Why has my Iphone more detail than my stereo setup?

Hi folks,
I hope I'm posting in the right place here.
Recently I noticed that when I listen to music of youtube videos there seems to be a lot more detail to the high frequencies coming from the flimsy Iphone speaker as opposed to my stereo setup. although the overall sound is way better from my stereo in almost every aspect there are certain soundsI just dont hear when using my stereo.
Atm I'm using a squeezebox touchless touch (without screen and without analog output caps), 1973 braun 501l speakers with recapped crossovers and a '73 sony ta-1150 also completely recapped with all the caps up to 10uf upgraded to film caps and also a few more approved value changes.
The track where I specifically noticed this is irredeemable by spacey koala...and even when I listen to it on youtube through my Iphone there seems to be more detail than from a wav file of the same track listened through my stereo...any ideas how this is possible?
All the best and thanks!
That IS an interesting puzzle!

Is your iPhone one of those having no way to get the signal out -- no headphone jack, of course, but no BluTooth either?

If there is, I would definitely wanna know how it sounds piped through the stereo. What are you using for a DAC and digital source when listening to the stereo?

Usually UTube would not be the source with the best/most detail.

Thats what puzzles me too. Actually I did try to listen to the u tube version through my stereo using the 3,5mm jack in the phone and its not as detailed as the sound the iphone speaker produces. maybe its the position of the speakers as I havent tried the am with headphones yet simply coz I dont have my headphone here atm. My digital source it the logitech squeezebox touch which of course isnt high end or even close but the dac in there is not the worst either. I have a heavily modified fiio d3 somewhere which I will try but I doubt it'll be better as on comparison with a sb touch the squeezebox had better measurements.
As for changing my setup...I have gathered some amps to swap around over the last few years and I'll evaluate if one will give me the desired detail some time soon...candidates to check : sansui 5000x, rotel 800rx, the fisher 500tx, A&R A60, NAD 3020, the fisher 201 futura series, Harman Kardon 430 and a few more But I want this Sony to sound good as well as its supposed to sound good!!
@Michael: Thats a thing I am not 100%sure of yet and will have to find out as for sure at least the intro of the track sounds quite a bit distorted through youtube but I was pretty sure to simply hear sounds I'm totally missing when listening to my stereo. First I thought someone had altered the track by making those details louder but as they are also missing when connecting my phone to the stereo I'm a bit...not so sure anymore. It's 2.23am here so I will investigate this crime to my ears tomorrow...thanks for the input so far :)
Something must be amiss to your stereo. There is no way the speakers on your iphone is better than your setup. Or are you saying that your iphone with headphones sounds better? I may believe that. But that's not what you said.

Anyway, you may be missing a frequency range with your home system speakers. Have you done any testing with a mic and frequency analyzer?

By the way, just learned of that band from your thread. I think I'm adding them to my playlist.

Good luck!!
Hi Eddie,
I'm not saying the overall sound from my iphone is better, thats definitely not the case but there are certain details in the upper frequency range that I am missing when listening to it through my stereo...
I dont have a microphone or posibility to check on the frequency range of my speakers and also not the knowledge (yet) to do so, I just have a Dmm and a scope so far. Btw when I recapped the speakers I used the same values, I just changed from 'lytics to film if I remember correctly...think I replaced a 30uf lytic with 3x10uf film caps (polycarbonate)
Last edited:
to be honest, I don't have a mic or a way to test the frequency range either but I started researching it this week. I'm looking forward to testing my system to see where the range dips and rises. When you know that, adjustments can be made. I'd prefer to do it with changing out gear or room treatments. In my opinion (just that), getting the signal as intended to your ear is best without changing any of the tone/level/delays in your system (bass/treble and so on). Again, that's my opinion. do you know anyone in your area that may have a set of horn speakers? Almost any Klipsch will do. Careful.... once you go there, you may wish you didn't.

that's the most fun :)

Oh, and now I've moved over to some Jazz

Last edited:
Just another Moderator
Joined 2003
Paid Member
Stating what things you can hear on the iphone that you can't on the main system would be helpful.

If you go stand right next to your speaker or specifically put your ear near the tweeter, do you now hear the sounds that you hear on the iphone?

Listening to an iphone speaker is generally nearfield and it likely has a quite different spectral balance to a stereo in a room. Another possibility is that the high frequencies on your main speakers are rolled off, and they are more flat on your iphone.

The track where I specifically noticed this is irredeemable by spacey koala...and even when I listen to it on youtube through my Iphone there seems to be more detail than from a wav file of the same track listened through my stereo...any ideas how this is possible?
All the best and thanks!

Note that any comparisons must be apples with apples. You need to play the same track through your iPhone and your stereo ( with the iphone as the source) or all bets are off. The track you have a wav of and the one on youtube could be completely different masters!

Last edited:
I did compare apples to apples, used the same file but upon further investigation I am more and more convinced that what I think is more detail actually is distortion and lack of bass hence a more prominent presence of the high tones...I will have to listen to it a few more times before I can be certain of this though...
Ok I did listen to it several times now and I am quite sure that it was a mix of me not listening and paying attention properly and the overall different sound of the iphone6 which just has no bass and hence the mids and highs do stand out more...sorry for sort of wasting anybodies time I really was convinced theres something wrong with my stereo which turned out to be my head;)
thanks anyway for making me pay more attention now:)
Maybe this is too late -- sounds like you've already slain this dragon -- but here's another factor that may contribute ...

The phone is mono at the speaker (I assume ?) and compromises are made when combining two channels into one.

Your hypothesis is excellent, and it is a known masking effect that you described. But don't be hard on your brain ;) its doing the fine work that has helped our species get this far.

Well we are known for the stupidity of this "eye for an eye" kind of behavior throughout the whole galaxy...on the other hand...the human race is able to shoot cars into the suns orbit and master propulsive landing of rockets...maybe you are right and brains actually are pretty
cool ;)