Whisper it quietly, but the iPod touch and iPhone aren’t quite the audiophile’s choice that Apple would have you believe. They’re competent enough, but match them up to a Cowon or Colorfly player and their limitations become apparent.
Much of the blame for this can be squarely pointed at the default Music player that ships with iOS. If you find yourself frustrated at the default sound settings, wait until you tap Settings > Music > EQ to apply one of the 22 custom presets: more often than not your sound ends up worse than it did before you started.
Part of that problem might be down to your headphones, but even when you pair a more expensive set with your iOS device, the results aren’t that much better. This is where Accudio Free comes in: select your exact headphones model from the list of over 300 supported, and it’ll download a preset that converts the sound to the best possible Hi-Fi sound for that model based on analysis made by Golden Ears.
With the basic analysis made, you can even attempt to emulate a different set of phones by selecting a different Simulation Mode, which can do wonders for cheaper headphones, potentially saving you the cost of an expensive upgrade.
Accudio also provides you with options for fine-tuning your sound through one of two graphics equalizer modes. When setting your basic reference model, you’ll see a five-bar equalizer - covering sub bass, bass, vocalist, sibilance and treble - offering options for tweaking the gain by 10dB either way for each frequency. And if that isn’t enough, there’s a full-blown, customisable 10-bar equalizer hidden away too, with even finer controls over the sound quality. The results are amazing – particularly when compared to the muddied presets offered by the default Music player.
This is where the limitations start to kick in: Accudio Free only supports a single custom preset and a single reference mode setting too. For unlimited presets, plus additional functionality such as support for OGG and lossless FLAC formats, you’ll need to upgrade to Accudio Pro for $4.99 – do this from within the app (tap Settings > Etc > Store).