Is the line out on the universal dock a true line out or just another headphone jack?

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mpb2000

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While trying to answer someone else's question, I started reading the ilounge review of the universal dock. It states that the line out on the dock "replicates the headphone ports of color 4G and 5G iPods." I know in the past, it was always said that the line out on the dock was a true line out that provided better audio quality than the headphone jack. If it is true that the new dock does not have a true line out port, that eliminates the only major reason for me to buy the dock.
 

boochydog

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could someone please address this issue and/or clarify it. i am waiting to buy the dock until i hear that the line-out is a true line-out and not the same as using the headphone jack.
 

mpb2000

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jwc110869 said:
I know the dock is a true "line out" on my 3G's port..............
Like I said, I know that is true for the older docks, but the ilounge review is making me think this may not be true for the new dock.
 

mpb2000

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Have to bump this, in hopes that someone from ilounge will see it and clarify the statement in their review.
 

bobb-mini

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It's very simple. U people with a G5, if the bottom out is not affected by the volume control, then it's a true line out.
 

TheForce02

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i guess it is not a true line out.

i just bought the new dock right now and hooked it up, plugged into the line out and connected it to my home stereo. if i play with the volume on the ipod the volume changes on the stereo.

hope this helps
 

STomSF

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It must depend on the dock and connector; I have my 5G connected to a BlitzSafe adapter for use in my car and the dock connection provides a true line-out (no affect by volume or equalizer) which is what I wanted.
 

mpb2000

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STomSF said:
It must depend on the dock and connector; I have my 5G connected to a BlitzSafe adapter for use in my car and the dock connection provides a true line-out (no affect by volume or equalizer) which is what I wanted.
I'm pretty sure the dock connector on the bottom of the ipod does provide a true line out. So what happened in your car makes sense. But it seems that the new dock does not carry that over to its line out jack, according to TheForce. I guess they did this so you could control the volume with the new dock remote.
 

mongoos150

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Sounds like noone is for sure certain whether the dock's "line out" is true line out...I am doubtful because the line out volume changes as you adjust your iPod's volume, in dock. The remote idea sounds plausible, but I'm doubtful whether this is a true line-out. Has anyone tried it in a non remote-ready dock?
 

JMG

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The mini jack on the universal dock is NOT a ture line out, since the volume on the iPod still affects it.
 

mpb2000

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JMG said:
The mini jack on the universal dock is NOT a ture line out, since the volume on the iPod still affects it.
How noticeable is the the difference in audio quality between a true line out and what we have on the dock?
 

maxxtothemaxx

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I have had a Universal dock for several weeks now, so I can assure you that it is not a true line out. You can still control the volume for the iPod or from the apple remote. Which is good......And bad
 

JMG

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mpb2000 said:
How noticeable is the the difference in audio quality between a true line out and what we have on the dock?
You only notice it slightly, but alot more if you ahve the volume of the ipod all the way up and it starts to get distorted.
 

iTuna

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True line-out

I have a 5G/60 running through a dedicated lineout cable that plugs into the dock connector and it is definitely a true line out level. It is not affected by the volume control and runs at the standard voltage out level so the volume of the iPod is very close to the volume of the CD or Radio when you switch inputs.

The sound quality is excellent with this configuration and is definitely better than my previous 4G/40 running through the same cable. Using my 192 to 256 range VBR LAME MP3's, the sound quality between the iPod and the CD player is not noticably different with the typical level of road/motor/wind noise present inside a car.

The only thing I can assume is that people who are having audio quality problems running from the dock connector either have a cable that is running from the headphone out pins on the dock instead of the lineout pins or they have grounding problems. Cars are full of electrical noise from ignition systems, etc. so it's really important to make sure everything is grounded correctly in order to get high quality sound.
 

Interpol

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I believe for the 5G iPods, whether the dock connector output works as a line out or not will depend on the peripheral connected to it. I also get a true line out signal when I use my PocketDock or Monster Car Charger with the iPod, but when I plug in the iPod Radio Remote the volume output is variable.
 

DeBilbao

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I have a 5th Gen 30GB iPod Video, the Universal Dock with the infrared remote, the Sendstation Pocket Line-Out USB and the Parser iPlug for connect any iPod to the car. My conclusion is as follows:

1. The Universal Dock has some sort of pre-amp for controlling the volume when you use the remote, so the line-out offered by the Universal Dock is not a true line-out, and therefore the signal is somehow altered through it.

2. The Sendstation Pocket Line-Out USB offers a true line-out. You can check this as far as you slide the volume control on the iPod and verifiyng that the output signal isn't altered.

3. So the 5th Gen iPod unit itself has a real line-out that you can get only if you use a connector that get it unaltered. In my case the Sendstation Pocket Line-Out USB, but there are other solutions available (SIK din, i.e.)

To judge the difference between the real line-out and the pre-amped version of the Universal Dock you need to have in mind the quality components. The higher the quality, the higher the difference because you're going to be able to listen to these differences more clearly. With average equipment the difference is going to be audible, but certainly not as clear.

At home, I listen to the music stored in my iPod connected with a Profigold or Monster Cable and the Sendstation Pocket Line-Out with a Musical Fidelity X-CAN v3 headphone amp and a pair of Sennheiser HD-650 and I think the result is terrific. I can rival with much more expensive gear with ease.

Related to this and more interesting is the quality of the line-out. Recently i've bought a 4GB iPod Mini for the car - it's easier to shuffle between less songs - and I think that the quality of this line-out is better than the one in the video iPod. I'll try to do some ABX tests and I'll tell if I could conclude something particular.
 
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