Does anyone care about Audio Quality ?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TheRealAlex, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. TheRealAlex macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2015
    Steve Jobs was an self admitted Audiophile. I feel like Apple has turned its back on High Quality Premium Audio. By eliminating the DAC on the iPhone and not supporting high quality Audio Codecs.

    We have our headphones and our speaker . But the IPhone X heck I still own a 6s Plus because it still has a 3.5mm jack and a built in DAC. But that’s the past focusing on today.
    How do we get High Quality Bluetooth Audio from the iPhone X and what Codecs are supported ? I really would like to know.

    Lately I’ve had to switch to Sony headphones and Android Oreo will have support for Sony LDAC, which is superior to even aptX and aptX HD I suspect Apple will never support aptX because it’s cleaverly Owned by Qualcomm.

    So my honest question is how do we get High Quality Audio from the iPhone X via Bluetooth at least they support Bluetooth 5.0 What Codecs is The IPhone X compatible with ?
  2. Newtons Apple, Nov 27, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017

    Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Glad I am not so much of an audiophile. My Bose QC35II and my X have some of the best sound my "untrained" ears have heard. I know there is better but for me it suits me quite well.
  3. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009

  4. TheRealAlex thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2015
    Yes and I feel that. You have the best of the best, and yet you are likely listening to below MP3 quality over SBC which is the lowest Garbage Quality Codec supported over Bluetooth. And that bothers me that you or I will pay for the top of the line equipment and yet listen to poor quality below CD grade music.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2017 ---
    So does that means because McDonalds is so popular does that mean people prefer its quality over that of Premium beef or premium burgers.?

    Wrong conclusion reached by that Article.
  5. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    The article is citing the research of Jonathan Berger, the professor of music at Stanford...

    It's an interesting and related topic to your forum posting. I suppose you have reached a different conclusion? I can only assume that your credentials must surpass those of Jonathan Berger of Stanford to have so easily dismissed his proposals.
  6. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    Steve Jobs did tell a crowd of people at a Keynote he was an Audiophile, when he was trying to sell the iPod HiFi. He also said the iPod Hifi was 'absolutely competitive' with his very expensive Hifi Set up at home, which it wasn't.

    Ever since the first iPod there has ALWAYS better sounding alterntives available, but Steve Jobs never once addressed the lackluster audio of the iPod. Ease of use, the iTunes store, and marketing sold the iPod, not audio quality.

    Nothings changed.

    I know I'm not addressing your main point, but I find it frustrating when people hold Steve Jobs up as the bench mark, even for things he ignored throughout his stint at Apple.
  7. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    Steve had very impaired hearing. It was always more important the iPod be loud over having high fidelity. I would be upsized if Steve could decry high fidelity audio considering just how bad his hearing was.
  8. netnewswireuser macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2017
    iPod HiFi's sound was good, not "Audiophile" at all, but much better than Bose/Sony/Beats crap most people use at the time. Classic iPods sounded from good to excellent (depending on the version) and WAY better than crappy mp3s of that era. iPod was the best? No, but it was 90% there.

    Apple don't care about audio quality anymore because they don't need to, iPhones are super mega hyper profitable and It's hard to focus on stuff appreciated by a very small amount of people.
  9. teknikal90 macrumors 68040


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    any hobby where they stick the word '-phile' in it, is bad news.
  10. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    The Apple HiFi was off the market before Beats was even a twinkle in Dre's eye
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I suspect the quality that you are seeking in just not that important to the majority of Apple iPhone users.

    If Android offers what you want, you might want to check it out as I do not think Apple is going to do anything in the future to make your ears happy.

    It amazes me that everyone thinks that just because you pay over $1000 for a phone it should meet their every need.

    Best of luck.
  12. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    How does the iPhone convert digital music to analog sound without an onboard DAC?
  13. sean000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2015
    Bellingham, WA
    Yeah...I have never allowed my ears to become accustomed to stellar audio quality. I guess I've just never been willing to invest in high end audio equipment, which is funny considering how much I love music. When I was in my 20's I had a friend with a really nice stereo. We would sometimes just have listening sessions at his place so we could all bask in the glory of such pristine sound. He used to chide me for being such a music fan, but never investing in high quality sound. Then again I owned a LOT more music than he did. I guess I spent my money acquiring music, and he spent his on the audio equipment. At one point I let him talk me into upgrading my car stereo and speakers. He knew I wasn't going to go as high end as he thought I should, so he did help me pick out a nice sound system for the money. It did indeed sound great, but I sold the car a few years later and went back to stock stereo equipment. :oops:

    I have never owned an iPod and used to buy Creative's mp3 players because I could get more storage and (by most reviews) better audio for less. The iPod was a music machine for the masses, but most audiophiles I knew went with Creative or other brands so they had enough storage to rip audio with less compression. While I used the stock headphones that Creative supplied, they plugged in high-end headphones. Since then I've always used the earbuds supplied by Apple for mobile music and it's always been fine for me.

  14. Shadow%20Mac macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2007
    Apple hasn't "eliminated the DAC" on the iPhone. To do so would render the in-built speakers completely silent and non-functional. If you can hear a digital sound file, a DAC involved. Period. Digital files cannot be reproduced through the phone's speakers without a DAC.

    That said, it's true that the headphone DAC / pre-amp combo was on the iPhone was a cut above the rest of the competition for years until it's removal with the iPhone 7, and Apple decision not to support AptX Bluetooth Streaming on iOS devices leads me to a similar conclusion as you've made.

    I'm going to hold out for the HomePod before I pass judgement.

    In the interim, if you've got a good pair of headphones and you want to use them with the iPhone 7 / 8 / X, invest in apple's lightning to USB-A "Camera" Dongle, as well as a AudioQuest DragonFly red. You'll never go back to any built-in dac / headphone pre-amp combo on any phone, iPhone or otherwise.

    It's also worth noting that while AirPods are far from the Audiophile's dream, they sound way better than they have any right to. And this is coming from someone with a component stereo, built from a dual-channel Arcam integrated stereo amplifier (not an AV receiver) and some really expensive passive bookshelf units to go with it.

    Sidenote: Apple, please update the AirPort express or create a HomePod mini type thing. No matter how good HomePod might sound, you're never gonna get sound junkies like me to give up their component stereos.
  15. 1096bimu macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2017
    I am, but I also suspect it's not my ear, it's that the hi-fi products out there are 99% sneak oil BS.
    Any decent consumer product gives you 95% of the quality for 10% the cost. (for the DAC and amp stage)

    As for bluetooth, I'm also suspicious anyone can tell the difference between LDAC and whatever is currently mainstream.
  16. RecentlyConverted macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2015
    I have been waiting for a HQ lightning to 3.5mm jack. Thought someone like Arcam would have brought one out by now, that way you can chose your DAC and headphones to mix and match to personal preference.
  17. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    If you care that much about audio quality, you would be using a direct connection via the lightning port. The 3.5mm jack sounds worse in comparison, and so does Bluetooth. Similarly, streaming sounds worse than downloaded music (unless you enable high quality streaming, which of course uses more data). But still, none of them sound as good as the lossless versions you get from a CD.

    I’ve compared all of these setups in my car.

    It’s just a matter of what’s acceptable to you, as you trade-off sound quality for convenience. For me, I use Apple Music for convenience, and have all of my songs downloaded so they sound better.
  18. TheRealAlex thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2015
    Yes all fair assessments. And yet Apple is forcing us to a Wireless Future that’s fine. Are they offering a High Quality Audio solution over Bluetooth ? As other here have noticed. We are at the point where it’s not being offered due to hardware limitations. We are being restricted because Apple simply does not wish it.

    Also at what Quality or Bitrate are you all downloading your Songs and what Codec ?
  19. artfossil macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2015
    No (in answer to your question), I do not care about audio quality.

    What I care about is music, and for me that means an emotional connection, and that means having my music available whenever and wherever I choose.

    My iPhone, my Watch and my Beats Solo 2 Wireless (then) and AirPods (now) provide everything I need to experience my music.
  20. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    I’m not sure about high quality Bluetooth streaming, but I know currently it sucks, haha.

    Like I said, I use Apple Music, so I’m not sure what their quality is. I know when I used to rip my own CDs, I used 320, but I haven’t actually done that in years. Apple Music is just so much more convenient. The only downside is that sometimes local bands aren’t on there, so all I have is their disc I bought at a show. But I suppose it’d be just as easy to rip the disc to iTunes. I’m not even sure what else people use anymore. Is EAC still a thing?
  21. Strelok macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2017
    United States
    Why not do your listening on a HiFi player then? The DAC was never super impressive on iPhones, at least for the quality you seem to be looking for. I have some lossless music on my iPhone and honestly it doesn't sound much different TO me from the MP3's on Spotify. Then again I also don't listen to classical music or do any "serious" listening.
  22. solodogg macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2011
    Audiophile here...and no I don’t care how clear the audio on my iPhone is. My home stereo setup is worlds better than anything a phone could reproduce, and is my go-to when I want to really listen to music.

    My phone is convenient, my Bluetooth headphones are convenient, and my Bluetooth speakers are convenient...but none of them will ever match the sound of Paradigm Signature speakers paired up with Marantz separates and an Oppo source unit that will play true HQ formats.

    I’m not sure how anyone can expect a $1k phone to be “audiophile quality” when there’s so much it’s expected to do in such a small package. That’s literally like expecting Bose cube speakers to rival full towers in the home audio world, it’s just not going to happen.
  23. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    Yes I care, but I also do a trade-off for convenience. Streaming and my lower quality mp3's are fine with my on-the-go ear buds. I don't expect my phone to sound as good as my home setup, and I'm not going to walk around with ear muffs when on the train or bus. There is so much other noise out there that it doesn't matter that much. My car is pretty quiet, but I need to crank it pretty loud to hear everything. And it's as bad an environment to listen to "quality" audio as there is, regardless of what sound system you install. I can't hear lossless quality audio without being in my home by myself. That's a rare treat, so it's either deal with what I have or not listen at all.

    However, it can be argued that removing the headphone jack is an improvement in the audio quality. Now 3rd parties can use their own DAC's in their headsets or speakers. It's no longer relegated by Apple to limit the quality. I've heard of some expensive outboard DAC's coming out. I think it's a waste of money unless you have high quality (large) files on the phone and you use expensive over ear headphones and aren't in a loud environment. But hey, the options are out there for those who can take advantage. I'm glad the option is there if I want it. So much crap can happen in an analog conversion on the way to the ear. I'd like to hear audio without that potential and likely interference. But like I said, it's not in the cards for me personally.
  24. Jjayf macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2015
    Not to pick on you specifically, but to say you care about music and not music quality is an oxymoron.

    Quality of sound allows you to hear the music as the artist/producer intended. To hear each instrument individually distinctly, to hear where the instruments are placed In the recording. I suppose if you like low quality music, low quality sound doesn’t matter.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2017 ---
    I like this answer. ^^

    I’ve always thought of mp3 as “portable” music with portable sound. I want good quality sound on the go, but i don’t expect miracles. If you are listening to compressed music files on any device, you do not have the right to complain about audio quality.
  25. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2010
    I thought Steve J was seriously considering hi-res audio as a marketable format. I guess he did let the market decide what it wanted instead of Apple telling us what we want. I do miss DVD-Audio and SACD. I have many of the discs but no equipment to play it anymore.
    I was amazed how poor early to mid iPods sounded. I only moved to iPods after I went Mac and my Sony players were not supported. If Apple thought they could make money with it, we'd have hi-res audio, but iTunes is for quick and easy iPhone dumps.

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