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The next iPod to have high end output?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by iceTrX, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    I have a 3G iPod and the only thing that really stopped me from using it as my main source of music (on the go, in the car, and as a piece of stereo equipment) was the 2 channel analog minijack as the only form of output. I love my Airport Express which is excellent for the stereo as it has not only a 2 channel analog minijack, but a digital optical audio out port (the 2 channel analog minijack and optical audio are the same port, you need a 3.5mm optical to TOSlink adapter to use the optical output). I didn't notice the optical output until I unplugged the minijack while music was playing and to my surprise was a nice red glow that I soon found out was an optical interface. I think the next iPod should (and maybe will) have this type of output, that way you will be able to plug your iPod into your home theater and such and have amazing sound quality. With a digital output, the iPod will have a lot more possibilities with high-end audio equipment. :cool:
  2. macrumors regular

    I think they've don it already

    I think the 4G iPod has optical output built in to the headphone jack, I'm not sure but check the specs
  3. macrumors regular

    I don't see anything listed in the specs? ...maybe I'm just not seeing it?
  4. macrumors G3


    I don't see any mention of optical out either. Perhaps optical out requires too much power? :confused:
  5. macrumors 6502

    The optical out doesn't require that much power, but what I think will keep them from doing it is the fact that most music stored is compressed to hell and back and the "clarity" you would get from the digital connection would only exploit the nastiness of the MP3/AAC stuff. Unless you were keeping uncompressed audio or MAYBE Apple Lossless would it be worth it.

    That's not to say that it shouldn't be done, but it's like cleaning your windshield on a foggy day. What did you really clear up? :rolleyes:
  6. macrumors 68000


    Agreed. I have a lot of lossless on my iPod but I'd say 75% is still compressed with AAC......and that 75% would not sound not so great with optical out. Maybe they could offer a dock which would give you optical out through it.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Nice avatar. Brings back memories!

  8. macrumors 65816


    So does the 4G have optical out or not?...lol
  9. macrumors regular

    Line out

    If you have a 3G or 4G iPod you can output "line out" (i.e. not using the iPod's amp). You're still using a minijack, but your not using the iPod's built-in amplifier. With the right back-end and decently ripped source material (Lossless, or MP3 encoding using LAME rather than iTunes's MP3 encoding) using Line Out from the iPod gets you REALLY great sound.

    Two ways of doing this:

    1) From the connection on the back of the iPod Dock (not great as you have to take your Dock with you wherever you go);
    2) Using a 3rd party cable/adaptor:

    SIK DIN Adaptor



    I use a SIK DIN adaptor, as I've heard that the PocketDock can give you some RF background noise if you're not careful. With my iPod, SIK DIN, Etymotic ER-4S earphones and a tiny little SR-71 headphone amp, the sound coming out of the iPod is unbelievable.

    I've not tried connecting the iPod via SIK DIN to my home hi-fi (I have an all-Linn system), but then I have an Airport Express, so there's no real point for me.

    A word of warning: Connecting source components via optical is all very well, but you need to make sure that the Digital-to-Analogue converter in your amplifier can do justice to the material. My experience is that many amps with "optical-in" have a pretty lousy DAC in them. It's often better to buy an outboard DAC and connect to the amp via analogue!

    I'd say that if you rip your music using a good codec (or go lossless), use the Line Out, buy good quality cable interconnects and keep the contacts clean by wiping them with isopropyl alcohol every once in a while; you'll get great sound from a minijack. Go optical and you'll need to check that you home system can handle it.

    Just my 0.02c....

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