iPod: Nano vs. Classic, skins/cases, headphones/ear buds

I am planning on upgrading my original 20GB iPod to either a 8GB Nano ($200) or 80GB iPod Classic ($250). Am leaning towards the Nano, as I will use it more for working out (elliptical, some weights, no running) and will still have my 20GB for long trips or hooked up to home stereo. I have about 45gb of music but do not necessarily need it all with me at one time. The idea is nice, but not sure if I want the larger model over the really sleek small Nano.

So, any personal experience with products to support recommendations on:

  1. iPod Classic vs. Nano.
    I read a lot of negative reviews on audio quality and slow interface on the iPod Classic, and rave reviews on the Nano, but in fairness, the negative reviews on the Classic appear to be earlier models and original firmware release.

  2. Headphones/Ear Buds:
    I hate hate hate iPod ear buds, as they are too wide for me and hurt my ears. I began investigating ear buds but realize you cannot try these on, and many cost $100 or so. Apple makes $40 in-ear buds, which may be an option. Currently, I use the old folding Sony over-the-head, stick-in-the-ear style headphones.

  3. Cases/Skins/Armbands
    I was thinking of getting a skin for my new purchase, and perhaps an arm-band, but also see that you can buy a lanyard for the Nano.

  1. iPod Classic vs. Nano.
    I have an 8GB nano (well, my wife has it now, it was my first ipod), I now have an 80GB Classic. The sound is greatly improved, though maybe not good enough for audiophiles. I like to listen more than analyze, the sound is good enough for me. No problems with the interface.
  2. Headphones/Ear Buds:
    Apple has improved their earbuds but I still bought a pair from JVC, I haven’t found a pair of cost-effective earphones to recommend yet.
  3. Cases/Skins/Armbands
    My case is made by Belkin, and I had a very good nano case from Mathias. The Belkin case is fine for me but wouldn’t be suitable for working out; there are lots of decent armbands but I haven’t tried any myself.

So, any personal experience with products to support recommendations on:
I like my Nano a lot. It holds enough for me to enjoy, but I don’t have nearly as much music as you do.

  1. Headphones/Ear Buds:
    I couldn’t use the headphones that came with the ipod either. I found a pair of $10 earbuds that have heads in three sizes so that you can put whichever one fits comfortably in your ear onto it. I really like them; they’re very comfortable.

  2. Cases/Skins/Armbands
    I got an iskin (i think) case when I got mine. It doesn’t have an armband, but it does have a lanyard–the cord for it plugs into the charging connector at the bottom.

  1. If you don’t need all of your music in one place, the nano is just fine. I’ve heard one and I thought it sounded just fine. Of my GF’s classic, my Ipod Touch, and my friend’s Nano, I think the sound quality, from best to worst is: Touch, Nano, Classic.
  2. Definitely headphones. Better sound, and less exposure to hearing damage.
  3. no opinion
  1. I love my Nano. Unfortunately I don’t really have any experience with Classic so that’s all I have for you there. I do like the size of it and don’t think I’d want something bigger for what I use it for (at the gym mostly).

  2. The ear buds don’t fit me well. And they’re nearly impossible to use while working out, I’ve found (like you, I mostly do the elliptical and weights). I got a pair of headphones for Christmas that hook over the tops of your ears so they don’t fall out as easily. They’re perfect. Pretty sure my sister just got them at Wal-Mart. Not sure what brand but I could check if you’re interested.

  3. I have a pretty nice leather case that I bought from the Apple store that’s nice for non-gym use. I think the case was around $30-$35. (Ah, here it is). I also have an arm band that I use at the gym. I can’t imagine working out without it. I got the arm band for Christmas along with the headphones and think it probably came from Wal-Mart too. It’s made by Belkin.

I saw the iSkin at the Apple Store. Is the Nano light enough that it doesn’t bounce around when hanging from the lanyard?

I have an originial Nano, and a Classic. I think the Nano is niftier. I got it, it was just so cool to have so much music come out of that little thing, and I started regretting that I couldn’t fit all of it; I was spending too much time fiddling with my playlists. I got a Classic and it’s not quite the same. The control wheel is clunkier and less responsive. Also you can feel the hard drive working, which makes the whole thing seem less magical to me. I think the Classic is better for at home, with the Nano being better for carrying around in your pocket.

A lot of the stink about the Classic sound quality comes from one guy who made some measurements, put them on a webpage and then started threads in several online forums. Those got covered on some news websites, Stereophile magazine, and also mentioned on Wikipedia. I don’t know if anyone else has repeated the measurements, and I don’t agree with all of his conclusions about how audible things might be. I doubt there are any differences you would hear with inexpensive headphones.

I’ve been disappointed by the sound of cheap in-ear headphones. For home listening, you can get great sound quality for the money with open-backed headphones. The drawback is that they offer no isolation from outside sounds.

If this is too much of a hijack I’ll gladly start another thread, but which of the models (if any) would all y’all recommend for replacing my home stereo entirely, ie, to hook up to speakers instead of headphones and hear all over my apartment? I have about 500 CDs so I’d thought the Classic would be the way to go, but not if the sound is tinny. TIA, E

I have an 8G 3rd generation Nano which I use to listen to podcasts on the bus and to music when I work out. I bought some Sony earbuds for it after my sister’s dog chewed up the ones that came with it. I also have a black neoprene Incase holder with clip, which I use most of the time, as well as an Incase arm strap for gym use. Maybe later I’ll upgrade to a Classic or maybe even an iPhone, but right now the Nano suits me just fine, as it’s small enough to clip to my work lanyard or drop in my jeans pocket.

I have and would recommend the Classic. I love the idea of having my whole collection of music available at all times, as I seem to spend an awful lot of time on planes. It was a lifesaver while deployed to the desert for 5 months. No CDs to drag around, etc. With 160 GB, the ability to be able to stick basically whatever videos I want on for long plane rides really sells the high capacity. As for sound quality/lag, most (if not all) of the issues with sound quality and hiss have been taken care of with various firmware updates. IF the lag is an issue (I notice occasionally, mostly on booting after a long period of non-use) disabling album art can do wonders. For working out, I just use the iPhone. It will be a great day when the iPhone capacity reaches Classic levels, and i can really have a 1-device solution. I have a nice Belkin armband that fits snugly and is easy insert and remove said phone for gym/everyday use. I lift/run/swing kettlebells a lot and it has not gotten in the way or come free yet.
As for earphones, I have a really nice set of Shures that compress to fit in your ear and are passive noise canceling that work well for flights, etc. For working out, after trying what seems like every headphone/bud/etc on the market, i really like the white Nike over the ear buds…excellent for the gym and all the bouncing around that i’ve encountered, decent sound quality, and reasonably priced at around $20 USD…i wish they’d make the same model specifically for the iPhone with the microphone in the wire, but hey…
Hope that helps a little…

I have a Nano. Can’t compare to the Classic. This is the only iPod I’ve owned.

I have just replaced the original earbuds with Nike Skylon headphones. So far, so good. I like the sound better. I’m not constantly having to adjust the EQ. I have the tiniest ears ever, so these aren’t perfect, but they stay in my ears better than the Apple ones. I had bought some Sennheisers previous, and returned them.

I also have the SCN Sportsuit Convertible for a case/armband. It can be converted from a belt clip to a hand clip to an armband. I like it. Lots of options for only thirty bucks.

Thanks for the input. I bought the 8GB Nano and the iSkin Duo. Looking into Ear Buds.

The earphones I’ve been recommending lately are the Sennheiser CX300. They’re in-ear buds, and will run you about $50. They’re worth it. Damn good sound for that price point.

An audiophile friend got those for cheap backup earphones for when he was traveling and didn’t want to tote along his huge and massively expensive Ultimate Ears. He thought they provide acceptably good sound. I’ve got Etymotic ER6i earphones, which were about $120. At half the price, the Sennheisers still come out pretty good in comparison. Definitely less detail than my Etys, but a warmer sound with more bass than more technical earphones.

I bought a pair for my wife and she loves them. Normally, she just rolls her eyes when I talk about something sounding better, but even she was wowed by the difference between the stock earphones from Apple and these.

Thanks… actually picked up a new pair on eBay for $12 + shipping.

In regards to the 80GB Ipod Classic, I have transferred albums that were originally vinyl, recorded onto cassettes and then synced onto the Ipod (after a bit of scratch cleanup and minor noise reduction via Audacity software). The sound is quite good, including what I get on headphones, both audiophile quality and wireless.

I’m not sure extra-picky/discriminating ears would be satisfied with the sound of a Classic fed through speakers at high volume compared to that of an upper-end standard stereo system, but my setup (which includes a small Bose plug-in speaker system) works great both at work and in the car, which is where almost all my listening takes place.

Thanks, Jackmanii, for the advice about iPod classic + speakers. I’d only be replacing a bookshelf stereo – hardly “upper-end” – so it sounds like I won’t mind the quality.

I’d like to think my ears are finely tuned, but my budget sure isn’t. :slight_smile:

Very sweet deal. Congratulations.

What country did they come from? I can’t help but wonder if they’re counterfeits.

There are actually other headphones that look almost the same as those. One is the Creative EP-630, which people in the headphone forums like, and they speculated as to whether the Sennheiser was different or not. In any case, there are counterfeits of many products that come out of Asia. It’s a big problem with guitars, for instance.

I was cautious. Contacted the seller , who is new, but their feedback was good. Located in Salem NH. It is not a huge loss if it were to go south, but I figured it was worth the chance and my eBay-vision said that the seller has a bunch of the same item, but the product appeared legit".