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New iPod classic has "badly engineered" audio circuitry?

Continuing our theme today of possible problems with the new iPods, now it's the classic's turn. Personally, I doubt could hear the difference but there seems to be a number of people who think the new 6G iPod classic sounds noticeably worse than the 5.5G iPod that it replaced. In the words of Marc Heijligers the new iPod classic "sounds precise, crisp, but lacks 3D image and has an electronic haze to the sound... [which] becomes fatiguing after a while. The 5G sounds less precise, but its timbre contains more harmonic information and sounds less electronic." To back up these "golden ear" impressions Marc ran a bunch of tests comparing the 5.5G iPod and the new classic and has posted his results. His conclusion is that the 6G iPod Classic displays:
  • A slight uplift in treble.
  • A group delay that depends on frequency.
  • A strong modulation with 22.1k, causing intermodulation distortion.
Apparently the cause of this change is Apple's switching from a Wolfson (5.5G) to a Cirrus Logic audio codec chip. As I said before, you'd probably need golden ears (and good cans) to hear the differences, but if you do you may want to give the 6G a good listen before replacing a 5.5G iPod with a new classic.

[via Infinite Loop]

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