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Device Sprawl and Android vs. Apple advice..

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Perhaps you are like me.  You have an iPod.  You have a SmartPhone.  You have a Tablet.  You have a Laptop.  You also have a whole bunch of cables not to mention a bunch of devices that stay home (desktop, xbox, etc).

 

Well my car now allows my Android Phone to play music via HDMI AND mirror it's display with my navigation screen (if I purchase the proper accessory).  Using Google Navigation and all my android apps in my car?!  HOORAY!!  But...

 

The problem is the music quality on the Android devices I've tried have been subpar when comparing to my current iPod Touch (though HDMI or headphones) and this device doesn't support mirroring iPhone displays (supposedly it's an Apple limitation).

 

I have spent at least 20-30 hours trying different ROM's, kernels, and media players on my current device (HTC EVO 3D) and I've made some small improvements (mostly through headphones not through HDMI), but when I performed a blind test among my friends they all (and always) picked the Apple iPod (which I consider my standard now because I've being using it as my media player for a couple years now).

 

What do I do?  Is there an Android phone that has great audio quality?  I'm on Sprint, so the International Galaxy S3 isn't really a viable option.  I heard the U.S. Galaxy S3 is not that impressive from an audio perspective.  Is that true?  What about the HTC EVO 4G LTE (sister to the One X I believe)?

 

I've read most of the threads in here, but there's a lot of conflicting information and very little information comparing the iPhone or iPod touch to Android platforms.  Any help you could offer (especially if you have references) would be EXTREMELY appreciated.  :-)

 

Thanks in advance for your time.

post #2 of 10

If you want the best audio quality then any version of the S3 with a USB DAC/amp is the way to go on Android. None of the Android devices on stock software stand up to iOS offerings for audio quality in my opinion (and I've owned MANY and also the iPhone 4S). Amongst current high-end offerings I've tried devices on all the major variants of internal hardware, so I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that as of right now this applies to all present Android devices.

 

I got a HeadAmp Pico USB DAC/amp for mine and I'm overjoyed with it really, one-off investment that I'll use down the line with Android devices and my laptop also.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

If you want the best audio quality then any version of the S3 with a USB DAC/amp is the way to go on Android. None of the Android devices on stock software stand up to iOS offerings for audio quality in my opinion (and I've owned MANY and also the iPhone 4S). Amongst current high-end offerings I've tried devices on all the major variants of internal hardware, so I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that as of right now this applies to all present Android devices.

 

I got a HeadAmp Pico USB DAC/amp for mine and I'm overjoyed with it really, one-off investment that I'll use down the line with Android devices and my laptop also.

 

Not the answer I wanted, but I appreciated your candor.

 

In your opinion (and speaking generally) what is keeping Android from surpassing Apple devices?  Is it hardware or just the stock software?  If so, are there any devices with custom roms/kernels that surpass Apple devices?

 

Thanks again for your time. 

post #4 of 10

For the most part its hardware related, the DACs in the Qualcomm and Tegra SoCs aren't particularly good. Samsung has at least started to choose good quality DACs (Wolfsons), but I don't think their implementations at the hardware and software levels are perfect just yet (the reason why a Galaxy S i9000 sounds so much better with Voodoo Sound than without). The software is certainly having some effect too, since users here have found measurable differences in sound quality from players that utilise stock audio software and ones like Neutron that have their own.

 

The Galaxy S and other devices that support Voodoo Sound are really the only ones that I think fare well in comparison to Apple's offerings, but none of those are really high-end any more. We're still waiting (and hoping) for Voodoo Sound support for the Galaxy S3 and Samsung's other new Wolfson DAC devices from Supercurio too (it's been a long wait so far, but he says he is still actively working on it, so it should appear at some point).

 

Having said that there are some here who prefer their International S3's to iOS devices, particularly when using Siyah kernel and audio tweaks, so YMMV.


Edited by NZtechfreak - 9/24/12 at 6:29pm
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

For the most part its hardware related, the DACs in the Qualcomm and Tegra SoCs aren't particularly good. Samsung has at least started to choose good quality DACs (Wolfsons), but I don't think their implementations at the hardware and software levels are perfect just yet (the reason why a Galaxy S i9000 sounds so much better with Voodoo Sound than without). The software is certainly having some effect too, since users here have found measurable differences in sound quality from players that utilise stock audio software and ones like Neutron that have their own.

 

The Galaxy S and other devices that support Voodoo Sound are really the only ones that I think fare well in comparison to Apple's offerings, but none of those are really high-end any more. We're still waiting (and hoping) for Voodoo Sound support for the Galaxy S3 and Samsung's other new Wolfson DAC devices from Supercurio too (it's been a long wait so far, but he says he is still actively working on it, so it should appear at some point).

 

Having said that there are some here who prefer their International S3's to iOS devices, particularly when using Siyah kernel and audio tweaks, so YMMV.

 

Ok, thanks for the feedback.  Do you (or anyone else) have any hope/leads on the new handsets coming out this holiday season?

 

Also, I'm assuming that the DAC only affects headphone and/or internal speaker sound, right?  Any idea why HDMI out to my receiver would be even worse than my headphone audio AND more importantly worse than my iPod Touch?  Aren't both using the DAC in the receiver?  

 

Thanks for educating me.

post #6 of 10
I just passed on iphone5 switching from iphone4 to DROID RAZR M. And I totally regret it now for one and only one reason (well, screen and camera are two others) - headphone out is atrocious compared to ip4 and Sense. It's hissy and weak so it can't properly drive my westones 4 which sound unbelievably flat and low resolution with this damn phone. EQing barely helps. So beware.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebs View Post

 

Ok, thanks for the feedback.  Do you (or anyone else) have any hope/leads on the new handsets coming out this holiday season?

 

Also, I'm assuming that the DAC only affects headphone and/or internal speaker sound, right?  Any idea why HDMI out to my receiver would be even worse than my headphone audio AND more importantly worse than my iPod Touch?  Aren't both using the DAC in the receiver?  

 

Thanks for educating me.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?  I'm a little confused on internal vs external DAC's and sound differences with iPod Touch and EVO 3d.  Thanks!

 

Did I mention I'm willing to bribe someone who can explain it to me ;-)  j/k


Edited by rebs - 9/25/12 at 3:32pm
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by albau View Post

I just passed on iphone5 switching from iphone4 to DROID RAZR M. And I totally regret it now for one and only one reason (well, screen and camera are two others) - headphone out is atrocious compared to ip4 and Sense. It's hissy and weak so it can't properly drive my westones 4 which sound unbelievably flat and low resolution with this damn phone. EQing barely helps. So beware.

 

Thanks for your honest feedback. I hope you find some resolution with your current situation.
post #9 of 10

I'm also on sprint and the best option now is to pick up a nexus s4g on ebay, root it, put on a nice jelly bean rom, voodoo sound and neutron player. 

This will give you a very high quality system, newest os, small size, affordable price. 

The new crop of nexus devices may be the answer, but that is months away 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjrmd View Post

I'm also on sprint and the best option now is to pick up a nexus s4g on ebay, root it, put on a nice jelly bean rom, voodoo sound and neutron player. 

This will give you a very high quality system, newest os, small size, affordable price. 

The new crop of nexus devices may be the answer, but that is months away 

 

I did come across the nesus s4g, but if I remember correctly it only has 16GB of storage and no SD Card slot.  I currently have a 32GB iPod Touch almost full, so that's not really a viable option for me.  However, I sincerely appreciate your suggestion and participation in this thread.

 

Do you have any links to the new nexus devices that are coming out?  Any word on whether google is going to start allowing SD Card's with their devices?  

 

Thanks again for your time

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