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Discussion Starter #1
I'd really appreciate it if someone who has Icelink or the Audi iPod solution could carry out a little test to determine if there really is a loss of sound quality through the iPod adapter.

(I started a thread a while back about whether the iPod has a digital to analog converter for the output to the head unit and, if so, whether this would really affect sound quality. There seemed to be no consensus at that point.)

The test would involve putting 2 identical music files (encoded at the same bitrate) on both an SD card and iPod, and then comparing playback of the two in the car. The test would be most effective with files encoded at higher bitrates (such as 320k MP3) and in an A4 with an aftermarket stereo, but I'm interested in ANY results that forum members may have.

I'm trying to compare the pros and cons of the SD cards v. the iPod, and sound quality has been one factor that I can't yet compare.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Without doing the exact test you describe, I can tell you right now I've always noticed the music from the SD card sounded better than the music from the IceLink (fuller sound, closer to CD quality). Even if I had a song encoded with Apple's Lossless on the iPod, compared to the same song as an MP3 at 192K VBR on the SD card, the iPod still didn't sound better. So at equal encoding formats, I'd say the SD card wins, IMO. (If I closed my eyes and tried to guess whether the song was coming from the SD card or IceLink, I'd know it maybe 10 out of 10 times. :) ) But those are with my ears...

I'm sure there's something lost in the output of the music file from the IceLink to the RNS-E. But I'm not complaining about the IceLink's sound, it still sounds good enough to keep it in my car. Plus, I like to listen to my music randomly, which I can't do on the RNS-E once I start skipping a song. It's nice to have both since I sometimes forget my iPod after leaving home, and can count on at least having some of those songs in the car at all times (on the SD.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for taking the time to reply! You confirmed my worst fears though, since I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to sound quality and was hoping that the iPod setup was as clean as the SD cards.

The random function does sound nice though. When you say this works, do you mean that when you set the RNS-E to random, it will stay on random even if you use the track forward and reverse buttons instead of letting the RNS-E shuffle automatically at the end of each song? Or do you mean that you're setting random on the iPod itself and using iPod controls for forward and reverse?
 

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bsjd00 said:
When you say this works, do you mean that when you set the RNS-E to random, it will stay on random even if you use the track forward and reverse buttons instead of letting the RNS-E shuffle automatically at the end of each song?
When you use the track forward or reverse buttons the RNS-E switches out of Random mode.

IMHO this is one of the worst "features" of the RNS-E.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Right, but it seemed like Be6ess4 was saying that this problem/feature is resolved when the iPod is attached.

Maybe I was being too hopeful.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys for your replies.

Be6ess4, just to confirm - you are using the IceLink Plus connector (not FM, etc.) that connects to the bottom docking port (not the headphone connector) of the iPod, right?

If so, it's too bad that there's still some level of signal degradation versus the SD card, even with that kind of connection.
 

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Yes, the dock connector. I think you should give the IceLink a try and see what you think, if you're not happy just return it. ( Get it at a Best Buy, they'll take a return without problem, and the installation is very easy.)

Again, I think the sound is good enough to keep it, plus the convenience of 8 gigs and counting of songs to easily access is always nice.
 
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