Quality portable audio?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by FroColin, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. FroColin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I love listening to FLAC music on my Mac pro with my dac. The issue is that all my computers are in a different room the the one I sleep in. I like to listen to music on my Sony MDR 7509HDs in high quality for half an hour or so but all I have is an iPod and the output is simply not that good. So basically I want a realitivly cheap way
    To out put high quality music not on my computer
    Thanks
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    Really? Do you have measurements? I think you will find the iPod is quite good. What might not be good are your headphones or the way you have interfaced the iPod to the amp. (the iPod should be turned up to full volume so as not to "waste" dynamic range. Don't spend effort to fix a problem that does not exist and don't try to improve anything when you can't measure the improvement.

    It is not hard at all to measure the performance of an iPod. Make some test signals on Apple Loss-less format and play them into some test equipment. Single sine waves can be used to test for THD and dual sine (two tone) signals for inter-modulation. You can use computer based test equipment a 96k 24-bit audio interface on the Mac can feed software based scopes and spectrum analyzer.
     
  3. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #3
    I don't think he ever mentioned connecting an amp to the iPod, unless he edited his post since then.

    Anyways, I do agree with him that the iPod's audio quality is not ideal, I can even tell the difference between from my iPod touch to my iMac with my M50s, and that's just not audio level either. The iMac gives more tightness in the bass and midrange.

    The Fiio E7 is a nice little nifty portable dac/amp for the iPod. You can start your research with that and find any comparisons of it and recommendations/comments from there on out.
     
  4. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #4
    If you are looking to bypass the DACs, you could get a Pure i20 Dock (~$99). It extracts the digital output from the iPod and gives you the choice to send it out digitally to an outboard DAC or to let its built in DACs do the job. You would probably need an amp, as well. I have the PA2V2 headphone amp for portability and it would work if you don't want to spend a lot on the setup.

    The Pure dock is not portable, but it is small enough to easily fit on a nightstand. I should mention that I have read that the new iPod's DACs measure very well, but the amps are too weak for headphones that are difficult to drive. You may want to try a line out adapter to an outboard amp (like the PA2v2) to see if it helps.

    You could also use a Airport Express or Appletv for streaming music. Then buy a DAC/amp. If you have an iOS device, you could use it as a remote or for airplay.
     
  5. FroColin thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #5
    Oh, no I don't have it hooked up to an amp. Sorry I know that I was implying that. Also I have a second gen iPod Touch. Don't know if that makes a difference. And I find that the iPod sounds muddy in the mid lows. Just as TMRaven said. Maybe it's just in my head but it does sound a bit... worse to me. I will take a look at the Fiio E7.
     
  6. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    Location:
    Memphis
    #6
    I don't believe the Fiio will bypass the DACs on the Touch. The Pure is the least expensive solution I have seen.
     
  7. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #7
    You can just get a line out cable to do that. Line out cable+ Fiio E9 is around 120 and portable as can be. I'm not sure if the line out bypasses both dac and amp, but I know it bypasses the amp of the iPod.
     

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