dock questions

Discussion in 'iPod touch Accessories' started by ggersch, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. ggersch macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    I have a few questions on the Apple Universal Dock. Right now I have my Touch connected to my stereo via a 3.5mm to RCA cable plugged into the headphone jack, and the AUX jacks on the receiver.

    1) Does the line out on the dock sound appreciably better than using the headphone jack?

    2) Is the volume on the line out 'louder' than the headphone jack? I have to turn the volume on the Touch to near max to get usable signal to the receiver.
    (Kind of a pain, sometimes literally, to remember to adjust the volume down before deafening myself with headphones.)

    3) Does the volume on the line out vary with the volume control on the Touch? Or is it a true, fixed volume, line out? (I'm guessing since the remote has a volume control, not.)

    4) Is there another dock out there besides the Apple dock? $50 seems pricey, especially since you still have to add a power block and cable to it if you want to charge. I don't need the remote either.

    Mainly, I'm wondering if there are better alternatives to getting quality sound into my stereo.

  2. ChristopheJD macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2008
    I really think the dock is more for aesthetics. If you want to go for a cheaper option, maybe just a line out cable and wall charger would work. There are also other manufacturers out there with better alternatives. I might get the dock one of these days to mix in with the entertainment system, because it looks nice and simple.

    Sorry I can't give a better opinion as I don't own a dock.

    EDIT: Haha, I didn't notice you already had those stuff. My post was pointless. Sorry.
  3. Taustin Powers macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2005
    I find myself wondering the same things. I just bought a 2nd gen Touch, and was gonna ask which volume setting I should use when connecting it to a stereo. The answer seems to be "all the way up"... :)
  4. stinab macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2008
    Ggersch, did you ever resolve your issue? Like you, I'm wondering whether I can use a basic (and cheap) 3.5mm to RCA cable to play my iPod touch through my home stereo, or whether I need to invest in one of Apple's $49 AV cable sets -- and if so, which one (component or composite). Thoughts?
  5. M. Poirot macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2008
    hope these responses help

    Hi there,

    Here's what I would say in response to your questions.

    1. It is better as it is at line out levels. It bypasses the headphone jack and the on screen/side button volume controls.

    2. It is louder as it is at line out level.


    4. The docks and iPods now talk to each other. The iPod's firmware looks for a chip that is installed deep within the current dock. If it see's it-great....if not....well no joy on using the video/audio output from the dock connector port on the dock.
    I picked up a second hand, but mint condition, dock on Amazon. I got it with all the adaptors, dock and remote for less than a third of the price Apple charges for a new one. If you chek the resellers on Amazon or ebay you're bound to find a bargain.

    Hope these help and don't confuse.
  6. ggersch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    Well, I was in the neighborhood of my local Apple store today, and decided to stop in and ask the 'experts'.

    I ended up buying the dock. So, these are the answers:

    1) I'm not really hearing a difference, but I haven't done a good side-by-side yet.

    2) No, it's not louder. If anything, maybe a touch softer. But it's a moot point because:

    3) The volume control on the Touch still works! And you can control it with the remote control. And, I STILL have to set the volume up to near max to get usable signal into my receiver.

    4) The wonderfully helpful sales guy actually brought up some web sites, and found a Belkin dock, in the $35 dollar range, that looked like it would work.

    I'm actually a bit steamed about the volume control on the line out. Especially since the helpful sales guy walked me around the store, to three different sales guys (who weren't sure), and finally tracked down two 'geniuses'. The not so geniuses assured me that the line out was a dedicated fixed line out. When I asked about the volume control on the remote, they stated "That's a universal remote, and doesn't actually do anything with the dock." Wrong on both counts.

    As to whether the dock is worth $50, well, it is very nicely put together. There is a nice sticky rubber pad on the bottom to keep it from sliding. And the selection of dock adapters come in a nicely labeled book-like box, and snap in securely. Still seems way overpriced, but I guess no more so than any other genuine Apple accessory.

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