View Full Version : Nano 3rd gen vs U2 edition iPod, sound quality

Jul 19, 2009, 03:49 PM
I have one old U2 special edition iPod, and one silver iPod Nano, 3rd generation.
I want to keep one and give away the other, but I can't decide which one. The only thing I'm interested in is sound quality, because I'm going to use it in a room, plugged into speakers, as a sort of a low budget hi-fi system :P
So which one has better sound quality and why? Thank you!

no.1 Apple Fan
Jul 19, 2009, 05:01 PM
The U2 edition is sort of special. I wouldn't want to give it away, but the Nano is newer. I never did quite grasp why Apple made the U2 edition and why it was out so long.:confused:

Jul 20, 2009, 03:10 PM
Yeah I agree, it's an interesting iPod.
OK maybe I should put it this way, which one should I listen to if I want the best sound quality?

Jul 20, 2009, 04:24 PM
I would keep the U2 edition since original iPods will become (or are) real icons in the design world. And limited editions are always nice to keep.

Jul 20, 2009, 05:11 PM
And if I keep both, which one should I listen to for audio quality's sake?

Jul 20, 2009, 06:10 PM
Which U2 iPod is it? Is it the first one, the color screen one, or the video one? Honestly, the sound quality is probably going to be the same no matter which iPod its coming out of. The quality of the MP3 and the speakers is going to have more effect on the sound than the iPod itself. Music coming out of a headphone jack is all going to sound about the same. The only difference might be how powerful the internal amp is, and with a powered set of speakers, that probably doesn't matter much anyhow.

Jul 21, 2009, 02:53 PM
It's the first one, the B&W screen one.

Jul 21, 2009, 05:18 PM
My thoughts: It's the quality of the DAC used in the iPod model that determines how good the sound is. So google around and see which of the two DACs used (they may be the same) in each model is the the better one. They'll probably be Wolfson DACs. However, as the sound from the DAC then has to go through the headphone amp, its 'purity' is degraded, so it's kind of irrelevant. However, I'd keep the U2.

However, if you can bypass the DAC and send the raw digital signal through an aftermarket DAC, the iPod can sound tremendous. Wadia claims to have done this with its 170iTransport. Its pricey though, but reading here might give you a bit of background on things: