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Simpl A1 headphone amplifier for iPod introduced

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, December 2, 2004
News Categories: iPod Accessories

pic Simpl Acoustics today introduced the Simpl A1 headphone amplifier for iPod. The audio component is designed to deliver the best possible sound from the popular player. “Music lovers with high-end headphones can now enjoy audiophile-level performance from iPod. Until now, those who wished to use high-end headphones with the iPod were required to use expensive, bulky amplifiers that were not designed with the iPod in mind. The Simpl A1 was engineered from the ground up to enhance the sound from the iPod and provide the power needed by high-end, power-hungry headphones. Simpl A1 uses podGrip technology along with smart industrial design to firmly attach itself to the iPod.” The Simpl A1 is available from MacMall and J&R for $149.99.

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Comments

21

Personally I think its a BAD design, most people use a case with their iPod, now, I wont carry my ipod without a case, (btw I have a nice Vaja case which cost me $90 and I plasn to use it to protect it from scratches)
Headroom’s Airhead amplifier although a bit more expensive, has better features and can be carried separately.

Posted by PowermacG4 on December 2, 2004 at 9:59 PM (PDT)

22

I am going to get the Porta Corda MkII which is better and cheaper for 120 instead of the standard price of 225 at
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=95367

Posted by Martinj on December 3, 2004 at 5:37 AM (PDT)

23

Those commenting on the “sub-par” sound qulaity of the iPod should really inform themselves first.  The experts call the sound quality “better than many CD players.”

See:

http://www.stereophile.com/digitalsourcereviews/934/index.html

Posted by chrjohns on December 3, 2004 at 8:17 AM (PDT)

24

IPods sound great.  It’s peoples ears that have the problems.  Basically, I bought an iPod and am very happy with it…just the way it is. 

Maybe this is because I used to listen to music on 8 Tracks and am very grateful to be alive in this era? 

Posted by Capnquirky in Shell Pile New Jersey on December 3, 2004 at 8:41 AM (PDT)

25

PS   To Blurb. 

Relax.

And learn how to spell. 

Then maybe we’d respect your condescending opinion. 

Maybe not.

Posted by Capnquirky in Shell Pile New Jersey on December 3, 2004 at 8:44 AM (PDT)

26

You guys dont get it do you? Some headphones need to be driven to come to their full potential, same goes for all other portable players and to certain stand alone players for a cleaner sound.

Posted by Martinj on December 3, 2004 at 8:59 AM (PDT)

27

Greetings To All,

First, I wanted to thank everyone here for the stimulating discussion of the Simpl A1.  Second I wanted to address some of the above questions and concerns: 
First, we feel our pricing for the A1 is extremely fair.  When compared to other commercial headphone amplifiers, ours is one of the least expensive, especially considering rechargability, and a really smart way to attach the amp to the iPod.  Second, the Simpl A1 was designed for both portable and home use.  Only one cable is required to connect the amp to the iPod.  We include a very short (80 mm), white stereo mini-to-mini cable.  The only other cable that is used is a USB cable for charging.
Finally, podGrip is nothing like Belkin’s suction cup mounting system.  We thought long and hard to develop a mounting system that allowed the device to be flush against the back of the iPod with nothing obtrusive added to the front of the iPod.  podGrip is comprised of four bifurcated wings with special 3M pads that have an extremely high coefficient of friction on stainless steel, which is what the back of the iPod is made of.  The podGrip “wings” expand when an iPod is inserted and “hug” or “clamp” the sides of the iPod.  We consider this a breakthrough in iPod accessory mounting because it works with all full size iPods regardless of the thickness, since all full size iPods are the same width.  These soft pads will not mar or mark the iPod.
Thanks again for all the great feedback!

Posted by simpl in Austin, TX on December 3, 2004 at 9:30 AM (PDT)

28

make your own out of an alotiods box. much more affordable and fun too

Posted by todd2fst4u in San Jose, CA USA on December 3, 2004 at 3:47 PM (PDT)

29

Folks,

this product is pretty cool, as a product designer I’m not thrilled with its proportion or material choices, but it has a place in the market.  And there are some innovations worth noting… I’ll wait for Jeremy to review it before I lay down the cash though… 

peace

Posted by apple juice in USA on December 5, 2004 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

30

Here is a site of audio nerds who love ipod’s sound

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ymisc&1065490978;&openflup;&17;&4#17

This is a great site for audio gadget info by true audio lovers.

Don’t listen to irratonal apple haters (or irrational apple lovers). Judge for yourself.

The majority of audio snobs when asked usually approve of ipod sound quality. They aren’t too keen on the feature set for the price and decry the ear buds.

Posted by ronito in chicago on December 6, 2004 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

31

AudioGon is a bit too in love with explicit “audiophile” gear, mainly because it runs a lot of ads from the expensive kit makers.

You want to look for some more objectivity for all gear, expensive and cheap, try HydrogenAudio.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showforum=21

Posted by Demosthenes on December 6, 2004 at 3:04 PM (PDT)

32

Thanks to everybody here for the entertaining and thought provoking comments. The only thing I would likely add is my own opinion that; audio in general is about as subjective as a human sense there is, so if someone really likes the way something sounds, be a nice person and respect that. That’s what I try to do anyway. There’s no end in sight to our growing understanding of sound scientifically but even if we somehow did figure out some kind of “flawless audio reproduction machine” it would still sound different than what someone already enjoyed. If they tend to enjoy examining audio technically then maybe they would prefer the “flawless audio reproduction” but perhaps the change in the sound would even bother them. To each his own.

Posted by Frank Tinsley on December 8, 2004 at 10:52 AM (PDT)

33

Mr. Jonathon Kennemer,

This sounds like a product designed for me. I do not compress my audio on the iPOD, and I use a pair of Sennheiser HD590, rated at 120 ohms. You’ve stated the there was no audible difference between the line-out and headphone outputs. Can you post a link to graphs that demonstrate this. I am also interested in seeing the rolloff graphs with the Simpl A1.

Posted by gotchaa on December 12, 2004 at 5:34 PM (PDT)

34

I am not really an audiophile but have a pair of ER-6i’s and am kind of hard of hearing. When my girlfreind listens to my iPod at the same volume as me she usually screams something like “Are you frigging deaf?? Turn it down!!” Keeping this in mind I think I will make the investment and hope that it is adequate.

Posted by JeffNNJ on December 18, 2004 at 4:41 PM (PDT)

35

This is probably a cmoy in a different casing.  The high price is more likely due to the fancy, custom ipod case (with S engraving and all). 

Here’s an alternate cmoy at a cheaper price (looks nice too):

http://www.shellbrooklab.com/mini.htm

or if you like it in a mint can:

http://www.evilfire.com/

Posted by herry on December 26, 2004 at 10:14 AM (PDT)

36

Why does this amp use the amplified headphone out rather than the line-out? I’ve compared the two, and the line-out is significantly better: The headphone out, when amplified externally, has always been much more prone to distortion.

Posted by elvisbot on January 8, 2005 at 10:56 PM (PDT)

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