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Samsung Galaxy Ace 2: horrible sound quality with IEMs. Solution?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have just bought a Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (running Gingerbread), to replace both my dumbphone and iPod. However, the sound quality is horrendous (washy bass, crackling highs) when I use my Ultimate Ears 700 earphones (there is also a fair bit of background static). This appears to be due to their low impedance. If I plug in my Denon desktop headphones, the phone sounds fine. I also have a splitter with an inline volume control, which if I turn up the phone volume to max but dial the inline control way down, it also sounds fine.


So the issue is poor sound quality when the phone's audio circuitry is being driven at very low levels. Does anyone have ideas how to solve the problem without using a bulky analogue inline volume control? If I can set the volume in software very low, but keep the phone's amplifier gain up high, that might accomplish the same thing (as long as I don't get my eardrums shattered by some other noise that the phone hasn't turned down).


Thanks :)

Edited by Joriarty - 2/5/13 at 3:35pm
post #2 of 9

Can you get another music player app for the  Ace 2 experiment with the EQ, and see if it suits you.

post #3 of 9

Apologies for the poor English. I am Scottish :)

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by gazar View Post

Can you get another music player app for the  Ace 2 experiment with the EQ, and see if it suits you.

I tried Neutron (apparently that's the best SQ-wise). I set the player's pre-amp down to minimum (that's -30 dB) and system output volume near maximum but still sounds terrible (there was an improvement, though). The sound is actually distorted, rather than simply being recessed / accentuated, so a plain EQ setting won't fix it. I thought the pre-amp setting might have.


I think I need a hardware-level solution (the only one I can think of at the moment is to take a sledgehammer to the Samsung and stick (in blissful ignorance) with my dinosaur-phone). Though perhaps by rooting the phone, you could also tweak the firmware to alter the output of the audio circuitry...

Edited by Joriarty - 2/5/13 at 5:10pm
post #5 of 9

I usually see this kinda problem on mobiles when I switch between 16/32 those UE700 are 40 I wouldn't have thought they'd have a problem. 


However maybe its not the impedance but the phones?



We have a Ace 2 in the house and I though the sound was ok, not amazing just ok. But it doesn't have the problems you are describing. Now thats with much lower end earphones, than you are using there. I much check it out properly later. 

post #6 of 9

Heres my low-fi option on it


I tried again this evening with the Sony MH1C.( Impedance: 15Ω) Its the first time I've really tried these two together. I'd have to say the sound quality is decent on the Ace2 we have. Wouldn't have the punch of something like the Ipod Touch or Clip+ or my Sony Players. But its ok. Volume is noticeable lower than my other devices though. The GSM Arena noted something similar. The phone I'm using has only the stock software on it. 


I also tried a set of Meelec M6 (16 ohms) and I've had trouble with these on other phones, and its the same again here, sound quality suffers and some EQ settings introduced hiss. They work better with my MP3 players but these are low end earphones. I mainly use them for when I'm moving a lot as they stay in ear really well and have good isolation. They are better than many stock buds. But not better earphones.


Finally I tried with my Sennheiser M760 (32ohms) buds which sound great with everything, and again these sounded very decent with the Ace 2. MP3 players still sound better but the sound SQ here is good. If again a little low. 


 ACE 2 like many phones I've tried is very picky about earphones. Far more than an MP3 player is. I don't the technical reason why. Like GSM arena noted, perhaps it needs an amp to get the best out of it. It wouldn't replace a dedicated MP3 player for me for critical listening. I'd have to try the volume levels on a busy day. I get no hiss and its clear for me though with the right earphones. 

Edited by Sparky191 - 3/14/13 at 3:20pm
post #7 of 9

You could try Noozxoide from the play store. It's free and it is a software dsp app with eq controls plus other options. It really improved the SQ on my S2X but you need to be running at least ICS. It also has a volume enhancement engine so the music can get louder if your phone doesn't get loud enough for you.

post #8 of 9

Try PowerAmp. Go into audio settings, set "Reply gain preamp" and "preamp for songs with no RG to around 8-10 ish. Go to advanced tweaks and switch on DVC  (direct volume control.)


You can adjust the 2 RG preamp levels to suit. I found this really gives my S3 a boost.


***Set your device volume low before you do this***

Edited by gazar - 3/15/13 at 4:04am
post #9 of 9

I think the Power amp helped a little. The Ace 2 seems little on the quiet side. 


The Ace 2 doesn't have ICS , but Jelly Bean is expected soon. Maybe that will help. 

Edited by Sparky191 - 3/16/13 at 6:32am
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