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Is an Ipod Nano 5th Generation really that bad?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

I just received one of these and decided I want a good pair of IEMs to upgrade my sound quality. This led me to head-fi forums and to the fact that an Ipod Nano 5th Gen isnt as good as a Sansa for sound quality. But really, how different will it be? Day vs night, or much more subtle?

Facts:
I will use my player for on-the-go playback without any amp.
I'll be using a pair of IEMs around the $200-$300 price range.


Returning the ipod will be kind of a pain and I really like the look, build quality, screen, and navigation of the ipod. Is the Tier 2 sound quality really that much of a deal-breaker?


Edited by onthefence - 5/14/12 at 5:26am
post #2 of 38

Hi, 

 

Your instantly inviting people to tell you that the Sansa Clip etc far better, that's because the Sansa Clip's etc seem to have a cult following around here.  To consider anything else is blasphemous to a large percentage of Head-Fier's, then you have the Apple haters to contend with .  

 

However the sound on the Nano isn't all that bad & with the good IEM's I'm sure you'll get a lot of pleasure from it.

 

Besides they hold there price well enough on Fleabay, so if you don't like it you can resell it easy enough - I wouldn't worry.

 

Mark

 

P.S. Subtle in my opinion, not night & day..

post #3 of 38

it doesn't sound bad... but the soundstage is small. battery will be an issue as ipod nano's batteries meter are jumping especially if you are running high bit mp3s.. i had a nano 4th gen and sold it and bought an ipod classic .. on the classic, soundstage has fair width and height.. SQ is a lil bit better than the nano

hope this helps

post #4 of 38

This is an interesting overview of Ipod's.

 

http://macintoshhowto.com/itunes/which-ipod-has-the-best-audio-quality.html

 

I have a 1st, 4th and 6th gen Nano's in the house and I would say the 1st does sound better to the others. I got an improved SQ by using LOD to Fiio E5 and then getting some resonably good IEM's...the Fiio's E5 or E6 are small enough to be portable and have clips. For my 2 cents.

post #5 of 38
the 1st and 2nd gen have the WOLFSON DAC in it that's why..
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by maporter View Post

Hi, 

 

Your instantly inviting people to tell you that the Sansa Clip etc far better, that's because the Sansa Clip's etc seem to have a cult following around here.  To consider anything else is blasphemous to a large percentage of Head-Fier's, then you have the Apple haters to contend with .  

 

However the sound on the Nano isn't all that bad & with the good IEM's I'm sure you'll get a lot of pleasure from it.

 

Besides they hold there price well enough on Fleabay, so if you don't like it you can resell it easy enough - I wouldn't worry.

 

Mark

 

P.S. Subtle in my opinion, not night & day..

 

Hey, I doubt anyone here's against the iPod, and just because someone doesn't like certain aspects of iPod/iTunes doesn't make them a hater.

Why would I spend more than 3x on something if all I want is for it to play my music, and the difference is not night and day? The 8 GB nano retails for > $100 right now.

This is one of the reason why the Clip+ has a better reputation here.

 

If you have an iPod, no reason to change.

If you're out looking to buy a new player, the Sansa is a good option to consider, especially because it uses SDHC.

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

Hey, I doubt anyone here's against the iPod, and just because someone doesn't like certain aspects of iPod/iTunes doesn't make them a hater.

Why would I spend more than 3x on something if all I want is for it to play my music, and the difference is not night and day? The 8 GB nano retails for > $100 right now.

This is one of the reason why the Clip+ has a better reputation here.

 

If you have an iPod, no reason to change.

If you're out looking to buy a new player, the Sansa is a good option to consider, especially because it uses SDHC.

I love the fact that I can buy a  2GB Clip+ for $30 and put a $22  32GB microSDHC card in it, giving me a great $52   34GB player. One can also carry extra cards with them. Think about an extended trip with the Clip+, and bringing extra 32GB cards with audiobooks or podcasts on them.

 

Do I want a great 34GB player for $52, or an okay 16GB player(ipod) for $140?

Many hate using itunes, and love using the Clip+ in MSC mode.

 

Perhaps now some will say that the ipod Nano has 60% longer battery life than the Clip(officially listed as 24 hours vs 15 hours, although I guess people nomally get around 80% of this).  Those who need longer battery life can buy a small usb battery pack to use with it. The Clip+ will play while it is charging via a usb battery pack or ac adapter. It will also play while charging from a pc if you use a power only usb cable(these come with usb battery packs).

 

Some interesting  inexpensive usb battery packs are the Tekkeon mp1580(powered by 4 nimh AA batteries), the Veho Pebble(which has a built in lion battery), and the New Trent IMP60D(powered by a built in lion battery). The nice thing about the mp1580 is that if someone plans to be away from AC power for a long time they can bring extra sets of AA batteries to use in the Tekkeon mp1580. While others use it with alkalines, I only use mine with nimh rechargeables. I think these will all give at least 7 full charges of the Clip+ battery.

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by soullinker20 View Post

the 1st and 2nd gen have the WOLFSON DAC in it that's why..

 

Wait a second. The iPod Nano 2g has a wolfson dac? Is this confirmed? I have one lying around here somewhere, and i remember it sounded pretty bad with my Sennheiser hd 280 pro. Maybe because of the terrible amp?

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by TemplarUK View Post

This is an interesting overview of Ipod's.

 

http://macintoshhowto.com/itunes/which-ipod-has-the-best-audio-quality.html

 

I have a 1st, 4th and 6th gen Nano's in the house and I would say the 1st does sound better to the others. I got an improved SQ by using LOD to Fiio E5 and then getting some resonably good IEM's...the Fiio's E5 or E6 are small enough to be portable and have clips. For my 2 cents.

 

The Best

iPod 5G (wolfson WM8758)
iPod 4G (wolfson WM8975)
iPod nano 1G and 2G (wolfson 8975), iPhone 4S, (wolfson WM8758).

This taken from your link. Im actually quite shocked at this. So the iPod nano 2g is comparable to the ipod 5g which everyone raves about? Im quite curious, how much of a difference would there be in sound quality between the wolfson WM8758 and WM8975?

I actually might end up not buying the 5.5g like i planned and get an LOD to pair the 2g with my E17 instead.

post #10 of 38

The new iPod's all use Cirrus Logic chips, and all sound excellent. They have no bass rolloff, unlike the older Wolfson chips. Anyone who says ONLY the older iPod's that have the Wolfson chips have great SQ isn't saying the facts. They're stating an OPINION!!! And yes, Rockbox does make an older iPod sound excellent due to the EQ, but a newer iPod using Rockbox is just as good - with NO BASS ROLLOFF!!! The Wolfson myth is just that, a MYTH!!! Get a device with a Wolfson chip that has no bass rolloff and it's a different thing,...where are they??? 

 

And yes, the clip/clip+/clipzip are all excellent, but there's NOTHING wrong with an iPod.


Edited by tds101 - 5/18/12 at 3:01pm
post #11 of 38

Is the radio on the nano any good because the one on the clip+ is terrible. 

post #12 of 38
I'd like to know myself - since I started jogging again and the nano & watch band case are looking promising.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

 

The Best

iPod 5G (wolfson WM8758)
iPod 4G (wolfson WM8975)
iPod nano 1G and 2G (wolfson 8975), iPhone 4S, (wolfson WM8758).

This taken from your link. Im actually quite shocked at this. So the iPod nano 2g is comparable to the ipod 5g which everyone raves about? Im quite curious, how much of a difference would there be in sound quality between the wolfson WM8758 and WM8975?

I actually might end up not buying the 5.5g like i planned and get an LOD to pair the 2g with my E17 instead.

A LOD is a pretty inexpensive experiment (~ $7) maybe try this with your nano and then go and see what a Classic sounds like, I'm sure a good hi-fi shop will allow you to try with your own headphones, etc...I've heard the Classic is better (opinions) but do not have a Classic myself so cannot comment. Without reviewing the datasheets for the WM8758 and 8975 I could not say, but it's not just about the DAC itself, it's also how you design around it (support circuitry) to get the best out of the device, this is where you can also make some good enhancements. 

post #14 of 38

No, it's not bad, but unless you really need to be able to watch and record video and look at pictures, I would still go for a Sansa Fuze (first gen, not the silly second gen version) or a Sansa Clip + or Zip. The expandable storage and drastically cheaper price are what seal the deal for me.

post #15 of 38
Quote:

Originally Posted by nywytboy68 View Post

 

 

And yes, the clip/clip+/clipzip are all excellent, but there's NOTHING wrong with an iPod.

 

The ipods have two major shortcomings, each of which would cause me to avoid them. They are priced much too high, and they lack a card slot.

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