Re: Cheapest entry level to iOS
I would have agreed with you at the time Apple first switched to Cirrus DACs. They sounded very tizzy and artificial comapred to the Wolfson DACs in the classic models. However Cirrus have got their act together and the current generation of iToys leave the classic iPod in the dust in terms of sound quality.
I've played off an iPod touch 5 Gen against an older classic 120GB. The touch sounded clear, precise in both treble and bass regions, the midrage was beautifully rendered. By comparison the classic sounded flabby in the bass, treble was really rolled off, and the midrange was just muddy. I guess that's what people refer to when they mention the Wolfson DAC warmth. I used Beyer Dynamic DT1350 and Sennheiser HD25 headphones to compare the two.
In fact there are quite a number of portable sound enthusiasts (I won't refer to them as audiophiles as I find the term insulting, and they're not fools) that rate the iPod 5th gen and iPhone 6 as some of the best sounding media players out there. I'm sure the iPod 6th gen will continue that trend.