Q: I am planning on purchasing a fifth generation iPod, but I have heard from friends that the iPod can only use the headphones that come with the iPod’s package. Is this true? Surely it can’t be.
A: There are indeed certain proprietary aspects of the iPod and the hardware it’s compatible with, but headphones are absolutely not an example of this: Apple uses an industry-standard 1/8” “Miniplug” audio jack for its headphone audio out port. This means that virtually any headset intended for portable use will easily work with the iPod. Even headsets intended for use with a full-size home amplifier (i.e. those with a 1/4” plug) can easily be used with an iPod using a simple, inexpensive adapter.
The bottom line is: don’t worry – virtually any pair of headphones will work.