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Topic: Which iPod have the best sound Quality???

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Old 07-11-2007, 08:39 AM
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Which iPod have the best sound Quality???

Hi, maybe this has been ask a thousand times before , but i can't find it using the "search"
anyway i'm really into sound quality i listened to R&B,bossanova,jazz and audiophile.

and i use my iPod mostly on my car connect it to
Alpine IVA D310 head unit via Alpine KCA 420i iPod Connector

Now i have with me :
-60G 5 Generation Video iPod
-40G 3 Generation iPod
-4G 1 Generation iPod Nano

Which one has the best sound quality ?

or which model of iPod have the best sound quality ?

are they all the same ?

thank you very much .

i've tried a few comparation, to my ears, i think 3rd Gen has better SQ than the 5G or the 1st nano, but i maybe wrong, please feel free to comment.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:12 PM
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I'll tell you what has the WORST sound quality, it's the 2nd gen ipod shuffle. I would say that the video ipod is the best that you have right now, I have one and it sounds great to me.

I'm pretty sure of all time the 1st gen shuffle has the best sound quality (that's what I heard when it came out, please don't rip me to shreds if I'm wrong)
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:21 PM
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I hate to say it but, if you are a true "audiophile," you would have never purchased an iPod to begin with as there are other players from Samsung, Cawon, and iRiver that offer much superior sound quality. I don't mean to sound rude or anything but I just hate the term "audiophile" as these people don't believe in lossless codecs, they absolutely despise lossy encodings, and they refuse to conduct any blind ABX tests because they are afraid that lossy encoding is actually OK.

As far as what you have, your 5G iPod has the best sound quality with the iPod nano coming in second. The 3G iPods has OK sound quality but your two other iPods have newer sound chips. Many people say that the iPod with the best sound quality was the 1G iPod shuffle simply because a company called SigmaTel made the sound chips in them instead of Portal Player. The 2G shuffles may not be able to match the sound quality of the 1G models but they aren't the worst. The 1G, 2G, 3G, and maybe even the 4G iPods all have worse sound quality than the 2G shuffles.

Personally, those claims about 1G shuffle sound quality are a little fishy as most commercial websites (cnet.com for example) say it had better sound quality while other websites specifically designed around audio encoding (hydrogenauio.org) said that the sound quality was nothing special and that other iPod models were comparable. They stated that the 1G shuffle had a slight edge in terms of bass reproduction and balancing out the low, mid, and high frequencies but these improvements were subtle and slight, nothing an audiophile would get all hyped up about.



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Old 07-11-2007, 02:42 PM
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for me i choos ipod over other MP3 player cause ipod have the most "flat" output compared to other brands
so that i can tweak the sound using apline audio proccesor in my car.

and all my song is converted in apple loseless so it should be quite ok for keeping me entertain in long journey compared to CD changer.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-Dee-Q
and all my song is converted in apple loseless so it should be quite ok for keeping me entertain in long journey compared to CD changer.
I hope you don't intend to play lossless during long journies. Battery life is shorter the higher the bit-rate your music is.



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Old 07-11-2007, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-Dee-Q
anyway i'm really into sound quality i listened to R&B,bossanova,jazz and audiophile.

* snip *

Now i have with me :
-60G 5 Generation Video iPod
-40G 3 Generation iPod
-4G 1 Generation iPod Nano

Which one has the best sound quality ?
Well, since you have these and can listen to them, you tell us!
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:51 PM
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If you are audiophile, u should dump that IVA and get a X001 which provides TRUE DIGITAL output.
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:01 AM
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Xoo1 doesnt have big screen and DVD player :P

anyway long journey is okay cause alpine kca 420i charge the ipod :P
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kornchild2002
The 1G, 2G, 3G, and maybe even the 4G iPods all have worse sound quality than the 2G shuffles.
Man, I think the sound quality is terrible on my 2g. The 4g wasn't bad, or at least i didn't think so. Maybe because I had the 4.5g. (the one with the color screen)
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:38 AM
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I have never listened to the Shuffle and I have not used my 3G for ages so I can't remember how it compares to my 5.5G. I can't remember it being bad though.
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:14 PM
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Out of the ones I have, the 1st gen nano is undoubtedly the worst sounding of the ones I have..the 2G Shuffle doesn't reach highs as well as the video iPod but its better than the 1G Nano.

I think the 5.5G Video sounds the best.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoidxe
Out of the ones I have, the 1st gen nano is undoubtedly the worst sounding of the ones I have..the 2G Shuffle doesn't reach highs as well as the video iPod but its better than the 1G Nano.

I think the 5.5G Video sounds the best.
You're absolutely right. The 1G Nano sounds awful. I really hate that device and want to get rid of it badly.

The 80GB has good sound, and battery life.



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Old 07-14-2007, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoidxe
Out of the ones I have, the 1st gen nano is undoubtedly the worst sounding of the ones I have..the 2G Shuffle doesn't reach highs as well as the video iPod but its better than the 1G Nano.

I think the 5.5G Video sounds the best.

Which says something interesting as it's (the 1G Nano) is in the ballpark in terms of sound quality with current Cowon, iRiver, etc. what you lack obviously is the EQ-ability of the other supposedly higher quality players.


Sound quality on a portable isn't just about the output audio stage... it's also about it's ability to render files properly. I presume as an 'audiophile' you're ripping to ALAC or high-bitrate MP3's. Either way the 5G provides a good balance of sound quality plus lack of any obvious codec glitches.


kornchild has an interesting point. The Shuffle had a flatter response than the other iPods but as he says, it was not a notable improvement in the overall scheme of things if you were approaching this from a dispassionate listening perspective. The hype on the net was generated almost solely by one tech journalist. The increase in bass, combined with the power of suggestion from the increasing masses on the Internet proclaiming it as the best sounding iPod (regardless of whether they'd actually had a Shuffle or not) caused a a feedback loop on the 'audiophile nets'. Like the other overhyped player the Rio Karma, if enough people say it's good regardless of whether it merits that title or not, then it *is* good on the Internets.


The other interesting thing about what kornchild says is that he's the victim of the same syndrome. The 5G iPod for example offers slightly superior base sound quality compared to many players from Cowon, iRiver, etc. Another example, the 3G iPod offered superior sound quality to comparable iRivers at the time when amped (for in-car use, etc), but the iPod gained it's 'inferior sound quality' label with the 3G based almost purely on a bass fall-off effect (look it up) that resulted in an audible lack of bass compared to some other players on the market. To those more sensitive to bass, this meant a lack of 'sound quality', and this generated a feedback reputation once again, something which has carried over into the present day iPod which offers comparable 'default' bass levels with many players from Cowon, iRiver, etc.


There is also the added element of the EQability of these other players against the broken EQ of the iPod. To those who have crappy earphones which need EQ, the other makes are perhaps a more viable alternative. But portable EQ and other DSP effects are rudimentary at best - even Rio's much-hyped parametric EQ - and ends up having a noticeably detrimental effect on sound quality with phones worth a damn, and therefore renders the argument based purely on quality moot. A working EQ makes the experience better for some undoubtedly, especially as I said for those who own phones which aren't good performers. Better quality? Not necessarily.


And to the OP, since you have them why aren't you making your own listening decisions? I doubt you're an 'audiophile' if you're asking which of the players in your posession is better. If you are an audiophile, you should have made a decision already based on which is shiniest / heaviest / expensive / and pointlessly modified with high-end capacitors I did actually come across a guy once who had his modified iPod in a very thick foam casing, connected to his (barely) portable amplifier / preamp using a cable about the thickness of a garden hose. I knew about the rest, but I asked what the foam was for. Apparently it was to isolate the hard disk from outside effects for better audio performance. Now there's an audiophile right there


All jokes and ribbing aside, if you're not coming up against any of the codec glitches (it depends on which codec you're using) on the 3G then you may well find that it sounds better when used through the dock than the 5G.



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Last edited by thedodgyguy; 07-14-2007 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:22 AM
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that's what i thought too , cause i normally use my ipods in the car connected to Alpine KCA 420i through Dock interface, seems to me that the 3G have "flatter" and more natural sound compared to the 5G i have.
i seldom use the 3G with ear phone though cause the battery life is short :P
BTW i don't like too much bass , thta's why choose iPods over other brands , other brands just boost the bass but lack in natural mid and high
while like i said iPod has "flatter" sound that' better when you tweak it using external Processor such as alpine F#1 status in my car, thankcs anyway.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-Dee-Q
that's what i thought too , cause i normally use my ipods in the car connected to Alpine KCA 420i through Dock interface, seems to me that the 3G have "flatter" and more natural sound compared to the 5G i have.
i seldom use the 3G with ear phone though cause the battery life is short :P
BTW i don't like too much bass , thta's why choose iPods over other brands , other brands just boost the bass but lack in natural mid and high
while like i said iPod has "flatter" sound that' better when you tweak it using external Processor such as alpine F#1 status in my car, thankcs anyway.
That is strange as many "audiophiles" say that iPods have their bass boosted when compared to other brands like Cawon, iRiver, or the golder older Rio Karma. I had a Rio Karma once and I must say that the audio output was quite good. It was also one of the only players to feature gapless playback at the time. It could gaplessly playback mp3, WMA, FLAC, WAV, and OGG files. It was a gem of a player. If it hadn't been for the faulty hard drives that Rio used, I imagine the Karma's successor would be more popular. The Karma was actually a good player though. I know it had a lot of hype surrounding it but this is one rare case where the player actually deserved the hype. Rio later dropped off the map after releasing 2GB and 4GB players that just couldn't compete with the popularity of the iPod minis. I guess the hype couldn't carry Rio through the faulty hard drives.

I think that there is too much hype around the sound quality of the 1G shuffles though. Just because the chip is made by SigmaTel, that doesn't mean it has much superior sound. Many reviewers state that the 5G/5.5G iPods have better sound quality than the 1G shuffles. At the time though, the 1G shuffle had excellent sound quality for such a small player. Other players of the same size didn't have the specs to match the iPod shuffle. However, other companies such as Creative have started to compete with Apple in the shuffle category.

Ah well. I think we can all agree that the current iPods probably have the best sound quality. The 4Gs weren't terrible but I never really liked the 3Gs (their extremely short battery lives didn't help either).



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