iPhone 4 - Not as much bass in music?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CubeHacker, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I noticed this just this morning. But while listening to some of my usual tunes on the iPhone 4, they didn't seem to sound as "punchy" as I remembered. I plugged my headphones into my 3G and they sounded fine. Replacing the headphones back into the iPhone 4 and they sounded slightly worse, as if there was about 25% less bass.

    Anyone else notice something similar?
  2. i hate phones macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2010
    Philly Suburbs, PA
    I haven't listened to music with headphones a lot yet but I did have to adjust the settings in my car from what they were for my 1st gen ipod touch. turned the bass up and treble down... I have a usb/doc connection in my car so i know its not a "third party" issue.
  3. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    The headphone jack on my 2G sounds great...3GS sounds like ass...4 sounded great.
  4. 1490k macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    Hi there,

    Just thought I would post as I work with audio.

    I traded in my 3G so ive got no means on comparison with my iPhone 4, but if you have the facility to do so, you can run a test.

    To run the test you would need a 3.5mm to 3.5mm male to male jack cable (its basically a cable with a headphone mini-jack on either end that plugs from your iPhone into your computer) and a free download of the audio editing software Audacity (available for Windows and Mac)

    From there the task would be to record the same music track from each of the phones into an Audacity session at the same volume. You would then have to go to Analyse > Plot Spectrum at the top, and either interpret the graphs yourself by seeing if there was a visible increase in volume around the frequency ranges below 400Hz or so on the 3G in comparison to the iPhone 4.

    Alternatively if you are able to replicate the results above feel free to print screen the graphs and I can take a look for you

    Perhaps if you don't have the required cable somebody else who has this cable along with either a 3G/3GS and an iPhone 4 would be able to try this out?

    Kind Regards
  5. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    Use the bass booster in the EQ.

    Apple has never been known for great sound quality with their iPods among audiophiles. Cowon and Sony are superior.

    When it comes to audio quality, there hasn't been a phone today that has surpassed the Nokia N91. And that was released FOUR years ago.
  6. CubeHacker thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Damn, I only have a female <--> adapter! I think my friend has a double male though. I will try to see if I can get my hands on it.
  7. malnar macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    I don't know if it has less bass, but I think the Iphone 4 sounds better in general, and I'm a bit of an audiophile. I'm pretty impressed, I think it sounds fantastic.

    Doing some research, it appears that the Iphone 4 (and Ipad - they share the same audio chip) really does present better audio - it's a much flatter frequency response than the 3G, which colors the audio quite a bit.

    (Stolen from here, where you can read more about their impressions.)

    Compare that with the graph for the 3G:

    Big difference. Not that it was bad, but the Iphone 4 is really good.

    And that might be why you think it has more bass - it has falsely bass-y audio, apparently. What you're hearing from the Iphone 4 is more natural sounding. This should be a good thing. I understand that you're used to the 3G's sound, but give the Iphone 4 some time and then listen to the 3G's output. You might understand how odd that altered sound feels to your ears after hearing something this accurate.
  8. slate1 macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    I'm a music lover and, by proxy, I guess an "audiophile" - although I dearly hate that term...

    For pure perspective, I'm not trying to pull a "look what I have!" moment here - but over the past 40 years I've listened pretty much exclusively to analog (vinyl) sources - I've got about $3k-4k invested in my analog front end and run it through all tube amplification, etc. I've got ~$10k total in my stereo and have a dedicated listening room in my home - I'm serious about my music!

    There is no question to my ears that the iPhone 4 is the most accurate and best sounding iPod I've heard. I listen to hi-rez LP rips on my iPhone and thought the 3G bordered on unlistenable - it sounded horrible to me, but the iPhone 4 is actually quite pleasant to listen to!
  9. 1490k macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    I think its also the fact that the iPhone 3G, from that spectrum plot, has a much lower frequency LPF applied to it. You'll probably find the ultra-sonics left in on the spectrum of the iPhone 4 mean that the top end is more noticeable than on the previous handsets

  10. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    Wow. That's pretty impressive.

    I did notice from the moment I plugged my iP4 in that the sound seemed 'cleaner' somehow. Perhaps the OP is not noticing poor sound reproduction in his phone as much as poor sound from his headphones.
  11. m3coolpix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2007
    Another forum I frequent.....

    Head-Fi.org Forums and as they say.....'sorry about your wallet'.

    I use the Denon AH-C710s with my iPhone(s) based on buying/trying many different brands/models. These are known for their 'warm' signature. Also use the Comply T400 tips, and while no means audiophile, the setup is quite awesome, IMHO.
  12. MT0227 macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2009
    For hi-fi portable music, you want to get a 4th Generation or 5th/5.5 generation iPod as they contain the high-quality internal Wolfson dac chip. These are the best sounding iPods made. Apple decided not to continue with the Wolfson dac after 5.5. Then you need to add in a nice portable amp, good cable and great phones. As m3coolpix said, checkout Head-Fi.org forums but make sure you have a big wallet.

    My portable rig: 80GB 5.5 Gen iPod > Cable Pro Ear Candy Lite cable > TTVJ Slim portable Amp > Westone UM3X monitors.

    Enjoy....your music has never sounded so good!

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