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Ipod distortion?????

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by PhatBasstard, Oct 27, 2006.


  1. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I've noticed in my iPod (60g) that certain tracks (especially more modern, bass heavy) have a slight distortion. This distortion becomes more pronounced if I use a bass/treble heavy EQ setting like "RnB".

    I am using the "Sound Check" feature ("on" in both iTunes and iPod) to even out volumes (although some tracks are still oddly quieter).

    I know the distortion is not in the tracks because it's only in the headphone output, regardless of headphones used or device using the out for a feed, regardless of volume setting.

    The really odd thing is these same tracks are totally clean when played through any device using the iPod's dock connection, regardless of EQ setting (iPod's volume setting is non-effective through the dock connector).

    Is it possible the signal is being fed too hot into the iPod's headphone amplifier?

    Has anyone else noticed/experienced this?
     
  2. Yes and its one of the reasons I won't be buying another Ipod.
    It's impossible for me to listen to Californication because the Ipod makes it sound ****.
    Bah.:mad:
     
  3. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    The headphones might be crap. I mean, look how small they are. I get it too sometimes, but it comes and goes. And it's like you say, distorted bass. I wish I had a solution. :(
     
  4. +1

    I think you need to try some different/better headphones before you chalk this up to an iPod issue.

    Are you using the stock earbuds?
     
  5. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Inactive

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    If I use my $60 Sony headphones, then I don't get any distortion, by the way. It sounds just like it does coming from my computer.
     
  6. Yeah, Id try new headphones. Suprisingly, the 13 dollar Sony earbuds sound great, and I dont get any distortion.
     
  7. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    In an MP3 player, there are three factors affecting sound quality, in this order:

    - Headphones
    - Built-in sound card specs
    - EQ settings

    Most of the time, it's the headphones.
    Those little stock headphones don't handle high levels of bass well, just like regular speakers. A nice set of headphones usually does the trick. My $20 Sony headphones work nicely for the job, although I'm sure anything above $20 would do even better. The stock Creative headphones weren't bad, either. The only reason why I don't use them is because I'm not too fond of earphones.

    As for the sound card specs... I don't know much about Apple's sound card design. I bought a Creative Labs Zen Micro instead of an iPod mainly because of my history with Creative Labs sound cards - they're the best on the market, IMO, especially if you're a gamer. That technology carried over into their MP3 players, and it shows in my Zen.

    Honestly, I find it hard to compete (in terms of quality sound reproduction) with the world leader in PC gaming audio.

    Lastly, there's EQ settings. EDIT: Based on your post (which I didn't read completely before, sorry :smug:), I'm discounting this one as a possibility. Sure, it'd be nice to have a graphic EQ, but even the preset ones shouldn't cause distortion that easily.

    My diagnosis: It's your headphones.
     
  8. Thats the one thing about iPods that bugs the living crap out of me. You can only choose presets for the eq, no customizing. I will give them this though, the acoustic preset works really well, but I could make it better. :smug:
     
  9. Dash Rantic

    Dash Rantic

    Nov 12, 2005
    Palo Alto, CA
    It's the headphones. The stock earbuds really suck... But try hooking the 'pod up to better ones, everything will sound fine.

    -Dash
     
  10. Remember that CD sounds trash anyway. I have trouble listening to it on any system these days.
    Go google for it :/
     
  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    In iTunes on one of the menus you should find a selection to enable error correction on importing CDs (I don't remember where it is). It'll slow down the ripping of a CD, but it'll eliminate many distortion problems that some of your discs may have.
     
  12. I found that I still get distortion when not running through headphones, runnning into PA (changing cables to make sure it wasn't those either) and even at low volumes still distorts. I also tried 320kbps and still came out with distorted bass drums and bass where there shouldn't have been.

    interesting, I googled that and got an interesting wikipedia article.
     
  13. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    I think this all reinforces the fact that while Apple has some nice (but unorthodox) computers, they have an unjustified monopoly in the MP3 player business.

    I refuse to be chained to iTunes for my music, as well as be subject to mediocre sound quality. :smug:
     
  14. yer i had a ipod and had the same problem with bass.I bought some fancy £30 sony in ear earphones still sucked.Got a 6gb sony walkman problem solved
     
  15. mkrtu9

    mkrtu9

    Mar 2, 2006
    Tuscola
    I've used apple's forums several times to solve my ipod problems (mostly problems with the user).
     
  16. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Guys, Guys, Guys....
    I appreciate all the responces, but most of you missed this part of my original post:

    "I know the distortion is not in the tracks because it's only in the headphone output, regardless of headphones used or device using the out for a feed, regardless of volume setting.

    The really odd thing is these same tracks are totally clean when played through any device using the iPod's dock connection, regardless of EQ setting (iPod's volume setting is non-effective through the dock connector)."


    Guys....
    It ain't the headphones, but it is something to do with only the headphone output.
     
  17. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    You're right, I missed that.

    Have you plugged the headphone output into a high-impedance input, like aux inputs on a mixer or stereo receiver? If so, is the distortion still there?
     
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Yes.
    It's definately a problem with the audio signal being fed too hot into the headphone amp itself. Even though the "RnB" EQ setting is my overall favorite, I've stopped using it as the slight distortion (on the high and low end, not just the bass) on certain tracks is just irritating.

    I was just wondering if it was just my iPod or this was a common problem.
     
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Your iPod might be defective then. I believe the headphone amp in it is a single chip device. There's probably an Apple store near you that you can take it to and get it checked, isn't there?
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 27, 2021

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