Why do my burned cds sound better than my ipod?

OK this is my situation…

I rip all my music into 320kbps mp3s in itunes…
When I hook up my ipod to my stereo with A/V cables (red/white/yellow)
its sounds good, but not as good as the same song burned on the cd?

I see that Ipods only support frequencies of 20Hz-20000Hz

Could I potentially be getting a better sound with the burned cd because it is not limited the Hz?

When you say burned on cd do you mean an MP3 burnt onto cd or and backup of the original??

Because compared to a CD player, your iPod is junk. iPods run on about 3 volts DC, the output stage of a CD player usually has at least 5 or 10 volts to work with. Smaller devices make compromises to keep them small, and I gues the iPod makers compromised audio quality to keep their gadgets small.

Ah, iPods just arent all they’re cracked up to be. I swear, just because they’re made by Apple and have the letter “i” before it makes people think they’re part of god. Olyteddy just said it all. Behind the overcomplicated, unnessecary menu system is just an outdated, underpowered sound system. CD Players just have more power behind them. Yup, that’s how highly I thin of iPods…I wouldn’t pay ten dollars for them let alone 200… CD players just have more power that goes to better bass, and get yourself a decent pair of headphones and it might have…gasp better quality…

I’d be proud if you just suffered through reading all of that…:clap:

@olyteddy
so you’re saying that the higher the volt level, the higher the audio quality?
@total
if you sell iPods for $10, I would buy several.

Peck, if the same MP3 is on both the CD-R and the ‘Jesus’ pod, then they should sound the same. If they do not, then it is obviously the poor design of the jPod. If you are comparing a true audio CD (not MP3) to an MP3, then the answer should be obvious…

More details please.

RM

Yes, I am listening to the same mp3 burnt on cd and ipod…

I did I little research on my own and it seemd the A/V cables are the worst for ipods or just about any audio source… (which would explain downgrade of quality)

And for the others above that say ipods do not match up you do realize you can import wavs or apple lossless which is identical to the cd itself…

I import all my music 320kbps mp3 and find it very hard to believe that any1 could possibly distinguish it from a wav or FLAC

They sound identical…

I think I just solved my own answer : P

If you think im wrong take a shot at it, I’m always up for a good conversation!

In this case, the A/V cable makes it sound like crap, thats why the ipod docks sound so great…

You can actually buy higher quality cables and I think distinguishing the difference will very from person to person and equipment to equipment. Higher end equipment with high quality phono and speaker cable will make the difference more noticeable.

If I did need to connect an ipod up to a stereo I would probably get one of these QED cables.

http://www.hificables.co.uk/11550/Qed-Performance-Audio-J2P.html
http://www.hificables.co.uk/11636/Qed-Reference-Audio-J2P.html

In this case, the A/V cable makes it sound like crap, thats why the ipod docks sound so great…

No, the ‘cable’ is just a piece of wire. Hardly significant. As I said in my earlier post, it’s the fact that the amplifier of the CD player or iPod dock or other grid powered box has more power available to do its job. A naked iPod would be hard pressed to put out 300 milivolts of audio. ‘Line level’ audio is nominally 700 to 1000 milivolts. You do the math…

@olyteddy
Again… so you’re saying that the higher the volt level, the higher the audio quality?

It is less an issue of audio reproduction quality than it is one of
insufficient audio LEVEL on playback.

iPods aren’t only designed to be smaller but have been designed with serious consideration to power consumption.

even relatively small increases in volume level take double the power consumption to accomplish.
Presuming efficient amplifier design a 50% increase in volume
takes slightly more than twice the power consumed at the previous level.

iPods work fine with very efficient earbud headsets and when directly connected to “docking” stations but if you are connecting to a conventional audio system with “cables” the loss in the cables and the fact that the audio system at the end of the cables isn’t SPECIFICALLY designed for ipod input it’s not gonna sound good.

I’n not saying that you need some sort of "super cable"
I’m saying that ALL cables will create loss and an iPod has precious little in the way of reserves to make it up.

I’m saying that losing 30% of “not enough” will be noticed more than 10% of “way too much”:slight_smile:

You ipod MAY sound better if externally powered when you are playing back to an external audio system, but it may not.

Please rememer iPods are by definition designed for "portability"
and thus certain (major) compromises had to be made in their creation.
There are other means of playing back audio when you don’t need to “take it with you”

“compactness” and “battery life” considerations and the required compromises… do I really need to spell it out?

THE problem is an inherent one with all small devices that must run for as long as possible on a TINY Lithium Ion battery.

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[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2206189]It is less an issue of audio reproduction quality than it is one of insufficient audio LEVEL on playback.
[/QUOTE]
Exactly, but what you’re saying is different from saying that…
“the … makers compromised audio quality to keep their gadgets small.”

Found this

Monster Cables are definitely the best. Why? Because the higher quality cables have better materials which allow for better conductivity which in turn provides a higher bandwidth & Frequency Response = higher highs and (more noticeable in cables) lower lows. However, most won’t notice a difference unless they were to switch from the cheapest possible cables to the highest quality monster cables and did a back to back A/B test.

When using a Subwoofer (not applicable to iPod) the cabling makes the most noticeable difference in sound quality.

Moral of the story: you always want the best cables you can get BUT at the same time, if your signal sounds like complete crap, it is not generally due to the cables unless they are defective. If the headphone jack is used, make sure the iPod’s volume is between 85 & 95%. Set too low will give you a undesirable signal to noise ratio and set too high you might get a distorted signal. Also, for best sound out of iPod set the EQ to flat/off and use the bass or treble knobs on your amplifier instead.

If your iPod/files sound great through headphones, they should be able to sound great through your stereo, provided everything is set up correctly and that your stereo & speakers are of reasonable quality.

http://www.monstercable.com/productdisplay.asp?pin=4932

Monster cables are great… for the stores that sell them
I have seem several tests done by Consumer Reports, CNET, and others and the conclusion has been that you can get the same signal quality with way cheaper wires/cables.

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2206189]It is less an issue of audio reproduction quality than it is one of
insufficient audio LEVEL on playback.

iPods aren’t only designed to be smaller but have been designed with serious consideration to power consumption.

even relatively small increases in volume level take double the power consumption to accomplish.
Presuming efficient amplifier design a 50% increase in volume
takes slightly more than twice the power consumed at the previous level.

iPods work fine with very efficient earbud headsets and when directly connected to “docking” stations but if you are connecting to a conventional audio system with “cables” the loss in the cables and the fact that the audio system at the end of the cables isn’t SPECIFICALLY designed for ipod input it’s not gonna sound good.

I’n not saying that you need some sort of "super cable"
I’m saying that ALL cables will create loss and an iPod has precious little in the way of reserves to make it up.

I’m saying that losing 30% of “not enough” will be noticed more than 10% of “way too much”:slight_smile:

You ipod MAY sound better if externally powered when you are playing back to an external audio system, but it may not.

Please rememer iPods are by definition designed for "portability"
and thus certain (major) compromises had to be made in their creation.
There are other means of playing back audio when you don’t need to “take it with you”

“compactness” and “battery life” considerations and the required compromises… do I really need to spell it out?

THE problem is an inherent one with all small devices that must run for as long as possible on a TINY Lithium Ion battery.

AD[/QUOTE]

Great Explanation, thanks for all the help, guys!

So I now just need to look for the biggest a baddest ipod docking system available!

O and one more question, say I ran an A/V cable straight out of my computer to speakers?

It should sound identical to source beacuse the power supply is 120v? no?

You need to go back and re-read ADs so-called (in your words)
“Great Explanation”…
And FYI, the power supply takes standard 110/120 volt[B] AC[/B] power and converts it into 12, 5, and sometimes 3.3 volt [B]DC[/B] power.
As far as " It should sound identical to source", you need to [B]listen[/B] to it [B]yourself[/B] cus we can’t hear with [B]your[/B] ears…Only [B]you[/B] can…

Cheers, T

Had to bring this one to life to make a comment - Ipods aren’t meant for quality, theyre meant for portability. That said, they are rated at a very high distortion level at their max output of ± 1 volt. Unless youre comparing a portable cd player to an ipod using only headphones, youre really comparing apples to oranges…and small apples to large oranges at that.

The point is, to get the same volume out of your ipod as a stand alone home theater CD player (or even a portable one) you have to either set the volume to half and crank the gains on your amplifier up (which introduces noise and the the speaker killing ‘clipping’), or crank the volume on the ipod up which will result in a highly distorted sound from the source (the ipod). As you increase the volume from there, the distortion becomes exponential.

So use your ipod for a jog, but if you want to complain about sound quality or even consider judging a codec format (FLAC, MP3 @ 320 kbps), dont even think about using an IPOD.

An iPod fed into a car stereo with a back of chassis iPod cable
will usually sound fairly good.
Fed to the head unit through a 3.5mm Jack? not a chance…

where the problem with an iPod normally lies is that it’s audio output level is very low, so to get the same volume you must amplify it more.

Amplification amplifies the noise and distortion as well as the signal.

Playing an MP3-CDR in the same car stereo is going to sound a whole bunch better because the signal is a digital signal converted inside the head unit, it’s going to sound as good as the mp3 can sound and that is a function of the bitrate and the specific algorythm used.

iPods belong in your pocket.

I personally don’t own one… though I do play mp3’s in my vehicle…

my mp3’s are all burned to CD-R’s and played back from a disc changer (a Sony CDX-757MX) audio level isn’t an issue.

Even at 320kBit/Sec a CD-R filled with mp3’s will hold the equivelent of 4-1/2 full (80min) audio CD’s or a tiny bit less than 6hours.
(I know I made previous posts where I screwed up the math)

I have three full discs at the “Back” of the disc magazine that are 160kBit/sec, mainly because with 70’s vintage recordings you can’t tell the difference… those discs have an average run time of ~11hours.

so my “normal” disc load, in a single 10-disc magazine runs ~70hours what do I
need an iPod for?

If I “need” to hear something different I have a disc wallet in the console and
a spare disc magazine next to the changer it takes 10seconds to change the
magazine.

If I want to completely switch from Rock to classical it takes me ten seconds…

This is my not my first Sony changer so over the years I have accumulated
seven magazines…

My next head unit will have a backplane USB cable

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