iPhone 4 Audio Review

It has been a while since I posted here, due to family duties as well as starting a new full-time design position. A new post is long overdue, so here is an update and a few idea for future articles.

As a Father's day present, my family pooled their money and presented me with a gift certificate for an iPhone4 (16 GB). I have never considered anything like that for myself, but they made the decision for me. Father's day was before the iPhone4 officially began shipping, so I had a few weeks to think about it. After all, I could now combine my contact list, my calendar, and get a Reverse Polish Notation calculator App and get rid of my old separate Palm and Samsung Sync phone.

But the idea of actually having portable music had not occurred to me as my audiophile bent keeps me hauling my Sennheiser HD600 headphones, Benchmark DAC-1, Sony Discman with an optical SPDIF output, and a stack of CDs with me to work everyday. The idea of using my iPhone4 as a music platform was never on my radar, but now I thought I ought to check it out. I had a number of questions:

  • Would 16 GB be enough or should I get a 32 GB?
  • How well does Apple Lossless compression sound
  • Is the DAC any good in the iPhone4?
  • Will it drive my HD600's

These and many other questions prompted me to make a plan to learn all I can about the iPhone4 audio capabilities and present them here on dlb Research. Also I hope to chronicle the path I take to getting my audiophile desktop system up to the performance I had before, while using the iPhone4 as the music source (It takes a lot less room that a stack of 20 CDs)

In the meantime, the time is quickly approaching for the finishing of our Thunder subwoofers to match up with the NorthCreek Kitty Kats.

Please check back for more!