Unoffical empeg BBS

Quick Links: Empeg FAQ | Software | RioCar.Org | Hijack | jEmplode | emphatic
Repairs: Repairs | Addons: Eutronix | Cases

Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#316265 - 11/11/2008 21:38 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tman]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
A colleage had a Zune 30 (first Gen) for quite a while. I never bothered even looking at the device as I was never intereted, so far, in portable players. As you can imagine, today I asked her to let me use it for a while. I was impressed.

The sound is spectacular, compared to my iPod's. Actually, in absolute terms, is just good; as good as I expected from any player in this price range. Volume is slightly higher than my iPod's, but the quality is *remarkably* better. It was a real pleasure to listen to.
My colleague was complaining that the max volume is not as high as she would have liked.
Now, she is using... $8 earplugs. No kidding. $ 8, lowest quality ever, earplugs!!
And, she has not only higher volume, but mostly much much better sound quality. That old Zune 30 clearly is a device that would sound spectacular with good earplugs. I am going to soon test it with mine.

So, while its max volume is yes an issue, I believe the iPod 6G has also a serious problem with audio quality compared to its predecessors, and even mor eits competitors.

And, let me spend few words about Zune's sw and interface. While the case itself is not nearly as nice as the Ipod's, it is not bad looking, still neat and nice. And, its larger screen compensates completely for that. Your eyes are completely camptured by it and looking at the device is in the end just as, if not more, appealing that using the iPod. The larger screen is quite good and very readable. And the software (NOT yet updated to Zune 3,0) is graphically appealing, immeidate and very pleasant to use.
Just to add one more flaw to 6G iPod, Zune's responsiveness made me realize how frequently 6G iPod's sw pauses to load from the HDD. This never happens with G2 and 3 iPods I've used, and I believe not even G5.
Using this old and scratched Zune 30 was 10 times more rewarding and pleasant then my new shiny iPod, where the low volume is just one of the causes.

Finally, the radio: I've been reading many good things about Zune's FM tuner in the last few days, and I was expecting a lot. Well, it really ia good. Loud and clear, little statics, very nice, simple, and clear interface.

Once more, I really hope Zune integrates well with my car stereo, which is going to be a major selling point for me. But, having said thar, I may be getting a Zune regardless of this factor and regardless of how well I can fix the iPods audio issues. I think Zune is just a much better product, in almost all regards, plain and simple.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316267 - 11/11/2008 22:00 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tman]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: tman

Do you have a dock handy? It should do lineout and you can listen to see if the sound quality is also affected on that.


I have a dock from iPod G2 that I can test tomorrow.
But, shouldn't the external radio by Apple work like a dock, since it takes audio output from the dock connector?
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316268 - 11/11/2008 22:44 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31286
Loc: Seattle, WA
The Zune sounds much better than the iPod in terms of quality? They should sound very similar, given the same set of headphones and the same approximate volume level.

You keep talking about sound quality, but aside from the problem with low volume (which is a different measure from quality), you're not giving any specifics.

Depending on the actual quality problems you're having, I wonder if your iPod is perhaps a defective one? Or maybe the iPod is fine and there's something wrong with the files you've put on it?

Because every iPod I've seen sounds just fine at any volume level. The earbuds they ship with the thing suck, but if I put a decent set of earbuds in place, it sounds great. And you've already tried yours with different sets of headphones, so that's not the issue.

First, when you are judging quality, tell us about the song files you're using? Where did they come from, did you rip them yourself in iTunes, what was iTunes ripping quality settings configured as, etc?

Next, when you say bad quality, be specific. Do you mean low volume? Do you mean distortion? Do you mean bad frequency response? Bad stereo separation? If you mean bad frequency response, precisely which frequencies are we talking about?

Oh, another thing I thought of. Sometimes if the headphone jack is somehow not letting you plug the headphones in properly (like the problem with recessed headphone jack on the first gen iphones), then the contacts on the headphone connector might get summed mono or you might get only the left or the right audio output played into both ears. That could definitely be interpreted as bad sound quality.

In any case, you should narrow down the problem, because volume does not equal sound quality, and if you're actually having an issue with sound quality, it might indicate a defective unit.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#316269 - 12/11/2008 01:10 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tfabris]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Quote:
The Zune sounds much better than the iPod in terms of quality? They should sound very similar, given the same set of headphones and the same approximate volume level.

Right. Unfortunately, in my direct experience they do not. frown

Quote:
I wonder if your iPod is perhaps a defective one

Yes, maybe my iPod is defective. I am planning to try few more things (see below) and then try to have it replaced. However, due to the high number of similar cases I've read about, I am now not very hopeful that I can solve my problems by replacing my iPod unit.

Quote:
but aside from the problem with low volume (which is a different measure from quality), you're not giving any specifics.

I thought I did, and I also did distinguish the two problems (please, see for example the post just above yours, where I state that Zune's volume is little higher, BUT quality - i.e. different issue - is much higher. I also explain there what I believe is the cause for the low (and still higher) Zune volume: 8-dollar earplugs).

However, to sum up, and add information I may have skipped in my previous posts:

Files I am listening to are MP3, 320 bps / CBR, no filter, encoded with Lame and Audiograbber by me and from my own CDs. These are files I got from my CDs at the best quality possible when they were ripped.

I find these problems:

1. low volume: So bad that at max volume and in normal traffic I cannot always understand radio talkshows or news. And, I find music listening very umpleasant.

2. low quality, meaning:
A. very significant lack of low frequencies. Dominance of mid frequences.
B. Yes, very little stereo separation, and consequent lack of "depth".
C. Very little sound dynamics. I would consider my iPod sounding very "flat".
D. No, as you can read in previous posts, i did not mention distortion. Which is relatively expected due to the very low volume.

These are the facts I am experiencing. Clearly, one my classify them in the realm of subjectiveness, as we talk about perception. But still, that's what they are to me.



On the field observations:

A. About Volume. I did notice that connecting the earplugs to the radio, which is in its turn connected to the dock connector of the ipod, the volume level IS slightly higher, but not significantly. This is consistent to what many are saying: the line out at the dock connector has a higher volume level AND better frequency response than the one ad the earplugs connector on top of the iPod.
However, in my case volume is so low even there that, as I said, in normal traffic you can't understand radio talk shows or news.


B. About Volume and Quality Issue.
iPod earplugs and my 100-Euro Sennheizer earplugs sound LITTLE different on my iPod. This never happened to me with ANY device I ever owned. I did try to test the two earplugs at my home stereo and at my PCs, and the difference between the two goes from clearly noticeable (Laptop) to impressive (Home Stereo, when listening to CDs).

C. About Volume AND Quality.
One iPod G2 I tested with Apple standard earplugs sounds at higher volume than mine with sennheizer. Better sound dynamics, too, and better response to low frequencies. Different rips of the same MP3s, though.

D. About Volume AND Quality
One iPod G5 I tested with Apple standard earplugs sounds at higher volume than mine with sennheizer. Better sound dynamics, too, but NOT better response to low frequencies, which I found lacking as well.
Different rips of the same MP3s, again, though.

E. About Volume AND Quality
Zune 30 test with cheap earplugs and different MP3s. see my previous post.



Now, if you make a quick search in Google for "iPod Cap volume", or "iPod Classic audio quality", you will find many forums and threads mentioning these very same issues. This makes me think that it is unlikely, even though possible, that I have a defective iPod, and makes me lean much more towards the possibility this is a widespread issue.
I am guessing that you are experiencing differently with your iPod(s) due to these factors:
* You using a previous generation than 6.
* You using a US iPod.
Or combination of the two.

So, you say you've seen several iPods:
What iPod generations have you used?
Was there any recent EU iPod that could be affected by the Volume Cap Issue?




Some temporary conclusions subject to revision as I gather more data and do whatever test I can:

I believe problem 1 (Volume) is explained by the EU volume cap we discussed above. I am also suspicious that this may be causing a decreased audio quality (see below).
I did in fact read a couple of forums where people supposedly succeeded in installing the US firmware and noticed some significant improvement in quality (not much volume, they say). Since Mark's post yersterday, I made some progress: I found such US firmware tonight. Here:
http://appldnld.apple.com.edgesuite.net/...d_24.1.0.3.ipsw
http://appldnld.apple.com.edgesuite....ipsw.signature
However, I have not tested them yet, so I still remain only suspicious that quality as well as volume issues may be related to EU volume cap.

I am also suspicious that the latest iPod Classic may have simply given up on audio quality in favour of something else: size of the device, battery life, end price.
Here I am just guessing.


Edited by taym (12/11/2008 01:19)
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316270 - 12/11/2008 01:32 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tman]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: tman
If it is doing that then there is a bug. It should cap the maximum volume to be something less.


Tman, I did not find the thread I mentioned before, but found this. What that person describes is exactly what I am experiencing. In other words, if I set the volume to +100% on iTune, the max volume on the iPod does not change a bit. It only changes how the volume increases as I rotate my finger on the touch wheel.

Quote:

Secondly, adjusting the iTunes volume slider does not increase the maximum possible volume. It simply moves the position of the maximum volume point.

For instance, if you set the volume slider at +100%, iTunes and iPod will max out the volume at half way on the volume control (50%+100% of 50%=100%). If you increase the volume control past that half way mark, nothing happens. There is no further increase in volume. If you set the volume slider at +50%, iTunes and iPod will max out the volume at three quarters on the volume control (50%+50% of 50%=75%).






Edited by taym (12/11/2008 01:34)
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316271 - 12/11/2008 02:04 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Ah. Misread your earlier post. The iTunes slider does that yes but that isn't the EU volume cap.

Top
#316272 - 12/11/2008 02:13 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tman]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Ok.
No, it isn't the volume cap setting. I was just hoping to use it to compensate for the volume cap issue, but because of how it works that's of no use...
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316273 - 12/11/2008 03:26 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1971
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Here's an idea (that mightn't be possible or practical), and I'm showing I'm an engineer for sure...

Playback a sine wave sweep and/or pink noise and sample on your PC sound card. Then do a frequency plot of that. Do one with the iPod and one with another player that sounds OK. Might give you an idea of what's not working.

Obviously best if you can do this with an uncompressed signal but not entirely necessary either. Also it depends on how good your soundcard/onboard sound is but these days I think almost anything would be good enough to get some idea what's wrong.

Whilst writing that, it's not some silly EQ setting turned on? Never used an iPod so not sure what kind of options are there.
_________________________
Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

Top
#316274 - 12/11/2008 14:07 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Shonky]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14077
Loc: Canada
The empeg auto-eq tone files could be used for this, I suppose. Anyone still know where those are hiding?

For displaying the signal, there are a number of PC programs out there that implement a "sound card oscilloscope" function. Mmm.. I suppose even Winamp has a visual like that.

-ml

Top
#316275 - 12/11/2008 15:29 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31286
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: taym
2. low quality, meaning:
A. very significant lack of low frequencies. Dominance of mid frequences.
B. Yes, very little stereo separation, and consequent lack of "depth".
C. Very little sound dynamics. I would consider my iPod sounding very "flat".


Okay, that's a good description. It sounds like one of the following:

- As mentioned before by someone else, if the device has any kind of EQ settings or automatic dynamic compression settings (I forget what the dynamic compression thingy is called on an iPod), check to see if any of those features have been altered.

- Make sure it's not a problem with the stereo headphone jack or cable. Your description of that quality problem sounds very much like what happens when wires or contacts between the left and right channels get crossed, and you get summed mono problems. One way to check for this is to play a song where you know there are significant stereo panning effects. If you can't hear the panning effects as expected, that's your problem. For instance, I use the studio version of the song "The Camera Eye" by Rush, because its instrumental introduction has synthesizer chords that are played alternately in each ear, and you can clearly hear the separation.

- Bring it to an apple store if you have one near where you live, and, using your reference headphones, listen to their demo units there at the store and see if they sound the same or if they are magically better. If the demo units sound better, you've definitely got a duff unit and get it exchanged.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#316281 - 12/11/2008 17:10 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tfabris]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
More sperimental data ( smile ).

Today I listened an iPod Classic, 80GB, buought in the US, again belonging to a colleague (having bought a very popular player must have its pros... smile ). Standard cheap Apple earplugs. MP3s ripped and encoded in Itune, default settings, by my colleague.
Findings:
- Max volume is much higher, even though not as much as the G2 iPod the other colleague has.
- Sound seems more dynamic.
- Much stronger low frequencies, but definitely less powerful than the Zune 30 . Both the difference from my inexistent low frequency and the good ones from the Zune were very evident to me.

Mark, yes, actually I already have the Empeg Auto-Eq tone files in my iPod, trasferred from the Empeg itself. So, yes, I will definitely be doing some tests as soon as I have some time. smile


Tony, I've been trying all the EQ settings of the iPod, to no avail. I keep finding the audio way below par.

Cables: as I said above I've tested my iPod with several eaplugs and headsets, to no avail. Prolem cannot even be in the jack, as the issues I complain about are still present when conncting the earplugs to the dock connector (through the radio module).

Apple store: yes, that is an excellent idea I did not thin about. They do have iPods on display that can be tested. I have few apple stores easily reachable. That's another test I'll do.

As of now, I need to find a way to install US firmware in my iPod.

For the records, while all these tests are being done to satisfy my curiosity and mitigate or increase my disappointment at Apple, I ordered a Zune 120, which I hope I can use to listen to music and radio on my way to work. smile .
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316335 - 14/11/2008 00:29 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
So, after a hard day at work, here I am back with my iPod agenda.

... I am now desperately trying to install a USA firmware. I found an old 1.0.3, and followed the procedure to downgrade, which, according to dozens of thread I've read, is:

1. I placed both formware and signature files in the C:\users\taym\AppData\Apple Computers\iTunes\iTunes Software Updates, right where the 2.01 files used to be.
2. Removed from that same location the most recent files.
3. Reset the iPod (Menu+central Button)
4. Plugged it into my pc's usb port
5. Launched iTunes, and clicked RESTORE
6. Refused to check on line updates (automatic check was already disabled)
7. Was prompted to restore to current version of software or cancel the operation.

At point 7 I should've had an option to downgrade to a previous version, but no such button was there.

I read that by clicking SHIFT+RESET I shoul've obtain some menu or browse window that would allow me to select an older firmware manually, but SHIFT+RESTORE did not produce anything on screen.

I found one post where it is said that Apple disabled SHIFT+RESTORE in more recent versions of iTune (why, oh why?).

So, it seems I am stuck with the EU capped firmware. frown


What If i format the iPod HDD from Windows? Would I destroy all data or is there some hidden partition or else that would survive? Would I be able to restart from scratch with whatever firmware I want? Would I kill my iPod permanently?
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316337 - 14/11/2008 03:37 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3454
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
To be honest, much of the problem here sounds like your headphones, as others have noted; did you try them on the Zune? Decent sennheisers are typically high impedance (64-600 ohms) and these are very hard to drive for battery powered players - to get any sort of power into them you need to have more voltage swing than you'll get out of a standard 3v audio path. You'll definitely notice a lack of punch and general anemia with the audio.

These players are designed to drive 16 or 32 ohm loads (iPod headphones are 32 ohm) - this goes for every portable audio device I've ever come across apart from the unreleased Rio high end one that I designed that did 6v audio out for this very reason smile

Solutions involve spending money... buying low impedance headphones (sennheiser do them) or a headphone amp. Boostaroo is a popular one - http://www.boostaroo.com/ - these have a boost dcdc supply in them to give the amp more headroom.

In my opinion the iPods before gen6 sounded better, but that's just my opinion... it's the first HDD iPod with DC coupled audio out, I think.

Hugo

Top
#316355 - 14/11/2008 13:04 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: altman]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Hugo,

I am using Sennheizer CX500 .

• PET
• Freq. Response: 17 - 22000 Hz
• Impedance: 16 Ohm
• Sensibilità: 113 dB/mW

So, do you think the boostaroo aplifier would help? i don't really mind spending that money fi the result is good.

Or, do you have a recommended earplug I could try on my iPod?

Thank you!
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316360 - 14/11/2008 13:22 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
While the CX500 are rated by Sennheiser at 16&#8486;, tests seem to indicate that they actually have a greater impedance than that.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

Top
#316364 - 14/11/2008 13:35 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: wfaulk]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
I see. Do we have any impedance values out of those tests? Do you think the CX500 can still be considered good for an iPod, so that we can rule them out as the cause of the "poor" sound I am hearing (and assuming the problem is not me expecting too much)?

Anyway, I have some good news. After the update to 2.0.1 (yesterday), it seem to me that while the volume is still as low as before, sound seems slightly more dynamic. I wonder if others are experiencing the same.

Also, today I tested my sennheizer on the Zune 30 I mentioned in my earlier post, and I can clearly perceive a relevant difference in low frequencies and volume.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316367 - 14/11/2008 13:43 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I'm basing my information on the product descriptions at http://www.headphone.com/.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

Top
#316500 - 18/11/2008 17:40 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: wfaulk]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Ok, litte updates.

Two more tests.

1.
iPod Classic 80GB, US version, 2007 vs iPod Classic 120 EU version, 2008 (mine)
Same headsets: Sennheizer CX500
Same Song (Roxanne, The Police), but different rips.
Difference in max volume very very evident. US iPod was unsustainable at max volume. Mine, as you know, just ok.
Low frequencies seemed better on the US one, maybe due to the more power to the earplugs.

2. Ipod Classic 30 GB, EU Version, 2006, vs iPod Classic 120 EU Version, 2008 (mine).
Same earplugs: sennheizer CX500
Same song, same rip.
Identical output to me.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316501 - 18/11/2008 17:53 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
More information.

I tried to install older US firmware. Older simply because I could not find 2.0.1 US firmware, so far. iTunes does not allow me to install an older version of the firmware. This is, apparently, a recently added feature to iTunes. I tried to install an older firmware through iTunes 7.5, and it would not connect to my Ipod saying that my firmware reuqire iTunes 8.0

So, I was hoping that the iPod 80GB 2007 version was using the same firmware as mine is. Since it is a US 80GB iPod Classic, I was hoping to use it to get an US 2.0.1 firmware file. Unfortunately, it instead uses a different firmware. So, I am still stuck with 2.0.1 EU.

Does anybody happen to have a 2.0.1 iPod Classic US firmware? Please, pm me if so. smile
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316511 - 18/11/2008 20:26 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 889
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
I can't really help you taym, but I just want to add that I just got an old 30GB iPod to play with. Its running rockbox rather than the normal iPod/iTunes software and I'm also disappointed with the sound quality with my Panasonic earbuds and Grado headphones. It sounds like a weak amplifier really, with the quality decreasing significantly when the volume is turned up. Not sure how much difference new firmware could make.

I'm comparing this with an iRiver L Player which I had a short while ago - it sounded absolutely great in my opinion, but had other problems.
_________________________
Hussein

Top
#316519 - 19/11/2008 10:49 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: sein]
boxer
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/04/2002
Posts: 2011
Loc: Yorkshire UK
I'd have to go along with the faulty ipod theory: I'm probably one of the few people on this forum who wears hearing aids (I'm waiting for the bluetooth hearing aids, so that I can connect to all my sound sources in silence).
Obviously I take the aids out to use in-ear phones, and mine are the Sony ones with three different ear pieces to ensure a snug fit, they retail for about 30 quid in the UK.
I have the volume setting in the settings menu at full, in case I'm in a loud environment, but, in general, I have the volume control at about 60%, and it's perfectly audible even with my reduced hearing, downstairs on a bus, which is quite noisy towards the back.
As for quality of sound, I'm still fairly picky about how my music sounds, even with my reduced sensitivity and would prefer a graphic equaliser, but find the "Rock" setting ample for music comparable to the Police.
What I do notice is that using the dock and the AV cord connected to my hifi, I have to turn the ipod up much higher than the other line sources.
I'm using a free program called Sharepod instead of itunes, which I found to be rather slow to load and to navigate,
I load up stuff that I haven't watched on the TV and take it to Wales to watch in my hotel room, using the AV lead, which has proven to be a very useful function.
_________________________
Politics and Ideology: Not my bag

Top
#316532 - 19/11/2008 18:42 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: boxer]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Originally Posted By: boxer
I'd have to go along with the faulty ipod theory:

Well, but then why does mine sound just identical to the 30GB, EU iPod form 2006 (see my test n.2, three posts above) ? As of now, I think the whole problem is in the EU volume cap, which may very well be decreasing audio quality as well. And, I lean to think that in general iPod does not have a particularly good sound output at the earplug audio socket.
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316537 - 19/11/2008 20:00 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: wfaulk]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
I'm basing my information on the product descriptions at http://www.headphone.com/.
Thanks for that link, Bitt. I've learned a lot from it.
_________________________
10101311 (20GB- backup empeg)
10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

Top
#316543 - 20/11/2008 04:32 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Robotic]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Replace your iPod with a US model if you're that convinced it is the volume limit.

I don't know how they implemented it but I'd be surprised if it did significantly affect the sound quality in the way you're describing. I'd expect mass outcry over this as well since there are millions of iPods sold in Europe and the US.

Are you certain that it isn't a fault with your iPod?

Top
#316561 - 20/11/2008 22:55 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: tman]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Quote:
Are you certain that it isn't a fault with your iPod?

Not 100%. I'm definitely trying other iPods to check.
But how many chances are there that I happened to listen to two different EU iPods (see above), produced in different years, differend generations, that sound equally poor to me? I tried them for quite a while, and I could not tell one from the other.

Edit:
And, see, my friend did say he was not at all impressed with sound quality, but still he never thought of returning his iPod or think it was faulty. So, it must not sound that bad to him, after all.
So maybe it's just me.
Also, I pretty much agree with sein, above. I too noticed quality decreases when increasing volume. Now, in spite of the overall low volume, I have to correct my previous statement: some tracks do produce some distortion.


Edited by taym (20/11/2008 23:01)
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316566 - 21/11/2008 03:51 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14077
Loc: Canada
Should you decide to take a chance on the North American version of iPod: I can get them here for quite reasonable pricing at Costco (a big wholesale style mega store).

Cheers

Top
#316574 - 21/11/2008 21:14 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: mlord]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
Mark,

That's very kind of you! I'll give that a thought! It is actually a good idea, to tell you the truth!

I am going to try a couple more things to switch to US firmware. If I fail, I may be asking you to ship me a US iPod from there! smile
_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316576 - 22/11/2008 01:05 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14077
Loc: Canada
Sounds good. Costco has an incredible "no questions asked" return policy (only 90 days for iPods, though), so we could test it out and verify that it works the way you need without any risk.

Cheers


Top
#316580 - 22/11/2008 13:29 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: mlord]
Taym
pooh-bah

Registered: 18/06/2001
Posts: 2413
Loc: Roma, Italy
... customer care is not even nearly as good here, in Italy (as always).

Anyway, you've got PM, Mark smile

And now, some more info, for who is interested.

I got my Zune yestreday. Here is the comparison I could not find anywhere on the internet, hoping it is useful for somebody else.

First off, volume and quality:

Again, Zune seems to confirm the "volume cap" issue. Zune's Max volume is significantly higher than my iPod's. And, now, I am comparing these devices using the very same mp3s and the very same earplugs (Sennheizer CX500 / Stock Zune Earplugs). So, EU volume cap is definitely here, and it is really bad.

Quality: Zune's is definitely higher. Better low frequencies, no distortion.

But... and here comes what is very surprising to me:
Zune's stock earplugs (these are not in-ear, and not the high quality earplugs Zune 80 used to come with) sound so good to me! I am impressed. Now, comparing them to my sennheized CX500, which are however among the best I've tested in these weeks, they are slighly lower in volume, but I like them better in terms of sound quality. Precisely, I hear much more low frequencies, and less background noise. Because, by listening to them, I realized another thing I did not like in my iPod: background noise! I did not realize it was there, until it went away. Maybe I have faulty Sennheizer earplugs, but that background noise was there also with other earplugs I tested, I believe. Definitely with iPod stock ones. Maybe it is just these Zune ones to match well with these two portable players...
Anyway, now, comparing Zune and iPod EU, difference in volume is very significant with both earplugs, but both devices sound better with Zune's stock earplugs, to me. The iPod quality in terms of low frequency is not as bad as before with these Zune earplugs.
What can I say? My ears are probably weird ones. smile We are talking of high end sennheizer earplugs with theoretically average quality Microsoft/no brand earplugs.
Also the Zune sounds a bit more lacking of low frequencies when used with sennheizer, but definitely not as much as the iPod, I guess due to the higher output power.

So, overall my opinion about this global quality/volume issue with the iPod is the following:
iPod EU have a lower volume, which is partly affecting the perceived sound quality. Sennheized earplugs contributed to reduce perceived low frequencies..

I am more and more convinced that a US iPod would sound just as good as the Zune.

Now, let me compare these two devices on all other aspects that I thing deserve to be mentioned.

1. Case: iPod case is nicer to look at and to touch. Zune's metal back does not feel so solid, and front glossy black is beautiful but plastic. Zune looks bigger, and it is, but by just a couple of mm. Zune seems lighter, but by very little. In the end, there's no big difference in terms of how easily you carry them in your pocket.

2. Management of Audiobooks is slightly more advanced in iPod. Zune requires you to tread them like normal playlists. Good enough with both, however.

3. EQ. Zune does not have it. On the other hands, I don't find iPods EQ particularly useful as it seems to lower perceived quality when applied.

4. Alarm clock/timer: i particulrly like and use them, and there's none in Zune.

5. iPod Compatible with Alpine X100. Zune is not even recognized, so I can't use it in my car at all. I do hope Alpine and MS decide to cooperate/. What a major selling point it would be for both, I believe.

6. Hold button is easier to operate in iPod

7. Display: Zune is the absolute winner here. Its display is larger, beautiful to look at, and mouch more useful due to this. Menu items are easily readable.

8. Zune's on board software seems better to me. Just as fast as it can be, it is very immediate to operate and learn. The empeg-like feature (somewhat) that allows to add songs to "currently playing" track list is so good, and I like it better than the "on the go" iPod feature. On the other hand

9. iPod's "on the go" playlist can be preserved and saved, which is great.

10. Wireless worked at first shot, very well.

11. Zune is more customizable. Custom background pictures is just a simple and great feature. Picture slideshow on such a nice display give zune a whole new dimension in terms of keeping your picture db in there.

12. iTune and Zune software. Zune wins. iTunes has both less bugs and features smile . Actually the only bugs Zune sw has consist of A. the apparently random sync activity, but I suspect there's a logic I still have to learn; B. creation of some duplicate playlist for no reason. Precisely, if you create a playlist and call it "80's", while you populate it or do other stuff, for no reason a "80's (2)" playlist appears, containing exaclty the same media as the other one. When you delete it, sometimes it reappears laugh. O well, not major, but very annoying.
Zune allows you, however, to sort Album as you wish: by year, artist, name, rating, etc, in and out of playlists. This i love, coming from the Empeg. Autoplaylists work well in both.
Zune finds many more Album art pictures. Not only that. When a match is not perfect it allows you to compare what found and what on your collection, song by song, It's just excellent.
Moreover, priceless, Zune lets you chose every option of the directory system that will be used on your hdd: where settings will be saved, where playlists, where your audio base is, where your video base is, where podcasts will end up to, etc. This is just perfect.
And, to conclude, Zune DOES monitor your media base directories to incorporate all changes.

13. What is with Zune's default crazy setting that reconversts all MP3s to a lower bitrate when syncing?? I am not sure I fully understand why and when it is done, but I am not even sure I want to know laugh . I disabled it after a first and useless full sync of 70GB!

14. Zune Sw comes in 64bit flavor. MS did a good job in updating it.

15. Zune supports a lossless format.

16. Radio audio quality in Zune is great. I guess as good as it can be on such a device. iPod's external radio is just ok.

_________________________
= Taym =
MK2a #040103216 * 100Gb *All/Colors* Radio * 3.0a11 * Hijack = taympeg

Top
#316592 - 23/11/2008 08:59 Re: iPod Classic 120: some questions [Re: Taym]
boxer
pooh-bah

Registered: 16/04/2002
Posts: 2011
Loc: Yorkshire UK
I take your point that you've found the same sound restriction on more than one ipod, but then,one thing still puzzles me: If those sons of fun the EU place a cap on the volume in the firmware for European sales of ipods, why do the same restrictions not apply to the Zune?
_________________________
Politics and Ideology: Not my bag

Top
Page 2 of 4 < 1 2 3 4 >