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Apple Touch 5G thread. - Page 7

post #91 of 367
Originally Posted by thegrobe View Post

Agreed. I've used both the HP out, and lightning to 30 pin adapter (with Wolfson DAC) to feed a separate amp. The HP out is cleaner. I've also tried both configurations feeding my $3k Decware desktop amplifiers + HD800's. That is an incredibly resolving system, and I can say with certainty the observation holds true. That's not to say someone else may prefer the warmer less focused sound of the 30 pin adapter. Preferences....
May I recommend you look at the Leckerton 760? It has a crossfeeed circuit. I haven't personally used it, but have used the Leckerton uha6smk2 with the iPod touch. The amplifier sections are similar. Very clean and neutral, sounds great with the touch (HP out)

But.... If you're wanting to drop "heavy cash" on an amp, why not consider one of the apple certified DAC or DAC/amp combos? (Centrance m8, clas, hp-p1 etc) These DACs allow you to bypass the iPod DAC/amp completely, using the touch only as digital transport. The sound quality improvement far surpasses any amplifier you may tack onto the touch. Crossfeed can be applied on the touch via a player app....

Speaking of which ..Neutron Player app. Everyone with a touch should be using this. Stellar! My favorite!

I'm pretty compulsive, and if I double-amp I will find myself constantly wondering whether or not I'm hearing distortion. While I know that's ridiculous, it's what I'm like (I actually have obsessive compulsive disorder, and it tends to make this hobby frustrating at times hahahaha). 


Is this the way a LOD always works with an iTouch though? Did the previous generation Touch's lead you to bypassing the DAC, via another DAC in the LOD, whenever you wanted to utilize a portable amp? 


I've always understood that using a LOD means you just get straight to the DAC of your player. If that were the case then for the time being I'd use the HP out, and then the lineout (if it were superior) once I decide I want to exploit the upgradability. 


It'd be nice to get a player that has some upgradability potential. Thing is, I don't want to use a warmer Wolfson DAC. I'd rather not colour my sound. 


It's okay. I'm sure you're sick of me already. I really appreciate your help though. :P


I will look into that Neutron Player App! That sounds pretty neat.

post #92 of 367
The Canopener app is pretty nice. It's crossfeed functions are some of the better implementations out there. You can configure the crossfeed a multitude of ways.
post #93 of 367

Is there a way to ensure you are getting every bit of data from your Touch without having the volume at full power? 


On my clipzip (rockboxed) I always had my volume at '0' so I wouldn't suffer bit loss. I would turn my volume down by adjusting the precut. 


Is there a way I can do this on the Touch? :) 

post #94 of 367
Originally Posted by Sonic Atrocity View Post

Is there a way to ensure you are getting every bit of data from your Touch without having the volume at full power? 


On my clipzip (rockboxed) I always had my volume at '0' so I wouldn't suffer bit loss. I would turn my volume down by adjusting the precut. 


Is there a way I can do this on the Touch? :) 


You are really over-thinking things here.....you need to relax and enjoy the music. :wink_face:

post #95 of 367

I decided to purchase a 64 GB iPod Touch 5G based in part on the reviews in this thread.


I've since returned it. While it is a beautiful, ultra-cool, and ultra-lightweight device, it sounds downright nasty. The worst sounding Apple device I've yet heard, in fact.


Specifically, it is so harsh and bright, especially at higher volumes, it's downright unpleasant and bordering on painful to listen to. Basically the same impression I had of the iPhone 5s, which has single-handedly kept me from upgrading from my 4S.


I listen to a huge variety of music from the 60's through the 90's: jazz, country, classic rock, vocal/easy listening, metal, new wave, folk, etc.


I first tried my Grado SR125e cans with this unit. The 125e's are on the bright side at higher volumes themselves, and the combination was almost as awful as getting a large dose of feedback in your ear while standing in front of a PA loudspeaker.


So, I tried my Grado SR60i phones, which have less high frequency extension than the 125e's, and don't sound bright to me at all on other sources. Still very unpleasant, though not quite as bad.


Then I decided to pull out my venerable Koss PortaPros. The PortaPro is an easy to drive, great sounding headphone for a Walkman-style lightweight portable, and they have a response dip in the upper mid/lower treble range. In other words, they are the opposite of bright and can benefit from some extra brightness at the source.


Even with the PortaPros, it was unpleasant and quickly fatiguing.


As a last-ditch effort to find a way to keep the iPod Touch 5G welcome in my household, I tried the 10-band graphic EQ in the excellent TunesFlow app. I hate using EQ, but I wanted to see if I could get this thing to sound good.


With any of the above-mentioned headphones, it took reductions of several dB on the 4, 8, and 16 kHz bands to smooth it, and it still sounded unpleasantly shrill on some recordings that otherwise sound good. I chalk that up to the fact that EQ will only affect the QUANTITY of sound at a given pitch in relation to others, and not the QUALITY.


Worse yet, reducing the outlandish highs made the character of the bottom end more perceptible. Which is to say, even weaker than it already seemed. It sounded like a caricature of the stereotypical poor portable device headphone out.


I don't know where people have gotten the idea that this device has punchy bass.


And, I postulate that those who have raved about the "clarity" and "detail" of this unit fall into the category of inexperienced listeners who believe that exaggerated upper midrange = "crisp" and that exaggerated treble = "detail." Much like a newbie who perceives the sweetest wine to be the finest, or a video "enthusiast" who believes that cranking the sharpness control up all the way adds "detail" when in fact the exact opposite is true.


I'm very disappointed in Apple. The sound quality of the phones has gone progressively down since the original 3G, and the quality of the iPods has gone progressively downhill since the original Shuffle and 1G Nano.


ON ANOTHER NOTE... in reference to the dog-ear comments earlier and the question of why do you need to have a device that can reproduce well above the range of human hearing.


The answer is, that while frequencies above 20kHz may not themselves be audible, they do affect the tonal character of audible frequencies, and their absence is a big part of why digital audio at 44.1 kHz is often described as "cold."


It's called modulation.


If you have ever played with an old analog synth, or if you have an audio oscillator / tone generator, you will know that a 1K sine wave sounds entirely different from a 1K sawtooth wave, which sounds different than a 1K square wave. Download an app and listen for yourself. If you start adding VCOs and EGs to the mix (assuming you have an analog synth to play with) you will notice the tonal character of the sound changes even if the frequency is exactly the same.


It is the harmonics of the wave (i.e overtones, i.e higher frequencies) that change the sonic character of the "root" 1kHz wave.


The same thing happens in audio with ultrasonic frequencies. They modulate the upper audible frequencies much like an audio signal modulates a radio frequency in Amplitude Modulation broadcasting, and thereby they change the waveform and the tonal character.


In CD quality audio (44.1 kHz sampling) according to the Nyquist Theorem the highest audio frequency that can be reproduced is 22.05 kHz. It takes a minimum of 2 points to define a wave- one at the top of the wave, and one at the bottom. But, with only two points, all you have is a triangle wave, regardless of the complexity of the original wave. (And after filtering, you are left with a sine wave) So, you can reproduce frequencies up to 22.5 kHz in theory (in practive a little less due to anti-foldback filtering), but they are all going to sound the same regardless of all the complex detail in the original wave, and regardless of what instruments originally created that wave. In other words, with CD-quality audio, the upper AUDIBLE treble is literally reduced to the approximate sound of a test tone generator.


This is why 192kHz digital audio exists, and why high sampling rates and ultrasonic frequency response are necessary for digital to come close to approximating the quality of open-reel analogue tape, and why your device cannot possibly reproduce accurate upper-treble unless its response (and the source material) extend well beyond the range of human hearing.

Edited by DiamondPilot - 7/1/14 at 11:29am
post #96 of 367



I know what you're talking about. When I purchased mine, I too thought the sound was coarse and unpleasant to listen to. It wasn't until I used Apple's lightning to 30-Pin adapter cable to bypass the ipod's internal DAC that the sound opened up and became clear and pleasant sounding. So what I discovered is that the DAC in the adapter is way better than the DAC built into the iPod. 

post #97 of 367
All I can point you to is the objective measurements by Ken Rockwell: http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/ipod-touch-5g/audio-quality.htm
I did not find the sound too bright or fatiguing and nor do the objective measurements.

As for high resolution beyond 24/48 (iPod Touch 5th's limit), this in not the correct forum to discuss voodoo and we will have to agree to disagree.

Lastly, if you like the Wolfson chip in the 30 pin adapter vs the native Cirrus Logic that is a matter of choice.
Edited by spook76 - 7/1/14 at 12:51pm
post #98 of 367

You're using bright headphones, of course the sound is going to be bright.

post #99 of 367

I had read Mr. Rockwell's write-up.


His statement:


"There isn't much difference between different iPods, iPhones and iPads... People who hear huge differences in bass or treble aren't comparing them competently, or are comparing the internal speakers or something else."


was an unintentional self-indictment of his inability to hear differences that are quite noticeable to an experienced ear, and all I needed to know about his ability to provide meaningful subjective analysis.


Secondly, the frequency response measurements only tell you the QUANTITY of sound at a given frequency in relation to the other frequencies. It does not indicate anything about the QUALITY of the sound reproduction. In fact, I'd argue that allegedly flat frequency response is one of the least significant indicators of good quality sound. Look at the response curves of some of the most critically acclaimed speakers and headphones and you'll see my point.


Third, Those tests were done under a static load- the test device- not a reactive load like a headphone transducer, with impedance that varies across the frequency spectrum, back EMF etc. Those types of measurements have little meaning unless you're talking about driving a line input. Even then, there is often little correlation between specs and audible sound quality. The tests were also done with test signals, frequency sweeps, pink noise and the like... NOT actual music with many complex frequencies, waveforms, and harmonics all interacting and composited into one signal. Test signals tell you very little about what a device will sound like playing MUSIC.


Fourth, his distortion measurements are THD. THD is not a bad sounding form of distortion. The effect of THD is actually similar to a lot of "enhancement" tools such as exciters (Aphex, BBE) that simply add harmonics to the signal, because THD is just that- added harmonics, i.e. distortion that is 'in harmony' with the original signal.


Far more important is Intermodulation Distortion, which sounds downright HORRENDOUS. The only reason THD is the buzzword it is is due to ignorance that was perpetuated largely by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Since there are many different ways to measure audio amplifier output that can result in drastically different stated power output figures for the same amplifier, the FTC came up with standards back in the 1970s for measuring stereo amplifier output power. These standards included the requirement for specifying THD, largely because the government is not made up of elected audiophiles and they didn't know any better.


Have you ever noticed that a lot of high-end audiophile equipment doesn't have very low THD figures? Here's why: The companies that market these amps with crazy low THD figures are pandering to the uneducated masses, and RUINING ACTUAL SOUND QUALITY in the process. How is that? Well, to get the low THD figure, they incorporate a large amount of negative feedback. This drives WAY UP the FAR WORSE SOUNDING Intermodulation Distortion.


That is why most high-end audio amplifiers have much higher THD figures than a  lot of mass-market junk. They deliberately use the minimum amount of negative feedback necessary to get THD down below 1%, and then they leave it alone to get low Intermodulation Distortion which is what really matters.


This is just one small example of many to illustrate that specs are fool's gold.


I wonder what the IM distortion figure is on the iPod Touch 5G?


Lastly, in reference to the supersonic audio, what I put forth in my prior post is far from voodoo, but fact that cannot be disagreed with like a matter of opinion. The Nyquist Theorem is mathematic law. The fact that higher-frequency harmonics modulate a lower-frequency wave, including supersonic audio modulating the audible spectrum is fact- it can be viewed on an oscilloscope and without this capability AM radio wouldn't work, the fact that all of the harmonic information in the highest frequencies of a digital audio signal as permitted by any given sampling rate are gone is fact and can be easily viewed on an oscilloscope, the fact that the highest frequencies in a digital audio signal as permitted by sampling frequency are triangle wave (pre-filtering) and sinusoidal (post analog filtering) is also scientific fact and viewable on an o-scope. And, the fact that harmonic modulation of a wave affects the tonal character of the base frequency is also easily proven with a tone generator or analog synth. A monkey can detect the difference between a triangle, square, sawtooth, and sine wave etc. Try it and I guarantee you can too, though you might have to use a midrange frequency for the effect to be monkey-obvious.


So, there's no way to dispute my explanation of the reason for ultrasonic-bandwidth audio. The only area for debate is whether a particular person is able to tell the difference, and if you can't I accept that without question.


Spook76,  darn I wish I had bought the adapter and tried it before returning the touch 5G. Thanks for that suggestion. I got a steal of a deal on it and I thought it was fantastic in every other area but sound. But when you're buying a device primarily to listen to music on it, well bad sound is a dealbreaker. And, I love all of the Wolfson DACs I've heard. I still have my iPhone 3G and use it as an iPod because the sound is superior to my 4S. But, I'm not sure if the difference is in the DAC or the headphone amp, because some of the Samsung devices I've heard with Wolfson DACs are mediocre.

post #100 of 367

Maybe that's why you picked one up, but they've slashed the price of the Touch back by a third only a few days back, upon launching an updated 16GB device. So you could now pick up the 64GB Touch and the lightning to 30 pin adaptor, and still have a nice chunk of change out of what you paid for the same 64GB Touch last week.


I'd be interested to hear how you get on with the adaptor...

post #101 of 367



Yes I grabbed it because I got a new 64GB touch for $299. Unfortunately, I already returned it before the helpful suggestion to try the adapter. Not sure if I'm going to go through the trouble of repurchasing to retry it. I might just wait and see if there's an improved 6G touch released this fall, and/or to see what the upcoming new iPhone models sound like.


If I do try another one, I'll post the results.

post #102 of 367

I've found the Touch 5G to be excellent, especially when using Neutron MP. I find that is it even able to drive my HD600's quite well. Its USB implementation is very good, works perfectly with my Bifrost DAC.

post #103 of 367
I have the completely opposite opinion. Each and every new model of iPhone and Touch sound progressively better IMO. Have never cared for any classic/video model.
post #104 of 367
I agree Shane with the Cirrus Logic DAC chip in the iPod Touch 5th it is clearly a better sounding DAP than the older models with the Wolfson DAC.
post #105 of 367
I haven't listened to the ipod touch in months... plugged in my phones this morning, damn it sounds good. Really has me second guessing wasting money on another DAP. I need to do some more abing between this and my AK100II and AK120II this week. I might save myself $2k.
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