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iPhone 5C and 5S: audio output - Page 12

post #166 of 367

Getting absolutely awesome synergy with my M100 & 5S. Very dynamic and thumpin, tight bass. Very, very impressive sound for a mobile phone & no amp. 

post #167 of 367
Thread Starter 
so.. how much quieter (or louder) are the new iPhones compared to the 5? are they nearer to the 4/4S than the 5?
post #168 of 367
From a quick test the 5S was a bit louder than the 5C in the store. The 5C should be pretty much the same as the 5.
post #169 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post

From a quick test the 5S was a bit louder than the 5C in the store. The 5C should be pretty much the same as the 5.

We don't know that, because the sound chip is different.

post #170 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post

We don't know that, because the sound chip is different.

You're right. I checked and was mistaken. It would be the amp chip as opposed to the audio chip I would think, no?
post #171 of 367

I believe both chips are different between 5, 5C and 5S.

post #172 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post

I believe both chips are different between 5, 5C and 5S.

I'm pretty sure you're right. I was just saying for the sake of the discussion. smile.gif
post #173 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwinter View Post

But then you couldn't attribute anything to the new chip. That's kind of what I'm saying: good luck getting a reasonable comparison to actually test weither it's the new chip or iOS 7.



A comparison between iOS 6 and 7 on an iPhone 5 would still be interesting, but there's no telling if there is programming to affect sound differently (or at all) when it senses the new chipset in the 5S vs the 5.

 



I hope this helps. Check it out:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/682808/iphone-5-with-ios-7-sounds-different
post #174 of 367

OK.  After a self-imposed exile from this thread while my allergy issues and heat-of-the-moment emotional responses shake out / calm down--and while I waited for my iPhone 4 to be returned to me--I am now back with a report of my experiences and conclusions so far.

 

First, I discovered that while the medicine I was on was indeed controlling the symptoms of my serous otitis media (SOM--also called otitis media with effusion) my hearing was still affected nonetheless.  It wasn't until I was both symptom free AND off the medicine that my listening fatigue really went away and my hearing really returned to "normal."  So that was, after all, really the cause of my dissatisfaction with the iPhone 5S audio out.

 

However . . . I still do not like the PX100's with the 5S.  I got my 4 back and did extensive listening, back and forth, for extended sessions, blind A/B, and the PX100's sound worse out of the 5S to my ears.  It's not a huge difference, and honestly, at this point, I'm not really liking the sound of them out of the 4 either, although it's fine.  This whole experience has really given me renewed (and increased) respect for the subjectivity and relativity of hearing and sound preferences!  But, anyway, the PX100's (original) sound different, and worse, out of the 5S.  Maybe it is indeed just a "synergy" thing and the amplifier output impedance is a red herring.  I don't know, but this is my subjective experience so far.

 

On the other hand, the Sony MDR-7506's sound better out of the 5S than the 4.  And, I prefer the 7506/iP5S combination over the PX100/iP4 at this point.  Which is a serious releif, since I decided that I love the 5S too much to return it, no matter what.  I was going to use my 4 as an iPod short term, and get a HiFi M8 long term (which I'm still inclined to do).

 

The 7506 have a lot of great characteristics, and I do enjoy listening to them, but I know that there are a lot better headphones out there.  My current plan is to get the ER-4S's from HeadRoom, and if I don't like them I can always return them and put the money towards a HiFi M8 or maybe some Beyer T70p's--I don't know.  I'll see.  But ultimately, it's definitely a good thing to get shaken out of my iPod Touch / iPhone --> PX100 setup that I've been using for so long.  Time to branch out and try lots of different setups.  Economically, it's not the best time for me to be doing this!  LOL!  But, oh well, what can you do!  Music is too important.

post #175 of 367

So I hope it's OK for me to add another post to this thread even though no one else has posted since my last post.  I just reviewed the rules and posting guidelines and didn't see any rule against it and since it's been a couple days, I wanted to make a new post with this new information.

 

I've been burning in my SR225's for a couple days now, 3-4 hours at a time.  Since having their drivers replaced they sound different to me, so they haven't been useful for A/B comparisons between Duet / 5S / 4 since there's always my (obviously fallible) audio memory of what they should sound like.  I'm now definitely a believer in the idea that burn in can change (and improve) the sound of headphones!

 

Anyway, point is that I went to my local hi-fi shop with both my iPhone 4 and 5S to audition some headphones, specifically the Grado RS2i's.  It was a slow Saturday for them and they handed me the RS-2i's and set me up in my own room with a nice comfy chair.  I spent the better part of an hour listening to the 2i's out of the 4 and the 5S.  Sometimes going back and forth every 10-20 seconds on the same song, leap-frogging through it; while other times, I just relaxed and listened to one or more songs at a time, back and forth.  And my conclusions are the same as with the SR-225 (but less complicated by the replaced drivers / memory of what they should sound like issue): the iPhone 4 does a better job with the bass in both the 225's and the 2's and the Senn PX-100's.  The 5S, however, handles all the rest of the spectrum better than the 4, I think.  And it seems to have more authority, more ability to handle loud and complex passages.  It is more detailed (maybe what some mean by more "digital sounding").  It is more analytical, clearer, more precise.  For me, these are all good things.  In the case of the PX-100's, these things are not enough to outweight the bad bass.  In the case of the 225's and 2's, it's a wash, but I would lean towards the 5S as being the winner.

 

What is not a close call, however, is the A/B testing with the Sony MDR-7506's.  The 5S does everything better than the 4 with these headphones.  I didn't need to go back and forth and relax and use tricks or have my wife switch randomly between the 4 and 5S (blind testing, IOW).  Clearly the advantage went to the 5S.  Everything was better.  I suppose if you like softer, more laid back presentation you might like the 4 better even with the 7506's.  But, my taste runs more towards the opposite end of things.  I did the 7506 testing at home, BTW, since I already own those.

 

So, I was just about to leave--talking with them about 2i vs. 225 direct out of the iPhones (they really need an amp, both of them)--and then I saw that they had a single pair of Sennheiser HD-595's on close-out.  They used to be a Sennheiser dealer but apparently Sennheiser changed their rules for dealers and this place didn't want to deal with it all so they have been slowing getting rid of the Senn's.  Well, this was their last pair.  I said, "what the heck!" and asked if I could try the 595's.

 

WOW!  Talk about synergy!  Very quickly I was loving these phones paired with my 5S.  And once again, as with the 7506's, everything was better out of the 5S than the 4.  Curious, I went on line and checked the specs on the 595, confirming a suspicion I have had all along.  The 595's have a nominal impedance of 50 ohms.  The 7506's have a nominal impedance of 63 ohms.  Both are very efficient (118 dB/V and 112 dB/V, if I remember correctly--I had to convert the 7506 spec from db/mW--I don't have my scribblings in front of me--but it was in that range).

 

Anecdotally, so far I'm finding that the 5S really shines with headphones with 50+ ohms of impedance that are still efficient enough to be driven to reasonable volume.

 

YMMV, of course, but this is my suspicion.  I think testing 16 ohm IEM's with both would really increase this issue, tipping clearly to the 4's advantage.  I still think all this has something to do with the output impedance difference.

 

And on that subject, I'm tired of waiting for someone else to do a measurement of the output impedance of the 5S, so I'm going to measure it myself at work (I work at Cornell's particle accelerator and we have plenty of oscilloscopes sitting around, as you can imagine, as well as an electronics shop full of resistors--I just need to buy the adaptors needed for the job).  Stay tuned.  Unless someone already has done the measurement, in which case, please post it here!

 

Anyway, I walked out of the hi-fi shop with the HD-595's for $160 which I thought was a pretty darn good deal.  I've only listened to them for 4 hours or so thus far, but I'm really liking them--straight out of my iPhone 5S.  They're not as bright and edgy as the 7506's, but still have great clarity and brilliance, great bass, nice mids--just my first impressions, though, but I'm happy to have a decent pair of full size Senn's to experience.  And I'm glad that I won't need to go to an outboard amp or dac/amp combo.  At least not until and unless I want to.

post #176 of 367
You can post here as much as you want. Rules shmules.

And very much looking forward to your measurements.

Fwiw, I think the 5S sounds great with the ASG-2 which drops down to about 15 ohms by 1000hz at a max of about 40 ohms at ~120hz. With the low end being incredibly tight and focused in imaging. It also sound great with the TDK BA200 which has an impedance stabilizer.
post #177 of 367

Interesting!  I suppose that it all very much depends on the FR curve as well as the impedance curve, and, of course, personal preference.  If the phones already have a bass emphasis, and the impedance peaks there, and the rest of the impedance curve is low(ish) then that bass emphasis would get emphasized even more, and the low bass would roll off more than it otherwise would.  If you don't like a bass emphasis at that specific frequency, then that's a bad thing.  On top of this is the lack of properly damped response where the impedance drops too close (or below) 8 times the output impedance.  Or so it is claimed.  But people can dial the HiFi M8 to 1, 2, or 10 ohms of output impedance (I think that's right) and say that don't notice that much of a change.  So who knows.

 

So, yeah, as you suggested, my dissastisfaction with the PX-100 / iP5S pair could just be due to "bad synergy," and have nothing to do with the whole impedance / output impedance issue.  Hence my use of the word "annecdotally" in my italicized sentece above.

 

Whatever the case, I'm just quite relieved and happy at this point to have a pairing that shines for me with my 5S, for whatever reasons!

 

I'm going to also measure the OI of the 4 as well, just to make sure I know what I'm doing and can get the same results as others have gotten.  It's pretty straightforward, though, and shouldn't be any trouble once I get set up.  You just put a sinewave out at a set volume, through a known resistance (say 32 ohms), measure the waveform across the resistor with an oscilloscope, then repeat with a different resistance (16 ohms, for example), and do some calculations.  The circuit is dead simple: ideal AC voltage source, output resistance, load resistance, all in series.  All I need is a 1/8" stereo TRS to mini-clips, then mini-clips to coax into oscope.  The latter we have here, the former I can put together from stuff I can get at Radio Shack.  Or rather, "The Shack" as it is called now, I guess (!).  LOL!

post #178 of 367

On friday my Etymotic ER-4S's arrived and I've been just simply amazed by how excellent they are and how good they sound straight out of my iPhone 5S!  After getting used to them and enjoying lots of different music, I also tried comparing the sound of the ER4's out of the 5S vs. out of the iPhone 4, and it was no contest.  The 5S / ER4 combination sounded so much better than the 4 / ER4 combination.  It was clearer, more precise, with tighter bass.  And again, anecdotally, this also fits in with my impedance theory.  The ER-4S's are 100 ohm's nominal impedance.

 

Oh, I should also mention that some of this may be due to the iOS 6  vs 7 sound difference, as my iPhone 4 is still running iOS 6.  Anyway, my observations of ER-4S with 5S and 4 for what they're worth.

 

I now have what I need to measure the output impedance of the 5S and will do so in the next few days.

post #179 of 367

Oh guys i love your test! I've an iphone 4s 32gb with a lot of ALAC that i use usually with my sennheiser amperior.

 

Heeem..i want to wait new iphone 6, but i'm reading that the 5s is very good with its dac...for you it's better than my 4s? 32gb is also uncompatible with alac file lol, i will take the 64gb i think.

 

And second question, what app do you use for listening? Now i'm just using music app without any configuration (EQ & company..)

 

Thanks!

 

By the way, i've got an iphone 4s and an ipod touch 5gen 32gb that has the same dac of iphone 5..lol, 4s is a lot more audible.

post #180 of 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliogolf93 View Post

Oh guys i love your test! I've an iphone 4s 32gb with a lot of ALAC that i use usually with my sennheiser amperior.

Heeem..i want to wait new iphone 6, but i'm reading that the 5s is very good with its dac...for you it's better than my 4s? 32gb is also uncompatible with alac file lol, i will take the 64gb i think.

And second question, what app do you use for listening? Now i'm just using music app without any configuration (EQ & company..)

Thanks!

By the way, i've got an iphone 4s and an ipod touch 5gen 32gb that has the same dac of iphone 5..lol, 4s is a lot more audible.

I don't know if the 5S audio codec is "better" than the one in your 4S. I think many here would consider ALL the iPods and iPhones to have only mediocre DACs and sub-par amps. And there is also the issue of iOS 6 vs. 7 sound differences. I can't say much about that, even theoretically. I presume it would be due to AAC file decoding differences and so maybe doesn't apply to ALAC? Don't know.

Anyway, what I can say is that the 5S is definitely DIFFERENT than the 4. So far, for me personally, I prefer the 5S with all the headphones I own except the PX100's, and I think it sounds very good with the Ety ER-4S and Sennheiser HD- 595.

I have to try not to obsess about SQ because it's very easy for me to go down the rabbit hole and not come out. And then I'm focused on the SQ and not on the MUSIC. I stuck with the PX100's and iPod Touch 2G (and later iPhone 4) because it was good enough and quite enjoyable. I'm a piano tuner and a pianist and I have an ear that is trained to pick out all the various partials of a note for voicing pianos and for hearing them beat against each other for tuning (which I do by ear) and once I start obsessing and getting analytical it's hard to enjoy the music.

I remember a thread here, years ago, where the OP had spent lots of time and money on connectors, amps, headphones, etc, and finally said to heck with it all and went to listening to just PX100's straight out of an iPod. He put a picture of his smiling face and said he was smiling because he was just enjoying the music. I resonated with that and it's what turned me on to the PX100 's.

But alas, they sound horrid out of the 5S and since I've gone down the rabbit hole, I don 't like them very much out of the 4 anymore either. It's a soft, laid back, pleasantly warm mid-bassy sound, but the level of detail and clarity of the 5S with the Sony MDR7506 or Senn HD595 or (especially) the Ety ER-4S just blows the 4/px100 combo away.

Thankfully, I seem to be finding my way back and am quite happy with the 595 or ER-4S straight out of my new iPhone! So luckily for my wallet I don't have to buy something like a HiFi M8 and HD800! LOL! I just want enough transparency and fidelity to enjoy my music. That's all. Just that much.

As for music players, I use the iOS music app. Overall I am happy with it. But I put a premium on simplicity and convenience. That's why I want to avoid an outboard DAC or amp and 24/192 files and all that sort of thing. If I can.
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