iPod Touch 3G vs. Zune HD: Both in Hand, what do you want to know?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by MVApple, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    So I sold my iPod Touch 1G and I just got my 3G in the mail (if USPS ever axes Saturday deliveries, well I'll miss them). I've had the Zune HD for a couple of days now and I've been testing it out and comparing it sound quality wise to a 5G iPod Classic.

    For headphones I have the Monster Studio Beats, Audio Technica ATH-AD900 and the includes earbuds.

    The 3G is currently syncing but if anyone wants to know more about how the two compare sound wise, or anything else let me know and I'll do my best to respond.
  2. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    Is the half chopped 'e' in Marketplace really that annoying?
  3. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    It's not at all annoying to me. I can understand why some people would find it annoying and if you didn't know it was supposed to be like that I can see why someone would wonder if some setting in their device is wrong, but otherwise its not even a thought.

    If you know its like that by design and it really really bothers, thats a bit of OCD kicking in.
  4. 25105 macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2008
    I would like to know which device sounds better, Zune or ipod touch?
  5. Mugwumper macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Temecula, CA
    Pardon my ignorance . . .

    but isn't sound quality made up from how a song became an .mp3 (i.e., the
    difference between 128, 192 or 256kbps bit rate, and the sample rate) and
    the quality of the headphones you use?

    So assuming the music is stored the same way on both the Zune and the
    Touch (or maybe it's the same music), and you're using the same
    headphones, won't it sound the same?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative - I really don't know why they would
    sound different or why one would be "better" than the other.

  6. solaris7 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    could you please compare the battery life and browsing speed on both devices?
  7. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    Zune sounds better (richer bass and mids, more seperated) on same .mp3 files.... in my car <-- so headphones are not the issue here.

    I have nano, iphone 3g, touch 2g and zune HD..... Zune definitaly sounds better.

    ---- battery life -----

    -Full charge at 9 am....
    -total 4 hr music listening and about 20 mins movie watching....
    -Brightness at high... 2 album sync wirelessly (about 25 songs )
    -9pm battery indicator is down about 15%.... (almost full )
  8. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Yes, the quality of the mp3 file and your headphones affect sound, but so does the hardware and software of the device you are using. Try plugging your headphone into a computer and playing an mp3 file, then listen to the same mp3 file on an ipod with the same headphone, and often the sound won't be the same. Play the same mp3 file on your computer using different software (iTunes, vlc player, GOM player, etc) and they can sound different.
  9. MVApple thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    Hey guys. I'm going to compare the sound quality through my Monster Beat Studio's and ATH-AD900's. Both of these headphones are easily driven by a portable device and have excellent strengths that compliment each other well. I'll be playing some of Rise Against Albums, Yo Yo Ma's Bach Cell Suites, Laurence Juber, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

    I should be done testing the sound in another hour or so.

    I won't compare battery life though, thats just way too much work, sorry.

    I can compare browser speeds, but do you want actual times? I can tell you that Safari easily trumps the Zune's brower. Safari really feels like a full desktop browser on a smaller screen while the Zune feels like a mobile browser struggling to feel like a desktop experience. It's not horrible and it can probably considered pretty good by mobile standards but there's no competition when Safari steps in.


    Ok I've been ABing different songs across both devices and with the two different headphones I listed and my conclusion is that the Zune sounds better. It has a slightly larger soundstage and overall it sounds slightly more clear. The difference is far from being a night and day difference. In order for me to really hear a difference I have to play ten seconds of a song and then switch and hear ten seconds of the same song on the other device. When I ordered my iPod Touch from Amazon I knew I was going to keep it because I love safari and the apps. I bought my Zune HD from Walmart because I wasn't sure I was going to keep it and I've concluded that it's going back. My hope was that the music interface would be amazing and that the sound quality would be a big step up, but unfortunately the sound quality advantage wasn't very big.

    The music UI on the Zune is gorgeous but its not as functional as the iPods. On the Zune it takes more "touches" to get to certain places. Prime example? The fact that there are no on-screen controls. You either click off center on the screen or the left side button to bring up basic volume and skip and play and pause controls. On the iPod Touch there right there. Sure the Zune looks prettier but the trade off is functionality.

    The Zune does win in Album View though, well sorta. I love seeing tiles of my album art. On the iPod Touch coverflow is prettier but not as functional as a tile view of album art. The one problem with Album view is that when you are looking at the tiles and you click on the album you want you are taken to a list view instead of directly to the album. One extra touch to get where you want to be, lame.

    The one place that the Zune wins hands down is the OLED screen. The quality difference is huge. I have both devices sitting within arms reach on my desk. They are laying flat and at this angle the iPod Touch washes out while the Zune stays absolutely brilliant. Its night so I can't test sunlight performance but indoors the Zune looks amazing and it makes the iPod Touch screen look so last generation. Apple will eventually move to AMOLED or OLED but it'll be a most welcome change.

    So to wrap things up the Zune offers a better screen, slightly better sound quality, and a awesome $15 subscription music pass. The iPod offers so much more though. I was planning on keeping both the iPod and the Zune but the only reason to keep the Zune would have been for a significant increase in sound quality, but its not there. Please remember that I'm testing these with high quality full size headphones, if you're listening to the included earbuds then sound quality shouldn't even be on your mind. While the included earbuds aren't horrible they aren't good enough to really hear either of these devices properly. You're better off buying some good headphones to really hear an increase in sound quality. The iPod Touch 3G sounds fantastic but supposedly Sony's DAP's are the best sounding. I may end up trying one to see if the difference is big but I think the 3G sounds good enough that I may just be splitting hairs.

    Jen from Pocketables is supposed to compare the Zune HD to the Sony X1000 but I have a feeling it won't beat the Sony X1000 in the sound quality department.
  10. 25105 macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2008
    Thank you so much for your valuable review & its greatly appreciated!
  11. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    I don't think that you explained the battery life well enough...=/
    Kinda vague IMO...

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