What is the sound quality of iPhone, iPad, iPod (Touch)?
May 22, 2019 at 10:01 PM Post #646 of 794

bigshot

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The new iPhone has digital out that bypasses the internal DAC. It's a concession to audiophools who think more things to carry around means better sound.
 
May 23, 2019 at 1:49 AM Post #647 of 794

krismusic

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The new iPhone has digital out that bypasses the internal DAC. It's a concession to audiophools who think more things to carry around means better sound.
It has always been possible to bypass the DAC in the iPhone by using line out and a CCK. IIRC the headphone socket was removed to allow the iPhone to be even thinner and the space was used for haptics or somesuch. Nothing to do with audiophiles or audiophools.
 
May 23, 2019 at 6:09 AM Post #648 of 794

TheSonicTruth

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The new iPhone has digital out that bypasses the internal DAC. It's a concession to audiophools who think more things to carry around means better sound.

Man, bigs, you'd be a hit over on the ComputerAudiophile(now 'Audiophile Style') forums, lol! I'm dealing with the nonsense you just described, on a daily basis.
 
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May 23, 2019 at 6:26 AM Post #649 of 794

TheSonicTruth

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It has always been possible to bypass the DAC in the iPhone by using line out and a CCK. IIRC the headphone socket was removed to allow the iPhone to be even thinner and the space was used for haptics or somesuch. Nothing to do with audiophiles or audiophools.

Just for the heckuvit I dongled out of my iPhone 5's lightning port to headphone and heard goose eggs.

Does audio come out of the lightning only on iPhone 7 & up, which have no mini-TRS out?
 
May 23, 2019 at 7:28 AM Post #650 of 794

Sterling2

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Just a sidebar: I recently purchased a 2007 Cadillac SRX. To play from my iPhone 7+ to the Cadillac's Bose radio required me to buy a DAC, since the radio does not have a digital input. I went with a $35 Belkin. So far, I'm satisfied with the sound in all manner. Only thing problematic is I cannot control the iPhone from the radio. At any rate, I do not know how I'd go about appraising the iPhone 7's DAC, since the only means for appraisal is the from the iPhone's speakers.
 
May 23, 2019 at 7:28 AM Post #651 of 794

yuriv

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A friend of mine offered his still-in-use iPod 5th (Video) for df-measurements. Conclusion: thanks to Wolfson audio chip with relatively high level of waveform degradation iPod 5th (Video) has its own distinctive sound signature (slightly harsh mids, transparent highs). Some music types/genres can benefit from this artifact signature, some other will not. As a result there always be lovers and haters of this player. Starting from iPhone 4 and iPod 6th Gen. Apple uses much more transparent/neutral audio chips from Cirrus Logic.

There might be a simple explanation for that. The 5G and 5.5G iPod Video's volume control lets you drive the 3.5mm output so that a 0 dBFS sine goes into clipping. At maximum volume, the signal is hotter than the line out in the 30-pin connector. That one doesn't depend on the system volume and doesn't go to clipping. The work-around for the 3.5mm output is simple: Just reduce the volume a tiny bit. In practice, you don't notice it with headphones because you won't have the volume control at maximum. Even when you have it cranked up and hooked to a line in, it might not be noticeable unless your music spends a lot of time near 0 dBFS. Even RMAA fails to find the problem because they do their distortion testing at -3 dBFS. But if you play back a 0 dBFS sine at maximum volume, you'll see the clipped signal on your scope.

I first wrote about this in AVS Forums 12 years ago, but the pictures are gone from my post. Archimago found the same much more recently:

Clipping_at_100-percent.png

Signal clipping on iPod Video 3.5mm jack at maximum volume. Source: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/09/retro-measure-2006-apple-ipod-classic.html

I'm not sure if you've ruled this out during your testing. My iPod Video worked the last time I used it, which was years ago. It's in a drawer somewhere. IIRC, it was pretty audibly transparent with the work-around.

Edit: I see that you've already seen Archimago's page on this, based on your comment on his site. In practical use, my old iPod didn't sound all that different from recent players, if you can get around the output impedance and the roll-off caused by the blocking capacitor. BTW, I measured 5.5 ohms at 1 kHz vs. Archimago's 11 ohms.
 
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May 23, 2019 at 7:49 AM Post #652 of 794

SergeSE

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I'm not sure if you've ruled this out during your testing. My iPod Video worked the last time I used it, which was years ago. It's in a drawer somewhere. IIRC, it was pretty audibly transparent with the work-around.
Thanks for the note. I know about that clipping (I read Archimago too)). Yes, it was ruled out during recording of SE test sequences. The sound signature (artifact signature indeed) of iPod 5th is due to Wolfson chip architecture. Mid frequencies degrade to more extent than highs. Odd harmonics prevail in the distortion.
 
May 23, 2019 at 9:52 AM Post #653 of 794

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Just a sidebar: I recently purchased a 2007 Cadillac SRX. To play from my iPhone 7+ to the Cadillac's Bose radio required me to buy a DAC, since the radio does not have a digital input. I went with a $35 Belkin. So far, I'm satisfied with the sound in all manner. Only thing problematic is I cannot control the iPhone from the radio. At any rate, I do not know how I'd go about appraising the iPhone 7's DAC, since the only means for appraisal is the from the iPhone's speakers.

couldn't you just use the lightning headphone adapter dongle?
 
May 23, 2019 at 10:00 AM Post #654 of 794

JM1979

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Does audio come out of the lightning only on iPhone 7 & up, which have no mini-TRS out?

Via the cheap iPhone ear buds, there is a small dac chip in the lightning plug and audio does come out.

I also use the little lightning dongle to hook up slightly less cheap ear buds for when I go to the gym.
 
May 23, 2019 at 10:03 AM Post #655 of 794

Sgt. Ear Ache

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Via the cheap iPhone ear buds, there is a small dac chip in the lightning plug and audio does come out.

I also use the little lightning dongle to hook up slightly less cheap ear buds for when I go to the gym.

yeah the dac is in the dongle and it sounds very good. I'm in agreement with Bigshot that many audiophiles waste too much money on dacs. Pretty much any dac that isn't actually defective will do the job...
 
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May 23, 2019 at 10:34 AM Post #656 of 794

Wes S

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yeah the dac is in the dongle and it sounds very good. I'm in agreement with Bigshot that many audiophiles waste too much money on dacs. Pretty much any dac that isn't actually defective will do the job...
This is true, until you actually hear, what a "good" dac can do.
 
May 23, 2019 at 10:48 AM Post #657 of 794

Voxata

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This is true, until you actually hear, what a "good" dac can do.
Will concur, A solid chain can make a difference. Night and day? Maybe not so much... Enough for me to pick and and easily have a preference? Definitely.
 
May 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM Post #659 of 794

SparkOnShore

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This is true, until you actually hear, what a "good" dac can do.

Have you actually done a correct blind test and if so, could you pick the “good” dac from the “bad” one? Sorry but I don’t believe this story of good and bad dacs! Maybe your so called good dac adds some color to the sound which you may like, but in that case it’s not transparent and neutral as it should! Is Apple using a bad dac but your brand is using a good dac?? I don’t know, I mean all this audiophile unsubstantial naivety is kind of funny anymore!...Are you actually trying to justify all the money you have given up to now, for no reason?...
 
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May 23, 2019 at 11:22 AM Post #660 of 794

TheSonicTruth

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Via the cheap iPhone ear buds, there is a small dac chip in the lightning plug and audio does come out.

I also use the little lightning dongle to hook up slightly less cheap ear buds for when I go to the gym.

Well, audio does not come out of the dongle to headphone on a 5 or 6 iPhone.

As for the clipping issue mentioned by others here, I keep my Volume Limit(under Music menu) a tad below max setting. Still loud enough to drive my Beyer 880s.
 

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