Should an iPod dock be considered a standard component for a high-end audio system?

Stereophile's picture
Now that Krell has added one to its product lineup, should an iPod dock be considered a standard component for a high-end audio system?
Should an iPod dock be considered a standard component for a high-end audio system?
Yes, and I already have one
14% (35 votes)
Yes, I plan to add one
14% (36 votes)
Yes
15% (37 votes)
No
28% (71 votes)
Double No
30% (75 votes)
Total votes: 254
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Comments
djl's picture

The fidelity of compressed audio files just doesn't compare to the original CD. It can be close but the majority of the iPod electronics out there are made by off-the-wall companies that most folks never heard of, their quality is dubious at best. The Krell unit may be the exception but it's probably not affordable by most of us average joes. I still use my $200 PC sound card connected to a Theta D/A converter to play my MP3 files ripped from my own CDs. It does a great job with compressed files. Not sure how things would sound from an iPod if it had a digital output. Most MP3 players don't. I think the medium has to mature a bit more to be considered high-end.

tonyE's picture

I have a 60GB iPod. It's nice to take around, sort of . My set up includes a Grado amp and headphones. But at home and in the office my sources are 24/96 from my own brewed media servers. Often recorded from my LPs. The iPod at home/work just doesn't make that much sense. After all, a 400GB hardrive plus USB adaptor are only about 150 bucks nowadays.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Sacrelige, absolute sacrelige!

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

What have you been smoking?

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

A high-end system for me has a lot of options, no standards. What about color on boxes and lights? It's frustrating when the components don't match like a Naim CD-player and a Mark Levinson amp for instance. Today's high-end components are like T-model Fords: Pick any color as long as it is black!

Cihangir Güzey's picture

A new high-end CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/HD-DVD/DivX/mp3 (anything more left?)player has to accept an iPod in the CD drawer. When you put the iPod in the drawer, after pushing the button, if it is an iPod, it would insert the necessary socket into the bottom of the iPod and start playing the material inside the iPod. Funny huh? Errrr! It would also locate a screw driver inside. So, if you are sick of your iPod, than you would just push the "Destroy" button on the back of the high-end player. It would open a hole just in the middle of the iPod center button. You would just connect a vacuum cleaner to the high-end player's vacuum socket to clean the trash left inside of the player after the screwing activity and player would open the drawer and throw the iPod out on your face (which is tracked by the face recognition system). And if you wish you would push another button near to the "Destroy" button called "Shame on me" to activate the suicide action of the player which would burn all printed circuit boards inside. Double funny huh?

Dennis's picture

Can we stop the nonsense any time soon?

Jules's picture

Yes, but the iPod itself will only become high-end when it will have a (low-jitter) digital output to feed my high-end DAC...

dEV.in.Shanghai's picture

You did say "high-end audio system" and this implies that your other components, coupled with your own historically-deep audiophile ears could easily discern a non-compressed AIFF, SACD, or HDCD file from a compressed MP3 file. If you seek the convenience of 20,000+ songs without changing a CD, get a music server that supports "lossless" compression. iPODs only play "inherently limited" MP3 files and while I have 4 of them b/c I travel so much, I will not bite at Krell's sexy new offering despite my love for my 400xi integrated amp.

craig's picture

Who is kidding whom here? This is just another scheme to part people with more money than brains from their money.

Fernando's picture

Music server: Yes. Specifically an iPod dock, not necessarily. And by the way, you should give credit to Margules, who came up with this concept before Krell copied it.

Gordon White's picture

I use Apple's iPod dock and Apple's lossless codec. It sounds very good, but I'm really waiting for a relatively inexpensive iPod dock with a digital out so I can use a D/A. It's only a matter of time...

Tasso's picture

No, because the source isn't adequate for a true hi-fi system. Not enough detail extraction and not enough output from the source. Defeats the purpose of high-end hi-fi. If this issue is resolved then my opinion would change.

CharlyD's picture

The iPod has no digital output, unless (possibly illegally-see DMCA) modified. The components included in the audio path of the iPod were chosen for their costs and manufacuturability with only passing regard for audio quality. It's very disappointing to me that a recognized high-end vendor like Krell would offer an iPod dock. It's a great idea to provide a means to include the convenience and other modern features delivered by the iPod in a high-end system, but do it right! Give us audiophiles a means to access and play, with true high-end fidelity, high-resolution, multi-channel content with all the convenience offered by the iPod and we'll come flocking!

Brad - Atlanta's picture

Double-Secret-Probation-No.

S.  Chapman's picture

Ha, ha! What's the point? Audiophiles would be much better off with a Squeezebox or Sonos player streaming lossless files from a computer.

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Even Manley Labs is going to have one. Say what you will about the sound quality, it's still music and it's still two channels. The people have spoken and sour-round sound has lost (it)!

Louis P.'s picture

Huh? At best, the iPod play 16bit CDs with lossless compression. So I don't think that it will be replacing my Linn Sondek LP12/Lyra Argo/EAR 834P phono rig anytime soon. Or not soon, for that matter.

Christian's picture

Why not? I would love somewhere to keep my iPod charged and have access to my collection in my system.

Mike Elliot's picture

I like listening to iPods at my gym but classifying them with audiophile equipment is like putting Rosie O'Donnell in a Playboy centerfold!

Glenn Bennett's picture

It's a real shame to see us getting away from the ability to hold the LP, the liner notes, or CD, or insert in our hands and read about what is on the album. A collection of singles will never be as much fun as listening to a good, well done complete album. Maybe it's all about lack of attention span.

Blue Mikey's picture

I hope not, because I don't own an iPod. On the other hand, almost all of my music is now kept on hard drives.

Aden's picture

Of course - it's fast becoming the "standard" music medium, and with good reasons too. Nobody said it had to be the "Best" source in your system, but for convenience, ease of use, etc., yes, of course they should be standard in any system. To turn our backs on it is only going to serve to make this even more of a niche hobby. Nobody said we can't attempt to try to get the best out of them - now if only they had a digital output then there really would be very little compromise in terms of sound!

Dave Bennett's picture

IF CD can be considered high-end then I can't see why an iPod running uncompressed or at the very worst lossless compression shouldn't be considered high-end. Of course that is a really big IF.

-ace's picture

It's a nice touch, but shouldn't we think Krell is trying to gain some low end market?

Woody Battle's picture

An iPod does not have near good enough sound quality to fit into a true high fidelity system. However, an iPod dock is a must for any secondary music system and for car stereos.

Jared Gerlach's picture

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Andrew Maher's picture

Yes (sigh!). The iPod seems to be the path down which music and listeners are going.

Mark Holden's picture

It is fine if consumers want to have an iPod dock on on their high-end system, but very simply, 95% of the music that people store on iPods is compressed. The best sound system in the world won't uncompress the files... in fact, the music will sound even worse on a high-end system than it will on a standard system. Obviously the clarity and detail that a high-end system reveals, will simply unmask the compressed mp3s that most people store on iPods. simply put, for reference, a dock is fine but why drive a Kia Spectra when there are 10 classic Ferraris in the garage?

Steve�'s picture

A music joy!

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