Good Audio Playback Quality, no GPS

As was the case with the previous generation iPod Touch, the new model is fully capable of running all supported apps in the iOS App Store. While personally the appeal of iOS apps are their integration into a device I already carry, a smartphone, the iPod Touch brings the entire platform to users who don’t want an iPhone or maybe even a smartphone in general. The email, web browsing and iOS experience is identical to what you get on the iPhone.

The iPod Touch does ship with a Music app that behaves just like the iPod app on the iPhone. There’s not much to say here other than it works, although I personally find myself using the Pandora app more than listening to my own library of music. MP3 playback audio quality seemed comparable to the iPhone 4. I ran RMAA to confirm:

Rightmark Audio Analyzer Comparison
  iPhone 4 iPod Touch (2010) Zune HD
Frequency Response (from 40Hz to 15kHz) Excellent Excellent Good
Noise level Very good Very good Very good
Dynamic range Very good Very good Very good
THD Excellent Excellent Excellent
THD + Noise Good Good Average
IMD + Noise Excellent Excellent Very good
Stereo crosstalk Excellent Excellent Very good
IMD at 10kHz Very good Excellent Very good
General Performance Very good Very good Very good

We haven't seen many results from RMAA on the Zune HD so I thought I'd throw some in here. RMAA shows an advantage over the Zune HD, although in practice you'd be hard pressed to hear a difference.

Frequency Response - iPhone 4

Frequency Response - iPod Touch

Frequency Response - Zune HD

Noise Level - iPhone 4

Noise Level - iPod Touch

Noise Level - Zune HD

Stereo Crosstalk - iPhone 4

Stereo Crosstalk - iPod Touch

Stereo Crosstalk - Zune HD

I believe we've hit a ceiling for PMP audio playback quality. Despite the excellent RMAA results, the iPod Touch is admittedly less of an iPod and more of a general purpose iOS device that happens to play music.

Like the previous generation Touch, the new model lacks a GPS receiver. The device ships with a Maps app but it uses WiFi to figure out your local.

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View All Comments

  • Taracta - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Maybe instead of trying to compare a mini Tablet to a cellphone, a comparison to another tablet would be in order even if that tablet is larger?

    Screen issues? Compared to what? That screen is better than anything else other than the iPhone4!

    I would suggest that going against the iPad, the iTouch would compare much more favorable. If you want a iPhone4 without a contract, BUY ONE WITHOUT A CONTRACT!
  • SimKill - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    Better in resolution/dpi, but quality? Reply
  • Taracta - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    One in which you can see the individual pixels and one in which you cannot see the individual pixels, which one would you say is the better quality? Aside from that I had to ignore the video testing done because from the outset it obvious that they didn't even attempt to adjust the black level (Brightness)! Give me contrast levels, color saturation , etc. when you don't have the backlight at maximum so that you cannot get even close to black. Do you expect me to assume that iTouch 300DPI panel cannot do black? Or at least a better black than what was measured? Keep in mind that it is still better than that of the iPhone 3GS by their measurments. Reply
  • SadTouchLover - Monday, September 13, 2010 - link

    Way to get off on a technicality, bub. Everyone in the world knows that the ipod touch is meant to mirror the features of an iphone. Buy an iphone without a contract? And pay 400 more dollars for a better camera and screen? You're not making any sense, man! Are you drunk? This ipod touch is a clear case of price gouging. They're hoping that clueless consumers outside of the geek elite will eat this thing up, which will probably definitely be the case. They left the buzzword features and snubbed the "below the surface" quality. BOOOOOOO APPLE BOOOOOOOO Reply
  • anemic - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    What's with all the Apple articles lately? I've heard enough about these disposable toys the last few months to last a lifetime. STOP IT ANAND! JUST STOP IT! Reply
  • B3an - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    Yep Anand, less with the shiny toys and more with the grown up stuff please.
    I know that you review far more hardware these days than you ever have, but theres too much time wasted on junk like this, which just seems to be for more page hits. It's a bit dumbed down as well, get more technical, you could also atleast take this stuff apart and mess with it/see what components are used.
  • manicfreak - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    I don't know what to say about Rightmark Audio Analyzer if it gives some of the ratings as "Excellent" for the iPod. *roll eyes* Reply
  • gunblade - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    It is a frequency/spectrum analyzer.
    Human ear is inherently deceiving and human brain is biased, so equipment is developed to help doing measurement, where human bias and prejudice is not part of the equation.
  • kmmatney - Friday, September 10, 2010 - link

    Since it shows the iPod is a good music player, it has to be a bad test suite, right? *rolls eyes*. Reply
  • Verve - Thursday, September 09, 2010 - link

    I like the new iPod Touch since I'm upgrading from 1G (yes, it still lives with diminished battery life). I think the new iPod Touch is much improved in comparison. Besides, I'm not looking for it to be an iPhone substitute -- it just has to be my entertainment gadget that's easy to carry and last a reasonably long time. Reply

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