound much better than headphone out, when both driving the same external amp?

 

I honestly can't tell the difference.  When you're driving an external amp out of the headphone out, typically you don't run into the same impedance or power issues as you do running actual headphones or IEMs.  But if it's all the same, you might as well use the line out.  At least the volume is fixed and you don't have to worry about adjusting the volume on the iPod.

 

Quote:
Does iPod distort at max volume, even when the headphone out is not driving a high current load, e.g., when the headphone out is connected to an external amp?

 

If I run out of the headphone out, I usually set the volume to about 80%.  You want it high enough so you have good signal to noise but low enough so you don't clip.

 

Quote:

Is there any line out with coiled cable?

 

Never seen one.  Here is a cool cable I picked up the other day though: http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/flat-aux-cable

It's flat so it never gets tangled and is easy to manage.  You'll need something like a SendStation PocketDock too.

post #320 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Wait a few months. Apple is going to incorporate Thunderbolt into new iPods. Having optical out is going to change everything. An optical-out iPod will work with a variety of DACs, making all the various iPod mods irrelevant.


Wow... that would be a game-changer for audiophiles.  If they implemented that right, it would be SO hard to be an Apple hater.  confused_face.gif  BTW, how does Thunderbolt get iPods optical out?

post #321 of 329

Quote:

Originally Posted by jung View Post

[...]

 

Does line out sound much better than headphone out, when both driving the same external amp?

 

Does iPod distort at max volume, even when the headphone out is not driving a high current load, e.g., when the headphone out is connected to an external amp?

 

As far as I am aware, line out via a line out dock connected to an amp should always sound better than when using the headphone out (which I've never seen anyone connect with an amp?).

 

If you're listening to an iPod with an external amp, the proper method is to have the iPod at max volume and use the amp to control the volume to your ears. There should be no distortion and with my portable setup anyway the volume on the iPod has no bearing on the end volume as the line out to amp overrides the iPod's volume level.
 

post #322 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Wait a few months. Apple is going to incorporate Thunderbolt into new iPods. Having optical out is going to change everything. An optical-out iPod will work with a variety of DACs, making all the various iPod mods irrelevant.

Elaborate please, tell us more (my googling has been unsatisfactory).
 

 

post #323 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post





Wow... that would be a game-changer for audiophiles.  If they implemented that right, it would be SO hard to be an Apple hater.  confused_face.gif  BTW, how does Thunderbolt get iPods optical out?

 

I can still manage it :)

 

- love the SQ on my 6G Nano but loathe virtually everything else about it, esp the very things that some dork in marketing must have thought were 'cool'

 

- anyone who cant see parallels between iTunes and Orwell's 'Big Brother' really needs to look a little closer. 

 

Yes, there are workarounds and I'm happy with GTKiPod, but its still some way from my ideal DAP.
 

post #324 of 329



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

The touch 3 is better than the 4 dig out via a Wadia 170 and surprising. The rest are meh and the 4 isn't special either. Other apple cerified usb devices that are usb connected via the ipod cable don't generally work as well. Lucky and good always works well together.wink_face.gif I wonder if the new authentification ware affects anything. My personal observations.

 

Nwavguy, I like your reviews. Have you measured PS spikes and noise from switching supplies and PCs.


Watch out when you compare different iPods' digital out. To my experience, a dig out will depends a lot on the software/USB controller used, as an example, iOS 4.0.1, 4.0.2 and 4.1 had a bugged digital out (random zero-size packets on the isochronous endpoints, which could cause desynch or disconnection from the receiver point-of-view), this bug has been corrected by Apple in iOS 4.2.1.

USB comm is tricky, clocks are sensitives, and not adapted for audio...

post #325 of 329

I certainly hope not, because I just purchased a refurb Ipod classic 80gb on amazon (after the death of my creative Zen). As far as iTunes however, I hate it with a bloody passion, so I may untether my player from iCrap.

post #326 of 329

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maverickmonk View Post

I certainly hope not, because I just purchased a refurb Ipod classic 80gb on amazon (after the death of my creative Zen). As far as iTunes however, I hate it with a bloody passion, so I may untether my player from iCrap.

 

I use MediaMonkey now and haven't looked back. I synch what I want Apple! smile.gif
 

post #327 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazdavid98 View Post



 


Watch out when you compare different iPods' digital out. To my experience, a dig out will depends a lot on the software/USB controller used, as an example, iOS 4.0.1, 4.0.2 and 4.1 had a bugged digital out (random zero-size packets on the isochronous endpoints, which could cause desynch or disconnection from the receiver point-of-view), this bug has been corrected by Apple in iOS 4.2.1.

USB comm is tricky, clocks are sensitives, and not adapted for audio...


Not surprised at all and why I like a nice regulated linear supply on the Wadia which also powers the Touch 3 clock etc. The HD models aren't as good. Wadia Interface to the touch is USB and surprises me because of it. I would normally only an isosynchronous firewire or at the least async usb for dig out to a DAC. I know different controllers even have an influence yet others think that a Cambridge DAC sound exactly like an Ipod. You can prefer one or the other as the Cambridge is far from special but they'll never sound the same unless there's a much weaker link elsewhere. This is self fullfilling prophesy stuff. When comparing two things, they need to be the weakest link in a chain to have a clue as to their influence.
Edited by goodvibes - 2/28/11 at 6:53pm
post #328 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Permagrin View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by jung View Post

[...]

 

Does line out sound much better than headphone out, when both driving the same external amp?

 

Does iPod distort at max volume, even when the headphone out is not driving a high current load, e.g., when the headphone out is connected to an external amp?

 

As far as I am aware, line out via a line out dock connected to an amp should always sound better than when using the headphone out (which I've never seen anyone connect with an amp?).

 

If you're listening to an iPod with an external amp, the proper method is to have the iPod at max volume and use the amp to control the volume to your ears. There should be no distortion and with my portable setup anyway the volume on the iPod has no bearing on the end volume as the line out to amp overrides the iPod's volume level.
 


I believe line out is fixed and no need to worry about dropping bits with the V control.
post #329 of 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

I can still manage it :)

 

- love the SQ on my 6G Nano but loathe virtually everything else about it, esp the very things that some dork in marketing must have thought were 'cool'

 

- anyone who cant see parallels between iTunes and Orwell's 'Big Brother' really needs to look a little closer. 

 

Yes, there are workarounds and I'm happy with GTKiPod, but its still some way from my ideal DAP.
 


Totally with you on that.  Lack of expandable memory is another Apple tether/chain.  There are reports next iPad will be expandable but I think they are lies and rumors.  As players I think the iPods have a lot to offer and find little to fault.  It's the larger overarching Apple choices that strike a nerve for me.  Sony could make the greatest DAP in the world but I wouldn't buy one if it had only memory stick.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Are iPods a no-go for audiophiles?