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Headphone Audio Quality

36 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

I'm sold on this phone but really need to know what the audio quality is like through the headphone socket. I listen to a lot of classical music so it needs to be loud and have good depth. I'm coming from a Sam Gal Apollo which is good but never matched my Nokia 5800 or SE w810i (the best of the lot). How does this phone compare-I've my own selection of headphones as I'm sure the free ones aren't up to much?

Forgive me if this has already been covered elsewhere but I have searched in vain through the posts already.

Many thanks in advance for your help,

Daveyman1

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Posted · Report post

The audio qaulity is standard really,just like all androids apart form high end devices,but none of that matters.

What matters is two things:

1) Headphones

2) Music playing software

I personally use sennheiser headphones,and poweramp from market,which is by far the best in sound quality.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Personally I get quite a bit of hiss but then I'm used to using a Cowon music player so might be being harsh

Edited by Prog_Drummer
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Posted · Report post

Personally I get quite a bit of hiss but then I'm used to using a Cowon music player so might be being harsh

I get hiss too. For listening to classical music it would be more prominent.

But it's worth it for the phone and price. I use a separate mp3 player for music anyway

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Posted · Report post

The headphone volume is far far too low basically.

Keith

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Posted · Report post

I think it could do with a few more notches to the volume,but its reasonably loud enough with noise cancelling headphones and poweramp which has preamp.

So I dont agree that its far far to low,unless one has the B882 rom or has flashed custom rom without getting audio fix.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks to all for this info.

Do you think any future firmware/software updates might improve things?

I do have some good headphones so will give it a go and suppose I could always carry my sansa clip if it's dire.

Cheers,

D

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Posted · Report post

try in the shop before you buy.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thanks to all for this info.

Do you think any future firmware/software updates might improve things?

I do have some good headphones so will give it a go and suppose I could always carry my sansa clip if it's dire.

Cheers,

D

The Dsp sound manager will improve a lot the sound experience. Special effects like fade crossing between songs, equalizer, bass enhancer... There is a chinese rom with dsp installed for the u8818.

http://www.cyanogenmod.com/features/dsp-equalizer

Edited by weckl
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Posted · Report post

Does anyone think that there might be a genuine huawei OTA software fix for audio improvement in the future. Do we need to complain to Huawei direct and say it's not good enough etc or do you think it'll get sorted in 'due corse' like a lot of other glitches?

Hope this gets to be an issue for them as it's an important aspect of many people's phone usage and it would be a shame if such an excellent handset is compromised thus. Particularly as the SAR level is nice and low so that we won't fry our brains listening to our Mp3s

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Posted · Report post

I don't think they will fix it, at least not on gingerbread anyway. We may have more hope on the ICS 'demo'.

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Posted · Report post

The sound quality is as poor as on my old HTC Hero. There is a varying background buzzing, which I assume is interference from the high frequency circuitry (processor?). The only way I could solve it is with Blutooth headphones. I have just put this down to the devices being cheaper than Apple. My old ipod nano had perfect sound in comparison to these Android phones. For classical music, no chance, I can't listen to spoken word podcasts due to the background noise. Also the sound output is very quiet. Paul

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the info everyone. I'll just have to hope that ICS improves things I suppose. How can some phone manufacturer's get it right even in lower end devices (partic Samsung) and others not, I guess it's 'priorities'?

Out of interest is the sound really bad when watching video too?

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Posted · Report post

This can be 'fixed' by using an external volume control. By cranking up the volume on the phone to near max, and turning down the external volume this hiss is reduced relative to the sound output.

My in ear headphones were high volume output, and impossible to turn up enough to mitigate the hiss without damaging my hearing. Now they sound actually very good. Zero hiss. I'm also using poweramp with some preamp gain (5db) and mid range cut to compensate for quiet mp3's. This way you get the max signal out of the phone relative to the hiss which is at a constant level.

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Posted · Report post

Did you ever buy one daveyman1? If so what did you make of it in the end?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Just in case this question is still relevant to someone thinking about buying the phone, I'll comment on it.

Volume is decent (although not super loud) and music sounds okay in general, but the signal to noise ratio is far from good, to be honest. There's a very noticeable hiss, probably due to internal noise generated by the electronic components of the phone. Using good quality headphones can help a bit but it's still prominent. It won't disappear with updates and it'll probably be even more noticeable with classical music.

If you're a bit of an audiophile, you're going to notice it for sure. I'm okay with it for casual listening (some music and podcasts while commuting; since there's quite a lot of external noise in those situations I don't notice the noise of the phone's audio that much) but I wouldn't use it as my main audio player (not at home, for example).

Edited by ahatomastarday
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Posted · Report post

Thanks for that. I now use my phone as my main MP3 player. I had a ZTE Blade previously which wasn't very good, and now have a ZTE Skate which is much better. I would be interested to hear comparisons from anyone who have previously owned a Skate particularly.

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Posted · Report post

The majority of folks using mobile phones as music players will likely be using ear bud type headphones, they'll tend to be low impedance and high sensitivity which makes them easy to drive with a good volume range on portable devices. My ear buds have an impedance value of 18ohms and sensitivity of 108db and I get a very noticeable hiss, my Grado 225's on the other hand are 32 ohms and 98db sensitivity and I don't hear any hiss even in a quiet room. Same goes for the Sennheiser hd555 and hd580's I have lying around but these are much higher impedance headphones. So if you're out to buy some new earbuds look for ones that have a higher impedance and or sensitivity but likeahatomastarday I can't hear it while I'm out and about commuting which tbh is the only reason I'd listen to my phone for music.

Alternatively you can add resistors to increase impedance, use a volume volume control adapter which is basically the same thing or build a hissbuster. They all basically solve this by reducing the volume allowing you to crank up the volume control on your phone without deafening yourself.

I've personally tried a volume control and I built various adapters with resistors in them to try to make the whole unit smaller but just ended up not using them in the end since they add cable length and bulk which was more of a pita than the hiss which I can't hear while commuting :P

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Posted · Report post

The majority of folks using mobile phones as music players will likely be using ear bud type headphones, they'll tend to be low impedance and high sensitivity which makes them easy to drive with a good volume range on portable devices. My ear buds have an impedance value of 18ohms and sensitivity of 108db and I get a very noticeable hiss, my Grado 225's on the other hand are 32 ohms and 98db sensitivity and I don't hear any hiss even in a quiet room. Same goes for the Sennheiser hd555 and hd580's I have lying around but these are much higher impedance headphones. So if you're out to buy some new earbuds look for ones that have a higher impedance and or sensitivity but likeahatomastarday I can't hear it while I'm out and about commuting which tbh is the only reason I'd listen to my phone for music.

Alternatively you can add resistors to increase impedance, use a volume volume control adapter which is basically the same thing or build a hissbuster. They all basically solve this by reducing the volume allowing you to crank up the volume control on your phone without deafening yourself.

I've personally tried a volume control and I built various adapters with resistors in them to try to make the whole unit smaller but just ended up not using them in the end since they add cable length and bulk which was more of a pita than the hiss which I can't hear while commuting :P

Completely agree with that. In my post I was talking about my experience with earbuds especifically, since I asummed that's what everybody uses with a phone on the go. With proper headphones the hiss pretty much dissapears (at least I couldn't hear any when I tried the phone with my Sennheiser HD 4-something at home).

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Posted · Report post

Audio quality wise this is definitely below my HTC Desire, and my dedicated MP3 player. It starts to distort at high volumes in the low mids and generally lacks definition in the high mids and treble region. You get used to it of course, but for £100 you shouldn't expect terrific sound quality.

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Posted · Report post

You could try the beats Audio mod, I found it worked great for the ZTE Cresent.

Much richer sound, you can get the installer off the Play store.

Not tested it on the G300 Yet but its on my list.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You could try the beats Audio mod, I found it worked great for the ZTE Cresent.

Much richer sound, you can get the installer off the Play store.

Not tested it on the G300 Yet but its on my list.

DO NOT TRY beats audio on your g300, I put it on and now my phone can't get past the boot screen, I'm currently trying unbrick it.

Edited by leefal
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Posted (edited) · Report post

DO NOT TRY beats audio on your g300, I put it on and now my phone can't get past the boot screen, I'm currently trying unbrick it.

Beats audio installer worked fine for me.

Edited by noobi
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Posted · Report post

worked here too

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Posted · Report post

The audio qaulity is standard really,just like all androids apart form high end devices,but none of that matters.

What matters is two things:

1) Headphones

2) Music playing software

I personally use sennheiser headphones,and poweramp from market,which is by far the best in sound quality.

software has next to nothing to do with sound quality.

The internals of the phone and the headphones are the most important part and also you need to have internals and headphones which suit each other.

e.g. if your going to be using HUGE studio type headphones which need a lot of power to be driven, then i do not know of a single phone which can use them to their full potential without an external amplifier.

also the best SQ is usually produced by using an external amp and a digital signal (not the headphone out socket).

you need all of the below to make decent SQ

1. Good Phone Internals

2. Good Headphones

3. External Amp (if required)

4. Decent File Quality

the best phone for sound quality that i know of is the nokia N8 believe it or not because it can do digital audio out through it's USB which can then be processed by a FIIO DAC and then by a FIIO Amp and then to the headphones, but that means carrying 3 different devices and a lot of wires/connectors.

the second best option for sound quality is an iphone using the dock connector (not headphone out) to connect to a FIIO Amp and then to the headphones, which means carrying two different devices and a lot of wires/connectors.

therefore the best option is usually just to have 2 different devices if your after SQ, a phone and a Cowon device but even they differ in SQ so try and get the best you can afford.

if your going to be using in ear headphones, then usually phone internals are good enough to power them, and the best SQ will be through buying a phone with high end components in them. the S3 and iPhone are roughly the same in that compartment. a phone like the G300 will never be able to compete with high end internals that those phones have, the chips are a lot more expensive.

so to sum up all of the above:

1. If you have BIG headphones buy a Cowon or use an external amp (and DAC).

2. If you have in-ear phones buy a top of the range mobile with high end chips (http://www.head-fi.org/ has more information on which phones have the best components)

3. Software has practically nothing to do with SQ, all it can do is manipulate the sound (Equ on iphone is the best app out there for manipulating sound quality, afaik there is no app which comes close to it on android so far).

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