Sound volume on 3rd gen nanos?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by roisin and mac, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. roisin and mac macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Hey everyone, I'm considering getting myself an ipod nano, seing as I'm a total music geek and listen to music all day long :p

    I went to the Apple Store and tried one, with some music they had inside at the store, which admittedly wasn't the best idea, but that's all I had at the time. I was quite surprised to see that the sound volume, even when turned to the maximum, was not especially loud. It was just about OK for inside the store, which was nice and quiet, but if I were to try it walking about outside with all the car traffic and what not, the music would be completely lost! I played around with it and found the volume lock function (I think that's the name--it lets you set a value beyond which you won't be able to turn it up), but it was off, so it can't be that.

    I have to say I was kind of disappointed, as I'd never heard of this before, and I thought, with millions of people using their devices all over the world, including on the train and to work out and such, there has to be some needing it louder than I do, right? Plus, in most other devices I have tried I only need to go about 3/4 of the way to full volume, at most--even in a crowded bus with the windows open and all the noise from the traffic pouring in, plus the people chatting on the phone next to me!

    I guess I'd like a bit more info on that, say if it has to do with the volume the song is at when it goes into the itunes library or something like that? 'cause I love the nano and it seems otherwise perfect for my needs, but the sound volume issue is a deal-breaker I think, and would force me to get a different media player:(
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    First of all, it is likely that someone had adjusted the "Set Volume Limit" setting on the Nano that you used in the store, which effectively changes how sensitive the volume bar on the iPod is. For example, if someone had set the volume limit to 75%, then, when you used it and set the volume to full, it was actually only 75% of the actual iPod's volume capacity.

    Also, I notice that depending on what headphones I use, the volume makes a huge difference. The stock earbuds that come with the iPod (I'm guessing that is what you used in the store) need to be turned up pretty loud to be heard properly. But, if you get a pair of in-ear headphones, or any headphones that block ouside sound, you won't need to turn the volume up nearly as much as with the stock iPod headphones (since they kind of sit in your outer ear, without going in at all). Hope that helped :)

    By the way, if you use good in ear 'phones, have no volume limit, and max volume still isn't enough for you, you either have or will be damaging your hearing by doing so :eek:
  3. thegilly macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Auckland, New Zealand
    What bugs me about volume on iPods, my 3rd gen nano especially, is the minimum volume. I like to listen to a few minutes of text-to-speech content before I try to sleep, so I'm listening in a perfectly silent room. I find that on minimum volume it's annoyingly loud. I either have to remember to adjust the volume down in iTunes on all text-to-speech files when I import them (as if the workflow for making them and turning them into audiobooks wasn't already long enough!), or listen to them lying on my side with the earbud for my top ear just perched atop my ear, not actually in, and not use the other earbud at all.

    Of course when there's a lot of background noise I can have trouble hearing music, let alone speech, but I understand that that's not because the volume isn't loud enough but because iPod earbuds aren't designed to cut out external noise. You want "real" old-fashioned headphones for that, or else the scary in-ear jobs. Listening to any music player on full volume--even if the background noise is so loud you think you can't hear the music--is bad for you. Believe me, as someone whose mother is "slightly" hearing damaged from a couple of years spent teaching workshop technology to high school kids, even minor hearing loss is a PITA for all concerned and best avoided.
  4. kevzy macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    I also had concerns about volume levels on the nanos. My previous iPod's volume was so low that some quieter songs were almost unlistenable (is that a word???).

    Last week however I got a nano and have to say the the volume is great. I usually listen at between 50 and 75 percent of max volume and that's plenty loud. If the max on the nano isn't loud enough for you all I can suggest is having you ears cleaned out ;).
  5. roisin and mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    Hey there, thanks for the answers!

    I read them yesterday but I thought I'd try the suggestions first to see how it went then I'd answer once I got back, since I was just going out to the Applestore when I found them :)

    Soo. Zwhaler was right on the money. There was a limit set on the ipod in the store, and though I don't know exactly how much lower it was set, it made quite a bit of difference when he fixed it. For many tracks, it was much more than I needed, so we're all set there :)

    In some tracks, it would still have been nice to have a little more volume, because they're much lower, but I guess we can't have it all ;) And besides, there's the matter of the earphones that both Zwhaler and the thegilly pointed out. My problem is the in-ear style aren't really an option for me--I can't abide them for some reason, they're very uncomfortable! Every time I've tried a pair, I feel like I'm underwater, I can't swallow without hearing the sound unnaturally loud coming sort of from the inside of my head, and it even affects my balance when I'm walking around :p Don't know whether other people feel that way about them?

    Plus, I'm not sure I necessarily want to cancel all noise, since seeing as I use them a lot walking around down town, I'd probably get myself run over or something! The other style, that sits just in your outer ear, I have found to be a great compromise between a small, discrete size, a comfortable wear and listening experience, and the ability to keep somewhat in touch with the world around me (but not in too close a contact, lol, this town is crazy and people are always getting pissed off, I'm much better off not hearing half of the stuff they say to each other!)

    thegilly, '"real" old-fashioned headphones'--would those be the kind that look like earmuffs, only smaller then? I quite like those too and used them until well into my teens, but then I got onto the other ones 'cause they're so much easier to carry around, once I started using a regular-sized girls' bag and not a stonking big school bag ;)

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