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Dilemma: Ipod out to 1/4" [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Dilemma: Ipod out to 1/4"


SubZeri
04-13-12, 02:40 PM
Strange question:

For many years, I've been searching for something exactly like this:
http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-20-Inch-Line-Cable-iPhone/dp/B005DK08X6/ref=pd_cp_e_1?tag=vglnk-c1173-20

Now, also for years, I've been told by Best Buy, Fry's, Newegg, and Monoprice (just today!) that such a cable can't physically exist. They all say the only way to do it is to buy a dock with a line out that will convert the digital signal from the ipod to a line-level analog signal for the 1/8" plug. They say that a cable like this is a physical impossibility.

I mean, if Monoprice doesn't carry a simple cable like this for the world's most popular music player, and they also say that it doesn't exist, then something is amiss...

Ideas? Thanks!

SubZeri
04-13-12, 02:57 PM
Update, apparently this diagram shows that it's indeed possible, as pins #3 and #4 provide the necessary left/right line-out. I shall order and try...

http://pinouts.ru/PortableDevices/ipod_pinout.shtml

Raul3
04-13-12, 02:58 PM
Don't understand the question, what do you want to do?

Where are you going to plug the 1/4''?
You can get a 3.5 mm cable, the one used by earphones, and put a 1/4'' adapter at the end, the other end goes to the earphones output in your iPod. But where are you going to plug it? The 1/4'' end.

Funkpie
04-13-12, 03:08 PM
I don't understand either. Are you trying to get a digital signal out of the ipod, so as to avoid the onboard DAC? I know very little about ipods, but I suppose that can be done through the little dongle cable. Not sure if you'd get a usable signal out of it though, ie, optical or spdif to feed to another digital input. Otherwise I don't understand the point of that cable. Why not just use the headphone output?

SubZeri
04-13-12, 03:23 PM
Sorry, Raul, I mistakenly typed 1/4" in the thread title when I simply meant 1/8" like a headphone plug or aux jack.

I'm just trying to go straight from the output on the bottom of the ipod right into the 1/8" aux input in my car. I want to bypass the 1/8" headphone jack and use the line-level out instead of the headphone out.

The picture on the amazon site shows a better picture of what I'm trying poorly to describe :)

Thanks for your help, Raul!
j

SubZeri
04-13-12, 03:32 PM
Otherwise I don't understand the point of that cable. Why not just use the headphone output?

Sorry, I realized I phrased an easy question in a bad way. I'm just trying to avoid using the wimpy, tinny sound level from the headphone jack, and instead use the full-strength line-level output from the docking port. This is why they make stand-alone docks for connecting ipods to home stereos instead of using the lesser 1/8" headphone jack into RCA method.

In other words, I normally have to plug the 1/8" cable into the headphone jack and the car input, then crank up the volume on the ipod which sounds like dirt. I'd rather bypass the volume on the ipod altogether and control the full-level signal with the car head unit.

Thanks guys!
j

Raul3
04-13-12, 03:39 PM
OK, yeah, from the reviews that cable seems to do what you want. :)

Note: I would expect somewhere to be in the middle, an amp, or something like that, but from the reviews that doesn't seem to be needed.

Funkpie
04-13-12, 08:21 PM
There is an amp in the middle of subzeri's chain, the car's stereo.
ipod>dongle cable>stereo (aux in)>speakers

Sdallnct
04-13-12, 08:26 PM
I can see the appeal, but using that and you cannot charge the iPod while listening thru your stereo.

Jay G.
04-13-12, 09:01 PM
I don't think it was ever a physical impossibility. I think it was more because manufacturers started building audio devices with the dock connector built in, and for everything else with a generic 1/4" or RCA input, the majority of people are fine using the headphone jack. One reason would be that with that cable you linked to, you'll be unable to charge the iPod while using the cable. Many people probably charge or power the iPod with the dock connector while listening to their iPod through something else connected via the headphone jack.


Sorry, I realized I phrased an easy question in a bad way. I'm just trying to avoid using the wimpy, tinny sound level from the headphone jack, and instead use the full-strength line-level output from the docking port. This is why they make stand-alone docks for connecting ipods to home stereos instead of using the lesser 1/8" headphone jack into RCA method.
Here's a technical explanation for why the line-out is better than the headphone jack on an iPod:
http://ouchmyego.com/rock-out-with-your-dock-out-a-simple-guide-to-better-sound-when-using-your-ipod-with-speakers/
..to understand why [iPod] line-level signals sound better, you need a VERY basic understanding of two things: ohms and volts. Ohm (Ω) is a measurement of current impedance. Since it impedes the flow of electrons, the more ohms you have in a circuit, the smaller the electron current flowing through it. A volt (V) measures the force that causes electrons to flow (audio signal.)

The iPod is putting out about 2.5 V from its headphone jack at full volume and just slightly more volts from the line-level output. Most component productsí line-levels put out 5V to 6V. Thereís nothing you can do for the iPod to remedy its low voltage without an external amplifier. But volts arenít what make the iPodís line-level sound better than its headphone jack in this case. The difference between the two here is that the line-levelís signal is noise-free and clean because it doesnít pass through the iPodís crappy amplifier. That crappy amplifier adds unsavory extras (especially at higher volumes) instead of allowing the music to come across flat and true to the recording. Thatís why itís best for music not to have to go through it.

Ohms also play a role in making the line-out sound better than the headphone jack.

A headphone jack is usually set around 25 Ω -150 Ω for headphones. But the line-level input on a full-size stereo receiver and its output component (like a component CD or DVD player) can be rated much higher, even as high as 15,000 Ω. The line-level on the iPod uses a higher ohm rating, which better matches the higher ratings on larger receivers. Because of that match, more of the signal (V) is accurately transferred between the iPod and the receiver via a line-level connection.

Note that the line-out adapter mentioned in that article, the SendStation PocketDock, has a mini-USB port on it so you can charge your ipod using a mini-USB cable while also using the line-out. The PocketDock with line-out has been available since 2005, and I've searched and found evidence of other line-out cables being around since then, so they've existed for the past 7 years.
http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/sendstation-pocketdock-line-out-usb/

Maybe you should've asked your question on this forum earlier. ;)

edstein
04-14-12, 09:53 AM
I ditched my cable and use a Belkin Bluetooth Aircast receiver. Works great.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004CLYJ2I/ref=asc_df_B004CLYJ2I1976114?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B004CLYJ2I&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18647442771081838597&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

Jay G.
04-14-12, 11:01 AM
I ditched my cable and use a Belkin Bluetooth Aircast receiver. Works great.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004CLYJ2I/ref=asc_df_B004CLYJ2I1976114?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B004CLYJ2I&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18647442771081838597&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=
Bluetooth audio relies on the A2DP profile, which typically uses the SBC lossy codec for sending audio. Introducing another layer of compression is probably fine if you're listening on headphones or in a car, but not likely acceptable to an audiophile who wants to use the line-out on an iPod.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_profile#Advanced_Audio_Distribution_Profile_.28A2DP.29

cseyer
04-14-12, 11:38 AM
There are many options for LOD (Line out docks) when you dig deeper, they will provide better sound quality as the output impedance is matched to the receiver (car amp) input.

Here is what I use in my car allows me to connect to a micro usb car charger at same time:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003L13BNI/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details

I also have one of these sendstation pocket docks its a nice portable solution:

http://www.sendstation.com/

Raul3
04-16-12, 03:10 PM
And of course, if you are serious about audio(listening to your iPod) in your car, the best option is to get a head unit that has iPod support. That way you can charge it at the same time too.

But yeah, there are a lot of reasons why people can't install a head unit in their cars.

BTW, I've an Alpine one for more than 6 years and it works just perfect with my iPod 60 GB. I think it's the first one with video support.

SubZeri
04-18-12, 07:39 AM
Update: Success!!

I ordered the cable from Amazon and it works perfectly. The build quality isn't the best I've ever seen, but it sounds great and blows the headphone jack method out of the water.

And I agree, I'd rather use USB, but in my car Bluetooth/USB was a $500 option that I decided was better spent on engine and suspension upgrades! Plus, the head unit is completely integrated and I have no desire to go aftermarket, so this was a perfect solution for me.

Thanks to all of you for your help!
j

Raul3
04-18-12, 01:04 PM
:up: