Sound quality with Apple Universal Dock

Discussion in 'iPod touch Accessories' started by JensK, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. JensK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #1
    I'm getting increasingly confused about the sound quality when you use the universal dock instead of just the headphone jack to connect the ipod to a stereo. When I ask the sales guys I get very different opinions and I also found an inconclusive thread on this forum from last year. (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=591594)

    Anyone having an updated opinion on this issue?

    I must say I haven't tried the dock yet with my own stereo, I'm only using the headphone jack, which gives a quite muted sound - and I fear that the dock won't change that.
     
  2. GoSUV macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    The headphone jack vs. the universal dock's line out, which to many people the difference is tiny. But if you have a good stereo system, the difference is there. The headphone jack's sounds a little muddy, and you are advised to bump it down one notch below maximum to avoid clipping. Besides, there seems to be more noise with the headphone jack.

    Granted, the universal dock's line level output is still very muted, but you should be able to crank it up to max and use your stereo's volume control to adjust volume.

    You get cleaner sound out of the dock, but unfortunately the volume level is still way too low for best signal-to-noise ratio.

    For reference I use a Bryston B60 integrated amp and a pair of ProAc Tablette's. Not your run-of-the-mill system but not "audiophile" either.
     
  3. JensK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #3
    Re: Sound quality with Apple Universal Dock

    Thanx, that's really helpful.

    I'm also considering on of the more "hi-fi-ish" docks, for example NAD IPD-2 or Denon asd 11-r which is of cource more expensive than apple's dock but still affordable (around $100 and $130, respectively).

    Anyone knows whether the sound quality gets remarkable better with such docks? I don't feel so sure about it, and besides they apparently won't charge my ipod touch 2nd generation so that's a drawback for sure.

    (My stereo is an old denon receiver (dra 435 - but might shift to a new one: denon dra f-102) together with dali 104 speakers.)
     
  4. GoSUV macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    I haven't tested those docks you mentioned, but I'm interested in finding out. I predict the sound quality won't be too dramatic, but if these docks can deliver a higher level output, maybe that'll make a big difference, especially if your amplifier is underpowered for your room size and you're already pushing it. A higher level source input will make your amp work less hard.

    Other more expensive dock choices are the Pro-Ject and the Arcam. I don't think these provide charging to the 2nd Gen iPod Touch either, but they are more targeted to the hifi crowd sound quality wise.

    For charging, some vendors make a dock adaptor that you insert between the iPod and your dock to convert from Firewire (the old charging connection) to USB charging. They just adapt the different charging pins through the dock connector and is not expensive at all. Don't recall a name but I think all the big ones might have something like this already.
     
  5. JensK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    #5
    Thanx again GoSUV, I might give the NAD dock a try one of the days.

    Not so sure about the dock adaptor though. The apple dock adaptor which came with my ipod touch 2g doesn't seem to do anything to the charging pins - it's just used to make a better hold of the ipod when docked.
    Sales guys in two different stores have told me, that you can't fix this charging problem with an adaptor. But then again, they have been giving me so many other differing views...
     
  6. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Stupid question

    What is the universal dock? I use the iHome H9 as my player and alarm and what not - is that a universal dock? if so then it's a good buy!
     

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