I gather that on stage today, Mr. Jobs freely flung about the word “audiophile” while pitching the new iPod Hi-Fi. Well, I’m one of those: wrote for the mags, have gear from obscure British manufacturers, turn off a fridge thirty feet away to listen. I’ll look forward to giving the Hi-Fi a listen. It seems fantastically dubious that something 43 cm wide, with a listed bass floor of 53Hz (the bottom string on a bass is 42Hz), weighing 6.6kg, and costing $349, could actually produce “audiophile” sound. But you know, it’s not impossible; if they design for truth and accuracy as opposed to fake-bass thump and scary volume, it could turn out to be pretty useful. In which case, it’d be a complete waste to play your average iTunes-store-sourced lo-rez lossy-compressed MP3 through it. But you can get audiophile sound out of your iPod, and for quite a bit less than $349. Go out and buy one of the good in-ear headphones from Etymotics or one of their competitors (I use the Shure 3C) and, most important of all, get your music off CDs and use lossless compression. The D/A in an iPod is really not bad at all; if you send all of the music through it and play it through first-class transducers, you’ll be happy. (By the way, is it just me or is this thing butt-ugly?)

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
February 28, 2006
· Technology (90 fragments)
· · Audio (22 more)

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