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What is the sound quality of iPhone, iPad, iPod (Touch)? - Page 6

post #76 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

Of course it does. It's just often misused to the point where people think the incorrect usage is the true one.

Sorry, I mis typped that part.

 

Sound stage does not have an actual defined specific meaning that is officially recognized in terms of audio products and devices as we are speaking of it now. And thus that leaves the term up for consideration. You have your own speaker defintion or a more universal one while we on "regular-Fi" use the common quality one to describe the spatial sound of it and how realisitc it sounds up to the quality achievable.

post #77 of 133

Bigshot: People don't just use the line out of their iPods or iPhones. Secondly, perceived soundstage (that's how I refer to it) with headphones will be connected with the level of stereo crosstalk and distortion with different headphones. Some people have already done measurements of various iDevices with and without headphones plugged in and correlated it with their listening impressions. Plug a pair of HD-600s into an iPod and listen to a piece of music that was recorded in, say, a concert hall and note down your perception of the image then try the same again using the iPod connected to a good headphone amp as an example.

 

Now with the new Lightning connector, there isn't the possibility of a line-out connection unless the headphone socket is used, so the OP's question is a valid one from a variety of different aspects, so rather than arguing about whether we misuse words such as "soundstage", how about addressing the question asked?

post #78 of 133

On that subject:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/02/iphone-vs-rivals-audio-tests/

 

Flawed article but I guess you could read it and take what you will out of it. The various loads other devices were put on weren't shown and some of the graphs look wrong.

post #79 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophylactery View Post

Just so everyone knows i'm not COMPLETELY full of crap, here's a quick test you can do. On a laptop, open iTunes. Start some tunes. Click View-Show equalizer. Change to flat. Turn EQ off.....notice how everything greys out...even the digital pre-amp, as if it's not applied, yes?

 

Now, tell me straight, Is there one iota of difference between what you hear after turning OFF the EQ and preamp? .....strange...

 

Moving on...

Test #2. 

 

Same on an iOS device. Flat>OFF, no change. figures...So, change to treble booster. Wait, where'd the bass go?, now hit treble reducer.....more bass than flat...hmmm.

 

Test #3

For this one, have some decent quality headphones/speakers on hand, or multiple, if you want more reference. On a pc/mac with itunes, open the equalizer again. before you start playback, click Bass Booster. slide the preamp down to nil. Save the EQ/Make Preset... call it... bassnoamp, idk. Now choose Bass Reducer. Repeat process. no preamp,...save as bassreducednoamp. do the same with flat> flatnoamp. 

 

Now, reduce the volume of the computer's line out to 0 & Increase volume in Itunes to 100%. choose an Apple preset, say Bass Reducer. hit play. increase volume on line out of device to comfortable level. switch to another Apple Preset, Bass Booster or Flat. switch a few times back and forth. get a good feel for both the soundstage produced and tonal accuracy and depth, and in particular, pay attention to the amount of relative audible change in TONE....NOT overall volume, but frequency range and so forth.

 

Next, switch to one of the made presets. flatnoamp...output will be much lower. Increase volume on pc line out to roughly the same level as when using the apple preset. Now, start switchin to bassnoamp & bassreducednoamp. The difference in the sound signatures and overall clarity/balance on ANY set of speakers is kinda staggering. More importantly still, is the AMOUNT of change that occurs when switching between these EQ's. Much more Immediately noticeable, with more frequencies, and across a wider range, than switching between the apple presets with a preamp engaged and lower device volume output. Also, notice how the frequencies in the higher register don't become anymore noticeable between any of the non amp'd EQs, as none of them had any modification. NOT SO when switching between Apple's presets. Bass Booster quite noticeable changes the response of the higher frequencies when the preamp is on. 

 

 

 

Soooooo...software. It's a bitch. 

Test #1

I can't believe I even did this test. I did it and nothing happened. Of course not. I don't use EQ with iTunes or very often if at all. So of course opening Equalizer and turning it to flat, and then turning EQ on and off changed nothing. As I am not EQ anything.

 

 

Test #3

I don't follow what you are trying to get me to do. Your terms are very confusing.

 

 

But either way, I don't exactly agree with your software views. But hey, its head-fi. We can all do whatever.

post #80 of 133
Let me help you out. Here is a definition of what soundstage in audio is...

Soundstage is the meshing of the output of two channels to create one even sound field spread out left to right in front of the listener like performers on a stage. Most classical recordings are miked to have clear, realistic soundstage that stays in a fixed position.

Speaker placement within a room can affect how well the aural illusion of natural soundstage is reproduced. If the speakers are too close together, stereo separation is compromised. If they are too far apart, there can be a dip in the middle, preventing the soundstage from meshing. Speakers too close to the wall can cause the sound to couple with the wall, cancelling out soundstage. And placement of furniture in the room and the direction the drivers point can make a difference too.

A lot of rock music has synthetic soundstage created in the mix. This kind of soundstage uses left/right placement in the mix and phase or delay effects to create sound fields that might not exist in the real world.

5:1 takes soundstage into the third dimension, creating soundfields that not only extend left and right, but forward and backward as well. In order for this to work properly, all six speakers must mesh. Modern A/V 5:1 receivers sometimes have synthetic sound fields which use phase between channels and digital reverberation delays to create virtual soundstages that emulate the sound of clubs, auditoriums or concert halls.

If you google the term "speaker placement" you'll find lots of tutorials on how to create proper soundstage, and "sound field" will bring up info on artificial and virtual soundstages.
Edited by bigshot - 10/15/12 at 5:41pm
post #81 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

perceived soundstage (that's how I refer to it) with headphones will be connected with the level of stereo crosstalk and distortion with different headphones.

The drivers in headphones are wired completely separately. How can crosstalk be an issue with headphones?

I agree about distortion. The thing that most people generally incorrectly refer to in headphones as "soundstage" is actually *clarity*, which is the result of low distortion and balanced response.
post #82 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Let me help you out. Here is a definition of what soundstage in audio is...
Soundstage is the meshing of the output of two channels to create one even sound field spread out left to right in front of the listener like performers on a stage. Most classical recordings are miked to have clear, realistic soundstage that stays in a fixed position.
Speaker placement within a room can affect how well the aural illusion of natural soundstage is reproduced. If the speakers are too close together, stereo separation is compromised. If they are too far apart, there can be a dip in the middle, preventing the soundstage from meshing. Speakers too close to the wall can cause the sound to couple with the wall, cancelling out soundstage. And placement of furniture in the room and the direction the drivers point can make a difference too.
A lot of rock music has synthetic soundstage created in the mix. This kind of soundstage uses left/right placement in the mix and phase or delay effects to create sound fields that might not exist in the real world.
5:1 takes soundstage into the third dimension, creating soundfields that not only extend left and right, but forward and backward as well. In order for this to work properly, all six speakers must mesh. Modern A/V 5:1 receivers sometimes have synthetic sound fields which use phase between channels and digital reverberation delays to create virtual soundstages that emulate the sound of clubs, auditoriums or concert halls.
If you google the term "speaker placement" you'll find lots of tutorials on how to create proper soundstage, and "sound field" will bring up info on artificial and virtual soundstages.

Yes. IT is A definition.

 

We are Head-Fi. We are headphone Fi. We also deal with speakers but their own terminology and definitions like the ones you have don't exactly apply to us. 

 

Go tell a car mechanic to crank it up, and he most likely won't be cranking up the music. 

 

Clip is another one. Clip in different fields can mean to both shorten the length of and to cut or release. You wouldn't want to tell the guy on the boat to clip your cable while parasailing without using their own preset definition of what "clip" meant now would you? If the parasailing agency defined clip to be to cut the cable(hypothetically in a crazy world) and that was their own communities set word, you wouldn't go into that community and keep yelling to clip it because it is what the definition in another community is now would you?

post #83 of 133
Clipping in audio means overdriving to the point of distortion.
post #84 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Clipping in audio means overdriving to the point of distortion.

It was a comparison. But here you see tongue_smile.gif you are getting what I mean. Clipping in audio means that. Does it mean to shorten or cut?

post #85 of 133

Here I see an argument about word intensions (not intentions). Psychoacoustics. I guess this is why I must try to banish ambiguity from my writing in certain contexts. Ultimately, we are the ones to give these terms meaning and I find it odd that some don't consider the common usage of a word (over a period of time) to be THE intension of the word, regardless of its etymology.

 

Personally, I'd prefer the word soundstage to represent primarily where I perceive different components of the sound to originatefrom,  the nature of the components of the sound (apparent size and distance of an upright bass), and the space the sound takes place in (maybe an anechoic chamber). These qualities (what I'd associate with the term sound quality, which the idea of a soundstage could also be a function of) can be distorted, so the bass component of a voice might sound too big or in the wrong spot when compared with the upper frequency range. A produced recording with many manipulations might give the impression that the vocalist has multiple clones at different spatial locations singing along while there (somehow) is a plethora of other instruments in a variety of environments (and they seem to be rapidly moving around within them! - tremolo, reverb), all at once!

 

Sound science poses a difficulty with (sort of) objectively mapping all of the subjective qualities to a name and formula so that we can achieve some goal with it (realistic sound reproduction, for example, of a live source), given compromises (two channels, an electrical storage medium, lossy compression).

 

I could go on and on, but my post is already falling apart and I'm not sure what you're gaining from it.

 

Blah-dee-blah.

post #86 of 133

@Bowei and Bigshot:

 

I think the term is stereo imaging.

post #87 of 133

Yep! That's another term for it.

post #88 of 133

Please guys, this information is unbelievable and helpful to me- I'm brand new to the world of sound:)

 

My question is, will I get this kind of experience from Sennheiser HD25-1 II headphones? I'm thinking about getting a pair and would like to experience this kind of sound using an iPhone 5... 

 

Thanks gang...

post #89 of 133

 

All right.  I am going to give my review of the iPod touch 5th generation if anyone is interested...

 

A quick background first.  I have been playing piano since I was five, recording and mixing multi track audio since probably 10.  I have a very discerning ear.  People are always surprised at things I hear that they can't.  I had an audiologist exam within the last year, and he was literally impressed that I heard such faint sounds during the test with 100% accuracy.  He said it was one of the best he's seen.  I don't mean to sound boastful, but I just want you to know where I'm coming from, because audio opinions can very greatly even among audiophiles.  Basically, I'm super incredibly ridiculously picky about everything audio.

 

With that said, the new iPod touch is greatly frustrating me.  The audio quality is absolutely not the same as four other iPods I have.  I had a classic 160GB which died, but I've compared that to other devices, so I know where that stands.  I have a 16GB nano g6, and also a 4GB nano g2.  Right now I have the two nanos and my new touch.

 

For reference, I have an apogee duet interface.  I'm familiar with a variety of sound systems.  I've had a harman kardon av-r325 with a digital input and now am using a denon avr-990 with infinity alpha speaker system (the larger sizes).  I have a Pioneer/JBL audio system in my car and an array of in ear and studio quality headphones.  I have alesis m1 mk2 biamp studio monitors as well.  The point being that I am always comparing and contrasting different audio systems and very often using the differences of each system to determine mixing decisions with my own recordings.

 

So, with that background, I've compared the new ipod touch to the older ipods and the duet.  The results are frustrating.  I don't want to come out and say the quality is worse, however it is definitely different.  I don't want to over stress the difference, because to some they may not exist, to others they may be night and day.  However, I noticed there was a difference without even comparing devices.  I was listening to a recording by the band secret garden, which contains violins and strings, and I thought "something isn't right here".  There was a slight lack of clarity, and an almost boominess to certain low/mid frequencies.  My first thought was that I actually had an EQ set accidentally (I never use EQ), but after checking there are absolutely no audio settings enabled.  The sound is as flat and unaltered as possible on the device.  So, I decided to compare it to the nano 2g first, because that was the closest to my classic, which I'm very familiar with.  The difference was sort of surprising.  The 2g nano is old and still extremely thin and small.  The old nano had more clarity.  I don't want to call it detail, and I'll explain in a second.

 

I compared a few different songs of different genres from david benoit jazz to david gates soft rock to secret garden new age, etc. etc.  The difference was noticeable in each situation.  The more I listen the more difficult it is to determine how this is affecting the 'quality'.  I'm thinking the difference might be more of a frequency equalization difference.  Further comparing showed that although every device sounds a very slight bit different, they all sound extremely close to the duet (reference) while the new touch was the most far away from the duet in sound.  So my first thought is that if all the other devices are similar to the duet, which is a renowned audio interface for it's sound quality, then the touch is the failure here.  However, upon intensive listening, I believe the root "quality" is the same or similar, but the frequencies are of a different response curve.  You may argue that this is in fact a difference in quality (i would) but not in the same way as what I would consider "sound quality" in the truest sense.

 

For instance, you can have a smaller stereo separation or less depth to the sound or simply a lack of frequencies (can't be reproduced by the device).  As far as I can tell most of these aspects are similar across devices.  The differences in songs varied.  Sometimes the guitars in a song stood out more on the touch and sometimes drums stood out more clearly on the nano.  I believe the reason for this is because the touch has what I'll call a "boost" in the mid/low frequencies and a "reduction" in high frequencies (or possibly the illusion of this because of the added lows).  Therefore certain guitars with mid/low range would seem to stand out more on the touch, and crisp drums would on the nano.  Both can reveal all of the details of said instruments, and the nuances and atmosphere of the song are similar.  The real differences (so far as i can tell) are between the frequency adjustment.

 

If I had to guess based on experience, I would say the ipod touch 5g has a 1db boost from about 100hz to 350hz and a -.5 to -1db reduction in 15k to 20k both with a smooth rolloff.  At least that is what it "sounds" like.  It can be very hard to tell if there are other factors in play and the differences may be smaller than that.  Sometimes the other devices sound like they exhibit small distortion.  I'm referring to the minimal distortion from the amplification system, not clipping from bad recording or mastering...  This is almost undetectable, but then listening to the touch seems smoother.  This could be a cleaner amplification system, or an illusion from the difference in high eq.  The fact that details sound similar makes me think possibly that the audio is cleaner, but it's impossible for me to tell for sure.

 

I think the main difference is the overal tonality of the eq.  I'm on the fence as to whether I should return it or if i may end up liking it.  My logical experience part of my brain says it's not good.  Everything else is similar to reference, which is the truest the sound should be.  Therefore the touch is not being true to the source material.  However, being primarily an eq difference, it may not be that bad.  There is an enormous eq difference between every pair of headphones and speakers, while this is in the smallest magnitude different from the other devices.

 

I'm going WAY too long with this, but hopefully it will help someone.  I don't want to disuade anyone from getting a new touch.  The device is amazing in every single way.  Including the audio in such a feature packed device so freaking thin.  I may even find that a lot of the difference I hear are exaggerated because I "think" they are.  But I have a lot of experience in ruling out placebo type audio differences.  I've spent a lot of time training my ears 'and' my brain to detect differences including doing double blind testing on occasion.

 

I'll end it there for now and update if i find anything new or come to any different conclusion.  Keep in mind even though my comparison has been painstaking, relatively speaking it is a new device and i haven't had a 'lot' of time with it.  I'd love to hear other opinions of the 5g for those who have one.  And i'm glad to answer any specific questions...


Edited by luisdent - 10/25/12 at 8:13pm
post #90 of 133

Hey, sorry if I am repeating a repeatedly repeated question.

 

Does iPod LOD really bypass the internal amp of IPod itself or just the potentiometer, where the value of the iPod amp is set to maximum and then it relies on the external amp for volume control?

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