Audio chip maker Wolfson dropped from 2008 iPods

Wolfson Microelectronics, provider of audio chips for the majority of iPods dating back to the original 2001 model, has been passed over as a supplier for third-quarter 2008 editions of the iPod nano and iPod touch, according to Reuters. Previously omitted from the iPod classic, which has generally been praised for an impressively low noise floor, as well as the first-generation iPod shuffle, which Apple previously acknowledged as the family’s best bass performer, Wolfson’s audio chips have nonetheless remained key components in other iPod models, including full-sized iPods, iPod minis, and iPod nanos, as well as the iPhone.

These Wolfson-powered models have earned respect for their neutral presentation of audio, as well as criticism for weaknesses in bass extension and noise levels. Apple is believed to have used a relabeled Cirrus Logic audio chip for the iPod classic, and a SigmaTel part for the first-generation iPod shuffle, with both Cirrus and long-time Apple supplier Samsung vying for roles in future iPod audio hardware.