Is now not the time to buy a 30GB iPod photo b/c of sound distortions?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dferigmu, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. dferigmu macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I finally made up my mind to get a 30GB iPod photo and then guess what I read?

    The photo models have sound distortion when listening to moderately-high pitched notes not surrounded by any other type of music, like piano playing. I have some songs where this would be a potential problem.

    Then I read that this happens because Apple reengineered the headphone jack to work as a video out jack as well.

    Does anyone know if Apple has fixed this problem or if they have addressed it? I don't want to spend $320 on an iPod with distorted sound. :confused:
     
  2. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    #2
    I have a 60GB iPod photo and I haven't heard any distortion whatsoever when listening to any of my music.
     
  3. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I have just got the 30gig Ipod Photo, and as above, have not heard any distortions.
     
  4. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #4
    My 40 gig iPod photo doesn't have any such problem. Go ahead and buy.
     
  5. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Yeah, I probably will. This might sound more like isolated cases.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    Do you know someone who has one that you can listen to?
    Maybe someone here will lend you theirs if you ask nicely... :D

    Or can you get to an AppleStore or a dealer in order to have a thorough demo?
     
  7. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #7
    Where did you hear this piece of news?
    Please post a link or at least give some clue?
     
  8. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000

    AliensAreFuzzy

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    #8
    I've got the 30GB Photo, and I haven't had any trouble at all.
     
  9. wide macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    get the photo, it's awesome. after seeing it in person, i am pissed off that i couldn't hold out for the 30gb model when i got my 20gb ipod in December
     
  10. Hunts121 macrumors regular

    Hunts121

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    #10
    I have the 30GB iPod Photo, no problems here, go for it
     
  11. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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  12. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

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    #12
    Those links discuss the issue in quite some detail. I suggest you read them through and decide for yourself. It's discussed on a few audiophile forums too, if you search around.

    My 60GB iPod photo certainly exhibits this problem. I did not notice it at all for several months, however. It is only really noticeable on solo piano music, on highish frequencies, where the keys are being struck hard. Each note produces a hiss-type echo. Examples would be Chopin waltzes/etudes, Beethoven sonatas, and also jazz piano solos such as Keith Jarrett. The same files sound much better on my non-photo iPod, and the Shuffle. Also the lower the impedance of the phones, the worse it sounds. It is only just discernable on the stock phones (32 ohm), but much more noticeable on say the Shure e3c (29 ohm) or Sennheiser MX550s (16 ohm). Also this issue only affects the headphone out, not the line out.

    How widespread is it? Very hard to say for sure, but of those who posted that they returned their iPod photo, no-one managed to get a replacement that was any better. It has been reported on both early and recent 60GB, the 40GB and the 30GB. It does not seem like an isolated few.

    Of course if you never listen to that kind of music, this issue is largely irrelevant; and the iPod photo has many other advantages over the regular iPod.
     
  13. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #13
    Hmm, interesting.
    At the same time What Hifi? has awarded the Shuffle best in flash player market, with sound quality the top reason behind their choice!
    I think if this is really an issue, the iPod is clever enough that a Firmware/Software update should be able to fix it right?
    Personally, I do not own a Photo, but as I listen to my iPods on Shure E3cs or Grado SR80s and occasionally listen to Jazz piano stuff, this would bother me.
    I hope Apple find some way of fixing this!
     
  14. arribadia macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2005
    #14
    I own one of those "bad" iPod photos, and it is very horrible to say the least.. considering that the most affected type of music pretty much constitutes 99% of my music collection.

    Right now all my iPod is doing is just sitting under my monitor gathering dust, it is that unbearable. Can I send it back to Apple for servicing? It is so hard trying to convince the guys at AppleCentre that it is borked, they just see it working properly (and are probably too polite to tell me that I seem quite crazy!) :eek:
     
  15. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Well, I only have a handful of songs that would make this a problem. Do you think Apple will fix it soon?
     
  16. arribadia macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2005
    #16
    I'm not sure if they will even bother.. and their service attitude really leaves much to be desired.
     
  17. ralph240574 macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2005
    #17
    I can confirm this distortion issue. It is definitely a hardware problem in the Ipod Photo 30 GB. I bought an Ipod last week along with the etymotic ER6i, witch are supposed to be designed for the Ipod. The distortion when listening to piano music is unbearable, the problem is less with the included earbuds, but those sound terrible anyway. When using a headphone amplifier and my grado 225's or the etymotic er6i the distortion is not audible (at least not for me). There really seems to be a crappy amplifier in this model that cannot handle low impedance headphones (the etymotic ER6i have around 16 Ohm). This might not be an issue for you, if you are happy with the sound of the included ear buds, but if you spend a couple of hundred bucks you should expect more.
    I returned mine today at they charged me a $35 restocking fee! However I rather have 90% of my money back than listen to this piece of...
    I strongly discourage everyone from buying this model! I'm not sure if the 60GB has the same issue but I assume they have identical parts except for the hard drive.
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
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    UK
    #18
    anyone wants to trade a photo for my 3rd gen 20GB ipod (with second charger and replaced extended battery) plus some cash your way PM me.

    it's completely distortion free
     
  19. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #19

    *sigh*

    So incredibly depressing. I'm on the verge of buying an iPod Photo 60gb and reading this just makes my heart sink... I've read of lots of work-arounds from the effective & cheap to the expensive.

    Your headphone amp. What kind is it?
     
  20. ralph240574 macrumors newbie

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    May 10, 2005
    #20
    I have a creek OBH 11
     
  21. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    Sep 4, 2003
    #21
    I've actually gone back to using my 3rd Gen 40gb because my 60gig photo has minor (ANNOYING) audio problems. For a while, it didn't really bother me but a few days ago i dug my old iPod out from my storage boxes and uploaded my playlists...
    The older iPod sound quality is *considerably* better, which is a real shame. Backwards steps in technology and all that.

    I have a very good FM transmitter from the US for the car. It was only $14.99 but it is by far the best there is. I spent most of today testing each iPod. The old one is defiantly my new music box for a while.

    :( I wish apple would do something about the sound quality. To most people i don't think it would pose a problem, but for an expensive player like the iPod .... grrr
     
  22. khammack macrumors regular

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    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Well I'm kicking myself for not having looked at this thread before last weekend.

    I just bought an iPod Photo 20GB and the sound is horrid. I'm really not sure what I want to do, I may just return it. I'm wondering if anyone has found a workaround for the poorer sound quality from the amplified output.

    Our local apple retailer (independent) actually argued with me at first about sound quality, then asked to listen to my iPod. He immediately agreed that it sounded bad, then went to check one of his floor models. His conclusion: "Well, I guess they changed it because yours sounds just like ours. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Grrr...

    So has anyone heard of a firmware upgrade that should fix this? (I haven't tried to upgrade my iPod's firmware yet).

    I'm not keen on spending $300+ for a headphone amplifier. I just spend $300+ for a piece of portable audio equipment that should already sound excellent.

    What a disappointment.

    -kev
     

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