Have not heard a stock ipod, but paired with my CD Player, it sounds tremendous. Much better than without the amp. I use it with the Etymotic 4p headphones when I travel. I have used the airhead for about 2 years and just bought the total airhead. I recommend you audition either one.
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To me, the "airhead" isn't a knock-down revelation worth any grand overstatement, but it does what it sets out to do quite well, and deserves a solid recommendation. #1) It does sound beyond appreciably better than my stock CD portable (a recent Philips), and #2) it provides enough gain to take away the airplane, without the annoying "noise cancelling" tricks of that sort of headphones - most of which are audible and create an unnatural feeling of pressure on my ears. I prefer the pressure in my ears to be musical, not sound like some faint white-noise generator somewhere behind my sinuses. Lastly, it's worth the money if you travel more than once a year, or even if you only travel once a year and just plain don't like it, dammit, and prefer good sound to keep your mind at ease.
You might want to look at the new HeadRoom BitHead as well. It allows connection via USB to your computer and is the equivalent of the AirHead when used as a portable device. The link for the BitHead at Headroom is here. Bob