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iPhone 5 Audio Quality - Interesting Technical Assessment by Ken Rockwell

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I found this early this morning while researching short cable solutions for my iPhone 5. Fascinating findings and commentary. He provides testing gear and graphics as well.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/iphone-5/audio-quality.htm

Excerpts:

"As expected, the iPhone 5's response is ruler-flat."

"iPhone 5 Frequency Response, 200 kΩ load, 1 V RMS output, expanded scale. Not bad; down only 0.01 dB at 20 Hz and -0.08 dB at 20 kHz, flatter than most labs can measure."

"The near-zero (4.5 Ω) output impedance of the iPhone 5 is much better (lower) than most dedicated headphone amplifiers, even most exotic audiophile amps, and therefore its response is not significantly affected by the headphones in use. Most dedicated amplifiers have about ten times the output impedance of the iPhone 5, and allow about a dB or two of false bass boost with the Ultrasone Edition 8. With the iPhone 5, the sound is accurate and well controlled."

"iPhone 5 Harmonic Distortion Spectral Content, 1 kHz, 200 kΩ load, 1 V RMS.

"To my surprise, the harmonic content is mostly second-order, with higher harmonics at least about 15 dB down from the second harmonic. I'm more used to seeing this sort of signature from tube amplifiers!"
post #2 of 6

Very interesting. I've read some of Ken's other articles and they are generally very good.

post #3 of 6

Some people say the opposite but regardless, here the results speak for themselves.

 

This has been posted here multiple times, but it's another good reminder that stock i____ does not in fact have abominable audio performance like many would have you believe.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Some people say the opposite but regardless, here the results speak for themselves.

This has been posted here multiple times, but it's another good reminder that stock i____ does not in fact have abominable audio performance like many would have you believe.

It was my first time seeing it. I thought the methodology was solid. I like some of the extremes he considered and tested. Still, fiending for the Fiio X5. But I'm pleased to see these results.
post #5 of 6

If you've got a good player then an amp will only be needed to increase volume. People will tell you that it's not about volume and instead tell you something very vague about "synergy" and "driving headphones properly", but they never seem to have done even one proper level matched comparison. They balance levels roughly by ear, which is almost a guarantee that it won't be matched closely and so the amp will sound differently - usually better, even if it is technically (measurably) worse.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

If you've got a good player then an amp will only be needed to increase volume. People will tell you that it's not about volume and instead tell you something very vague about "synergy" and "driving headphones properly", but they never seem to have done even one proper level matched comparison. They balance levels roughly by ear, which is almost a guarantee that it won't be matched closely and so the amp will sound differently - usually better, even if it is technically (measurably) worse.

Hence my intrigue with the RSD Shadow and its digital volume control.
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