For the second time in about five years the jack socket on the top of my iPod has become corrupted, meaning that one channel had a tendency to cut out so you could hear music in only one ear. You could fiddle around with the jack on the headphones a bit and the problem temporarily solved itself, but then if you moved the iPod it cut out again. The first time this happened the frustration led me to eventually buy a new iPod, and though Apple gave me a sort of part exchange deal whereby they took a few quid off the price of a new one, I still felt hard done by, not least because it worked perfectly in the docking speaker system I have at home.
So this time around I decided to be more creative. Since yet again the iPod still works fine in the docking speaker – meaning there’s nothing wrong with the 30 pin socket on the base of the iPod – what was clearly needed was an arrangement whereby this could be hooked up to the headphones, but no cable seems to exist with a 30 pin male plug on one end and a female jack socket on the other.
The only way around this was to invest in a FiiO E17 Portable Headphone Amplifier (£120) and a FiiO Right Angled Line Out Dock Cable (£8.50) to link it to the IPod, and to plug the headphone jack into the top of this mini amp. Well, whoopee, early indications are that this arrangement not only works perfectly but the sound of the iPod is massively enhanced too, not just louder but much clearer. Volume goes from zero to 60, and 30 is just fine, and you can adjust the bass and treble too.
And hopefully it’s given the trusty iPod a few more years of active life.