Anyone else notice that listening to music from an iPod is noticeably superior?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MVApple, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. MVApple macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Usually I have my headphones plugged in to my unibody MBP to listen to music when I'm at my desk. Last night though I decided to compare the sound quality from the Macbook Pro to a 1gen iPod Touch. I was quiet surprised to find out how much nicer the sound from the iPod was. At the same time, I was disappointed.

    Does anybody listen to music from their iPod instead of their unibody MBP?
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #2
    Ugh, I thought you were going to say something like "OMG MY IPOD SOUNDS SOOOO MUCH BETTER THAN TEH ZUNEZZZ!!!11!!!"

    My iPod touch sounds better than my iBook, but that's only because my v-modas don't work properly with my iBook (?).
     
  3. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #3
    I find my Unibody MBP has much better sound quality than my iPod but it depends heavily on the file format, lossless, mp3 bitrates etc. I can hear more instruments from my Macbook.
     
  4. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

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    #4
    The built in sound on the notebooks isn't going to be great tbh ..if you want really great sound you'll need an external soundcard/ amp etc, mind you the iPod sound isn't great either...but good enough for what I do with mine
     
  5. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    That's interesting. What kind of iPod are you using? I was visiting a sound audio forum just now and I found a post where someone claims that iPods used to have mediocre sound quality but that that changed with the iPod Classic and iPod touch, I think he mentioned the nano too but not sure. I'm going to have to dig up my 5.5g ipod now and test it with the touch and macbook pro.
     
  6. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Music from my MBP pro goes through an optical cable to Z-5500s. So they sound better than an iPod.

    BUT I have noticed that my iPod touch sounds better than my previous generation iPod nano.
     
  7. 7even macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I thought I read that the 5.5g has the best sound quality due to the quality Wolfson DAC chip and separate op-amp(s) inside. The subsequent iPods have some kind of a Cirrus all-in-one DAC/opamp chip, and it's slightly inferior. The newer iPods do have a much cleaner output (there are fewer things in the signal output path), but that doesn't mean they sound "better."

    I do think my 5.5G sounds better than my iPod Touch which sounds a bit more "digital", but I use the Touch anyway because the difference is too subtle to notice with the background noise of the street (and the low volume level I use).

    Also, I think the MBP has a slight hiss from the headphone jack, barely noticeable, but it's there. I don't listen to music much on it, so I can't really compare sound quality.
     
  8. NickM macrumors 6502

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    #8
    How do you get optical out from your MBP?
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #9
    Plug a mini-Toslink cable into the headphone jack.
     
  10. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    the audio converters on the iPOD should be better than the onboard soundcard on the MBP but if you use a dedicated soundcard like an Apogee Duet, it kicks the living daylights out of any onboard soundcard or iPOD converter system. moreover, listening to the iPOD with a quality paid of headphones will tell a seasoned listener that the iPOD conversions isn't really up to snuff either in comparison to other units out there (iRiver/ Cowon/ Kenwood), in fact, i find the compression artifacts on iPODs to be horrible.
     
  11. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

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    #11
    uhhh, have you guys checked to see if your equalizers were set the same?
     
  12. RexTraverse macrumors 6502

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    #12
    No, the sound out of any of my iPods with stock Apple earbuds is noticeably inferior to the 5.1 sound of my MacBook Pro via Firewave to my Logitech Z-5300s.
     
  13. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    An Apogee Duet is $500 bucks though :eek:
     
  14. otis123 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    my iPhone and MBP sound about the same, i have the new apple in ear earbuds, the remote and volume actually work on the MBP, and not the iPhone, strange.
     
  15. xoggyux macrumors 6502

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    #15
    If you are using different headphones that could be it.
    Or if your ipod has a different "equalizer" config that your MB that could be it also. But digital music should play equally in quality in both devices unless one of them have a better speaker (headphones) system.
     
  16. uiop. macrumors 68020

    uiop.

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    #16
    Hmf. I always found it to be the other way around.
     
  17. crazyrog17 macrumors regular

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    #17
    Yeah, I've noticed it.

    The music from the MacBook Pro (which, along with the speakers, is listed in the signature) sounds very digitized and inferior to my iPod Touch 1G played through the same speakers.

    When I have to do homework, the computer is off the desk (to give me room and keep me from being distracted) and I listen to the iPod instead. It's often enough that I know I prefer the better sound of the iPod Touch.
     
  18. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Of course listening to different headphones would give a different sound. That much is obvious so of course I'm comparing this with the same song files and the same pair of headphones. I have equalizer settings off in both the iPod and the MBP.
     
  19. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    When listening through my speakers or Bose QC3's, comparing my iPod Touch and MBP - my MBP is the clear winner. Bass and mid-range sound so much clearer and rich compared to my iPod. I do like the sound my iPod Touch pushes out, just that the MacBook Pro is that much better ;)
     
  20. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Dammit! I thought this was another audiophile thread.:rolleyes: My main music kit is, as you can see in my kit:D
     
  21. xoggyux macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I do not own an iPod so I do not know how good (or otherwise bad) it sounds compared to the MBP (or MB for that matter) I am just trying to give a logical explanation for some "fact" that seams totally illogical (a MBP is a $2000 piece of kit top of the line, while iPod is good but is not intended to be a pro item rather a general consumer item)
    Here is my second attempt: MBP speakers lack of bass while some MP3 have so much bass, now many people likes bass (I just like just a bit so my song does not sound like Christmas songs) but usually what most people "prefer" is actually decreasing the quality of the music (though they might think otherwise) for instance MBP's speakers though lacks bass (even for my liking) are very clear (I can understand perfectly every single words in the lyrics of the songs i listen to) in the other side the MP3 I have experience with if not configured properly (e.g. eq) will have so much bass that it would be impossible to distinguish the wording.
     
  22. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    yeah. i was merely pointing out the differences that converters can make for those who didn't know about their role in audio. compression is a part of the problem of audio quality but if you listen from, say, a CD the differences would be more apparent when comparing an MBP, an iPOD and an MBP with a dedicated soundcard. manufacturers of audio equipment like mp3s can skimp on converter quality and still put out a decent product but when you hand over big bucks for better playback capability, the converters are what you are really paying for in the product.

    i personally use the Duet but I have a use for it (remote recording for music at a band rehearsal space) when I am not in my home studio. for most folks, having a Duet to just listen to music is not a cheap puchase and i certainly don't have a problem listening to music (via ultimate ear earbuds) on my mbp when i am just in the library typing out notes. however, recording into a computer without good converters using the Duet will produce horrible, horrible quality audio that I can't use in a studio setting at all.
     
  23. NickM macrumors 6502

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    #23
    What would the advantage of that be? Simply being able to plug into an optical input on another device?
    It can't possibly improve quality, right? ...since it is coming from the same headphone out on the laptop.
     
  24. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #24
    Except it is digital, not analog ...
     
  25. SoybeanStasher macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2008
    #25
    I noticed this last night. I found there was considerably more noise from my MacBook Pro than my old 5G iPod. I could have imagined it, though, so I'll do more objective A-B tests tonight.

    Maybe I'll close my eyes and have my girlfriend randomly switch between the two and play some tracks. See if I truly notice a difference.
     

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