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Subject: Re: iPod dock line out?

Re: iPod dock line out?

From: Andrew Hart <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 18:22:06 -0400

Joseph Jones wrote:

> The question I have is, is the line out on the iPod actually line
> level, or does it just give out the same signal as the headphone port?
> Obviously, for my particular problem, the latter would be more useful.

From what I understand, it is line level. I haven't listened to an
Ipod, so do not speak from
experience, but according to many reports, the line out offers
substantially higher quality sound than the headphone out. While some
Ipod models sport pretty reasonable dac chips, apparently the amp and
circuitry between the DAC output and the headphone jack are pretty
shabby. To make best use of the line out, you would need an external
headphone amplifier. Portable headphone amps can be picked up for well
under $100, but that's not cheap to many and then there is all the
extra cabling and batteries to
worry about and, the whole package becomes less difficult to cart
around. If you're not
an audiophile, it would probably be cheaper and more convenient to
simply have the headphone jack repaired. On the other handn, you might
be able to get away with using a volume attenuator (basically
a caple with a maile mini connector on one end, and female mini
connector on the other and a variable resistor in the middle). However,
line level outputs are designed to hook up to fairly high impedance
loads and I am not savvy enough about electricity to know if this could
have a serious effect (or even damage) your headphones. Standard Ipod
buds and iems are definitely not high impedance devices. Oh hang on, I
seem to remember reading somewhere that the Ipod line-out puts out a
little less than the standard line level voltage. After all, the little
beasties are running off batteries, so don't have limitless supplies of
energy to be wasting. So, it could be worth trying an attenuator.
Anyone else got any idea about this?

Received on 2007-06-22

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