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iPhone 5 Audio Quality with headphones? is it better than the iPhone 4S? - Page 3

post #31 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by kessomatt View Post

FYI the rattle is normal. Think it's the vibration mechanism. My 4s had it too.
I did some a/b testing withe the 5 and 4s before I sold it and I was hard pressed to hear a difference in sq. I used my vmoda m80 and ultrasone 580's. I did notice it seeming more clear(or digital as others said) but I could not tell the difference between the 2 for the most part. Not enough to return the 5.

No I think the rattle on mine has to do with the camera lens cover. 2 of my friends have 5's as well and there's doesn't seem to do it. Hmm. I also discovered that the Auto Brightness settings doesn't do anything on mine. Meaning there must be a fault with the light sensor or something. I'm glad I discovered this though. I was really upset at myself for dropping this thing barely a week after I had it lol.
post #32 of 126
http://m.engadget.com/2012/10/02/iphone-vs-rivals-audio-tests/ Intersting read here smily_headphones1.gif. Just posted on their site about 10 minutes ago
post #33 of 126

So I guess the iPhone 5 has worse sound quality than the iPhone 4S, but does the iPhone 5 have worse sound quality than my iPhone 4?

 

Not Shure if I'm going to upgrade or not... and is the quality difference substantially noticeable?

post #34 of 126
Hold yer horses.

I finally got my iPhone 5 in... and in my opinions, it's a clear improvement over my iPhone 4.

Bass has less "body", but is more textured and clean. It's no longer muddy. I can discern between a bass guitar and a drum now, whereas those 2 sound mashed together on the iPhone 4. I'm a basshead, admittedly, but I'd take bass quality over more thump and more impact any day... and the iPhone 5 has plenty of textures to spare.

Midrange is accentuated and no longer smoothed over. It's a bit edgy, but I actually prefer it this way, because it makes male vocals more convincing to my ears.

Upper mid and low high frequencies are no longer boosted, so there is some loss of perceived depth, but it reduces sibilance and listening fatigue. For what it's worth, I'd prefer this over having a little bit more depth at the expense of ear-piercing vocals. On bad recordings, there would be no depth anyway. just gobs and gobs of treble energy bombarding your ears. Also this cleared up high frequencies so in reality, soundstage gains more height at the expense of losing some depth.

Overall, I think I prefer the iPhone 5 over my good ol' 4 in imaging. My earbuds and headphones have smooth toning, so I prefer my sources to have a little edge in order to bring out details.

Loss of volume is noted. However, I think that's not because the iPhone 5 sounds tinny, but because the iPhone 4 has boosted volume. At above 14/16 volume level on my iPhone 4, I can hear audible distortions. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, sounds clean to me even at max volume, which sounds like 15/16 on my iPhone 4 to me.

Plus the iPhone 5 sounds wider (more left and right) to me compared to the iPhone 4. I think this is more important than depth because it gives a better idea of position and imaging than depth.

That's the subjective part. Objectively, I can only say that it's a different sound signature compared to my iPhone 4 for sure, and it's an audible difference. I don't think it's 5% as I can hear it clear as day with just the Earpods.
Edited by Bill-P - 10/3/12 at 2:51am
post #35 of 126

Interesting because the iPhone 4 measures reference flat. If anything is deviating from that, then it is no longer flat. I dont hear bass thats anywhere near muddy, and i dont hear mids that are smoothed over. 

 

A bit off topic but i dont think these newer iPhones are really big enough changes to get that excited over. I have no real strong desire to ditch my perfectly good Verizon 32gig iPhone 4. I have had it over a year and its been great, ive had no problems with it. Its still plenty fast, has good battery life, and sounds spectacular with IEM's plugged right into the headphone jack. I cant ask for anything more. 


Edited by jasonb - 10/3/12 at 9:28pm
post #36 of 126

I have to agree with Bill-P.  I have an iPhone 4, an iPod Classic 5.5g (Video), and the new iPhone 5 and I definitely prefer the iPhone 5 over the iPhone 4 and now in some cases, even over my iPod Video.  It doesn't sound as warm, but it does sound precise.  The bass is tighter, and the highs aren't as fatiguing as before.


I'm listening to this with Shure 535s, using Transwave cables, all ALAC media.

post #37 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiDeeFung View Post

I have to agree with Bill-P.  I have an iPhone 4, an iPod Classic 5.5g (Video), and the new iPhone 5 and I definitely prefer the iPhone 5 over the iPhone 4 and now in some cases, even over my iPod Video.  It doesn't sound as warm, but it does sound precise.  The bass is tighter, and the highs aren't as fatiguing as before.


I'm listening to this with Shure 535s, using Transwave cables, all ALAC media.

 

it's very strange... the ip4 figures are better that ip5 (freq. response, stereo crosstalk...)

I own both and they sound not so diferent to me, anyway I find the ip5 less rich and 3-D that the ip4 (hifi-man re272) 

 

precision: what does it mean?

post #38 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiDeeFung View Post

I have to agree with Bill-P.  I have an iPhone 4, an iPod Classic 5.5g (Video), and the new iPhone 5 and I definitely prefer the iPhone 5 over the iPhone 4 and now in some cases, even over my iPod Video.  It doesn't sound as warm, but it does sound precise.  The bass is tighter, and the highs aren't as fatiguing as before.


I'm listening to this with Shure 535s, using Transwave cables, all ALAC media.


With the iPhone 4 you get more high mids and low treble off your SE535 due to the lower impedance of the iP4 (0.97 ohms)

 

With iPhone 5 you lose in that region due to the higher output impedance of the iP5 (3.5 ohms or so)

 

Given that SE535 impedance gets as low as 8 ohm in the 5K region you are losing 2 or 3 decibels there when switching from iP4 to iP5 that's why you find the highs less fatiguing.

 

But to me this is not a merit of the iP5. It's the opposite since it's skewing the intended frequency response of the transductor whereas the iP4 is giving it a perfectly linear signal. Thus is the SE535 highs what fatigues you but you only hear them when the signal that feeds them is close to perfect which only happens with a perfect source (iPhone 4, or a good dedicated amp).


Edited by elfary - 10/4/12 at 12:16am
post #39 of 126
I feel the sound quality of the iphone 4/s is being greatly exaggerated. Sure it measures well, but like it's been said in so many threads in the source forum, measurements alone doesn't tell you how it sounds. I feel like there are too many statements like.....the iphone 4/s is the perfect source and perfect this and perfect that. It's not perfect. Infact, it's not even very good when compared to sources that's actually are very good. I really like my iphone 4. Until I hear my 5(going to pick it up in a couple of hours), it's the best sounding iphone yet. It's the best smartphone I've ever listened to period. But, it falls behind the ipod 5.5g, ipod classic 7g, and my ipad 3. Although it sounds very good for a smart phone, I find it to have bloated bass, cloudy mids, and highs that can be a bit sibilant at time while being slightly rolled off as well. People it is what it is, a very good sounding "smart phone". There are just too many portable products from the same company that sounds better for it to receive the praise it's been getting.
Edited by moodyrn - 10/4/12 at 6:41am
post #40 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyrn View Post

I feel the sound quality of the iphone 4/s is being greatly exaggerated. Sure it measures well, but like it's been said in so many threads in the source forum, measurements alone doesn't tell you how it sounds. I feel like there are too many statements like.....the iphone 4/s is the perfect source and perfect this and perfect that. It's not perfect. Infact, it's not even very good when compared to sources that's actually are very good. I really like my iphone 4. Until I hear my 5(going to pick it up in a couple of hours), it's the best sounding iphone yet. It's the best smartphone I've ever listened to period. But, it falls behind the ipod 5.5g, ipod classic 7g, and my ipad 3. Although it sounds very good for a smart phone, I find it to have bloated bass, cloudy mids, and highs that can be a bit sibilant at time while being slightly rolled off as well. People it is what it is, a very good sounding "smart phone". There are just too many portable products from the same company that sounds better for it to receive the praise it's been getting.

 

If accurate measurements can not explain the quality of an electrical signal. What else can? Gifted ears may be?

 

Excuse me but pointing out that a player with rolled off bass, middle of the road resolution and 5 ohms of output impedance (iPod 5.5) sounds better than a linear source with less than 1 ohm output impedance (iPhone 4) would not hold in front of any professional mastering engineer.

 

But what do i know.


Edited by elfary - 10/4/12 at 7:32am
post #41 of 126
The quality of an electrical signal and how something sounds are two different things. And I never said the 4 didn't sound better than the 5. I havnt heard the 5 yet. I'm saying the sound quality of the 4 is being exaggerated, and it is. It's not a perfect source and not even a very good one. If it was, many people including myself wouldn't own an idevice dac.
post #42 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfary View Post

 

If accurate measurements can not explain the quality of an electrical signal. What else can? Gifted ears may be?

 

Excuse me but pointing out that a player with rolled off bass, middle of the road resolution and 5 ohms of output impedance (iPod 5.5) sounds better than a linear source with less than 1 ohm output impedance (iPhone 4) would not hold in front of any professional mastering engineer.

 

But what do i know.

 

I think you are mistaking some of the measurements presented.

 

For one, the "frequency response" graph is made by sweeping a tone from low frequency to high frequency. While this generally shows how a headphone or source responds to a linear tone, it doesn't really show what would happen when there are chaotic frequency shifts, like with most songs. Unless you enjoy listening to white noise and tone with linearly increasing frequency, I think frequency response graphs should be taken as a general idea of how a source, or headphone, compare to another... and not necessarily in how good its sound quality is.

 

A DAP may measure completely flat on the response graph, but then when you measure its power specs, it'll still fall short and won't be able to help make more power-hungry headphones and earphones shine. That's where you'll hear bad sound quality from an iPhone 4. Otherwise, why would portable amplifiers like the Fiio E5, E11 or Digizoid ZO improve the sound quality of the iPhone 4 so much?

 

And I also think the output impedance situation is blown out of proportion. While it's true that higher output impedance is undesirable, especially for matching with low impedance headphones, it has been found, in general, that an output impedance lower than 1/8 of the headphone impedance should not have any significant impact on transient response... since the voltage drop at that level would at most result in a <1dB drop in hearing level. Or in other words, any distortion caused by high output impedance should not be audible if your headphone has an impedance 8 times bigger than the output impedance.

 

As such, 5 Ohm output impedance should cope with 40 Ohm headphones just fine. The rest then depends on how well the internal DAC and amplifier handle your songs. And I'm sure you can ask around and see if the iPhone 4 or 4S would win any award against the iPod Video when plugged in to a 40 Ohm headphone. I'm sure you'll find that most will prefer the iPod Video 5.5G.

 

And for the iPhone 5 comparison I made earlier, I didn't use 8 Ohm IEMs to listen to it. I used my Audio Technica ATH-ES10, with 42 Ohm impedance. It should rule out any problem with output impedance. Unless the iPhone 5 output impedance is higher than 5 Ohm... but I sincerely doubt it. Not to mention headphone impedance may swing up higher than the rated value depending on the frequency, so the damping factor would still be higher even if the output source has high output impedance.

 

Also different headphones react to high output impedance differently, so some may not be affected by high output impedance at all. Despite that, the 1/8 rule is a good one to adhere to because it leaves no assumption, and you can rest assured knowing that if there is any shift, it wouldn't be audible.


Edited by Bill-P - 10/4/12 at 7:57am
post #43 of 126

I still beg my right to differ.

 

Basically because for balanced armature multidriver iems output impedance is critical and the 1/8 does not apply. Problem in this scenario is linearity not electrical damping.

 

And bass bloaters like that Digizoid thing are not serious gear in my book. And amps are useful when there are linearity, damping or volume problems.

 

May be i forgot to stress out that for iems an iPhone 4/4S is an almost perfect source (in the 16 bit realm that is). For driving iems the objective benefit of an external dac is none (Actually people should check facts about usb digital audio shortcomings) and using an amp bring too little to the table to bother with it.

 

Just my 0.02 and i'm off. Let's keep the thread on track.


Edited by elfary - 10/4/12 at 8:03am
post #44 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

 Otherwise, why would portable amplifiers like the Fiio E5, E11 or Digizoid ZO improve the sound quality of the iPhone 4 so much?

 

imho for standard lossless source they improve only some minor aspects in SQ area (compared to the iphone 4).

 

 

More in general if the accurate measurements are not that useful to discuss a waves related event (suond experience), what does it remain apart personal opinions?

post #45 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfary View Post

I still beg my right to differ.

 

Basically because for balanced armature multidriver iems output impedance is critical and the 1/8 does not apply. Problem in this scenario is linearity not electrical damping.

 

And bass bloaters like that Digizoid thing are not serious gear in my book. And amps are useful when there are linearity, damping or volume problems.

 

May be i forgot to stress out that for iems an iPhone 4/4S is an almost perfect source (in the 16 bit realm that is). For driving iems the objective benefit of an external dac is none (Actually people should check facts about usb digital audio shortcomings) and using an amp bring too little to the table to bother with it.

 

Just my 0.02 and i'm off. Let's keep the thread on track.

 

 

If you rule out electronic damping (since BA is always so precise in its control that poor damping is negligible), then output impedance would only affect voltage drop.

 

Provided the output impedance is not significantly large compared to earphone impedance, then the voltage drop should not cause any issue with linearity. If it does, then that's a problem with the internal amplifier and not a problem with output impedance.

 

So I still think output impedance is way overblown. As long as it's not 50 Ohm or 120 Ohm, it should be just fine.

 

And not all IEMs are BA. Some use dynamic drivers as well.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeverr View Post

 

imho for standard lossless source they improve only some minor aspects in SQ area (compared to the iphone 4).

 

 

More in general if the accurate measurements are not that useful to discuss a waves related event (suond experience), what does it remain apart personal opinions?

 

 

I don't think lossless source would show any audible improvement with amplifier if you couldn't hear the difference with a regular source (MP3 or AAC). I mean... there is either a difference with an amp, or there isn't... and the answer should depend on the headphone/earphone used, not on the source (as in the file). That's the scientific way to look at it.

 

And I think that if there are "meaningful" measurements... like actual output impendace, transient response, amplifier make/model, DAC make/model, specsheets, etc... then that's where we'll be able to draw conclusions. The presented measurements thus far have only shown that the iPhone 5 doesn't get as loud as the iPhone 4/S, and it's just that.

 

I mean... if you volume match the iPhone 4/S and the iPhone 5, and take a frequency response graph by sweeping a tone from 20Hz to 20KHz, and you see a completely flat overlapping graph (<0.5dB difference), then... what conclusion can you draw?


Edited by Bill-P - 10/4/12 at 8:33am
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