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iPhone 5 sound quality - Page 11

post #151 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

I recommend Capriccio as a FLAC playing app,
such a shame you can't get an analogue line out, as the headphone amp
is pretty pathetic.
I want to get the beyerdynamic/astell&kern dac/amp.
post #152 of 239

I think hype on tubes are starting to die out.  people are probably paying more attention to getting neutral and transparent sounds.  You can also get warmth if needed with SS Amps.

 

Maybe my observation has to do with me focusing on iems now than headphones.


Edited by SilverEars - 3/29/14 at 12:00pm
post #153 of 239

I'd like to contribute my impressions about the iPhone 5 sound in comparison to iPhone 4.

I wasn't expecting too much difference but the truth and the matter is, these two phones sound drastically different to my ears.

 

While the iPhone 4 is relatively bold sounding, the iPhone 5 comes across as a much more analytical and transparent player to me. Bass is noticeably better controlled, mediums are more transparent and highs extend higher. It can sound a little bright/cold at times but what a precise sound!!! (I bet with a 10 band EQ App would warm it up)

 

The iPhone 4 sounds less precise (especially in the bass department) but warmer, more musical and with a noticeably better soundstage depth.

 

I still prefer the iPhone 4's presentation but I am impressed with the technicality of the iPhone 5 for sure. I think that if Apple tunes the iPhone 5 to add the soundstage depth of the iPhone 4 and tame the higher mediums a tad to warm it up, next iPhone generation will be killer sounding. 

post #154 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tympan View Post
 

I'd like to contribute my impressions about the iPhone 5 sound in comparison to iPhone 4.

I wasn't expecting too much difference but the truth and the matter is, these two phones sound drastically different to my ears.

 

While the iPhone 4 is relatively bold sounding, the iPhone 5 comes across as a much more analytical and transparent player to me. Bass is noticeably better controlled, mediums are more transparent and highs extend higher. It can sound a little bright/cold at times but what a precise sound!!! (I bet with a 10 band EQ App would warm it up)

 

The iPhone 4 sounds less precise (especially in the bass department) but warmer, more musical and with a noticeably better soundstage depth.

 

I still prefer the iPhone 4's presentation but I am impressed with the technicality of the iPhone 5 for sure. I think that if Apple tunes the iPhone 5 to add the soundstage depth of the iPhone 4 and tame the higher mediums a tad to warm it up, next iPhone generation will be killer sounding. 

I never heard the 4, but I agree with you on the 5.  Although everything sounded really tight, it sounded too artificial to make it sound detailed because yes, lacked body to the sound to my ears.  Lots of emphasis on the high end of the spectrum.

post #155 of 239
Thread Starter 
I don't have an iPhone 5, but every Apple product I've ever had... from the second iPod to the Classic, from iPhone 1 to 4, from the first AV Mac to the current iMac... all measure and sound exactly the same.

I'm betting that you didn't level match, direct A/B switch or blind test. I've checked my iPhone 4 and it is audibly transparent. No color at all.
Edited by bigshot - 4/12/14 at 2:18pm
post #156 of 239

I do look into measurements as part of my criteria when I look for sources, but I do rely on my ears too, since ultimately my ears will decide if it has the sound I like.  I do try to strive for neutral, clear, detailed, and wide sound stage.  I prefer iems as my monitors at the moment since I like the isolation and the intimate sound.  

 

recently, my listening session with AK120 and 240 broke my beliefs on overpriced sources.  It just sounded so great with UERM, I coudn't deny it sounded great.

 

There are people here that say all sources sound the same, I'm starting to believe less and less of that now.  

 

No, I haven't done a blind test, but I would prefer to blind test, the problem is I can't set it up at the at the right time with the right equipment.  I atleast try to attend meets and try out equipment to help me decide which sounds bests to me.

post #157 of 239
Thread Starter 
I do direct A/B line level matched listening tests of every piece of equipment I buy. My measurements are always based on listening, not abstract electronic techniques.

Every single Apple product I've ever bought has been audibly transparent... no sound at all... completely balanced and neutral to within the tolerances of human hearing.

If I ever came across an Apple product that *wasn't* audibly transparent and had its own "sound", I would pack it up and send it back to Apple for a refund.

It isn't too much to expect that DAPs, CD/Blu-ray players and amps should be audibly transparent. In the past decade or so, I've bought at least 9 iPods of various vintages. I've gone through at least 6 or 7 Macs. 8 or 9 CD/DVD/Blu players... every single one of them was audibly transparent. I've never had to return any of them.

If you are hearing differences, I would ask you...

1) Are you carefully line level matching?
2) Are you patching through a preamp that allows instant direct A/B comparison?
3) Are you comparing line out (not headphone out) so it isn't just a simple impedance mismatch with your headphones?
3) Are you testing blind?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, I'm betting your results aren't correct. Reasonably well designed players should be audibly transparent. If they aren't, they are probably broken.

The only way to know for yourself for sure is to do a controlled test. I've done that dozens of time with the equipment I've bought over the years. I know,
Edited by bigshot - 4/12/14 at 2:44pm
post #158 of 239

I don't disagree with verifying things.  What I have noticed is, there are members here that has the technical ability to explain things, but I haven't seen too many that has actually bought the high-end equipment and tried them.  I think they have a certain belief and just shut themselves off from even trying the high-end stuff.  Yes, there are some really obviously false beliefs like cables that I ignore.  Yes, lots of these are not worth the price tag, but I would be more inclined to respect their view if they atleast try them and explain what they believe.

 

Also, you have members of various types of occupation, some technical and some not.  I think it's insult to say that what they are perceiving is wrong.  Some of these people are experts in all different type of areas, and may not be hardware or software engineers, but they can still be intelligent enough to try out many equipment to find the best ones that they perceive being best to them.

 

I would most likely respect opinions from someone that tried lots of high-end equipment, and can explain them technically.

 

I'm always constantly trying to learn useful information to help me pick out the right equipment.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/12/14 at 2:58pm
post #159 of 239
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

I don't disagree with verifying things.  What I have noticed is, there are members here that has the technical ability to explain things, but I haven't seen too many that has actually bought the high-end equipment and tried them.

If you've carefully tested the midrange equipment and determined that it's putting out sound that is significantly better than human ears can hear, what's the point? Sure specifications on a piece of paper can be better, but if you can't hear it when you listen to music, it's a waste of money.

The goal is to get better sound. That means to improve the quality of the music you hear. There are ways to do that through carefully calibrating your settings, and through spending money on the equipment that matters. But most audiophiles don't have a clue about priorities... what matters and what doesn't. That's because they take other people's word for it (ie: salesmen) instead of investigating it themselves and making an informed choice. They foolishly figure if something costs more, it must be better. You can't get better sound if you don't know how sound works. But people try to do it that way all the time.
Edited by bigshot - 4/12/14 at 3:18pm
post #160 of 239

Yes, exactly, that's why I try to ask lots of questions here.  I just recently discovered EQ, and hope to learn lots more.  :L3000: 

 

I can agree people can get really gullible though.  :D   It's kinda sad, there are lots of nice people here I've noticed, and it's wrong to take advantage of others.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/12/14 at 3:30pm
post #161 of 239
There's a good review of the audio performance of the iPhone 5 at: kenrockwell.com. He used a $50k Rhode & Swartz audio analyzer for the test. His conclusion was that idevices including pods, pad and phones, all sound the same because they pretty much all measure the same and are transparent. That is they have performance beyond the range of human hearing to resolve differences. As he put it these devices have performance better than a high percentage of the audiophile "fluff", including stand alone dacs and headphone amps. For example he measured a s/n ratio of above 105dB, which indicates well above 16 bit performance.

A quote from his review: There isn't much difference between different iPods, iPhones and iPads; all pretty much have ultraflat response, near-zero output impedances and deliver 1 V RMS full-scale. People who hear huge differences in bass or treble aren't comparing them competently, or are comparing the internal speakers or something else.
post #162 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I don't have an iPhone 5, but every Apple product I've ever had... from the second iPod to the Classic, from iPhone 1 to 4, from the first AV Mac to the current iMac... all measure and sound exactly the same.

I'm betting that you didn't level match, direct A/B switch or blind test. I've checked my iPhone 4 and it is audibly transparent. No color at all.

Instead of betting or assuming, why not just ask first?

 

I always do direct A/B comparisons with equal volume and the exact same music files. In this case, I even used mini jack to mini jack adaptors so when I'd switch the iems from iP4 to iP5, the phones wouldn't pause. Switching from one phone to the other would be about one second with no interruption in music. Iems I used were fairly neutral and transparent RE400 and RE600. 

 

I do blind comparison only when differences are tiny. In this case, the sound difference is so obvious that I do not need to do a blind test. It is as obvious as switching from an excellent sounding tape player to a wanna be super CD player (and is almost there but not quite)

Bass are different, mediums are different, highs are different, soundstage is different... Night and day. 

 

I've also owned many Apple players and many DAPs including Tera, HM801 & HM700.

And while the differences can be fairly minimal or hard to put into words for many (for instance the iP4 and HM700 are very similar), the iP5 is a totally different sounding player.

 

This being said, I find the iP4 transparent enough. I like it very very much, better than the iP5 because it has more body, more bloom, and sounds more organic. And until I heard the iP5, I would have said this phone is very transparent. It is. The iP5 is just MORE transparent and razor sharp precise. If I listen to the iP5 for 10 mns and switch back to the iP4, the bass on the iP4 feels loose, the mediums a tad muddy, and the highs less sparkly, believe it or not... 

 

Numbers are just numbers, relevant for a specs sheet and engineering design purposes BUT misleading in terms of actual auditory experience when one disregard the hardware and software implementations (TUNING).

 

Anyone assuming these two phones sound (nearly) identical based on previous experiences or specs numbers might want to go to an Apple store and check for themselves. Members who cannot distinguish between the two should be banned from this site. 

; )


Edited by Tympan - 4/12/14 at 7:03pm
post #163 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roly1650 View Post
all pretty much have ultraflat response, near-zero output impedances 

I'm pretty sure this isn't true.

post #164 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

I'm pretty sure this isn't true.

He measured:
-0.01dB @ 20Hz and -0.08dB @ 20kHz into a 200 Ohm load, is that not as near as damn it ruler flat?
4.5 Ohm output impedance.
Less than 0.01% THD 20 Hz - 15 kHz.
106.8 dB playing zeros A weighted output noise
116 dB idle A weighted output noise

Go look at his results.

What do your measurements show?
post #165 of 239

Did he measure with any load.  Also, headphones?

 

4, is not near zero output impedance.  If multi BA headphones is 16 ohms, 4 is significant

 

If you want near zero, check out DX90.

 

Did  you see any square wave test?


Edited by SilverEars - 4/12/14 at 6:22pm
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