1 Reply Latest reply: Feb 18, 2007 7:39 AM by Conal Ho
Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
I recently changed to using Creative EP-630 sound isolating in-ear headphones. The unintended consequence is that now I really clearly hear the hissing sound the iPod makes even when no music is playing! How horrible!

At first, I thought it was the in-ear headphones so I switched over to the iPod headphones and press them close to my hear. Indeed, the hissing is there but much less noticeable on the iPod headphones because they are not headphones that insert into your ear canal.

I can't believe how much hissing I can hear especially in classical pieces that often have fairly passages.

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.16Ghz, 2GB RAM, 120GB Hard Drive, Mac OS X (10.4.8), iPod Video 60GB, Wireless Mighty Mouse, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Nokia BH-900
  • Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    I solved the problem with the help of an audiofile friend. I'll share my results.

    So with In-Ear Monitors (or In-Ear Headphones, or Canalphones) these devices sit directl inside one's ear canal (as opposed to ear buds that simply sit outside of them). Because they sit deep inside one's canal, very little volume is needed to hear music and so electronic hiss is heard. I didn't realise that apparently all electronic sound devices have electric humming/hissing. This because really apparently to me when I used In-Ear Monitors for the first time with my iPod. It was especially noticeable in classical music pieces where there are lots of soft and quiet passages. If you listen mostly to rock (or the likes in sound amplification) you probably won't notice the hiss once the music gets going.

    The solution? Rather simple. Buy a headphone attenuator (or what is also known as an in-line heaphone volume control) which can be had for about $8 to $15 at your local Radio Shack or online. Plug this directly into your iPod and then plug your In-Ear Monitors into the headphone attenuator. Adjust your iPod volume to almost maximum. Then readjust the volume back down to an acceptable level using your heaphone attenuator.

    The idea is this: the hissing of the iPod does not increase with volume. It stays the same. So by increasing the volume of the iPod, you eliminate hearing the listening. But it's too loud for your ears. So with headphone attenuator, you readjust it back down and thus eliminating the hissing totally!


    By the way, I hope that iPod engineers will re-design the iPod so that the hissing is further reduced.

    I plugged my in-ear monitors to my +$2000 Apple MacBook Pro laptop and I noticed there was also a hissing but not as bad as the iPod. I hope the future iPods can have the same level (or better) hissing as my expensive laptop. The iPod hissing was way too much for me.