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What goes between iPod and headphones?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a collection of headphones, including Sennheiser HD 598, Sennheiser PXC 310 BT, Beats Studio (the newer 2nd version), Parrot Zik, and earphones, including the Klipsch s4i, Sennheiser CX 300-II, and Apple In Ear Headphones.

My music library of about 5,000 songs is organized in iTunes, after some significant investment of effort on my part.

So... as I upgrade my headphones, say to the Sennheiser HD 650, I start dealing with higher input impedance and will require an amp, since the iPod starts to degrade, as I understand, as we exceed 60 ohms (HD 650"are 300 ohms, for example).

I have the FiiO E 06, that postage-stamp-sized amplifier. I understand that for higher fidelity, one should also use a USB signal from the source. I then need a digital to analog converter

So what are good prospects for getting the best possible signal from my iPod into my higher-impedance headphones?

Thanks!
post #2 of 5
If this is an iPod with the older Apple dock connector, and not an Iphone 5 Lightning connector, then an easy step is the Line Out Dock (LOD) cable, like these:
http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-L-Shaped-Line-Cable-iPhone/dp/B005N6ZAT2
http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-L3-Line-Cable-iPhone/dp/B003UCESP8/ref=pd_cp_e_1

This will bypass the internal amp of the ipod and provide a line-level signal to feed into your external amp.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I have iPods with both kinds of connectors. What would is use for the Lightening connector?
post #4 of 5
There is no low-cost option for the Lightning connector. Apple did a very good job of screwing the audiophile when they changed that connector.

For significantly more money, you can get a device that will put your ipod into "host mode" - this allows the audio device to pull the digital media file directly out of the ipod's storage drive and feed it across the USB cable to the host mode DAC. The most famous of these devices is the Cypher Labs AlgoRythm Solo (CLAS), but there are also others, like the HRT iStreamer. However, you are going to be paying MUCH more money for this technology.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

There is no low-cost option for the Lightning connector. Apple did a very good job of screwing the audiophile when they changed that connector.

For significantly more money, you can get a device that will put your ipod into "host mode" - this allows the audio device to pull the digital media file directly out of the ipod's storage drive and feed it across the USB cable to the host mode DAC. The most famous of these devices is the Cypher Labs AlgoRythm Solo (CLAS), but there are also others, like the HRT iStreamer. However, you are going to be paying MUCH more money for this technology.

I believe that if you use the Apple iPhone 5 dock shown here: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MF030ZM/A/iphone-5s-dock you can get line out. Though designed for the iPhone 5, the iPod Touch 5G fits it too.

I have the dock, and there is an audio line out that is unaffected by iPhone 5 (or iPod touch 5G) volume control, and indeed behaves just like the similar-looking Apple dock for the old 30-pin connector used on the iPod classic and the iPhone 4. The Apple writeup says it is a line out.
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