So here's a question that may have already been answered (but this thread is getting quite huge so I couldn't find it): is there hardware variance on the SGS3's design among the US models? I see people in places complaining about picking up noise at even low volumes whereas I see some saying they get none. In fact, I'd swear the sound coming from my SGS3 is actually so good that even though I have a way of doing an external DAC essentially that sounds good to me, I actually like the sound so much without it that I never bother even at home. (It's almost enough to make me wonder if there's some possibility that maybe some US models -- perhaps newer ones after a lot of complaints -- got the Wolfson DAC anyway?) I'm hearing quite a lot of fine detail and general quality here with no discernible noise. Now, I'll admit I don't have the "golden ears" of a true audiophile but still, this thing sounds amazing for a phone and better than most of my other devices quite frankly and my hearing and audio preferences are still quite a bit better than your average joe's at least. (In particular, you'll never catch me ruining my bass by raising it way up and distorting the heck out of it as well as making it overpower other frequencies. Mind you, I guess people who like doing that might be disappointed if it doesn't do a good enough job of it, lol.)
What's truly funny is neither my headphones nor my IEMs have the outer metal shielding on the cable so should be more inclined to act as an antenna for RFI (which is pretty easily a problem on a lot of cellphones.) Given that the Wolfson DAC made a big deal about its active filtering... Just a thought anyway. While, no doubt, people have looked at the innards of a few of the SGS3s, how many different ones have they looked at? Perhaps Samsung has varied the hardware a bit for different service providers? Alternately, could they have caved in to all of the upset people and put the Wolfson DAC back in the US model? Or is the alternative DAC just that good and many just have bad OPAMPs or something? The OPAMP does seem to be pretty capable in this one as it can handle my headphones and dual armature IEMs (UltimateEars Super.Fi 5 Pros) just fine. Even the bass seems to be fine with all the clarity and depth I get from my CMoy with the AD8620 . At this point I don't really mind which it is so much as I'm just a bit curious since mine sounds so good and yet so many people's do not. Of course everyone's ears are different, but I don't think they could be THAT different...
It may be worth noting that I've used Titanium Backup to freeze the built-in sound processing service (MusicFX,) so no unnecessary extra audio processing is occurring. I use PowerAmp, but have equalizer/tone control disabled in it too. Well, I do use ReplayGain which not only has the benefit of evening volume out among my collection but also of course helps to decrease clipping from post-Loudness War recordings (which I'll admit is most of my collection.) I've also wondered a bit if that built-in audio processor might have been doing some damage along the way potentially for people who prefer something more neutral or quality oriented. Otherwise it has to be hardware related if it's not that as I never saw anything else that could affect this and am not even running a custom kernel or anything. I'm not even using Jellybean and I've only done one firmware update at all since I got the phone (I decided not to mess with a good thing. I use a lot of custom software for my launchers and everything else, so see no reason to mess with it anyway since I wouldn't really benefit from the "upgrade" but might risk breaking something instead. I'll update some day as it matures more, but right now I'm in no rush.) All I've done was to root it so I could do stuff like that TitaniumBackup and SetCPU.
Anyway, just curious.
Edited by Nazo - 9/29/12 at 1:11am