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New headphone, mic options for late 2008 iPods

post #1 of 49
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Along with the new iPods, Apple has released a new audio feature: recording. The newly released 4G Nano, 2G iPod touch, and revised iPod Classic 120GB all feature audio input. A new high quality, dual driver headphone set is being offered as well.

Unlike the iPhone, previous iPods lacked audio input on their headphone jack. The iPhone uses four conductors on its headphone jack: ground, stereo right, stereo left, and mic. This allows the iPhone to work with its headphones sporting an integrated mic (which doubles as a signal for track skipping).

On other iPods, the iPhone's headphones only function as regular headphones, with no working mic because the iPods lack a mic input connector on the headphone jack.

Prior to the iPhone, iPods used the fourth connector to export composite video via the iPod video output cables. This means all earlier models of iPods, including last year's 3G Nano, classic, and touch, will not work with headphone jack-based audio input.

All video-capable iPods support video output via the dock connector, as well as audio input, a feature taken advantage of by some third party voice recording devices using an external mic that attaches to the dock connector.

However, the latest crop of iPods now support the iPhone's headphones with integrated mic, allowing them to record audio without any bulky attachments. This should also potentially unlock other applications on the iPod touch, including WiFi VoIP for making audio calls over the Internet. Apple earlier said it would allow App Store programs to enable VoIP over WiFi, but not over the iPhone's EDGE or 3G service.

Apple also unveiled a new audio input option. In addition to the standard $29 pair of headphones with a mic like those that ship with the iPhone, there's now a premium $79 pair with independent woofer and tweeter drivers. Comparable dual driver headphones usually sell for $200 to $300, according to the company.



The new premium headphones sport volume controls, presumably using the same mic signal to adjust volume as the iPhone's mic uses to switch songs or accept incoming calls. The new headphones are not listed as compatible with the iPhone, because it was not designed to adjust volume with the mic switch; the mic should still work and the headphones will work with any iPod or other standard headphone jack device.
post #2 of 49
So with the microphone and an iPod touch you could do VOIP. Hmm. I wonder if anyone will write an application. And if they ever fix the Bluetooth implementation then you could do it with a headset.

When are we going to see someone tear one of the touches down already?
post #3 of 49
While I was disappointed in the overhaul of the Touch this is one of the items I was looking for. Audio in will be huge and not just for VoIP. With the right mic it will be great for students and others engaged in the business of taking notes. I'm sure there will be a few other uses one hasn't thought about yet.

The only thing that is a real question in my mind is if you can record while listening to music. Some might see this as contradictory but hey why not. Another use would be simultaneous record and play back which would be great for enhanced hearing devices.

Still it does seem like the Touch got neglected a bit. I really have to wonder if they have another model coming in a few months, otherwise I have this feeling that the will and desire to innovate is disappearing at Apple. Then again I'm a proponent of big steps as opposed to little ones.

Dave
post #4 of 49
I'm glad they finally added a triple-click and volume control option, as well as having in-ear phones. However, I will wait to see how they stack up to 3rd-party options in performance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

When are we going to see someone tear one of the touches down already?

You meant the touches that were announced a 3.5 hours ago?
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post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You meant the touches that were announced a 3.5 hours ago?

Yeah, they go on sale immediately. What are they waiting for?

I do note with some sadness that they don't have any screws at the bottom so it's going to be harder to replace the battery. But at $229 you have to say that this is a great value computer and pretty much disposable.

What would be nice is someone wrote a program that allowed you to plug in a USB hard disk. Then it would much more like a normal machine.
post #6 of 49
I sure hope the 2.1 software update allows these new headphones to be used with the iPhone.

**crosses fingers**
post #7 of 49
Okay, Erica - get to work!
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post #8 of 49
Still just earbuds, huh? Am I the only one whose ears won't hold earbuds? I might as well apply them to my cheeks and expect them to stay there.
post #9 of 49
I was contemplating getting an iPhone but put off because of the ridiculous prices in Australia for 3G networking. A VoIP Touch wouldn't be quite the same (no phone away from WiFi) but could have attractions.

Then again I suppose VoIP on an iPhone while in WiFi range would be exactly the same with the option to use it outside WiFi as a cell phone. My objection to the iPhone is more the principle of crazy pricing for exceeding your download quota (intended no doubt to encourage you to buy more than you need up front). ADSL contracts used to be like that here until some of the less sleazy operators switched to shaping (you get less bandwidth when you exceed your quota rather than being charged more).

For US readers: countries that are relatively isolated like Oz often have download limits because a high fraction of the national Internet cost is in long-haul international traffic. However, if many phone users have 3G, you'd expect that there would be a lot more domestic ecommerce so in time this sort of capped plan should disappear. And of course long-haul links are nowhere near as expensive as they were 20 years ago. Ripping off their clients? A telco? Never.

Time to sit back and contemplate

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post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

Still just earbuds, huh? Am I the only one whose ears won't hold earbuds? I might as well apply them to my cheeks and expect them to stay there.

Huh? These are in-ear headphones, not buds.
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post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

I sure hope the 2.1 software update allows these new headphones to be used with the iPhone.

**crosses fingers**

My guess is that it won't be 2.1 else they would have said something. I'm thinking it will be 2.1.x or 2.2 unless there is a hardware issue.
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

My guess is that it won't be 2.1 else they would have said something. I'm thinking it will be 2.1.x or 2.2 unless there is a hardware issue.

I don't see why these headphones wouldn't work with the iPhone out of the gate since that is where they will sell most of them and Apple doesn't like to have products that work with one item but not the other if it can help it and if it doesn't soil the sails of the other product.
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post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

My guess is that it won't be 2.1 else they would have said something. I'm thinking it will be 2.1.x or 2.2 unless there is a hardware issue.

The copy in the press release leads me to believe that these headphones use the same jack arrangement as the iPhone headphones, so they should work out of the box, no software needed.
post #14 of 49
Finally they offer an upgrade path for their own earphones... talk about "leaving money on the table"!

Wondering if the availability of a mic will eventually enable these touches to act like VOIP phones?... (pure speculation on my part)

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post #15 of 49
It seems that many of today's announcements are about restoring things we lost with recent generations of iPods. Audio input was available for a long time via the dock connector. The nano has been restored to it's pre-fat shape (as close to an "oops" as you'll get from a design team). The shuffle has dumped it's pastel colors and gone back to more mainstream ones. And NBC has returned to iTunes.

Now just restore the functionality of the camera connector and radio tuner and we'll have come full-circle.
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

I do note with some sadness that they don't have any screws at the bottom so it's going to be harder to replace the battery. But at $229 you have to say that this is a great value computer and pretty much disposable.

What would be nice is someone wrote a program that allowed you to plug in a USB hard disk. Then it would much more like a normal machine.

As long as Apple retains a dictatorial grip on it and picks and chooses every bit of code allowed to run on it, it's an appliance. A nice and interesting appliance, no doubt, but only a shadow of what it could be. Certainly not a general purpose computer or a "normal machine".
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

I sure hope the 2.1 software update allows these new headphones to be used with the iPhone.

**crosses fingers**


I agree. I would love to use these headphones with my iPhone. Better sound and volume control is killer.

Fingers crossed...
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Wondering if the availability of a mic will eventually enable these touches to act like VOIP phones?... (pure speculation on my part)

There is already one VoIP app available. I've had a Skype In number since they became available so I'm waiting for that to happen, even though I use the phone very little.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...284971692&mt=8
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post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

So with the microphone and an iPod touch you could do VOIP. Hmm. I wonder if anyone will write an application. And if they ever fix the Bluetooth implementation then you could do it with a headset.

When are we going to see someone tear one of the touches down already?

It is coming out late 2008. I'm sure Apple is thinking VOIP as well and may have something by then. Imagine replacing your home phone with one of these new iPods. That would be nice.
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Still it does seem like the Touch got neglected a bit. I really have to wonder if they have another model coming in a few months, otherwise I have this feeling that the will and desire to innovate is disappearing at Apple. Then again I'm a proponent of big steps as opposed to little ones.

Dave

I'm with you on the minor updates here. The inclusion of the Nike stuff in the touch is curious given that most runners that I see with iPods have shuffles or nanos clipped on. While beautiful and thin for what it is, the Touch would not be my first choice for an exercise buddy.

I'd like to see the big steps come more quickly, too. The big steps usually only come from disruptive technologies which Apple typically isn't in the business of producing. Instead, Apple is the master of squeezing the last bit of juice out of their tech. Once a product has been introduced, you won't see any radical changes/improvements from Apple for at least 3 years and more likely 5.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWhaler View Post

I agree. I would love to use these headphones with my iPhone. Better sound and volume control is killer.

Fingers crossed...

I would love this for the iPhone too, but for now it looks like it's not going to happen. Hopefully that will change with 2.1...

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MA850?mco=MTcyODA3Mw

"The remote and mic are supported only by iPod nano (4th generation), iPod classic (120GB), and iPod touch (2nd generation). Audio is supported by all iPod models."
post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is already one VoIP app available. I've had a Skype In number since they became available so I'm waiting for that to happen, even though I use the phone very little.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...284971692&mt=8

Not compatible with the touch.
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

Still just earbuds, huh? Am I the only one whose ears won't hold earbuds? I might as well apply them to my cheeks and expect them to stay there.

That's a good one!

While I'm lucky enough that my ears are apparently about the same size of The Steve (since Apple's buds fit me just fine) I can appreciate your situation. The buds don't come close to fitting in my wife's ears so it's a real PITA for her. I know how pissed I'd be if I couldn't use the buds with the built in remote with my new iPod/iPhone.
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85 View Post

I sure hope the 2.1 software update allows these new headphones to be used with the iPhone.

**crosses fingers**

I think it should, the update should only add triple click. I have a Shure Music Phone Adapter controller to go with my around-the-head headphones that does play/pause and skip just fine, as well as having a mic input.
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Not compatible with the touch.

The 1G Touch, which has no audio input method. The 2G Touch will. I'm guessing the app developers will want to sell to all applicable devices.
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post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The 1G Touch, which has no audio input method. The 2G Touch will. I'm guessing the app developers will want to sell to all applicable devices.

Yes, obviously, but I'm making the point there's nothing compatible with the touch for now.
post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

Yes, obviously, but I'm making the point there's nothing compatible with the touch for now.

Does the current Touch's headphone jack allow for the input/output or does require a special jack? In other words, will these headphones and the v2.1 software make it possible for the 1G Touch?
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post #28 of 49
Is that a capsule in the bottom half of the box to store the pricier headphones? Pretty ingenous idea. I think it's pretty cool what little things Apple can incorporate into something as simple as headphones. Although, I wonder if these capsules will get lost easily.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Huh? These are in-ear headphones, not buds.

Isn't the first just a fancy way of saying the other? Exactly what is the distinction here?
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Isn't the first just a fancy way of saying the other? Exactly what is the distinction here?

Buds, the ones that Apple ships with their iPods, sit just outside the ear canal. In-ear are the ones that fit in the ear canal. At least, that is what I was told.
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post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Isn't the first just a fancy way of saying the other? Exactly what is the distinction here?

Buds, the ones that Apple ships with their iPods, sit just outside the ear canal. In-ear are the ones that fit in the ear canal. At least, that is what I was told.

I use the terms interchangeably. In any case, neither one will go in, or stay in, my ears. Does anybody make a spring hoop like regular headphones have, to go over your head and keep these things in your ears? I hate to go out walking or exercise and sweat up my good Sony over-the-ear phones.

(Or would that look like some blue-haired matron with chains on her rhinestone glasses?)
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniesco View Post

Is that a capsule in the bottom half of the box to store the pricier headphones? Pretty ingenous idea. I think it's pretty cool what little things Apple can incorporate into something as simple as headphones. Although, I wonder if these capsules will get lost easily.

You take them when you're drunk for a headache.

It's kind of stupid that they won't work with the iPhone.
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post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Unlike the iPhone, previous iPods lacked audio input on their headphone jack. The iPhone uses four conductors on its headphone jack: ground, stereo right, stereo left, and mic. This allows the iPhone to work with its headphones sporting an integrated mic (which doubles as a signal for track skipping).

One of the more clever things my Prince has said in a while.
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post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Buds, the ones that Apple ships with their iPods, sit just outside the ear canal. In-ear are the ones that fit in the ear canal. At least, that is what I was told.

The new headphones (buds, earbuds, whatever) come with 3 sizes of "buds", so hopefully more people will be able to use them.
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoriusM View Post

The new headphones (buds, earbuds, whatever) come with 3 sizes of "buds", so hopefully more people will be able to use them.

Apple would have to be insane not to make a similar in-ear set for the iPhone. They would sell heaps!!! I want these sooo bad but they're only for the new iPods, come on Apple, gimme a break. Surely, they will make an iPhone compatible version. Whether it controls volume on top of answering calls and skipping tracks, not sure if they can make them do all that. As long as they can make them do what the current crap earphones that come with the iPhone can do, then I'll be buying them as soon as they come out. Make them now Apple!!!
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

Still just earbuds, huh? Am I the only one whose ears won't hold earbuds? I might as well apply them to my cheeks and expect them to stay there.

I agree I f**king hate ipod earbuds, I've never been able to wear them. I have all of them still lying in the original packaging since way back when, when I got my ipod mini (which still works!).

I think they could have done without the 30 mic buds and offer the in ear ones at $49 even if the audio quality wasn't as good as the $79 ones they're making.
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post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Now just restore the functionality of the camera connector and radio tuner and we'll have come full-circle.

I would really love to have camera connector functionality back.
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post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I don't see why these headphones wouldn't work with the iPhone out of the gate since that is where they will sell most of them and Apple doesn't like to have products that work with one item but not the other if it can help it and if it doesn't soil the sails of the other product.

The article states they are incompatible because the new headset offers volume control - something that the current iPhone doesn't support via headset. Perhaps they can add support in a future iPhone software release (2.1?). If the new models of iPods use the same jack as iPhone, there is no reason a software enhancement to iPhone would not solve that problem. They probably have to say it is incompatible for legal reasons until iPhone software supports volume control from the headset.
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post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

While I was disappointed in the overhaul of the Touch this is one of the items I was looking for. Audio in will be huge and not just for VoIP. With the right mic it will be great for students and others engaged in the business of taking notes. I'm sure there will be a few other uses one hasn't thought about yet.

The only thing that is a real question in my mind is if you can record while listening to music. Some might see this as contradictory but hey why not. Another use would be simultaneous record and play back which would be great for enhanced hearing devices.

Still it does seem like the Touch got neglected a bit. I really have to wonder if they have another model coming in a few months, otherwise I have this feeling that the will and desire to innovate is disappearing at Apple. Then again I'm a proponent of big steps as opposed to little ones.

Dave

It sounds to me like you are trying to record music that you are playing. Or you are trying to be in a lecture and record it while listening to music so you can speed past the boring parts of the lecture later.

As for them not innovating, I disagree. They have added things that people have been asking for and added the App store which has probably been taking up a lot of their mind share at Apple lately. I still disagree that they didn't innovate very much. Not enough for you? That's a different story.
post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-sochist View Post

Still just earbuds, huh? Am I the only one whose ears won't hold earbuds? I might as well apply them to my cheeks and expect them to stay there.

When are morons like this EVER going to check out the facts before spouting off? For $79 they also have IN EAR ear phones. Is that loud enough for you?

For future reference, just go to the Apple Store on-line and look under "new to the store".
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