iPhone audio codec

The iPhone uses the same audio technology as the iPod video, which means it should sound about the same.

Hardware geeks are gleefully prying their new iPhones apartto see what's inside them. Given the topic of this blog, I'm naturally most interested in the audio components--how does thing sound?

According to this breakdown by Semiconductor Insight, reported by EE Times, the iPhone uses the same hardware audio codec from Wolfson as the last generation of iPods, meaning it should sound similar. However, Wired's review suggests that the audio doesn't go as loud as most iPods, particularly the Shuffle, which could be a real problem if you listened to a lot of Rushover headphones in high school. I'm not sure why that should be the case, perhaps a different audio amplifier?

And many reviewers have noted that the iPhone uses a slightly different headphone jack than the iPod, so it can accomodate a microphone in the headphones (which lets users take a phone call while listening to music without switching out headphones). This means that the audiophile headphones purchased for an iPod probably won't work with the iPhone, although adapters are available.

But it seems like it's reasonable, and people aren't buying iPhone for the audio quality, which can't touch vinyl anyway.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.


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