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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > CD v. iPod ?



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      01-17-2006, 06:33 PM   #1
bsjd00
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CD v. iPod ?

I posed this question a while back, but didn't get too much in the way of direct replies. I'm hoping more people might see this the second time around ...


I'd really appreciate it if someone could carry out a little test to determine if there really is a loss of sound quality through the iPod adapter.

(I've seen some debate about whether the iPod has a digital to analog converter for the output to the head unit and, if so, whether this would really affect sound quality.)

The test would involve putting 2 identical music files (encoded at the same bitrate) on both a CD and iPod, and then comparing playback of the two in the car. The test would be most effective with files encoded at higher bitrates (such as 320k MP3), but I'd be interested in hearing any feedback members might have.

I'm trying to compare the pros and cons of CD's v. the iPod, and sound quality has been one factor that I can't yet compare.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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      01-17-2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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I use a standard aux cable and yes i do notice a sound loss when im using my Ipod Nano. A cd has better quality. But a few of my friends purchased a specific cable with an adapter on it that made the sound much better.
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      01-17-2006, 07:11 PM   #3
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I'm sure there is a loss of sound quality because the ipod has to convert the digital sig back to analog for the logic 7 system. Like bella said, if you just use a aux cable from the headphone jack to the logic 7, it's gonna be a big difference, but with the RAM DIN connector, it's much more close to the sound of a CD.

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      01-18-2006, 01:16 AM   #4
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Unless you are a true audiophile you will hardly notice the lost. I find I get better bass from my ipod since the unit acts as a receiver. There is no compariosn to IPODS vs CD's. It is so much easier to use a scroll whell then to flip through a book of CD's. So the loss in quality is acceptable.
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      01-20-2006, 11:19 PM   #5
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How can I get RAM DIN connector ?

Do you know how can I get RAM DIN connector ? Thx.
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      01-21-2006, 09:03 PM   #6
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I'd say I'm a border-line audiophile.

My real concern is that the iPod adapter will reduce the "richness" and "fullness" of the Logic 7 stereo.

Hopefully my concerns are unfounded.
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      01-21-2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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First off, it's hard to compare true high quality in a car. Even the best cars aren't insulated well enough to get the full effect of the music and a car's interior isn't the best listening environment. With that said, are you comparing MP3's on a CD to MP3's on an IPOD or an audio CD to an IPOD? MP3 CD to IPOD will likely be very close but audio CD to IPOD will be a major difference mostly due to the compression used to store the songs on an IPOD (unless you have all your music in WAV format or something ). Also, depending on how BMW connected the CD player to the amp (digital or analog) the in-dash may have another step up on the IPOD. Hope this helps
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      01-21-2006, 10:09 PM   #8
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Has anyone made the comparison with high bitrate mp3's? I don't have an ipod yet and since I haven't gotten the software update for my pre-sept build car, I can't play and mp3 disc in my car. But I wonder if the mp3 decoder in the ipod is any better than what the BMW has built into its cd player.

With higher end audio equipment, I can usually tell an mp3 vs. an audio cd, but on my computer its more difficult to tell (my computer has a decent set of electrostatic speakers, but still not audiophile quality).

The Logic7 system may not be audiophile quality, but its fairly accurate by stock audio system standards. I generally create my mp3's with Exact Audio Copy and then use the Lame encoder to create the files at 256 Variable Bit Rate. This has been the closest to CD quality I've been able to find and still keep a reasonable file size.
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      01-21-2006, 11:03 PM   #9
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The short and sweet of it, You're in a car not a concert hall and unless you use a horrible patch cable or use really low quality MP3's (below 128 kb/s) you're IPod will sound fine and possibly even great (havn't tested it so I wouldn't know ).
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      01-21-2006, 11:47 PM   #10
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The bottom line is that the only way to truly test out the loss caused by the iPod's D/A converter is for someone to actually perform the test I described in the first post of this thread. We can all hypothesize, but until someone actually compares an MP3 on a CD at a high bitrate to the identical MP3 at the same bitrate on the iPod, it's tough to say for sure.

My 330xi isn't here yet, but when it is I will be happy to try the test myself and post here.
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