iPod mini sound distortion issue | iLounge News

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iPod mini sound distortion issue

Many forum members have been reporting that their iPod mini is creating audio distortion when used. One such member claims to have discovered a major ‘design flaw’ in the iPod mini, which results in sound distortion when placing pressure anywhere on its surface or headphone port. The source of the noise may be a weak connection between the headphone port and the main circuit board.

“My iPod mini after two weeks of gentle use started to make horrible static noises; sometimes sound will disappear completely. Then the sound will return to normal, but any pressure as small as thumb pressure anywhere on iPod mini will make sounds to come back. Resetting iPod did not help. Guided by the detailed ‘iPod mini Autopsy’ posted here on iPodLounge, I disassembled by iPod rather easily. To check the reason of these noises, I started to play the iPod and disconnected the wheel, then the hard drive, but iPod was still playing (out of 25 min flash memory) and still making noises. Eventually, I narrowed the problem to a small little part that contains headphone and remote jack and metallic part in the shape of the white plastic top.”

“This small part attaches to main iPod board ONLY via small black connector that sits on on the main board. WHAT AN OVERSIGHT on Apple’s ENGINEER"S PART!!!
Their mistake is OBVIOUS. The small part with the headphone jack attaches via screews to the aluminium case, but does NOT screw to the MAIN board. Because of this any pressure on iPod case, dock connector, or simply plugging in and out headphones, creates TENSION between the small part and the MAIN board.

Since only the black connector sits between these two parts, it quickly wears out.
What is even worse is that the black connector is attached to the main board via ten very fragile copper pins that stick out of the main board (sorry for not using proper electronics terminology). With regular use, contacts get loose and slightest pressure on iPod creates nasty squeaky static type noises killing all the joy iPod brings.

I am sure this problem will surge in time. Future iPod minis need to have the part with headphone jack screwed to the main board (not just to the case like it is on current MINIs) OR to use FLEXIBLE cable. To rely on ten tiny fragile pins is just plain irresponsible.

If you have the same problem, I do NOT advise you to take apart iPod. The copper needles that stick out of the main board are very very brittle and once broken will require replacing the entire board.

Irakli Loladze”

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Comments

1

wow.. from the looks of that forum thread, there’s a lot of people experiencing this problem.

looks like this is the ipod mini’s dirty secret

Posted by eric on April 9, 2004 at 9:34 AM (PDT)

2

Whaaaaa… my dreams are shattered. See, I told you it was pointless buying a case for the thing - it’ll be broken within 6 weeks anyway.

Posted by broken on April 9, 2004 at 10:14 AM (PDT)

3

Ouch, for both the consumer and Apple…

Wonder when apple will start recaling them…

Posted by Dragon88 on April 9, 2004 at 11:01 AM (PDT)

4

This sort of shoddy solder joint engineering is the kind of thing Archos was famous for back in the day. After a couple of years of terrible quality problems they finally got it right. Of course, now their players cost more. Looks like Apple is cutting corners to lower costs - I hope this is not the shape of things to come…

Posted by Bad Design on April 9, 2004 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

5

Yeah I’ve had 2 minis now through this problem. Best to basically wreck your first few and get them replaced under warranty.

Posted by Apple Suck on April 9, 2004 at 12:51 PM (PDT)

6

I wouldn’t say Apple’s cutting corners. It’s not like that would save them much money anyway. These are just the problems they need to be aware of when launching a new product. Remember, they have no examples to follow. Just be sure to let them know so they can fix it.

Posted by Wolf on April 9, 2004 at 2:33 PM (PDT)

7

To-Do List: iPod mini… *scratches out*

Posted by R.James on April 9, 2004 at 7:24 PM (PDT)

8

I’ve had my iPod mini for over a month now and it works perfectly. I have never had a problem with bad sound quality or noises… So I’m really surprised to read this.

I know my mini is fairly new and it could happen in a few months, but so far, mine works flawlessly. (I’ve even dropped it a couple of times already and still works fine.) wink

To all having this sort of problem: call Apple, return them, and get a new one.
I mean, this is the first time they make this product and we *are* early adopters… this is the main risk of being one.

Posted by SsnMx on April 9, 2004 at 7:37 PM (PDT)

9

Haha!  Take that iPod Mini!

Posted by Hmm on April 9, 2004 at 7:43 PM (PDT)

10

This is truly disappointing.  I read this same problem in a number of forums.  I just hope that someone notified APPLE about this so that this can be fixed in later revisions of the Ipod.  I’m surprised this never came up in the beta-testing of the MINI _BEFORE_ they launched it. 

I guess that the delay in the international launch is a blessing in disguise because now i’ll just wait for the bugs to be ironed out…

Posted by Harry on April 9, 2004 at 9:35 PM (PDT)

11

People asked here to post pictures of the problematic connection. However, when I disassembled my iPod to figure out what was wrong, I did not have a camera handy.

I sent my iPod back to Apple and informed Apple that I took it apart.  They replaced it with the new one.
I am taking the new one apart to make pictures. Call it silly if you want, but I will risk one iPod to help saving the rest wink.
So check tomorrow for a detailed pics and the description of what I think is wrong with the current design.

Irakli Loladze
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by irakli on April 9, 2004 at 10:54 PM (PDT)

12

Yeah go for it take it apart coooooool!!!!! Seriously though, it’s everyone’s DUTY for the greater good to immediately shove your defective ipod mini up apples anus to bring such problems to the fore. It won’t take that long before, like has been mentioned, they’ll have to do a mass recall, but seeing as they’re struggling to meet worldwide demand as it is a recall at the moment is going to crush their effort forever hahahahaaa…. Apple you suck, I’m throwing my mini out the window right now!

Posted by You're my hero!! on April 10, 2004 at 12:11 AM (PDT)

13

I have experience with similar issues of this nature - sound distortion - with various electronic components, including just about every product Apple makes, and I would place my money the fact that it is a grounding issue, where the grounding wire becomes displodged and is no longer grounded - this can cause all sorts of issues reated to power, sound distortion and the like.

Just a thought.

Posted by billy Bob on April 10, 2004 at 4:49 AM (PDT)

14

Genius, Billy Bob.

Posted by Well, duh, yeah on April 10, 2004 at 10:24 AM (PDT)

15

Some of you asked for pictures, so I took apart my new mini. Here is the story with picks:

http://www.math.unl.edu/~iloladze/iPod.htm

If at least some of readers find it useful or get a laugh out of it, I will consider my job well done.
Cheers,
Irakli

Posted by irakli on April 10, 2004 at 3:53 PM (PDT)

16

Nice pictures…

Thanks, Irakli

Posted by SsnMx on April 10, 2004 at 5:30 PM (PDT)

17

Seriously, it’s one thing to go out and post Ipod Mini pics to help others understand the problems of the device… but it’s another thing to go fornicate a machine… I mean, that page is sick… I feel violated reading it.  It should burn in hell.

Posted by Sick Bastard on April 10, 2004 at 6:00 PM (PDT)

18

I’ve had my mini for months, no problems.

Out of hundreds of thousands of minis in use, I think it’s pretty obvious that some of them will have problems.  It’s clearly a smaaaaalllll minority.

Ah, the internet—- nothing else makes a handful of geeks feel so central to the scheme of the universe.

Posted by Nicky G on April 10, 2004 at 8:32 PM (PDT)

19

im sure a simple modification could solve this problem, just dab a little solder on the connections and hope that the pressure between the connections stays. Glad i chose a 3g instead. take that suckas wink

Posted by jorje on April 11, 2004 at 1:06 AM (PDT)

20

Nicky G you’re so small minded ... this is a DESIGN FAULT, not just some random occurrence. If you put your mini under the minimum of mechanical strain it will eventually fail, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life you will be kicking yourself for acting like such a prat and suggesting it’s a “luck of the draw” thing.

No, a design fault is an inherent problem in ALL minis.

Posted by Stupid Fool on April 11, 2004 at 3:27 AM (PDT)

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