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Ipod Classic 160gb audio quality?
ArtMustHurt
post Sep 15 2010, 21:39
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How's the audio quality on the Ipod Classic 160gb 7th generation?
I read some reviews saying the audio quality had gotten worse in the newest classic model(compared to the older models).
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Soap
post Sep 15 2010, 21:45
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This would make a beautiful test.

I am aware of no hardware changes between said generations, if I am proven correct you now know a whole new group of reviewers who should be ignored!


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Sep 16 2010, 14:39
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QUOTE (ArtMustHurt @ Sep 15 2010, 16:39) *
How's the audio quality on the Ipod Classic 160gb 7th generation?
I read some reviews saying the audio quality had gotten worse in the newest classic model(compared to the older models).


Run a Rightmark and post it! ;-)
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Bullit
post Oct 7 2010, 17:07
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Wasn't there some kind of adapter that bypasses the DAC on the iPod? Supposedly that gave better audio quality.

As far as the audio quality on the iPod, yes it sucks. I'm using a 30gb video and compared to my Cowon D2, it sounds muffled and there isn't enough bass.
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EagleScout1998
post Oct 7 2010, 17:45
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Wouldn't the headphones (or earphones) be the more likely culprit?
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mixminus1
post Oct 7 2010, 17:59
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Oh, you're no fun! wink.gif

My high-impedance (~100 ohm) Altec Lansing IEM's are a bit lightweight in the low end when driven from my iPod touch as compared to being driven by my dedicated Symetrix headphone amp.

However, my 24 ohm Sony MDR-V6's sound great when driven by any of my six iPods, with the oldest being six years old, I think.

This post has been edited by mixminus1: Oct 7 2010, 18:02


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JunkieXL
post Oct 7 2010, 18:07
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It plays music... The quality of said music depends greatly on the quality of the files loaded on the iPod and the headphones/amp being used. Discussing the audio quality of an iPod is kind a mute point in my opinion.
JXL
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greynol
post Oct 7 2010, 18:21
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 7 2010, 09:07) *
Wasn't there some kind of adapter that bypasses the DAC on the iPod?

It should be clear by the responses that the difference in quality you cite has nothing to do with the device's DAC.


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Bullit
post Oct 7 2010, 20:26
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 7 2010, 18:21) *
It should be clear by the responses that the difference in quality you cite has nothing to do with the device's DAC.


Thank you nanny. I can read the responses after mine.

As far as the device's DAC it has changed on the classic, its a cirrus model. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/...C-does-ipod-use



This post has been edited by Bullit: Oct 7 2010, 20:38
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greynol
post Oct 7 2010, 21:00
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If you're claiming audible differences in the iPod's DAC then let's see your ABX results.

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 7 2010, 21:01


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saratoga
post Oct 7 2010, 21:06
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 7 2010, 15:26) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 7 2010, 18:21) *
It should be clear by the responses that the difference in quality you cite has nothing to do with the device's DAC.


Thank you nanny. I can read the responses after mine.

As far as the device's DAC it has changed on the classic, its a cirrus model. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/...C-does-ipod-use


All ipods since the 5G have extremely good output, so it doesn't really matter which DAC is used on which model. They all perform good enough that theres no need to care which is which.
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Bullit
post Oct 7 2010, 22:31
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 7 2010, 22:00) *
If you're claiming audible differences in the iPod's DAC then let's see your ABX results.


I am claiming that the iPod classic uses a different DAC.

QUOTE (saratoga @ Oct 7 2010, 22:06) *
All ipods since the 5G have extremely good output, so it doesn't really matter which DAC is used on which model. They all perform good enough that theres no need to care which is which.


I've found the output underwhelming. Would a quality headphone pre-amp reduce the muddiness of the sound? Clear the low end and boost some of the mids I mean.
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MichaelW
post Oct 7 2010, 22:37
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Whilst ABX is the platinum-iridium standard, wouldn't simple measurements of frequency response be enough to determine whether or not any iPod is deficient in bass?

Anyone want to bet on the outcome? I have a lazy $50 that says no difference greater than 1dB on any reasonably current model.
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saratoga
post Oct 7 2010, 23:14
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 7 2010, 17:31) *
I've found the output underwhelming. Would a quality headphone pre-amp reduce the muddiness of the sound? Clear the low end and boost some of the mids I mean.


I realize you're new here, but you still have to follow the same rules as everyone else:

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=3974

Specifically number 8, which says you must provide evidence or else retract statements like these:

"As far as the audio quality on the iPod, yes it sucks."

"I've found the output underwhelming. Would a quality headphone pre-amp reduce the muddiness of the sound? Clear the low end and boost some of the mids I mean."

IMO these are not true, so I would be very interested to see any evidence to the contrary.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 8 2010, 00:54
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 7 2010, 17:31) *
I've found the output underwhelming. Would a quality headphone pre-amp reduce the muddiness of the sound? Clear the low end and boost some of the mids I mean.


The output of many portable players can be on the lean side, depending on the effective sensitivity of the headphones that you are using. I have a pair of Sony MDR-V900HD headphones that are quite sensitive, and most players sound loud enough for me with them, no headphone amp needed. In contrast, I have a pair of Shure E3 IEMs, and they are pretty marginal with several of the players I've tried them with.

Any muddiness that you hear is almost certainly about how things sound when you can't turn the sound level up far enough to satisfy the needs of your partidular ears.

A quality headphone amp can raise levels substantially, and improve your listening experience. 2 that I've used with good results are the Boostaroo and the Fiio E5. I favor the latter, because it is a more modern design, but they can both work quite well. Wile there are some very expensive headphone amps out there, the technical requirents are far from rocket science. Many of them are violently overbuilt, like masonry commodes.
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Ed Seedhouse
post Oct 8 2010, 02:16
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 7 2010, 14:31) *
I am claiming that the iPod classic uses a different DAC.


There is no reason to suppose that this, even if true, would have any significant audible effect.

You agreed to the terms of service or you could not post here. Did you read them?

If so isn't TOS #8 clear as to what you agreed to when making such claims? Why aren't you keeping to your freely given agreement?

We await actual evidence.



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krabapple
post Oct 8 2010, 03:21
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QUOTE (Bullit @ Oct 7 2010, 17:31) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 7 2010, 22:00) *
If you're claiming audible differences in the iPod's DAC then let's see your ABX results.


I am claiming that the iPod classic uses a different DAC.



Uh huh. So? Do different DACs typically sound different?




QUOTE (saratoga @ Oct 7 2010, 22:06) *
I've found the output underwhelming. Would a quality headphone pre-amp reduce the muddiness of the sound? Clear the low end and boost some of the mids I mean.


That's EQ or poor matching with the headphones. Unlikely to have anything whatsoever to do with the DAC.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Oct 8 2010, 03:22
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higherlove
post Oct 8 2010, 03:25
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QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 8 2010, 05:00) *
If you're claiming audible differences in the iPod's DAC then let's see your ABX results.


Are there any handy ABX test tool running on iPod?
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higherlove
post Oct 8 2010, 03:51
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QUOTE (higherlove @ Oct 8 2010, 11:25) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 8 2010, 05:00) *
If you're claiming audible differences in the iPod's DAC then let's see your ABX results.


Are there any handy ABX test tool running on iPod?

Never mind. Just found this.
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/lofive...php/t39831.html
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Bullit
post Oct 8 2010, 03:52
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Oct 8 2010, 04:21) *
That's EQ or poor matching with the headphones. Unlikely to have anything whatsoever to do with the DAC.


I usually use a flat EQ with no enhancements or anything on my players, what do you mean by poor matching?

I retract my previous statement about the iPod sound quality sucking. Here is a revised statement:

In my experience, I have found that the iPod sound quality is poor compared to other players I have owned using some decent headphones (AKG & Audio Technica). This is my opinion.

This post has been edited by Bullit: Oct 8 2010, 04:01
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Engelsstaub
post Oct 8 2010, 05:47
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This is my opinion and not subjective:

I used to own a Zune and the sound quality seemed to me decent enough IMO. I later switched to a late model (post 5th Gen) iPod Classic 160 Gb for reasons relating to storage space and compatibility with certain components. IMO, it didn't sound any better or worse. (...but it was louder (by a fractional but still appreciable amount.)

I won't knowingly or intentionally make any statements that would violate TOS 8. I'm actually sure I couldn't tell the difference between the Zune and the iPod I have in an ABX at the same volumes. As mentioned by another poster, I believe headphones will have much more to do with your perceived sound quality than say whether it's the Wolfsen DAC or the newer one. Amplification, of course, should be a major factor in your perceived sound quality as well if your headphones aren't efficient.

I've never owned another PMP aside from the aforementioned, so I could be entirely full of crap. It's just my experience.


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probedb
post Oct 8 2010, 09:19
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ Oct 8 2010, 05:47) *
This is my opinion and not subjective:

I used to own a Zune and the sound quality seemed to me decent enough IMO. I later switched to a late model (post 5th Gen) iPod Classic 160 Gb for reasons relating to storage space and compatibility with certain components. IMO, it didn't sound any better or worse. (...but it was louder (by a fractional but still appreciable amount.)

I won't knowingly or intentionally make any statements that would violate TOS 8. I'm actually sure I couldn't tell the difference between the Zune and the iPod I have in an ABX at the same volumes. As mentioned by another poster, I believe headphones will have much more to do with your perceived sound quality than say whether it's the Wolfsen DAC or the newer one. Amplification, of course, should be a major factor in your perceived sound quality as well if your headphones aren't efficient.

I've never owned another PMP aside from the aforementioned, so I could be entirely full of crap. It's just my experience.


I'm unsure of the louder thing? What do you mean louder? Surely you just turn it up to match the volume levels? Or are you saying the maximum volume is louder on the iPod? It could also be the iPod is driving the 'phones better?
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 8 2010, 10:44
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QUOTE (higherlove @ Oct 7 2010, 22:25) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Oct 8 2010, 05:00) *
If you're claiming audible differences in the iPod's DAC then let's see your ABX results.


Are there any handy ABX test tool running on iPod?


Doing ABX testing of portable players is not easy if you approach it the most obvious way. By obvious way, I mean get two players, load them up with the same songs, start then both playing, somehow match levels and song playback timing, and then blindly and manually swap listening to the players in accordance with a randomized script, and write down your reactions.

If you actually try to do this, you will find that synching the playback and switching between the players is really awkward, time consuming, and frustrating. You see if you want the maximum sensitivity for your test you have to be able to switch quickly between the players when you want to and instatntly. I'm talking switch over in a fraction of a second. If it takes more than a few seconds to switch, your ability to hear differences flushes right down the porcelain convenience. You can listen to each altnerative for seconds or hours or whatever floats your boat, but if you can't switch quickly when you want to you won't be able to work at your peak. Going along with this is the fact that both players have to be playing the same music, with timing consistency on the order of a musical note or less.

The first level of added sophistication would probably be to set up a randomized box for switching the headphones between the two players. ABX boxes that are capable of switching headphone or speaker connections have been around for almost 4 decades, I built the first one ever built in the late 1970s.

Time-synching players and keeping them time synched within a fraction of a second isn't very easy, either. It's actually even harder than the fast switching when you want it part of the problem.

There's an easy solution for all of these problems, but you have to agree to some things that will be very counter-intuitive until you've done some actual ABX testing of audio equipment, and figure out what in life sounds different, and what sounds the same, and how to know which is which.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 8 2010, 10:51
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QUOTE (ArtMustHurt @ Sep 15 2010, 16:39) *
How's the audio quality on the Ipod Classic 160gb 7th generation?
I read some reviews saying the audio quality had gotten worse in the newest classic model(compared to the older models).


Rule number one is that most reviews of portable players that you find on the web are written by well-meaning but exceedingly naive (as in uninformed or misinformed) people. As you might guess, the reviews may be composed of neat-sounding prose and techy-sounding words, but they are just noise, signifying nothing.

There is such a thing as truth in this matter, and the means of finding it are not all that weird or difficult, but most people who write these reviews just don't know it. For openers, you have to get a little scientific and learn how to do listening tests like the true scientists and professionals do them. I'm not talking some guy down the street with a recording studio, I'm talking the *real* pros like Dolby Laboratories or Harmon International.
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kornchild2002
post Oct 8 2010, 10:55
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QUOTE (probedb @ Oct 8 2010, 01:19) *
I'm unsure of the louder thing? What do you mean louder? Surely you just turn it up to match the volume levels? Or are you saying the maximum volume is louder on the iPod? It could also be the iPod is driving the 'phones better?


I am not speaking for Engelsstaub but from my own experience. I had a 30GB Halo 3 Zune and a 5G 60GB iPod. The max volume on the 5G iPod was louder than that of the Zune. I don't know if it was driving the headphone better or if the hardware/software in it allowed for louder output. Now I have my 4G 64GB iPod touch and it is the same thing as it happens to be the loudest iPod I have ever owned. The max volume is louder, I don't need to turn it up as much to achieve the (relatively, non-blind) same level of output as my other players, etc. Again, I am not sure if it is driving the headphones better or not but the output volume is louder. In fact, I don't have to turn my iPod all the way up in my car anymore. It now only needs to be about 4 clicks away from the max volume when hooking it up to my auxiliary input. Going all the way up causes a rather large amount of distortion.
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