Update: iPod 4G Audio Problems | iLounge News


Update: iPod 4G Audio Problems

Updating our earlier news story regarding headphone port static and hard drive noise problems in Apple’s new fourth-generation iPods, iLounge has remained in contact with Apple and our readers over the past several days in an attempt to help the company determine the nature and extent of the problems.

iLounge’s editors returned both of their affected 40GB iPods at Apple’s request for testing, and replaced them with two new 40GB iPods yesterday. One of the new iPods exhibits no problems. The other exhibits the exact same defect as before. This brings our internal total of tested iPods to five, two (one 20GB unit, one 40GB unit) without the static issues, and three (all 40GB units) with them.

Of the 158 responses we collected from our initial story on the defect, 85 readers posted the results of their own 4G iPod testing, and of that group, 54 readers (63.5%) reported no problems, while 31 readers (36.5%) reported the same problems we had found. While we emphasize that the results of our inquiry are comprised of strictly voluntary submissions from readers, and should not be taken as scientific or conclusive, they do suggest that the problem may be more widespread than we had originally hoped. For a full discussion of testing procedures, please click on the “More info” link below.

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I ordered it on Apple.com. The unit was shipped from China. It has the problem. BTW, mine is 20gig one

Posted by prague's watermelon on July 30, 2004 at 11:12 PM (CDT)


I bought a G4 40GB from AppleCenter, Rotterdamn, The Netherlands and I’m experiencing this audio problem when I’m using mine Sony MDR-V700 headphones.

Posted by doho on July 31, 2004 at 5:17 AM (CDT)


Well, i bought the 3g 40gb model on a thurs.. Monday they announced the $g model.  I went back on a weds (less than one week) and swapped for the 4G 40GB model. 
This is my first Ipod so i’m still learning about it.  However i’ve not had any static or excessive HD noise.  I use it with the included headphones only. 
I will now test it with aftermarket headphones as one poster suggested.

Posted by Mycroft on July 31, 2004 at 5:32 AM (CDT)


I’ve been using my 20gb for two weeks with no problem. I have used it in the gym with Sony EX71SL’s, around the house with Sennheiser PX-100s, and I’ve also used the included earbuds, Sony Psyc streetstyles, and a cheapass pair of sports headphones. No problems at all…..I love my iPod!

Posted by willum on July 31, 2004 at 10:08 AM (CDT)


oh well my 3g is sold. i’m waiting for more comments n a response from apple.

yea, maybe coming users shld state if they’re using apple’s buds or 3rd party phones.

maybe it’s tt 1mm tt apple shaved tt caused the static because some parts are just touching each other w/o insulation.

i’m still waiting for my 4g 20Gb…

Posted by jm on July 31, 2004 at 10:42 AM (CDT)


Is anyone doing anything about this problem? DO we just have to live with it? I just bought my ipod G4 20g last week and I have the same problem. There is constant static when music is playing at low volumes and there is a loud noise when the hard drive is spooling and loading songs. Is it suppose to do that?

I went to the apple store 3 times and they did nothing to help. They couldn’t even hear the noise because the store was too loud. Therefore they could not diagnose the problem The only thing they gave me was a web site to send in my ipod and hopefully recieve a new one.

The site is depot.info.apple.com/ipod.

I hope this site helps all of you that are having this problem.

Posted by Benjamin Yee on July 31, 2004 at 1:26 PM (CDT)


I think that I have the same problem.  At the beginning of some songs there is the noise of a hard drive spinning and some high pitched squeal.  It is VERY faint though.  Almost unnoticable.  If this is what you guys are all talking about, then I don’t know what the big problem is.  I can live with it.  I had to try to listen for it just to hear it.  I’m still satisfied with my purchase of the 4G 40gb.

Posted by MrNiggz42004 on July 31, 2004 at 3:23 PM (CDT)


bought my 4g 20gig from the SoHo Apple Store today. Seems fine so far. Haven’t tried other headphones though. I was scared, but bought it anyways, and its really cool. Love it.

Posted by CB on July 31, 2004 at 5:20 PM (CDT)


Got my 20 Gig 2 days ago. Sounds Great! No problems!

Posted by kim PA on July 31, 2004 at 8:00 PM (CDT)


Got mine last week. Ordered from Apple Store in the Netherlands. My 20GB iPod also has the noise problem (faint, high pitch noise) while accessing the drive. Only noticable when in a (very) quiet room. I’ll consinder this a _very minor_ issue and I certainly can live with it. Especially since I’ll intend to use it while traveling (not very quiet environments :))

Posted by Eon on August 1, 2004 at 3:20 AM (CDT)


guys, if there is a faint high pitched noise coming from the ipod unit itself when it loads its buffer, that is perfectly normal and as expected.

however, if you are getting an additional static/squealing noises coming through your headphones whenever the ipod loads it’s buffer, then you are having the problem that is being reported here. depending on how low the volume is set, and how sensitive your ears are, you may just be hearing the ipod’s normal hd noise which is not coming through your headphones.

Posted by c on August 1, 2004 at 8:16 AM (CDT)


To all those guys who have either an unwanted noise issue or a scratched/dented case, just contact Apple and get a replacement (even those of you who have engravings). Don’t wait until the problem (possibly) gets worse, sort it out TODAY. Yes, it sucks that you’ll have to go a week without your new toy but it’s better that you get any issues sorted out as near to your purchase date as possible to avoid ‘someone’ saying that the cause of the sound quality/case defect was caused by misuse. Luckily, my new 20gb is perfect :)

Posted by MusicMan on August 1, 2004 at 11:02 AM (CDT)


Just recieved my 40gb, so far no problems, had a 30gb gave it to my wife, wish apple had included a carrying case

Posted by n4cer98 on August 1, 2004 at 2:26 PM (CDT)


Just an FYI type of announcement:  those of you who want to get in on a good deal on 3G iPods will do well to take a trip to your local Apple retail store if there is one in your area.  They are currently selling the 3G (40 gig) store demo units for $329.95.  These include the original packaging box and most of the units have everything on the left side of the inside of the box (carrying case, earphones, remote, firewire adaptor, docking port covers, CD, instructions, etc.) completely intact and new (i.e., sealed) - in the ones I personally saw, only the iPod, docking cable and dock on the right side of the box were “used” items.  Even the AC adaptor was new.

Posted by bjbear71 in PA on August 1, 2004 at 7:26 PM (CDT)


I plan on buying a 4g ipod, how will I know when Apple fixes the problem.  Because I doubt they will ever admit it.

Posted by Andrew on August 1, 2004 at 8:55 PM (CDT)


My 4G 20 gig iPod seems to have this problem too.  Seems to me that the annoying sounds are audible through the headphones if the headphones are plugged in too far, making contact with the iPod surface.  I tested Grado SR-80s and Koss PortaPros, and both exhibited static issues.  It can be elimintated, however, if one were to manually loosen the connection from the headphone jack.  Sometimes by even just twisting it to achieve the sweet spot that’s void of any static.

Also, I tried these headphones on an old Sony mini-disc with headphones plugged in all the way.  No static, whatsoever.

What I would recommend is to wind thread around the jack of u’r headphones.  That way, when u insert it into the jack, that layer of thread will prevent the metal from the headphones from making contact with the iPod surface.  I haven’t tried this yet, cause I do not want to void the warranty on this sweet roll of thread I just bought.  But it seems like that should do the trick.

Posted by coolguy3000 on August 2, 2004 at 1:28 AM (CDT)


Just got a 20gig from the King of Prussia Apple Store; Everything seems fine with the unit; I tested it with my mp3s and (1) The Regular Earbubs (2) Remote + Earbubs (3) The Ipod sound system that i bought; I didnt test the Apple Lossless encoding though…

My question is… Does this problem only apply to 40gigs ipods or does it affect 20gigs as well? Can iPodlounge do a poll? Thanks

Posted by Leon - PA on August 2, 2004 at 6:38 AM (CDT)



Posted by DAYWALKER on August 2, 2004 at 8:56 AM (CDT)


No problems with my 4g 20gig ordered from apple.com

Posted by dsw on August 2, 2004 at 12:21 PM (CDT)


Chalk another one up for Shanghai with static, but with mine, the static is extremely light and I don’t notice it unless I’m actually trying to listen to it.  Suppose I’ll wait for a fix then send it back to apple, perhaps also time to get iPod apple care.

Posted by Taavi Taijala on August 2, 2004 at 12:58 PM (CDT)

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