Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Smartphones as Sources
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Smartphones as Sources - Page 2

post #16 of 48

A bit off topic here- I have a Sony Ericsson W8 (basically a re branded X8) which I had promptly rooted after 3 days of purchase. I proceeded to install a custom kernel and load in a custom ROM (now it's cm7.2). The music quality is great- with a relatively clean output with Player Pro and the DSP module- to my ears at least. I find it miles better than my old Nokia 5320 and my friend's new htc Explorer (stock ROM, stock music app- whose eq-s are terrible). The X8, as I found out has quite a bit of juice too- it can drive my Grado SR60i-s easily. Also it can play HD FLAC files without any problem!! The only caveat is my paltry 4 gig sd card.

 

Dedicated pmp-s may sound better, but it's a bit of a hassle to carry two devices which do the same thing all the time. I used to use dedicated mp3 players before, but after purchasing the X8, I didn't really feel the need to do so. Audiophiles maybe able to detect the deficiencies in the SQ a smartphone & a dedicated pmp can produce, but you gotta admit that the gap between the two has blurred quite a lot. So, I think a smartphone's a pretty good choice as a portable source nowadays. High end players like the Hifiman series and the new Colorfly one can make smartphones look like wimps when it comes to audio reproduction, but they aren't really portable and practical- especially in crowded, smelly and noisy public transports we've got in India.


Edited by lepermessiah - 2/19/12 at 9:36am
post #17 of 48

hey lepermessiah,

 

Interesting story about your w8. I have an x10 actually, which is my source for now (considering a cowon d3 or z2). I assume your cm7 was through the FXP project, or miniCM? Could you tell me anything about the custom kernel, did it have any audio fixes implemented? I've looked for something similar to voodoo for the x10, but was unsuccesful.

As for the SQ of smartphones, IMO they're acceptable, but not that good either (I've owned an htc desire, moto milestone, and now x10). But things get a lot more interesting when you get a DAP which can handle 24-bit audio and higher sampling rates than 44KHz.

post #18 of 48

Yes, my custom rom's the minicm7 for the nAA kernel (which's what I'm using). The DSP Manager I was talking about is present when the custom rom is installed. Apart from that, I don't know about any other audio fixes the kernel has.. I didn't pay much attention to the notes nor to any of the changelogs..

 

 

About the SQ of smartphones- you're right, but for majority of people they aren't gonna sound that different from an average pmp. A noob like me won't be missing a clinically neutral output if the music's enjoyable, the source is acceptable and when using above average 'phones. But for the gifted folks with keen, trained ears, it could make a lot of difference.

post #19 of 48

Ah right, you meant the DSP Manager App, that can be pretty useful.

Did you notice a difference in SQ between Player Pro and the stock music app? what kind of source files are you using?

I have some Phonak PFE 112, and some FLAC files from EACed CDs, I couldn't notice a difference in SQ between the stock player and PowerAmp or Neutron Player. Although Neutron Player has some interesting sound stage effects, which I turned off for sake of comparison. I haven't tried out Player Pro

 

EDIT: your w8 has enough juice to drive your Grado's? I guess you're lucky, my volume is always two or three notches away from max, and our headphones have the same 32 ohm Impedence. This really makes me hesitate on having a seperate DAP, or a better smartphone with a wolfson DAC chip


Edited by nezhac - 2/21/12 at 12:22pm
post #20 of 48
Droid 4 here - no eq badness from the 3.5mm jack, but plenty of hiss and background noise.

Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezhac View Post

Ah right, you meant the DSP Manager App, that can be pretty useful.

Did you notice a difference in SQ between Player Pro and the stock music app? what kind of source files are you using?

I have some Phonak PFE 112, and some FLAC files from EACed CDs, I couldn't notice a difference in SQ between the stock player and PowerAmp or Neutron Player. Although Neutron Player has some interesting sound stage effects, which I turned off for sake of comparison. I haven't tried out Player Pro

 

EDIT: your w8 has enough juice to drive your Grado's? I guess you're lucky, my volume is always two or three notches away from max, and our headphones have the same 32 ohm Impedence. This really makes me hesitate on having a seperate DAP, or a better smartphone with a wolfson DAC chip

 

 

I didn't notice any difference in SQ between PlayerPro and the stock music app. However, I tried PowerAmp today while commuting and am impressed. I don't know how, but the mids seemed clearer and more vivid to me when played back through PowerAmp. The guitar riffs and shreds seemed more vivid. I didn't use any eq or preamp, but I did boost up the bass a little- the knob was at 9 o'clock position. The catch here is that I was using my crappy Creatives redface.gif (I'm planning to get a pair of better iems pretty soon...)

 

Yeah- the W8 can drive my Grados fine. I do not need to go beyond half the volume most of the time. Sure, the Phonaks and the Grados may have the same impedence, but what about sensitivity? Doesn't that play a major role here too? The Grado SR60i's are pretty sensitive. Maybe that's why the W8 can drive it well.

 


Edited by lepermessiah - 2/22/12 at 8:29am
post #22 of 48
Thread Starter 

Anyone know anything about the DACs in the Beats Audio phones? I know that the "Beats Audio" setting is just a custom EQ but I'm curious if anyone knows anything about the ACTUAL DACs used in these devices. I work for T-Mobile and may have a shot at getting the HTC One S, which will be Beats branded. Just hoping it's something DECENT, like the Wolfson chip used in the Galaxy S.

 

Also hoping my Magenta might be getting the Galaxy Nexus...any word on its audio quality or any other recent top-tier phones?

post #23 of 48
I'm using my Nexus a my source rooted with Gummy 7.6, Power Amp and Yuin PK2's with iBasso D-0 amp. I'm not an audiophile by any measure, but it all sounds good to me. The amp only had a few hours on it, and I'm waiting for my HF3's to get here. I don't always use the amp, and the phone seems to handle the PK's fine enough. Now I just need to order that big @ss Seidio 3800ma battery to get me through the day.smily_headphones1.gif

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
post #24 of 48
Thread Starter 

Sweet, thanks :) I've heard some rumors that we might be getting the GNex, if so I may take the dive...I'll have to see what else launches around that time, though; 1.2ghz dual core is going to be old news once everything has ICS...

post #25 of 48

I have a HTC Sensation 4G.  As a source it's ok, but just as a FYI, HTC will be updating MANY phones very soon to Ice Cream Sandwich which brings, among other improvements, USB LINE OUT DOCK capability!  So now you can pair your cell with a portable dac/amp and that should improve sound quality markedly.  HTC Sensation + fiio e7 + power amp = good combo!  I also have to say that I use my HTC Sensation 4G with a Fiio e6 right now for morning commutes and it provides decent listening.   The 3.5mm jack is a little noisy, but there are worse sources out there.

post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the Sensation wasn't bad, but it was noticeably inferior to the HTC Desire HD that I own and still use (lost my Sensation at a NYE show...d'oh). The sensation had a brighter/clearer sound than the Desire HD, but lacked extension at both ends as well as impact on the low end and a bit of detail throughout. The mids on the Desire HD were noticeably richer and more defined.


Edited by Gilly87 - 2/22/12 at 6:58pm
post #27 of 48

The G Nex doesn't have the wolfson chip that the Nexus S has, you can read a bit about it on this forum, but it's definitely inferior to the Nexus S.

 

I don't know what DAC hte HTC One S will have, but if it's anything like the sensation XE, which has it's EQ permanently exaggerating the bass, it'll be another disappointment :(

 

From the information I've gathered, some smartphones with wolfson chips:

Samsung Galaxy S

Nexus S

LG Optimus 2X

 

I read that the Tegra chipset includes a wolfson DAC, don't have many sources saying that though.

post #28 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hmmmm...I wonder if the Tegra 3 will have the Wolfson DAC it as well.

post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezhac View Post

The G Nex doesn't have the wolfson chip that the Nexus S has, you can read a bit about it on this forum, but it's definitely inferior to the Nexus S.

 

I don't know what DAC hte HTC One S will have, but if it's anything like the sensation XE, which has it's EQ permanently exaggerating the bass, it'll be another disappointment :(

 

From the information I've gathered, some smartphones with wolfson chips:

Samsung Galaxy S

Nexus S

LG Optimus 2X

 

I read that the Tegra chipset includes a wolfson DAC, don't have many sources saying that though.


 

Sorry for my noob question, but what's with a Wolfson DAC anyway? Is it that good?

Btw, didn't know that the Optimus 2X had one- the audio quality scores at gsmarena for the Optimus 2X are pretty mediocre according to them and they aren't too thrilled with it in the original review. Here's a newer link comparing it with the Galaxy R.

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_r_vs_lg_optimus_2x-review-713p4.php

Also, what impact does stereo crosstalk have with audio reproduction?

 

post #30 of 48

Wolfson DACs are in the better sound DAPs, in the Cowons, for example, people raves over them, you can find a lot of reading on this forums. Those smartphones with Wolfson DACs can be patch with custom firmware/kernal to use the full potential of the DAC.


Edited by lxxl - 2/25/12 at 6:37pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Smartphones as Sources