Headphones: can the iPhone drive good quality sound?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by 3GEE, May 22, 2011.

  1. 3GEE macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2009
    I'm no audiophile but I'm searching for better sound in my head gear. I have what I would call mid-level quality both in-ear and over the ear headphones. I'm somewhat satisfied with the sound quality but im contemplating stepping it up to high quality sound.

    There are tonnes of options, but I'm wondering if there is a point of diminishing returns on the sound quality the iPhone can pump out. At what point is too much?

    I would be willing to shell out for some high quality headphones but I don't want to overspend on what the iPhone can reproduce.

    Any advice?
  2. the.sheepdog macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2009
    Central FL
    I guess that depends on your hearing and ears. I used to be an audiophile before the military, but years on the flightline with the jets and power generators have killed my ears. I have lots of dropped frequencies different in each ear.

    So now even medium ear phones work just fine for me. I cant tell the difference in Radio shack phones and boss or better. if you can then get what sounds great to you and never look back.

    Sage advice I guess. Listen then make up your own mind.
  3. Austin M. macrumors 6502a

    Austin M.

    Jul 29, 2010
    No, they do not if you are an audiophile, I use a FiiO E-7 and am soon getting an AlgoRythm Solo.
  4. TEHi macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2011
    If you are not the guy who spends more than $200 in a single set of earphones, then you should not worry about the iPhone's sound quality. I assure you, 99% of the times a good earphone/headphone would do the job.

    I have a pair of Futuresonics Atrio M5 and the sound is excellent..

    So if you tell us your budget and your preferences about the sound style we could help you out.
  5. Adriana-white macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2011
    In my opinion, the sound quality must consider first.
    A good sound can make you have a feeling of joy.:D
  6. Frenchjay macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2010
    I think it has a decent sound but i use a dac with my Iphone. It just doesn't deliver enough punch with the bass. I have the Sennheiser ie8 an they are spectacular once you hook up a dac. I use a dac with my mac as well to boost the audio quality.
  7. m3coolpix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2007
    I have used many different sets of headphones with the iPhone (starting back at the 2g iPhone).

    The biggest sound quality jump (IMHO) is going to an in ear 'canalphone' (meaning it creates a seal in your ear canal, rather than just resting in front of the ear canal <- like the stock Apple buds do).

    One of the first decisions is based on the main music you listen to, as well as how 'YOU' want to hear it (as in bass heavy, treble heavy, mid heavy, forward sounding, studio sounding, etc. etc. <- just different adjectives you see). Earphones have come quite a long way, some designed specifically for unique sound signatures.

    You might (if you really want to read on some of what people are using) go to head-fi.org. There are TONS of posts about heaphones/canalphones/earphones/amps. I've been a member over there quite a long time, and it's always fun to read/lurk/research. As they say, 'Sorry about your wallet!'.

    I've used everything from the stock Apple buds, to Sony (el cheapos), Westone U3s, Klipsch S4 and S4i, NuForce NE-7M, UE Super.fi Pro 5, V-Moda remix, V-Moda Vibe, and probably several more that I'm forgetting.....).

    I've also used the Line Out Dock from all the iPhones into a G&W tube amp, then driving many of the above, as well as several different AKG headphones (501, 701). I've also got a Faith mSeeds portable amp, and had some others.

    As you start accumulating earphones/canal phones, you'll (most likely) start hearing the different sound signatures of them quite readily.

    Now....after all that testing/listening....I've gotten back to the point of simplification and just listening, using one set of canalphones that color the music just a bit to suit my listening preference.....

    My current setup is just the iP4 and a set of Denon AH-C710s, with Comply t400 tips. I've been using them for almost a year and a half. Have tried a few higher end recently....the Westone U3 and the Sennheiser IE8.....but still prefer the 710s....


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