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New LG Nexus 4 phone -- sound quality?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I think the title says all. There's an upcoming Nexus phone, namely LG Nexus 4, and I'm interested to hear if anyone has any news about it's sound quality, so we can have a relative comparison to the GS3/Iphone 5/Iphone 4 :)

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm also interested in the sound quality of the Galaxy Note 2, if anyone knows anything about it :)

post #3 of 15

Will probably have the same DAC as the dual core S4 SoC phones, which is alright but not of the same calibre as the wolfson-equipped phones or the iPhone. The Note 2 sounds better than the S3, despite having the same Wolfson DAC. Here are some thoughts I already posted about the Note 2 Vs iPhone 4 (additional note: althoughI didn't hear hiss there is hiss present for users of very sensitive IEMs as reported here by Elfary and others):

 

"So, what we did yesterday was a blind, volume matched A/B test of the iPhone 4 Vs Note 2 (followed by informal listening including with the S3). The person switching phones was able to switch A&B randomly.

When measuring volume output we had the S3 maxed, the Note was within 1dB (best equipment at our disposal would allow) of the S3 at one step down from max volume, the iPhone was three down from max (and measured ~18dB higher max volume output over the S3!). Then we had a number of test tracks - 46&2 by Tool (the intro is a master class in splash cymbals and an excellent test of imaging, good for looking at mids presentation and attack in the guitars too), Teardrop by Massive Attack (primarily looking for bass extension, used the LCD-2 as a reference), Karma Police by Radiohead (really assessing mids for the most part), Who Knew by Eminem (just for a different genre as much as anything). Although some tracks leant themselves to drilling down into particular details we tried to consider each track from all points of view also. We really wanted to do some jazz testing also, but the iPhone was a loaner and additionally running low on battery before we got back to formal tests after a lengthy informal listening period to refresh the concentration a bit.

In the blind test we both felt there was very little in it for the most part. Interestingly we both came from the position of assuming the iPhone was the better sounding phone, but overall the Note 2 actually had a slight advantage in our picks for each track. The fact that we both came into it with a preconception was an excellent validation of the blind testing method. Even better, we were also able to pick it when the phones were swapped on the same track in the back and forth listening, despite the fact that there wasn't a lot of difference in the sound.

I know the one thing you are really desperate to know about is noise, unfortunately I'm not convinced I can advise of that (I have the bit of high frequency hearing loss) - we were listening with the 13ohm UE600 (I sold my ACS T15 a while back, and at 42ohm they weren't as well suited for assessing noise floor as the UE600 in any case). I couldn't hear hiss in either case, which means it was either not there, or my hearing loss prevented me from detecting it. Nik didn't note any hiss in his listening either though. You're probably aware the UE600s have a fairly precipitous treble roll off, so assessing highs wasn't really in the scope of this listening test.

Other specific little notes: the electronic rimshot in Teardrop was really, really strident and fatiguing on the Note 2 - I actually blinked or slightly flinched in anticipation of it (Nik independently noted that too) - but apart from the rimshot I preferred the rest of the sound from the Note 2 better on that track (Elfary kindly measured the frequency of this for me, at around the 1200KHz mark). In corollary to that the snare snap in Who Knew was a similar level of intolerable on the 4, so that was a little each way. Resolved detail was very hard to call, I picked the Note 2 for some tracks, but the iPhone 4 edged it slightly overall. Instrument separation favoured the iPhone a bit. I think looking overall the iPhone maintained some advantages in terms of resolution and imaging, but the Note 2 had the more musical presentation which is why we tended to pick it overall slightly more.

Naturally that is very encouraging for the Note 2, however the volume output is still a massive advantage to the iPhone, which is obviously not trivial. I expect we'll see some custom kernels shortly that will fix that though - we measured the S3 on Siyah kernel with audiotweaks and maxed headphone amp at only around 5dB less than the iPhone."
 

 

Additional notes: Just in case you aren't aware the S3 and Note 2 have a fairly standard USB audio implementation and work with many USB DACs - check the Android USB audio thread here for more details.
 

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Absolutely brilliant post man. Thanks so much for sharing. Anyone else with experience guys?
post #5 of 15

I just measured the output impedance of the headphone jack on mine and it looks to be about 2-3 ohms, which is excellent. This means it should match well with pretty much any headphone/IEM. I'm quite happy and surprised to see it measure this well. From what I've seen online about how many other phones measure, only Apple phones are down this low. There's a chance I messed up the measurement though - the plug I was using wouldn't go fully into the jack for some reason and I had to hold it down.

 

I've only listened to it for about 15 minutes but it sounds great so far. Not much audible hiss at all with my JH13.

post #6 of 15

That's nice to hear! So i will probably go with this phone. I hope you mean the Nexus 4 and not the Galaxy S3?

 

Greetings, KoRnasteniker

post #7 of 15
Here are some RMAA measurements made by supercurio (of Voodoo Sound fame). There's a nasty treble rolloff and some volume setting shenanigans.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

Here are some RMAA measurements made by supercurio (of Voodoo Sound fame). There's a nasty treble rolloff and some volume setting shenanigans.

That doesn't look good at all....

post #9 of 15

Hmm.. disappointing results. I am planning on getting this phone but seeing that test result makes me want to reconsider.

post #10 of 15

I'd like to see another set of measurements with a different specimen and the most recent firmware. What's going on there seems like either a software issue or a measuring issue, as a guess. The results at volume 13 are good. The phone sounds great to me. Definitely better than the previous Nexus, especially in the prominent audible areas like noise (there's basically no hiss with JH13, which are 114dB/mW, 28ohm) and output impedance.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Any news about this device lads?
post #12 of 15

Any news? 

post #13 of 15

It seems some sound mod similar to voodoo is released for qualcomm devices mainly nexus 4

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamkang.fauxsound&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLnRlYW1rYW5nLmZhdXhzb3VuZCJd

 

Could any Nexus 4 owner please try faux audio and let me know how it sounds?

 

I'm waiting to buy Nexus 4 and I'm a fan of vanilla android but I'm concerned about sound quality 

post #14 of 15

Maybe is this intereseting for some of you

 

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2191223

 

I have it installed and its really great :D

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by visanj View Post

It seems some sound mod similar to voodoo is released for qualcomm devices mainly nexus 4

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamkang.fauxsound&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLnRlYW1rYW5nLmZhdXhzb3VuZCJd

Could any Nexus 4 owner please try faux audio and let me know how it sounds?

I'm waiting to buy Nexus 4 and I'm a fan of vanilla android but I'm concerned about sound quality 

FauxSound lets you adjust the headphone and speaker gain if you have a compatible kernel, nothing more. You actually don't need the app, you can set the kernel parameters manually if you know where to look.
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