I bought an iPod Touch 5 two months back, I love the sound quality of the device. But after 1 month when my brother bought iPhone 5s, I checked the sound output of the device through the same earpods that came with my iPod. The difference in sound output was huge, I am not talking about the sound quality but the loudness.

I checked everywhere but there was no proper explanation why the difference in sound is so huge.

Is it because the two DACs r completely different or is it something to do with Output Source Impedance?

  • Just for completeness, have you double checked Settings -> Music -> Volume Limit? Jan 28, 2015 at 3:12
  • Yes I have Volume Limit and Sound Check in off setting. Jan 28, 2015 at 3:15

2 Answers 2


That is very weird; do you have a European version? The output power on those is heavily limited. That is the only explanation.

I have both the iPhone 5s and the iPod touch five and they have the exact same output voltages and voltage drop when headphones are connected. The output power is the same, I have heard from a few sources that the distortion levels on the 5s is better but they definitely have the same output level. Be sure to verify that the equalizer is disabled and sound check is off


@tsultan1990. Acknowledging that I am not a techie, I offer the following. The different iDevices likely have different power output. Depending on how much juice is left in the battery, one of the iThingies may have gone into power save mode.

Another possibility Sultan is different ear/headphones have different impedance ratings. The higher the number, the more amplifier power will be needed to drive the phones to the same level of loudness. In fact Sultan, some audiophile quality headphones actually require a dedicated headphone amp. In that case, if you plug one set of phones into the iPod, listen, pull the phones out and plug the other pair in, you most certainly would hear a difference in loudness.

Still another factor is the sensativity level. I am not sure how sensativity works but I suspect it is a measure of how much power is required to drive the device to produce a certain sound level.

Just as a matter of information, the built-in DAC's on recent iProducts are not as good not considered to be of the same quality as the Wilson and Burr Brown. That would affect the quality of sound but would not the loudness.

Finally Sultan, you might want to ditch the earphones that came with the unit and purchase a new pair of phones. SoundMagic 10s ($45), AKG Y50 ($100) Klipsch x11i ($350) all good starting points and offer various sound signatures. The AKG (an on ear, closed back headphone) has a nice urban look with slightly punchy bass that does not muddle the mids or highs and totally destroys Beats.

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