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iPhone 5 with IOS 7 sounds different

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
So I have confirmed what I thought was true. I had access to IOS 7 long before it was released last week. I work in QA and had access to an iPhone 5 device with IOS 7 installed. I was playing around with in the last few weeks and thought it sounded rather different than my own iPhone 5 with IOS 6. So I tested it out over the weekend with 2 full size headphones (CAL! and Denon D510R) and my CC51 earphones.
To sum it up, after I updated my own iPhone 5 I noticed that highs are not as harsh as before, mids are the same, lows are more pronounced and soundstage just feels nicer and not congested. I am not really an Apple person but happen to work with their devices from time to time. IOS 7 is very nice but the colors are too bright and kind of ugly, but I digress. YMMV.
post #2 of 34

I agree with you observations, but part from the "less harsh trebles", I don't find it nice that mids and bass have been altered. It sounds like I'm using a mild eq, instead of outputting neutrally, and although it isn't bad at all, as the difference is barely noticeable, it can cause some trouble to very bass-heavy songs, if you use preamp with bass booster. 

 

Fx. my FIIO E02i "Rocky" has a "bass boost", and I've never used it extensively - but sometimes I chucked it on for the heck of it, and sometimes I forgot to switch it off, until I noticed all my songs sounded too boomy. There was never any problem with it as such, but with iOS 7, if my FIIO has bass boost activated, it can scratch a tiny bit as if something is oversteering. I checked with multiple headphones, both fullsize and in-ear. The issue remains the same - but it's of course easy to bypass, by just deactivating the bass boost.

post #3 of 34

Argh - I forgot to mention my setup; iPhone 5 (now with iOS 7), FIIO E02i and primarily Sony MDR EX-600 and Sennheiser HD-555. Look in my profile here for the other headphones I own and use for testing.

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
@ jakobdam Thanks for your input. I had tested both IOS 6 and IOS 7 before I posted my impressions. At this point I don’t know if I like the changes or not. To my ears I find the highs to be more polite, but I am very sensitive to harsh highs, so on this regard I find it OK… but the rest, we will see down the road.
post #5 of 34

I have found iOS7 sounds better overall, I have also tried it with the Mcintosh Audio AP1 app, XD music player and of course the native music app, All apps sound better, it does sound less congested, to my ears, without an amp. There is better sound staging and the high end is less harsh and my iPhone and iPad both sound as if the audio processing has gotten cleaner with less digital glare and more natural timbre. Sound check actually sounds rather good, some have argued it is a form of compression, but I did some research and it just increases over all gain on the track and in the ID3 tags. It isn't a form of dynamic compression, nor does it sound like one. Sometimes there is a lag when soundcheck kicks in and the song gets a lot louder or quieter right after starting, but this might get worked out on future updates.

 

All of my headphones sound better even my best set of IEMs, my Sennheiser IE8, have better liveliness. These tended to sound veiled, so I think the highs not being so pronounced has more to do with less digital harshness due to better processing and not so much of an eq change because my senns tended to sound soft anyway with iOS6 and now sound much more balanced overall. Even brighter IEMs sound more balanced as well with more space and dimension to imaging and the overall sound. 

post #6 of 34
Could be why I enjoyed my 1+2 on the iPhone more than usual this week? Seemed smoother and clearer. Didn't associate it with ios7, until reading some others responses.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

Could be why I enjoyed my 1+2 on the iPhone more than usual this week? Seemed smoother and clearer. Didn't associate it with ios7, until reading some others responses.

 

I believe so. The changes are noticeable. The harshness is now gone and I really enjoy my Denon 510R nowadays when I am at work. All of a sudden they sound so clear and spacious.  I also find the bass to be tighter.

post #8 of 34
I realize this is a portable gear thread/forum, but I couldn't find this topic anywhere else (albeit I guess I could create a new thread somewhere else).

I wanted to clarify for some of us that actually have full 11.2 Hi-end home stereos (and car systems) that this prejudice in sound adjustment in iOS 7 is well geared perhaps for headphones, but for systems that are carefully calibrated to reproduce sound, it's horrible.

I first noticed on my car stereo (Mark Levinson) that the bass sounded high (it already has an auto sound leveling/equalizing, which for the most part is the best I've seen anywhere; Personally, I rarely need to turn it off). Now all songs are a bit high on the bass, but since it's an auto leveler, it manages to control sound still quite a bit.

However, in one of my home systems (bedroom; setup details below), no auto leveling (as it's horrible in Yamaha), there's a lot of boom and bass, and treble is significantly gone.

Monitor Audio and Yamaha are both extremely 'bright' - so much so that it was a challenge for me to get the bass up and the mids down when setting it up. Now, it all sounds MUFFLED.

This is not the first time Apple has changed the acoustic properties and how it's player reproduces sound.

It did it from iOS 3 to 4, I think (can't recall on which version exactly). I had equalized all my music to play well with it and then they did a similar stunt - so all the hard work was lost.

They also did it with the behavior of their eq. The iphone version used to work like the desktop version of iTunes where, if u assigned an eq setting to a song, provided that you had the eq turned on, it'd switch to that eq setting when that song played. That hasn't worked like that on the iphone iPod since version 4 or so. Now, the iphone eq is static to whatever you set it to - all songs will use the same setting.

It's very frustrating, but I think I'm going to have to finally detach from apple for my music play and go to a more reliable player. Problem is I still can't go around trotting multiple devices, including one for my car.

This type of adjustments should be customizable via eq and not forced as a 'no choice' default.


Setup:
Yamaha RXA-3010 as pre;
Sunfire TGA-7401 7x400W amp;
Elan D660 6x60W dig amp - frt & rear presence;
11.2+1 Speaker setup:
Monitor Audio (MA) 2012 gold series - front, center, rear
MA LCR's - rear surr;
MA ceiling - rear presence;
Martin Logan Motion 4 - frt presence;
Sunfire 300W - R & L subs
Definitive Technolgies D-6000 - center sub
post #9 of 34

I was kinda reluctant to upgrade my iphone 5 to ios 7 (did not like the new interface). Do you think its worth to upgrade it based only on audio quality?

 

Reagrds!


Edited by Chefano - 9/28/13 at 5:08pm
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefano View Post
 

I was kinda reluctant to upgrade my iphone 5 to ios 7 (did not like the new interface). Do you think its worth to upgrade it based only on audio quality?

 

Reagrds!

 

Audio aside, IOS 7 is indeed better but I don't like certain things. I am not really an Apple fanboy, just use it because it is the most reliable from all devices I have had so far and use it for work. The text message box is ugly and too bright and same goes for the Notes. The browser is better and over all if you do have the iPhone 5 it runs better than IOS 6. There is a glitch with the music player that hopefully will be fixed with the next update. It isn't responding randomly from the new control menu and you need to switch the phone off and switch it back on or do a soft reset.

 

Back to audio. I use my iPhone purely with headphones and earphones, no amp. I listen to it a least 5-8 hours a day. To my ears it sounds better now. Highs are not harsh at all. sibilant earphones sound better, it is more of natural sound with better instrument separation and soundstage.

I will try to give you a scale of 1 to 10. To my ears. before the upgrade the audio quality from my iPhone 5 was around 7.5 now it is more like 8.75. As a comparison Samsung Galaxy S is around - 7, Google Nexus S - 6, Samsung Galaxy S2 is 5.

I hope it helps  

post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy C View Post
 

 

Audio aside, IOS 7 is indeed better but I don't like certain things. I am not really an Apple fanboy, just use it because it is the most reliable from all devices I have had so far and use it for work. The text message box is ugly and too bright and same goes for the Notes. The browser is better and over all if you do have the iPhone 5 it runs better than IOS 6. There is a glitch with the music player that hopefully will be fixed with the next update. It isn't responding randomly from the new control menu and you need to switch the phone off and switch it back on or do a soft reset.

 

Back to audio. I use my iPhone purely with headphones and earphones, no amp. I listen to it a least 5-8 hours a day. To my ears it sounds better now. Highs are not harsh at all. sibilant earphones sound better, it is more of natural sound with better instrument separation and soundstage.

I will try to give you a scale of 1 to 10. To my ears. before the upgrade the audio quality from my iPhone 5 was around 7.5 now it is more like 8.75. As a comparison Samsung Galaxy S is around - 7, Google Nexus S - 6, Samsung Galaxy S2 is 5.

I hope it helps  

 

Thanks! Helped a lot.

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioFile1 View Post

I realize this is a portable gear thread/forum, but I couldn't find this topic anywhere else (albeit I guess I could create a new thread somewhere else).

I wanted to clarify for some of us that actually have full 11.2 Hi-end home stereos (and car systems) that this prejudice in sound adjustment in iOS 7 is well geared perhaps for headphones, but for systems that are carefully calibrated to reproduce sound, it's horrible.

I first noticed on my car stereo (Mark Levinson) that the bass sounded high (it already has an auto sound leveling/equalizing, which for the most part is the best I've seen anywhere; Personally, I rarely need to turn it off). Now all songs are a bit high on the bass, but since it's an auto leveler, it manages to control sound still quite a bit.

However, in one of my home systems (bedroom; setup details below), no auto leveling (as it's horrible in Yamaha), there's a lot of boom and bass, and treble is significantly gone.

Update: I don't know if Apple did something to improve the equalization in 7.0.2, but after I upgraded to 7.0.2, it doesn't sound bad at all with some VERY minor adjustment on my D6000 sub.

It's definitely true that the mids and highs have been cleaned up a little bit - they used to distort in several of my songs that I had tweaked, but I always assumed it was because I had equalized them myself - the bass has been tweaked, of course as mentioned by everyone.

I actually played the iPod in an OLD iphone 3GS running 6.1.3 and my iphone 5 on 7.0.2, and while the difference is discernible, the 7.0.2 actually sounded better overall. I raised the treble in the pre-amp as high as it could go and took 2 db's off the center D6000 sub, and now I'm pretty happy - knock on wood this doesn't mysteriously change.

Now as a preface, I should note that my iPhone 3GS and 5 probably never sounded the same. When I used to have the iphone 4; my brother's, which was also a 4, sounded a lot 'harder/louder' than mine when hooked to a receiver (whether wire or Bluetooth).

So I'm not sure how much different the same songs would sound on an iphone 5 with 6.1.4 vs 7.0.2. I might ask my brother to come over so that I can have a final verdict. From the 3GS they sound a bit more powerful (what I remember loosing) but more distorted.

So I'll post an update if I get to test with another iphone 5 running iOS 6.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioFile1 View Post



Update: I don't know if Apple did something to improve the equalization in 7.0.2, but after I upgraded to 7.0.2, it doesn't sound bad at all with some VERY minor adjustment on my D6000 sub.



It's definitely true that the mids and highs have been cleaned up a little bit - they used to distort in several of my songs that I had tweaked, but I always assumed it was because I had equalized them myself - the bass has been tweaked, of course as mentioned by everyone.



I actually played the iPod in an OLD iphone 3GS running 6.1.3 and my iphone 5 on 7.0.2, and while the difference is discernible, the 7.0.2 actually sounded better overall. I raised the treble in the pre-amp as high as it could go and took 2 db's off the center D6000 sub, and now I'm pretty happy - knock on wood this doesn't mysteriously change.



Now as a preface, I should note that my iPhone 3GS and 5 probably never sounded the same. When I used to have the iphone 4; my brother's, which was also a 4, sounded a lot 'harder/louder' than mine when hooked to a receiver (whether wire or Bluetooth).



So I'm not sure how much different the same songs would sound on an iphone 5 with 6.1.4 vs 7.0.2. I might ask my brother to come over so that I can have a final verdict. From the 3GS they sound a bit more powerful (what I remember loosing) but more distorted.



So I'll post an update if I get to test with another iphone 5 running iOS 6.

 



I totally agree.

After I upgraded to 7.0.2 the sound is very good for a phone as a source and I am pleased with the SQ. Very balanced but not in a boring way, nice tight bass and a great soundstage and seperation. Highs were tamed down and it makes it very pleasing to my ears.
post #14 of 34

I noticed it as well.  I've seen it built into high-end sports headphones specifically to reduce listening fatigue.  I believe a great source file beats out any equalization, so to me I just want to find the switch and turn it off.   I use FLAC files, a lot of them purchased  - now a lot of my higher resolution files (24/48 with headphones or 24/88.2-96 with a DAC & headphones) sound dull on the high end.

 

I confess to being a fanboy but that stops at audio. I'll be happy when it returns to being optional.  

post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlmac View Post

I noticed it as well.  I've seen it built into high-end sports headphones specifically to reduce listening fatigue.  I believe a great source file beats out any equalization, so to me I just want to find the switch and turn it off.   I use FLAC files, a lot of them purchased  - now a lot of my higher resolution files (24/48 with headphones or 24/88.2-96 with a DAC & headphones) sound dull on the high end.



 



I confess to being a fanboy but that stops at audio. I'll be happy when it returns to being optional.  

 



Try the Radsone app. I think this is exactly what you are looking for. It has all kind of options to switch on and off certain features and adjust to various sources etc
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