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Old 08-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #1
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Question Sound Quality Through USB & Ipod

Has anyone noticed any loss of sound quality when using an Ipod? How about with a USB thumb drive? Vs. a CD or XM
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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When you use an Ipod the Ipod does the decoding. When you use any other USB device then the vehicle's system does it so there can be a difference. Some have reported that the vehicle's system does a better job then an Ipod. It may also be possible that there could be a difference between different Ipod models but I really don't know if that is true or not as I don't know if they all use the same decoder or is the newer ones are better than the old ones. CD is always going to sound better than MP3s or even XM. The quality difference between XM and an MP3 will depend on the quality of the MP3.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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My experience is the sound of my MP3 player is far superior to either xm or fm. For what that is worth?
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:25 AM   #4
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In theory, the quality is like this...

CD > iPod/USB > Aux > XM > FM > AM

If your mp3s were ripped with a quality encoder (LAME, etc) and at a decent bit rate (192vbr or higher) you shouldn't notice the difference between MP3 and CD.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:36 AM   #5
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All my music is 192 bitrate so I have no sound/quality issues with my USB drive... sounds just as good as my JL Audio speakers in my truck.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:52 AM   #6
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I like the sound of the usb, the wife even said that the sound is realy clear.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stet View Post
When you use an Ipod the Ipod does the decoding. When you use any other USB device then the vehicle's system does it so there can be a difference. Some have reported that the vehicle's system does a better job then an Ipod. It may also be possible that there could be a difference between different Ipod models but I really don't know if that is true or not as I don't know if they all use the same decoder or is the newer ones are better than the old ones. CD is always going to sound better than MP3s or even XM. The quality difference between XM and an MP3 will depend on the quality of the MP3.
I agree 100%.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:01 PM   #8
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My USB is pretty damn perfect. I encode everything at 320. With the BA sound, there is zero distortion even upwards of 36 on volume. The sound system is really nice.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #9
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I've tried both USB thumb drive and iPhone and can't tell a difference. My mp3's are encoded at 256-320kbps CBR. Don't listen to a lot of hip-hop or r&b so I may not be the best judge of bass.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:42 PM   #10
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USB is excellent but only as good as the original recording.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:01 PM   #11
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So is a person better off burning CD's or using a player? I was thinking about putting all the music on one player (Zune) so I can transfer between vehicles, am I better off just burning disks? I used the Zune in my Toyota FJ and it seemed like there was a power issue. I would have to turn the volume almost up to the max. At the same volume level a disk would push you out of the truck.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:09 PM   #12
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I would use your Zune if I were you. Rip your music high quality unless space is an issue. That way no swapping discs while you're driving. You can change artists or genre's through the head unit. Safer and slicker interface than shuffling discs in your lap.

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So is a person better off burning CD's or using a player? I was thinking about putting all the music on one player (Zune) so I can transfer between vehicles, am I better off just burning disks? I used the Zune in my Toyota FJ and it seemed like there was a power issue. I would have to turn the volume almost up to the max. At the same volume level a disk would push you out of the truck.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEDISIN View Post
I would use your Zune if I were you. Rip your music high quality unless space is an issue. That way no swapping discs while you're driving. You can change artists or genre's through the head unit. Safer and slicker interface than shuffling discs in your lap.
Agreed. MP3s on a USB device (iPod, USB drive, Zune, etc) are definitely the way to go.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:22 PM   #14
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Anyone tried connecting an external hard drive through the USB? For example one of those Western Digital 100gig Passport externals which are powered via USB?
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