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View Full Version : line out vs. headphone plug




greenguy4
Aug 20, 2005, 08:45 AM
What is the difference between these two? I noticed that the pocket dock offers this option but why is the line out better?



stridey
Aug 20, 2005, 08:54 AM
What is the difference between these two? I noticed that the pocket dock offers this option but why is the line out better?

They're essentially the same, but the line out is at a lower amplification level, letting your amp (or powered speakers, or whatever) do the amplification work. Either is OK as a line out, but if you're using the headphone jack as a line out, you'll need to set the volume to 2/3 (or so) to be loud enough to register, but quiet enough to avoid distortion.

wPod
Aug 20, 2005, 11:55 AM
you basically have control over the volume of a headphone plug, but a line out is at a constant volume sutiable for plugging into some external volume control source, like a stereo reciever or some sort of input on a car stereo. now if it says optical audio line out, that is completely different. but i think that applies to this.

quackattack
Aug 20, 2005, 12:18 PM
The line out is a line level signal, meaning it doesn't go through the iPods headphone amp circuitry.

If you are going to another source such you will get better results with the line level. I use a pocketdock to go to my external headphone amplifier, the sound quality difference is significantly better than amping the headphone out.

Alot of people say it is more or less the same as the headphone jack at 80%, but if you are using high end audio equipment I think you will notice the difference.

mcarnes
Aug 20, 2005, 01:03 PM
quackattack got it right. The amp circuitry can colorize the sound and you avoid that with the line out. The 3G iPods had better amps than the new 4G. The 4G amp is optimized for use with the Apple earbuds. The Apple earbuds do sound better with 4G iPods, but high end headphones do not (wish I had kept my 3G for this).

I use one of these (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/comments/nyko-stereo-link-cable-and-firewire-adaptor-ipod/) along with a Grado RA-1 headphone amp and Grado RS-1 headphones. The amp takes batteries so this system is portable, with line out quality.

quackattack
Aug 20, 2005, 02:20 PM
I use one of these (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/comments/nyko-stereo-link-cable-and-firewire-adaptor-ipod/) along with a Grado RA-1 headphone amp and Grado RS-1 headphones. The amp takes batteries so this system is portable, with line out quality.

Nice headphones! I have been meaning to upgrade my Grado's, I have the SR-60, but I hear amazing things about their higher end stuff.

I use Shure E4's for portable, I like the small size, and they sound great. :D

mkrishnan
Aug 20, 2005, 02:25 PM
They're essentially the same, but the line out is at a lower amplification level, letting your amp (or powered speakers, or whatever) do the amplification work. Either is OK as a line out, but if you're using the headphone jack as a line out, you'll need to set the volume to 2/3 (or so) to be loud enough to register, but quiet enough to avoid distortion.

I think the basic idea is correct, that line out is the better option to use inputting into an amplifier, but isn't this backwards? My experience is that when I output a headphones signal to a stereo, it is not louder, but quieter than line level, and so as a result, if I use my iPod or iBook headphone output with my stereo, I have to turn the iPod to near max volume, and then turn the stereo up considerably louder than I would normally, to compensate.

Do I have this backwards?

mcarnes
Aug 20, 2005, 04:18 PM
Nice headphones! I have been meaning to upgrade my Grado's, I have the SR-60, but I hear amazing things about their higher end stuff.

I use Shure E4's for portable, I like the small size, and they sound great. :D

Yeah but I paid full price for them (ouch). $695 for the phones. Got the amp used for $250 though. The amp is on a belt clip that I made for it. So I can walk around the house with both on my belt, the iPod on my left and the amp on the right. The cords for each are 6' though so twist ties come in handy. It's a dorky looking set up but I don't go in public with it so it doesn't matter.

With CD ripped 256 kbps AACs and this setup, the sound will bring you to tears. It is that good. I set the iPod EQ to Bass Booster to offset the normally bright Grados and that seems to balance it about right. Upfront midrange and tight bass is what sets it apart from any other headphone/amp I've tested. Nothing beats the Grado for upfront, milky smooth midrange and tight bass. The soundstage gets better as you go up the line, because the ear chambers get bigger (you can see this in a profile pic of each phone).

I want to try the Shure's next for use in public (Grados are no good because they are open). I had the Etys but sold them. They were just too bright.

cwilson
Aug 21, 2005, 09:02 AM
What about the new ultimate ear? Just laid out 295 (ouch for me) but am still awaiting their arrival.



Yeah but I paid full price for them (ouch). $695 for the phones. Got the amp used for $250 though. The amp is on a belt clip that I made for it. So I can walk around the house with both on my belt, the iPod on my left and the amp on the right. The cords for each are 6' though so twist ties come in handy. It's a dorky looking set up but I don't go in public with it so it doesn't matter.

With CD ripped 256 kbps AACs and this setup, the sound will bring you to tears. It is that good. I set the iPod EQ to Bass Booster to offset the normally bright Grados and that seems to balance it about right. Upfront midrange and tight bass is what sets it apart from any other headphone/amp I've tested. Nothing beats the Grado for upfront, milky smooth midrange and tight bass. The soundstage gets better as you go up the line, because the ear chambers get bigger (you can see this in a profile pic of each phone).

I want to try the Shure's next for use in public (Grados are no good because they are open). I had the Etys but sold them. They were just too bright.

kalisphoenix
Aug 21, 2005, 09:12 AM
Paying $695 for @#$%ing headphones would bring me to tears...

quackattack
Aug 21, 2005, 11:05 AM
What about the new ultimate ear? Just laid out 295 (ouch for me) but am still awaiting their arrival.

The super.fi.pro 5? I have heard good things about them, I hear they are good on the low end. Plenty of bass.

Paying $695 for @#$%ing headphones would bring me to tears...

Wait until you hear them! And that's just the beginning. The Sennheiser Orpheus will set you back a good $13,000!

mcarnes
Aug 21, 2005, 12:19 PM
I thought about the UE but it's just too much $$ for in-ear phones. I think they're around $500 aren't they? If I had the money I'd jump on it because they do look very nice. Maybe next year when the clinic takes off (I'm a new doctor and just opened my first clinic).

The Grado RS-1 on the other hand was worth the high $$ for me. I'll keep these forever. They are made out of wood so are not really a "high-tech" product that gets turned over every couple of years. I just can't see a pair of in-ears lasting more than, say, 4 years. But one feel of the Grados and you know you'll be giving these to your grand kids.

All my opinion. Go easy on me mods. :)