Haha. No, absolutely not. And I don't believe headphones need it either. At least not in-ear, based on the supposed reasoning for burn in in the first place... I think in my case it was the variables of connection type, lossy format, etc. etc.
What is the sound quality of iPhone, iPad, iPod (Touch)? - Page 8
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I believe the real reason your ipods sound different would be the difference in coding inherent in subsequent releases of the iOS software that actually plays your music. The program/executable that is playing your tunes (apple music APP) is going to have a HUGE impact on audio reproduction. You should try downloading a different playback app, perhaps EQu or Capriccio. I personally use the latter, and the sound signature is literally exactly the same on any iOS device i've been able to install and test it with. This has included iPod Touch 3rd-5th gen, iPhone 3/3s/4 & iPad 1/2.
I may be flamed for advocating the use of 3rd party playback applications, but the converse of this would imply that windows media player would be a better reference medium on a PC than, say, itunes or winamp...1st party developers may have the jump on the competition, since they usually are financially involved in the development of the device in question, but once EVERYONE gets their filthy hands on the goodies, we start talking to each other and improving upon the foundation laid by the developers/builders.
Communication is key.
Also, wouldn't it make sense, even if it is conspiratorial, that Apple would screw with the sound so THEIR headphones would sound tuned and accurate?.... and with the heavily marketed armature based IEM headphones now sold with the newest gen iPods/iPhones, this seems to be a bit more than coincidence.
I don't mean to belittle apple overmuch, just giving observations. When you consider this company engages in monopolistic control over app development and marketing, not to mention the knee deep price gauging they've practiced for years, it no longer becomes a question of relative line comparisons and specifications on paper. It comes down to you trusting that Apple knows more about sound than anyone, and that they will faithfully deliver an uncompromised or unadulterated product. Which is kind of the opposite of everything they do, in a business/marketing sense. Even the Mac OS is designed for people who have no care for intricate system level control...a computer for someone who HATES computers. Take away the ability from the consumer to affect or control the system, and the consumer assumes there is no need for control, while inherently being controlled.
Sorry to sound like a paranoid skeptic, but i trust what i hear, not what someone else tells me i should be hearing. :/
Does anyone know what the USB DAC/amp capabilities the iPod Touch 5G has? I am hesitant to get one due to the new connection and there is no information online about external DAC capabilities. Was going to get the Nexus 7 and get a DAC for it after rooting but if I can snag an iPod Touch I think I would rather have a small device. I already have a Toshiba Thrive tablet (no support for DAC's ) and a laptop.
Edited by gidgiddonihah - 12/8/12 at 4:31pm
It's just every device I own (my XPS laptop almost being an exception) doesn't do my HD25-II's justice. I hate that I spent all of that money on good headphones and I don't have a decent source to drive them. Theoretically (to put me at ease) could I use a USB DAC with it if I wanted to in the future?
Edited by gidgiddonihah - 12/8/12 at 8:39pm
Maybe it is just the volume level differences tricking my ears, but it really sounds different to me when I use my iPod Touch (4th gen) or iPad (3rd gen) with a line out vs. my HRT iStreamer DAC. They sound different to me with my O2 amp or Asgard and I seem to prefer the iStreamer, but i don't really have any way to test this in a fair way. I'm usually just streaming MOG or Spotify tracks at their highest available quality. I'll have to give this another go, as a simple dock with a line out is a much cheaper option.
I'm only using the device DACs or the iStreamer.
1) iPod or iPad -> bypass internal device DAC and amp with digital output to HRT iStreamer DAC -> O2 or Asgard amp
2) iPod or iPad -> bypass internal device amp only with LOD -> O2 or Asgard amp
The iStreamer sends a 2.1Vrms (EDIT: 2.25 Vrms according to the specifications) signal to my amps, while both the iPod and iPad are significantly lower, so the volume level is different to be sure. I'd prefer to use a lower Vrms, as this gives me finer detail range in my amps volume settings. I have plenty of power to spare with my Denon D5000 or AT M50 headphones with either of these amps.
This kind of bums me out, as I honestly thought my iStreamer DAC made a significant and noticeable improvement in my overall sound quality. Now, I'm not so sure, and the science does not support my initial gut feeling. All this time I could have simply turned up the volume a bit to get similar results while using my cheap LOD cable or dock.
Edited by sonitus mirus - 12/11/12 at 2:47pm
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I have to say this has become a really interesting thread to read. This being our hobby all of us are into it and have deep seated opinions that we believe. I have spent the last hour reading the posts here. Such a great read so far!
As I posted before as an answer to the OP's question. Yes, every Apple product sounds a little different. I ask people to understand this in simple terms due to each Ipod having it's very own special DAC.
Pulled from Steve Hoffman Forums...
You can clearly see on the list of products that they have different chips affecting the signal.
I am a very consistent Ipod Touch user and greatly enjoy the intimacy resulting from not using a secondary amp but just use the Ipod out listening process with no EQ. My favorite Apple DAP has actually been the 1st generation Ipod Shuffle. Those things being low in music capacity as well as simple in user interface lack many features which we have become used to with the Touch.
Part of the 1st generation Shuffle sound must have been the result of the Wolfson DAC they implemented then. Interestingly even today here at Head-Fi you have a small cult following for the sound of the 1st generation Shuffle. In my history using and experimenting with Apple DAPs the sound break-through as upon discovering the boost that a Rockbox software improvement could due to an Ipod mini. The new fact that the Apple Ipod mini can now have user replaceable batteries and upgraded bigger memories as well as Rockbox makes them amazing. I do have to say that still my admiration of the sound of a Rockboxed Apple mini could only be from the increase in volume production. I truly just don't know? Loudness is really funny as a SQ placebo that way.
Finally getting and falling in love with the Cirrus Logic C42L63 direct out-put on an Apple Ipad 2 let me know that Wolfson was not the only Apple DAC I could get into the sound of. The Ipad2s get really loud. Louder than the Touch ever could! pure power there. To reiterate the concepts posted in this thread, all Apple produts do come close to CD quality and yes have a very close to perfect un-colored flat signal out-put. They all sound great! Still each one has it's own tone.
I do have some personal ideas and have a new DAP plan for 2013. No............ an 5G Touch is not in the cards. I agree they maybe sound as good as some of the other Ipods and have a list of features that make them very special in the marketplace. Still for listening to digital I have doubts about the jitter coming from USB computer audio and feel a stand alone 16 bit CD player still slays all other forms of digital playback. The main reason that we are seeing a big uptake in 24/96 vinyl recording played back on the computer is that they do help some systems to sound better. Still a good old fashion high quality 16bit /44.1 DAC signal coming out a a nice CD player sounds way more natural to my ears. Every year I feel more and more that this is a true fact and the downfall in USB interfaces. Optical could maybe fix that but I have not played around with it enough to say for sure. USB is USB, it is what it is.
This all leads to my next personal audio chapter. I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 tablet. This was mainly due to the ability to play a range of high rez digital audio files. I can play FLAC as well as big vinyl rip files on a portable. The European Samsung Tab 2 7.0 tablets are a phone model GT-P3100 and have the fabulous WM1811 DAC made by Wolfson. I will be attempting to test different playback software as well as different headphones to find out where the best sound is at. There is also a small handful of Galaxy Tab users getting ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the new Android Jelly Bean 4.2 operating system to send USB digital signals out to outboard DACs. LOL, back to USB hell?
Still direct out is what I'm after. Just the DAP and some headphones.
With the news of 7 carriers offering Samsung's new phones at the end of April you can see the starting of bigtime success for Samsung. The only sad part for any of us changing off away from Apple ends up in the simple powerful use of I-Tunes as a great organizer of music and file transfer. Still with the added benefits of simple things like replaceable Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 batteries makes you wonder if a long term commitment to a new file transfer scheme could be worthwhile in the end.
Edited by Redcarmoose - 4/19/13 at 4:40am
I have iPods going all the way back to gen 2, iPhones back to the first and iPads back to the first. I've had Macs with onboard digital sound all the way back to the 8500 AV and all the way forward to the current iMac.
They all sound the same. 20-20 flat is 20-20 flat.
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So it seems the line-out on an iPhone is well regarded, as is its internal DAC, minus some debate as to whether or not the chips sound a bit different from one to another. So my question in all this is: given that the iPhone 5 line-out through a lightning to 30 pin adapter uses the DAC in the adapter and not the onboard DAC, is the line-out through the adapter of the same quality (minus minor chip differences)?
I used to use the iPhone 4 --> line-out --> RSA Tomahawk. Now I have iPhone 5 --> adapter --> line-out --> RSA Tomahawk and am debating to get a Sony PHA-1 or a Verza to offload the DAC and AMP entirely from the iPhone but have read mixed feedback on these devises in the iPhone context. It seems clear that a netbook with a crappy DAC and crappy amp will benefit enormously from either of these products but one review said you would be hard pressed to hear any difference from the iPhone. Both these devices seem rather expensive just to cut down on some excess cabling and may not even match the RSA as an amp. Desktop use would also be limited as I have an M-Audio firewire interface that does a decent job as a DAC and it can feed my RSA via line-out.
Any guidance would be appreciated.
Edited by Iron-Buddha - 4/29/13 at 12:30pm
Edited by bigshot - 4/29/13 at 2:53pm