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rgill90's picture
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ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

Hi All

After 5ish years i've finally filled up my 4th gen 32gb ipod and need to get another.

I was about to take the plunge on amazon on a brand new 160gb one but was quite startled on some of the reviews where I read lots of people complaining about deterioration in sound quality on the brand new ipods compared to early models.

I use my ipod in the car or just walking to work and never connect it to a hifi or anything, hence all my music on my ipod is ripped at 128kbps, which for my use does me fine.  Has anyone who uses their ipod in the same way as me (ie not for hifi) recently done a similiar upgrade and are unhappy with the results?  Should I be overly concerned about this 'sound quality deterioration?'

Thanks for reading.

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

I'm going to be brutally honest here. If you're listening at 128Kbps, the quality of your player is one of your least concerns! In fact, the better the product, the more likely it is to show up the ultra-compressed music files.

If you re-ripped all your music in Lossless (even 320Kbps) format and upgraded to that 160GB Classic (with decent headphones), you should hear a massive performance upgrade.

Sorry if that's not the advice you're after (sounds like you've got a big library to rip!), but i'm being cruel to be kind  Big Smile

Group Marketing & PR Manager, Computers Unlimited.

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

Agree with Clare. Take the plunge, download with 360kps and enjoy.     

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

Also, consider adding a cheap amp like the Fiio E5 with a LOD. You can get the lot for about £20 and that should improve things no end. If you're just using an aux jack in the car, this will help there too.

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

I'm going to differ with our resident expert Clare Smile and say that even with lossless/uncompressed files, the current Classic 160gb does not cut it sound wise. It's expensive I know, but if you're of sound mind Smile and using the iPod as a, um, iPod, then save up for a 64GB Touch and load up 320k MP3s or AAC. I have the previous generation iPod touch 64Gb and 320k MP3s sound great.


Or even try one of the Sony or Creative players (gasp!) Smile

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

Hi All

Thanks for your responses but i'm happy with my current quality coming out of my current ipod - I know 320kbps will be better, but considering the time it will take and how i use my ipod i'm not sure i'll reap the gains.  I'm not unhappy with my tunes at 128 as all i do is
stick them on in the car for a short journey to supermarket or a mates or the
occasional long journey in the car (in which case i've got other people in the car and invariably we talk so the music just becomes background music!).  Or i'm just listening to tunes at a very low
volume at work or on public transport / on the beach / on holiday by the swimming pool whilst i'm reading a book.  In short I suppose my ipod provides mostly quiet background music to other things i do, therefore the music doesn't get the attention to warrant a rerip of about 320 CDs  (But having said that i wouldn;t want the music to deteriorate in quality after purchasing a brand new one!)

So i'm just wondering if anyone uses an ipod in a similar capacity as i do and has noticed this supposed reduction in sound quality from the brand spanking new ipods in comparison to the older ones?

Cheers

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

Hi,


I have nearly ever ipod released ,yes i know why you ask... well i just got into collecting them, my latest purchase was the new 160gb classic and i use lossless and i do think the sound quality is not as good as my 5th gen ipod video or iphone 4 also the click wheel is the least responsive of all the ipods i have.


I would go with the 64gb ipod touch, and you get so much more functionality i know its more but its worth it, i wish they would make a high capacity
solid state player but flash is to expensive at the moment.

Luke

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

Hi

Thats good to know - thanks.  In what capacity do you use your ipod - ie for hifi use or like i use mine?  Is the sound quality a lot worse or just not quite as good and do you notice it all the time? Do you think if i did go for it i'd be forced to rerip everything at a higher bit rate to compensate? 

Ipod touch would be good but i just can;t afford almost double the price for almost half the capacity and i've no need for the extra features on the ipod touch.

Yeap - high capacity SSD ....only a matter of time!

Rich

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?
rgill90:

Hi


Thats good to know - thanks.  In what capacity do you use your ipod - ie for hifi use or like i use mine?  Is the sound quality a lot worse or just not quite as good and do you notice it all the time? Do you think if i did go for it i'd be forced to rerip everything at a higher bit rate to compensate? 


Ipod touch would be good but i just can;t afford almost double the price for almost half the capacity and i've no need for the extra features on the ipod touch.


Yeap - high capacity SSD ....only a matter of time!


Rich


I use my iPod touch for hifi - and I'm ripping in AIFF, but you might like ALAC and save some space as well. 320k MP3s sound just great too.

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?
Clare Newsome:

I'm going to be brutally honest here. If you're listening at 128Kbps, the quality of your player is one of your least concerns! In fact, the better the product, the more likely it is to show up the ultra-compressed music files.


If you re-ripped all your music in Lossless (even 320Kbps) format and upgraded to that 160GB Classic (with decent headphones), you should hear a massive performance upgrade.


Sorry if that's not the advice you're after (sounds like you've got a big library to rip!), but i'm being cruel to be kind  Big Smile



Hand on heart Clare, this having being said, on my very first iPod, the Mini way back in 2004, I ripped to 128k AAC and the sound was brilliant - you should have The Who's Tommy on it - the imaging was unbelievable. The fact is Apple has over the years shoved in inferior DACs onto their iPods - and admitted the very first Shuffle was at the time the best sounding Pod!


I truly believe the 'fatty' Nano was the last truly great sounding 'Pod, haven't heard the latest one though.

Anonymous
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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

This is a bit late, but to answer the OPs original question...

...IMHO, the classic 160gb sounds good and potentially great. I only use lossless files and use it via my hifi (see sig). Now vie only used it in isolation rather than vs a different iPod but these were my findings.....

I had it docked for a couple if years via the apple dock and it sounded very good, not as good as my £500 Arcam CDP but not a million miles away. This, I thought was pretty good considering it's a basic dock and using the internal DAC. It wasn't as open and clear as the Arcam, not as much detail, but probably 80% there, for well less than half the cost.

Now I have the Pure i-20 dock* with internal DAC and the sound is a revelation. I haven't done a back to back with the CDP yet but the sound is much more open and detailed, but very forward.

So, I'd surmise that e classic 160gb out of the box is good, but not perfect. It won't disgrace itself in a relatively high end system using the most basic of docks. However with a decent dock, offboard DAC, lossless files, it sounds great!


*my review of the pure dock: http://community.whathifi.com/forums/t/583489.aspx

Anonymous
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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

 


I can also vouch for the Pure i20 though I am guessing that the iPod Classic may perform differently, and therefore perhaps worse, than the Nano, and Touch because it has a hard drive rather than solid state memory. I thought about a Classic though have bought a 4g 32GB Touch for this reason. 


 

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?
manicm:

in inferior DACs onto their iPods - and admitted the very first Shuffle was at the time the best sounding Pod!


 


Cool! That is what I am still using for out & about Big Smile

Anonymous
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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?
Childs1962:

 


I can also vouch for the Pure i20 though I am guessing that the iPod Classic may perform differently, and therefore perhaps worse, than the Nano, and Touch because it has a hard drive rather than solid state memory. I thought about a Classic though have bought a 4g 32GB Touch for this reason. 


 



Hang on!

Are we now saying that solid state sounds better than a hard drive!!? :S

If that really is a concern Childs1962, fear not because the ipod classic doesn't stream its audio direct from the HDD in real time, rather it buffers it into - wait for it - Solid state Random Access Memory modules. Smile
AKA - RAM

Which should sound just as good as any flash based devices ;P

Anonymous
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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?
ashworth_rich:
Childs1962:

 


I can also vouch for the Pure i20 though I am guessing that the iPod Classic may perform differently, and therefore perhaps worse, than the Nano, and Touch because it has a hard drive rather than solid state memory. I thought about a Classic though have bought a 4g 32GB Touch for this reason. 


 


Hang on! Are we now saying that solid state sounds better than a hard drive!!? :


 


No not at all, I am just saying in response to the OP that it may be different and if so therefore it could be worse.


I have been using a 5th gen Nano which is solid state and have now bought a Touch rather than a Classic, partly in case there is a difference between SS and H/D and partly for the touch screen controlability.


 

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Re: ipod classic 160gb..bad sound quality?

I would still say, unless you absolutely need the 160gb capacity, avoid the current Classic. It's too stodgy, slow and outdated.

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