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iPod mini sound distortion issue

Author's pic

By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Friday, April 9, 2004
News Categories: iPod mini

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 Apples 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

101

Just sent my silver iPod mini in because the drive died on it.  One week later, I received a brand new one w/ the static problem.  Mine is fixed temporarily by applying pressure to the wheel for a few seconds but that gets real annoying and I’m sure its only a matter of time before that won’t work.  So I guess I’m sending the new one back too.  Hopefully, third times a charm.

Posted by Michael on May 31, 2004 at 12:26 PM (PDT)

102

Has anyone got any news on AppleImport.co.uk?  am still awaiting delivery and now am getting delivery failure notifications from email and there is just a recorded message on the phone saying the next stock will be in 11th May.  Has anyone actually received anything from them?

Posted by Samantha on June 1, 2004 at 3:02 AM (PDT)

103

Hi,
I’m from holland and i’m about to buy an ipod mini.
My question is: Does this problem still occure today?
greetz

Posted by Toon on June 22, 2004 at 2:30 AM (PDT)

104

ok guys i’ve pretty much read all of ur comments on this message board. i have just ordered a ipod mini from the apple site. and after reading about all of the problems, gotta just say u guys r really making me feel down. so basically i’m screwed rite? i have just bought a freakin $250 product that’ll just break in a few months rite?

so should i cancel the order or not?

Posted by chainer on July 12, 2004 at 8:31 AM (PDT)

105

Well I’ve been saving up for one of these NEW iPOD MINIs but after hearing about this major flaw…... Well it looks like I’m going to have to wait for the 2nd generation of the minis to come out….... Asuming that Apple continues their efforts to improve their product…... And I think that they also will be needing to make them have thicker cases, that or use a diffrent metal to make them (like titanium alloy now that would be a truly rugged ipod!) because of those pictures of that bent/bending ipod mini exterior/case that I remember seeing somewhere…...

Posted by Dark Kokiri on July 18, 2004 at 11:57 PM (PDT)

106

Hey does anybody know if this problem is happening with the 2nd generation ipods? because I have 1 (30gig) and it started getting all staticy like 2 months ago and is just getting worse, and worse… and them jackasses at london drugs WILL NOT send it into apple for me (JACKASSES!) they go and tell me its my songs so i luckily have a mp3 player that also plays aac (go figure) so i went and brought that in after loading the same song (exact same file) and made the guy at london drugs listen to it and still he says there’s nothing wrong with it!
I’m going to e-mail apple ad see what they say….. So this is the one problem that they’ve been having from the beginning bout time they fixed it don’t you think??

Posted by Dark Kokiri on July 19, 2004 at 12:23 AM (PDT)

107

has anyone here tried to buy a mini rom appleimports.co.uk? I used them and i still havent got it, that was about 7 weeks ago, they sent me an email saying it was delayed and would be sent ‘soon’ but nothing else has happened so far.. anyone know if its a scam website or is it a genuine excuse?


I ordered one from them in March, now its August and nothing has come, money gone and no refund they dont even get emails because they are returned as failed, dont answer calls and their company has a mailbox only address. I suggest if you used a credit card to try and get your CC company to cancel it, i used debit card and am not so lucky, ive taken this up with trading standards

Posted by Chelle on August 17, 2004 at 11:40 PM (PDT)

108

well i actaully found out today that i’m not alone. It started about a month ago when i hooked up my mini to my car stereo system. As time went on i was experiencing small irregular static and my mini also picked up cab drivers having a convo with thier dispatcher! Well anyway i knew something was going to happen this mini seemed to be too delicate and a week ago i let my girlfriend borrow my ipod so she can take to CANCUN and when she came back boy did she have a story to tell. Ultimately the ipod made the same distrortion sounds while she was on the plane so whenever she touched the pad it was total static. Now i’m stuck this a mint mini and no itunes APPLE i hope you reading i want a refund!@&*#(

Posted by pissed off on August 22, 2004 at 11:43 PM (PDT)

109

apple is experiencing problems with the hard drive on the mini - u are not alone….
stay tuned

Posted by turbo on August 23, 2004 at 6:42 AM (PDT)

110

Ok so this might be unrelated to the static problem but its certianly a problem.

After ordering my Silver Mini iPod (UK) it just dies. I mean dies after 3 days. No screen is active. My PC don’t regonise anything when I connect it. The Batteries are charged….. I have tried everything.

But the really werid thing is that when I placed my ear to the device I could hear the Whine of the battery. This of course stopped after 8 hours.

3 days and mine broke…. £179 it cost me and I’m so pissed off.

Posted by Mungabba on September 5, 2004 at 9:54 AM (PDT)

111

Ok so this might be unrelated to the static problem but its certianly a problem.

After ordering my Silver Mini iPod (UK) it just dies. I mean dies after 3 days. No screen is active. My PC don’t regonise anything when I connect it. The Batteries are charged….. I have tried everything.

But the really werid thing is that when I placed my ear to the device I could hear the Whine of the battery. This of course stopped after 8 hours.

3 days and mine broke…. £179 it cost me and I’m so mad off.

Posted by Mungabba on September 5, 2004 at 9:56 AM (PDT)

112

i need help ipod showing folder sighn with xclamation mark

Posted by christoff on September 11, 2004 at 5:38 AM (PDT)

113

THERES A NEW PROBLEM WITH THE IPOD MINI!!!! The menu button on apparently 25% of iPod minis stops responding! whats apple gunna do about all these defects considering the dame thing costs so much??!!

Posted by NEW IPOD MINI PROBLEM!!!! on September 14, 2004 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

114

Mine Started having audio distortion a couple of nights ago.  Should I send it in or take it to the local apple shoppe?  3-5 weeks is kind of a long time…

Posted by PC Convert on October 20, 2004 at 6:54 AM (PDT)

115

does anyone’s ipod rattle when you shake it i have a 20gb 4g click wheel

Posted by Alex James on October 21, 2004 at 7:44 AM (PDT)

116

my mini is awful. and won’t charge no matter what after having it for 4 months. and i had one before that didn’t work and took it back and got it replaced, but now i can’t do anything about it until a recall occurs.

Posted by fed up! on July 24, 2005 at 7:00 AM (PDT)

117

I just started experiencing the static issue with my Mini after 15 months of use. Apple offered no repair despite many people experiencing the same issue.   

I have put together a mini site to gather people together on this issue and make Apple do the right thing.  Visit to learn more about what you can do and to register your ipod problem here.  ~john

IPODSTATIC
http://www.philoi.com/ipodstatic.aspx

Posted by John Raezer on August 1, 2005 at 1:10 AM (PDT)

118

I have a mini ipod 6g and it has locked up on me!I dont have it a year!Can u suggest anything that i can do???
Cheers
Wilson

Posted by Wilson Bryan on January 27, 2006 at 4:20 AM (PDT)

119

This is going to sound stupid, but I was just getting a bunch of distortion and was googling, found this article and didn’t feel like reseting the iPod and reloading music…did that already and didn’t want to.

So I just did the technicians rule #1 and, holding it up-right, lightly tapped it on my desk and voila, distortion is gone (for now).

Posted by JD on January 2, 2007 at 7:39 AM (PDT)

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