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Has IPOD changed their sound chips/cards from generation to generation

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by tannerbnd, Nov 18, 2011.
  1. tannerbnd
    The reason I ask is because I have the exact same 320 kbps rip of a song, and have played it with my ath-m50s on three different generations, and they all sound different (same EQ), and the IPOD classic (5th generation) I believe it is, sounds head over heels better than my nano and touch....I think i need to move on to a cowon
  2. Snips
    Well I do know that the 4G, 5/5.5G and the Classic have different chips. Not too sure about the Nano and Touch. 
  3. zeno
    The newer iPODs do not use the Wolfson chips. The one that you noticed sounding better probably has a Wolfson chip in it.
  4. metalgear
    check this out: http://macintoshhowto.com/itunes/which-ipod-has-the-best-audio-quality.html
    In summary, if you want the best quality audio, get one of these:
    1. iPod 5G (wolfson WM8758)
    2. iPod 4G (wolfson WM8975)
    3. iPod nano 1G (wolfson 8975), iPhone 1G, iPod touch 1G (wolfson WM8758), iPod classic 1G 2G 3G  (wolfson WM 8721),  iPod mini (wolfson  8731),  iPhone 4G,  iPhone 3G, iPod touch 2G  (iPhone 3G  has a chip labelled WM6180C, probably a wolfson, so does the iPod touch 2G)
    Bad: All newer ipods: Nano 2G-6G, iPod Shuffle, iPod mini 2G, iPod Classic 6G & 7G. They all have the cirrus chipset. Surprisingly the Shuffle is reportedly the best of this bunch. I can verify this – I have a shuffle model A1204 and it sounds much better than my iPod touch 2G, though not as good as a nano.
  5. Artmuzz

    That isn't entirely true. The iPod Nano 2G uses the Wolfson DAC. It is the iPod Nano 3G to 6G that uses a different DAC.
  6. Inks
    This thread is full of fallacies. Wolfson DACs aren't always better, Apple also didn't use the same exact Cirrus DACs for every Ipod model. Newer Cirrus DACs used on newer Ipods (IP4/4S/Nano6/3GS/Shuffle) actually perform better than any Wolfson based Ipod. 
    The author of that article has limited knowledge and I wonder how he did those measurements. The 3GS doesn't roll-off like it's shown based on more reputable measurements by Sonove and Markus Kraus. 
  7. wayneconnor
    Those iPhone 3GS graphs you talk about  include the microphone frequency response (that part of the post is talking about which is best to record with). 
    If you email me any wrong details I can update them (e.g. like a wolfson chip is in fact in the  2nd and 3rd Gen Nano)
  8. wayneconnor
  9. hsubox

    It's often overlooked, but the 1st gen iPod Shuffle (the gum stick looking one) has some of the best audio out of the entire iPod lineage. It certainly has cleaner thump in the bass, and more musicality than any of the newer generations (especially my iPhone 4... sigh). I was just having this conversation with a buddy earlier today, and we were lamenting, or more accurately remembering, how good the older generation iPods sounded when they used Wolfson chips. In the case of the 1st gen iPod Shuffle, it was a SigmaTel audio chip.


    I just found my Shuffle in an old moving box, loaded up some tunes, and it has no problem driving my Grados. Incidentally, I also found my 4th gen iPod (Classic) in there. I'm gonna fire that up next, assuming the battery hasn't completely died.


    Cost cutting has really done the iPod/Phones in, in terms of out-of-the-box audio :xf_eek:(

  10. lostid
    wow a thread this old comes back to life.
    anyways I don't have other comparisons, but I can say to my ears my rockboxed ipod 5g blows the iphone 4s out of water.
  11. wje

    I have the iPod Classic / Video 5 -- or, whatever it's referred to with the Wolfson DACs.  I don't have the iPhone 4, but I do have the iPod Touch 4th Generation.  When it comes to sound quality, the iPod 5 / Classic has the touch beaten by quite a bit.  I'm not running Rockbox either.  Just the standard Apple iOS software on both players.
    I'd love to hear a newer Apple iPod or iPhone device with a Cirrus chipset that can pull ahead of those with the Wolfson.  As it stands, the touch that I own requires a fair bit of EQ adjusting to get a sound signature like that of the older iPod Classic 5.
    If someone is trying to say the Cirrus chips are better and more capable from a sound perspective, I'll either fully disagree with that statement, or I'd love to hear that player for my own ears to judge.  Simply put, Apple obvious had to stuff more operations into a chipset so that other functions for the smarter touch players and iPhones could perform more functions out of that piece of silicone.  I think Apple was happy that they could get all those functions and features into a hand-held device with a sound that they considered was "good enough" ... so, they rolled with it.  Sure, to the MP3 generation of people running ear buds, they all suspect that the sound is very good.  Though, a fair share of them are probably also running their $400 iPods with those $5.00 "included" ear buds, too.  However, to someone who has gotten used to a higher quality of sound through years of listening, one can easily detect the shortcomings of the Cirrus chips when it comes to sound.

  12. lostid
    In my experience the significant change from iphone 4s to RB'd ipod video is the improved 3d imaging and dynamic range for the sound.  The RB'd ipod also sounds more neutral and clear.
    Following first bite of the RB'd ipod, I immediately lost appetite for the iphone 4s and can never go back now.
  13. wje

    I believe you can find replacement batteries on eBay for under $10.00.  That is, if you don't mind taking the device apart and doing the replacement work.
  14. a_tumiwa
    i think....
    the war of cirrus logic vs wolfson is never-ending  war , 
    maybe one of them is the winner , but design, internal ampli, and other factors are important too ,
    ipod touch 2G and 3G use cirrus logic as far as i know, because they sound so difference than ipod touch 1G, and i prefer the 2G and 3G over 1G 
    but for ipod classic, i prefer ipod 5.5G over 6G
  15. Guillermo86
    I replaced the battery on my iPod 5th Gen and it took me all of TWO mintues! Super easy... Apple made this gen easily accessible to the consumer, unlike the newer models. And they sound FANTASTIC! I have an iPod 5th 30gb, a 7th gen 160gb, Nano 5th 16, Shuffle 3rd and 4th, Sansa Clip + and a Zune HD... The iPod 5th Video and Zune are by far my 2 favorite (Not to say the Clip doesn't also sound amazing)... Thinking of getting The 1st gen Shuffle.. I keep hearing great things! :) 

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