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How to Improve Apple iPod Classic 160 GB (just purchased) sound quality?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I just purchased an Apple iPod classic 160 GB today to replace my old beat up Samsung YP-P2 and I'm shocked at how bad the iPod classic's sound quality is.  Compared to the Samsung P2 it is more distorted, shallow (i don't know if this makes sense), flat, not rich at all, and just disappointing in general.  It's even worse when I think back to how good the sound quality on my iPhone 3Gs was.  The headphones I'm using are the stock apple headphones or my Samsung galaxy headset which is what I used for my iphone when I had it as well.

 

Is there anyway to improve the sound quality of the iPod classic?  For example by getting a specific set of headphones or an external amp or anything else for that matter.  The lower the price the better but if it helps make the sound quality good enough for me to want to keep the iPod classic, I would be willing to spend a total of 300 dollars on these improvements (for new headphones, amp, etc.).

 

I like having an Apple product because I'm getting into podcasts now and the 160 GB of storage is also ideal for my music collection so I would really like to make this work.

 

Thanks guys.

post #2 of 30

Hmm, what type of music do you usually listen too and will you be using your ipod primary for non music(podcasts, videos, etc.) use?

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital-Pride View Post

Hmm, what type of music do you usually listen too and will you be using your ipod primary for non music(podcasts, videos, etc.) use?

 

My music tastes are all over the place but include dance music (ie, eurodance, house, electro, trance), rock, top 40, jazz, classical.  I don't think that helps lol.  I will be using it primarily for music (podcasts are just talking anyway so it doesn't really matter).

post #4 of 30

You need to buy some real earphones....stock apple buds or Galaxy buds suck, to be frank. (I've had both)

Some of what you may be experiencing is the fact that the Classic doesn't have a proper custom EQ or the other sound tweaks that your P2 had.....what you get from it is linear sound. With the right headphones , it puts out pretty good sound....it's just a matter of figuring out what kind of sound signature you like.

 

And there is always the LOD/amp path that you could go down, but first things first.

 

And then again, if you're somewhat technically savvy, there's always ipod-classic-Rockbox-

post #5 of 30
First upgrade would be a new set of earbuds or headphones, depending on what you want in terms of portability. The standard Apple earbuds are awful. Though it is far out of your price range, I use my 160gb classic with a set of Sennheiser 650 phones powered by an ALO Audio RX MKII amp, and I love it, but this combo is pushing $900. But you can get some excellent earphones (in-ear monitors) in the $100-200 range, and that might be all you need as long as they are high-efficiency so they can be driven directly from the headphone jack. Hesitate to make specific recommendations, because there is wide variation in tonal characteristics (are you a bass head? Prefer "sparkle" at the top end? Etc. ); best to read a lot of reviews of stuff in your price range, then listen for yourself. Next upgrade would be an external amp; many nice portable units for moderate cost; again, read reviews. Best to proceed incrementally, IMHO, starting with the 'phones.

John C.
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

You need to buy some real earphones....stock apple buds or Galaxy buds suck, to be frank. (I've had both)

Some of what you may be experiencing is the fact that the Classic doesn't have a proper custom EQ or the other sound tweaks that your P2 had.....what you get from it is linear sound. With the right headphones , it puts out pretty good sound....it's just a matter of figuring out what kind of sound signature you like.

 

And there is always the LOD/amp path that you could go down, but first things first.

 

And then again, if you're somewhat technically savvy, there's always ipod-classic-Rockbox-

 

 

Any headphone recommendations?  I prefer in ear vs. over ear.

 

Also, does the rockbox basically just give me more options when adjusting EQ?

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie24 View Post

 

 

Any headphone recommendations?  I prefer in ear vs. over ear.

 

Also, does the rockbox basically just give me more options when adjusting EQ?

Well, I can't use in-ears...so somebody else would have to make a suggestion there.

 

Rockbox, there's more EQ options, crossfeed, stereo width, wider format compatibility, freedom from the iTunes sync (so you can just drag and drop your stuff on the iPod, like it was a flash drive.

http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/WhyRockbox

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

Well, I can't use in-ears...so somebody else would have to make a suggestion there.

 

Rockbox, there's more EQ options, crossfeed, stereo width, wider format compatibility, freedom from the iTunes sync (so you can just drag and drop your stuff on the iPod, like it was a flash drive.

http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/WhyRockbox

 

Although I prefer in ears, I'm open to any over ear suggestions you might have.  I need some ideas for what to actually try when I go to a store and it would be good to have some reference points of good sounding headphones.

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie24 View Post

 

Although I prefer in ears, I'm open to any over ear suggestions you might have.  I need some ideas for what to actually try when I go to a store and it would be good to have some reference points of good sounding headphones.

What stores are available to you? I'm wondering what might be in stores near you...I've gotten all mine either from Amazon.com or through trades with friends. If I know what stores are near you I could look them up and maybe come up with a suggestion from their stock.

post #10 of 30

Try EX1000 with RB'ed iPod 5g/5.5g, and you may lose appetite for anything else after you hear the sound. wink_face.gif

 

But choosing a sound signature depends on each individual's preference. I auditioned the ipod classic many times and I never liked that sound signature with the same iem's.

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

What stores are available to you? I'm wondering what might be in stores near you...I've gotten all mine either from Amazon.com or through trades with friends. If I know what stores are near you I could look them up and maybe come up with a suggestion from their stock.

 

These stores are close by:

 

http://www.headfoneshop.com/#Westone

 

and 

 

http://baybloorradio.com/index.php

 

 

Let me know what you think.  

 

 

Btw, I just tried another pair of crappy headphones (over ear) in order to compare the ipod and my samsung P2 and there is just a depth of sound and clarity produced by my P2 that my ipod cannot seem to replicate.  It's kind of like the P2 can create a richer 3D feel to the music while the ipod is flat and one dimensional.  Definitely not what I expected when I bought this thing lol

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie24 View Post

 

These stores are close by:

 

http://www.headfoneshop.com/#Westone

 

and 

 

http://baybloorradio.com/index.php

 

 

Let me know what you think.  

 

 

Btw, I just tried another pair of crappy headphones (over ear) in order to compare the ipod and my samsung P2 and there is just a depth of sound and clarity produced by my P2 that my ipod cannot seem to replicate.  It's kind of like the P2 can create a richer 3D feel to the music while the ipod is flat and one dimensional.  Definitely not what I expected when I bought this thing lol

Are you comparing them with the EQ and other settings shut off on the P2?

 

You're lucky....there are no stores like that near where I live...I'm browsing their selections now.

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post

Try EX1000 with RB'ed iPod 5g/5.5g, and you may lose appetite for anything else after you hear the sound. wink_face.gif

 

But choosing a sound signature depends on each individual's preference. I auditioned the ipod classic many times and I never liked that sound signature with the same iem's.

 

Yeah I'm afraid that I won't be able to find anything to make me really like the sound quality of the classic, much like you couldn't.  

 

Don't know whether I will or whether I even can return my classic but if I do, where would I be able to find a 5/5.5G ipod?

post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

Are you comparing them with the EQ and other settings shut off on the P2?

 

You're lucky....there are no stores like that near where I live...I'm browsing their selections now.

 

 

The EQ on the P2 is on normal but I don't believe I can shut it off.  I just compared based on several different settings.  Btw.  the iphone 3Gs was better than the samsung P2.

 

 

And regarding the stores, I live in Toronto which is a big city so there had to have been some specialty stores around here.  I'm not much of an audiophile so it's probably not as exciting for me as it would be for you to have these kinds of stores around you.

post #15 of 30

I see that I am lucky to be south of the border.....headphones I see here are much more expensive up there.blink.gif

And frankly, most of what I see in those stores is stuff that I have never tried, so I'd be hesitant to recommend anything like that.

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