The defect is related solely to the dock connection and it to USB. The Volume (iPod/iPhone) has no affect, as it is a digital signal path.
It is alway a good idea to first Powered Down the device prior to making any connections (especially when connecting to 3rd party devices).
I will make tests on volume setting, but as mentioned, it hasn’t anything to do with the dock-connection. Will update this post if need be.
@ Grayon and all;
In entertaining your theory (thanks for that by the way) that somehow the volume setting (although signal is via its dock-connection and digital) played a part in the known Pop/Clicking issue, repeated testing has shown that setting the volume either all the way down or up had No Affect In Reducing the problematic noise.
The only relevant finding was that ‘duration’ of play time produced more noise in the nature of; first play of the day, pop/clicking occurred approx. 20-30 seconds apart and after repeated plays, every 5-10 seconds.
Further observation leans to a fact that this maybe a hardware problem after all. In testing a direct ‘Dock-Connection’ without USB (such as portable speaker with iPod Dock), there is no problematic noise at all. This leads me to thinking it is a dock-connector ‘Pin-Out’ issues when the connection is wired to USB, electro-static discharge from the unused pins being audible by the signal pins perhaps. On the other hand; there had been reports that this problematic noise occurred only after the 4.3 iOS update of a year ago.
If any will be entertaining other theory’s, please back them up with detailed facts before posting, this isn’t a contest for bonus points (and would be appreciated by all parties I’m sure).
One thing is assured; this is a Product Wide Problem for the iPod and iPhone and maybe the iPad included and that’s a whole lot of units…
My testing on the matter is now concluded, as it is a factual problem and the question is: Will Apple CEO ‘step up to the plate’ to fix it and remain an outstanding company?
What do you say Apple?
Why USB Compatibility/Functionality Is Vital To Apple:
An essential part of the modern (and future) multi-media experience, both in Home-Entertainment and Car- Entertainment systems rely (in part) on USB integration compatibility.
How so? USB integration is the pathway by which Digital Audio, Metadata and Remote Transport Functions are fed and read by the host system. It is how the user attaches the device which the system reads, displays all metadata content; Album Art, Playlist, Artist, song, etc. which the user can remotely navigate while watching his large on-screen display (and can also distribute that program (and function) throughout the home).
There are many applications and scenarios’ to this (I design and program them), it is essential for Apple to resolve the USB playback noise that is plaguing its products.
USB is a universal standard. Apple; don’t become a ’SONY’ (an inland to its own madness). But even so, the Walkman has perfect USB audio playback (see above test).
This is strange. I had this problem with my iPod Touch about a year ago, but somewhere and somehow it disappeared. I used my iPod unil I got my iPhone about 5 months ago. But just last night these static noise and spark sounds started on my iPhone! Out of nowhere!
I drive a taxi in Norway, so I listen to music on my iPhone via USB almost every day. (Volvo XC70). I have the latest update (ios 5.0.1), had it for a while now.
What I have done lately that might have had an influence, is that I moved some itunes folders. I ran out of space on my harddrive C: and I found that my itunes folder was at 8GB.. So I moved it to another drive (e:) and changed the settings in itunes to this new folder. This might not have been a good idea.. Now I can't edit music on my iPhone in itunes anymore.. When I set itunes to manually update music, it says that the iphone is synced with another library, and if I want to delete the iphone unit and sync with the new library.. which i don't.
Anyway, I have used the iphone with USB a lot after that, and I'm pretty sure there where no static noise... Until last night.
I had this same issue and it is maddening. I've been shopping for a new AV receiver and had this problem using the sync cable directly with: the Onkyo TX-8050, the Denon AVR-1612, Pioneer VSX-921 (ipod certified) and my current - Yamaha RX-471. All displayed exactly the same popping issue through the sync cable as described.
I have the latest Gen, ipod Touch purchased last year (64GB). Because I am still under Apple Care, I was able to switch it out and got a new Touch. Though I was given the same model, the hardware seemed slightly different. There seemed to be a different coating on the screen and I noticed the home button was slightly recessed, which it wasn't on my original.
My guess would be this may be hardware related - even within the same model and that's why Apple is reluctant to address it.
So far, I have had no popping issues with the new hardware. I have been increasing the ipod volume to max before plugging in and turning on my receiver as described in this thread (don't if that really does anything, but...).
Btw, they didn't want to hear anything about this thread at the Apple store - very dismissive. The guy I spoke to when I called suggested submitting issues here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipodtouch.html and said that engineers see this. I am going to do that and include the link to this thread. Maybe the issue will be addressed then.
Best of luck...
Same issue here with my iPhone 4 playing through a dock connection to Bowers And Wilkins Mini Zeppelin at low volume. I can confirm that the popping sound does not occur when I send the same music files from my home pc wirelessly to an Apple Airport Express then in to the line input of the MZ. It only happens when I play music from the docked iPhone to the MZ. Was wondering if it might be an issue of the iPhone processing these music files as nearly all of my music is ALAC. Hmm might be a bit of a test to try mp3s...
I have had this problem with my iPhone4 for the duration of the time I have owned it and have followed the discussions. It is sad Apple does not reply or indicate if its SW or HW related. I would be happyto even know its "found" and had to wait. But not knowing if they even care is infuriating.
I like music, and I like many others have tried cables, volume, syncs, power offs, and no matter, it comes back. It seems to get progressively worse over time. I am using a Alpine Head in the car, attached to a Fosgate AMP, with monster cables throughout. Running iOS 5.1 now, same stuff....pop, crackle intermittently.
I have an iPod Touch 4 with 32 gb. I've owned it since last june and so far I am thrilled with it as it allows me to have the features of both a tablet and a smartphone in pocket size.
However, I recently bought a home theater system which can take USB devices and decode the music directly from it (which sounds WAY better than using the 3.5 mm audio jack).
When I first plugged my ipod, I quickly noticed the faintly popping sounds. I thought my home theater was defective and tried to troubleshoot it, including power cycling the ipod. Nothing helped ...
So I dug up my old mp3 player (a cheap but trustworthy COBY), plugged it in the USB.... and boom... no more popping ....
I do not know if its a iOS 5 issue or 4 or if its a hardware problem altogether...
Edit : My 5+ year old USB key also works like a charm ... I wonder if Apple's infamous protected technology is getting in the way of car / home theater's decoders ...
You will first need to check the iOS version; go to Settings, General then About, you will see the Version listed and it should be iOS 5.1 if not, you really should update to the latest iOS. This was an important release as it fixed many items including charging and battery issues (also advisable to keep iTunes updated as they work hand in hand with each other). As far as I can tell at the moment, the USB issue appears remedied with this update. If anyone out there can confirm, please reply. I am continuing to test this further. Keep in mind the issue reported on here is very specific, so be sure to read through the post.
Do the iOS 5.1 update and please report back on the results.
I came across this post while searching for remedies. I have a 4th gen iPod Touch (32gb) which just updated to 5.1.1, and I'm experiencing the popping noise; very distinct, like an old record. It happens through USB connection to my car stereo (Kenwood KDC-BT848U). Regular playback through the stereo jack is ok, as is playback through iTunes. I also need to test it on my receiver.
That said, the issue seems to still exist with 5.1.1 and for me only started after I'd updated. Add me to the list of those looking for an answer.
There has been some good advice in the forum regarding iOS updates and I would concur; when performing iOS updates, first do a complete backup (always advisable) then after the iOS update, fully reset and restore the device (this should only be necessary on major revisions) . This helps to reset and allow the update to be applied fully within all options, app’s and the like.
Please be sure to do that and a comment back on the results would be appreciated.
Hope that is helpful.