iPod amping through the headphone jack vs. the line-out
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:37 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 32

aaroncort

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Is there a very noticable difference between amping your ipod through the headphone out vs. the line-out? I've read that its the same signal path and that the ipod line-out is just a non-variable headphone-out. Is it true and do they sound about the same when amping? I just ordered an Ipod and have an SR-71 that I plan on using with it, I just would rather save the money and not buy a pocket dock if I don't need to.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 5:17 AM Post #2 of 32

ScubaSteve87

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with the 4g yes. I have read some stuff about the 5g that it is the same or not, idk I think there is still some debate. With the 4g though the line out is MUCH better. The first time I did it, it was a very noticable difference. I see you are getting a 5g though so I don't really know if the same applies. If it does apply though, the sr71 is not getting close to its full potential at all through the headphone out. The turbo dock is a must buy.

I guess someone who knows more about the 5g situation needs to step in
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 10:23 AM Post #5 of 32

scrypt

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Using a line out dock with a Hornet-amped 4G does provide a discernable improvement; you'll probably notice greater bass coherence with the Hornet as well. I know this because I use a DIN with my 3G and have tried it with my 4G, too.

However, if you plan to have your 4G modded by Red Wine Audio, no dock will be necessary: the headphone jack becomes your de facto line out.

I've also tried a 5G with the ergonomically succulent Turbodock and could swear its line out sounded clearer and cleaner. [EDIT: Duncan seems to agree.]
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 11:31 AM Post #6 of 32

PeeeMeS

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I couldn't tell with K1000, K701, UE-10 Pros, thru Max'ed PPA on my 3rd Generation iPod
I did a single blind test

Out of a Little Dot Micro, the UE-10 Pros were unlistenable when the line-out was amped(too much hiss)

Here is another test from another head-fi member that showed similar results(low imedence had interesting result though)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...1&postcount=18
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...6&postcount=30
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...8&postcount=32

Another Member:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...6&postcount=37

Another Member: (Different results)
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showp...5&postcount=41
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 11:36 AM Post #7 of 32

Jazz1

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The Turbo dock works great on my 3G iPod and SR-71. Maybe it makes less of a difference if your using earbuds. But on the Senn. 600/650 it makes a big difference.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 11:47 AM Post #8 of 32

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
I couldn't tell with K1000, K701, UE-10 Pros, thru Max'ed PPA on my 3rd Generation iPod
I did a single blind test

*snip* links *snip*



Very interesting results, PeeeMeS.
My observations: On my 3G (while Eurocap was still active), using a Sik DIN gave me a more than noticable improvement over maxed headphone out. I did not really A/B it since I uncapped my 3G though, maybe I should try that. But: In his setups, Bangraman uses the regular Apple Dock Line-Out only. I have this dock too, and out of sheer curiosity I trested it against my Turbodock when I got it. The Turbodock does sound better. So the real challenge is not Headphone out vs. Apple's crummy dock, but Headphone out vs. Turbodock.

I shall run this test again once I get my RnB Black Diamond mini2mini.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 11:50 AM Post #9 of 32

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
Very interesting results, PeeeMeS.
My observations: On my 3G (while Eurocap was still active), using a Sik DIN gave me a more than noticable improvement over maxed headphone out. I did not really A/B it since I uncapped my 3G though, maybe I should try that. But: In his setups, Bangraman uses the regular Apple Dock Line-Out only. I have this dock too, and out of sheer curiosity I trested it against my Turbodock when I got it. The Turbodock does sound better. So the real challenge is not Headphone out vs. Apple's crummy dock, but Headphone out vs. Turbodock.

I shall run this test again once I get my RnB Black Diamond mini2mini.



Good point, I think more testing is needed
FWIW, I tested with a SendStation Dock
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 12:25 PM Post #10 of 32

Jeff E

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The difference between my 4G iPod's headphone jack and its line out (via Sik Din) appears dramatic to me. The line out has considerably more bass impact and the overall sound is more sharply etched (attack?). This is not subtle, quite apparent with any headphones and even through my previous vehicle's mediocre-fi sound system. YMMV.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 2:25 PM Post #11 of 32

scrypt

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
I couldn't tell with K1000, K701, UE-10 Pros, thru Max'ed PPA on my 3rd Generation iPod


Eric343 and I have spoken about this before: At one time, neither of us could hear a difference. But in those days, my only amps consisted of Eric's META42, Tangent's META-mini, JT's cmoy and Ray S.'s powered XP-7.

However, using a Hornet or MAD EAR variant with the 3G and 4G, I've been able to discern differences.

By the bylaw:

Bangraman isn't simply talking about any iPod's line out. He's talking about the 5G version's in particular.

As your pro bono attorney, I'd advise you to try different amps and lower impedence phones. I've tested the line out with the Hornet using Grados and Etymotics and heard the difference in every case. I'm about to send my used XP-7 to Ray for extra fondling to make certain its black screen (let's call it a nightie) is as revealing as possible. Thus, my Pod's libido for amps might change in the coming weeks (unh, unh).
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 3:45 PM Post #12 of 32

PeeeMeS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by scrypt
Bangraman isn't simply talking about any iPod's line out. He's talking about the 5G version's in particular.


Bangraman's test ipod is:
iPod 3G with iMod 'hack' to bring European iPod in line with US amp power levels

The ipod in Bangraman's picture also looks like a 3G ipod, it has a touchwheel instead of a clickwheel

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrypt
As your pro bono attorney, I'd advise you to try different amps and lower impedence phones. I've tested the line out with the Hornet using Grados and Etymotics and heard the difference in every case. I'm about to send my used XP-7 to Ray for extra fondling to make certain its black screen (let's call it a nightie) is as revealing as possible. Thus, my Pod's libido for amps might change in the coming weeks (unh, unh).




Sorry I wasn't clear with my post
I hear a difference with UE-10s(very low impedence) amped out of Little Dot Micro. The headphone out is superior to the line-out for this configuration. It is unlistenable out of the line-out -> Little dot micro -> UE-10, background hiss is too high. Hiss dissappears when I use headphone out -> Little Dot Micro -> UE-10.

So while line-out might be better with some setups, in this case the headphone out won
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 11:59 AM Post #13 of 32

scrypt

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
Bangraman's test ipod is:
iPod 3G with iMod 'hack' to bring European iPod in line with US amp power levels



Somewhere in this forum, I believe he says that the improvement which is discernable in the 4G's line out is not apparent in 5G models. These thoughts seem in keeping with those of certain other members (not that anyone should simply believe other people without testing their advice empirically: bring your phones to the bloody store, if necessary).

Rereading your initial post, it becomes apparent you didn't mislead me in any way. I'd somehow assumed all comparisons would be between the 4G and 5G because the initial poster was buying a new iPod, and because BM said at one point that the 5G doesn't sound quite as good as the 4G in the audiophile sense.

Quote:

Sorry I wasn't clear with my post
I hear a difference with UE-10s(very low impedence) amped out of Little Dot Micro. The headphone out is superior to the line-out for this configuration. It is unlistenable out of the line-out -> Little dot micro -> UE-10, background hiss is too high. Hiss dissappears when I use headphone out -> Little Dot Micro -> UE-10.


If things were unclear before, they're even more so now. You seem to be contradicting what you said earlier: that you heard no difference with the UE-10 before. Am I right in interpreting your last post to mean you found the 3G's line out to be worse than its headphone out? If so, I find that baffling (though I've never had the pleasure of listening to UE-10s with an iPod). What did you use for a dock to the amp? That, too, might have some bearing.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 1:28 PM Post #14 of 32

bangraman

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I think you might be getting the wrong end of the stick.


The test is there to indicate that there seems to be no difference when amping the headphone out (provided the output is set to the same as the Line Out) and the Line Out itself. It has nothing to do with the quality differences or stability variations with different output loads between each generation of iPod.


I think this also goes for the current iPod as well, although I haven't run tests. The simplest way for someone to figure it out would be to first match the output levels from both the headphone out and line out in RMAA's calibration procedure, then RMAA both outputs. This would indicate the differences in the output when subjected to a 10kohm input impedance. Many portable amps wouldn't go that high but it would be a good test. Whether any changes would be audible is another matter, but if you ask around you might be some lucid results. Graphs rarely help, and I've regretted the times I've posted them because the clueless / fanboys / terrorists (
tongue.gif
@ scrypt) seize on the graph image, not the real-world difference (with the results correlated with human hearing ability, and the performance of the headphones you'll be using).
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 1:59 PM Post #15 of 32

machead

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Can you really set the headphone output to the same level as the line out? I occasionally connect my 2G iPod to my speaker rig through an AUX input and I find that, even with the iPod volume maxed out, the level is way below what I get from other components with a regular line out. I was under the impression that one of the advantages of the line out fitted to 3G and later iPods was the ability to drive external amplifiers to normal listening levels.
 

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