iPod classic audio quality

Q: Has any improvement been made to the audio in the iPod classic? I saw one review that the audio is improved in the iPod classic (cirrus audio chip, better frequency response) and another said the audio is not as “crisp” as the 5.5 models.

– Mark

A: While audio quality can be a subjective consideration, it is our general feeling that the iPod classic is generally a step up in audio quality from the earlier fifth-generation iPod.  As outlined in our own review of the iPod classic:

There’s generally good news on the iPod classic audio quality front: Apple still appears to be taking sound quality seriously in its hard disk-based iPods, and this year’s model has consequently seen further reductions in the base level of noise from last year’s fifth-generation iPods. Plugging the same high-end earphones into both old and new iPods yields a noticeable difference in audio hiss; the iPod classic sounds cleaner. It remains to be seen how the iPod touch will fare in this regard, but if the iPhone and our brief tests of iPod touch at Apple’s Special Event are any indication, the iPod classic may well be the family’s best audio player.

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