My dilemma is that I have a U.S. Galaxy S III, and I don't know if this is a defect or not, but it produces a lot of background noise at low volume (the only volume level where it's even remotely comfortable to listen to, the GS3 is a really loud source!). The problem isn't always present - I tend to notice the noise only in quiet passages, and I notice distortion with some passages of songs that are "sharp" (e.g. piano notes with space between them, I'm not sure how to describe it - the first ten seconds or so of Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku is an example). This only happens at the lowest two or three volume levels; unfortunately anything beyond that is too loud for my ears (the only reason I can even hear the noise is that my house is dead silent most of the time).
The noise is bothersome when present, so I've tried to look for a solution. What I've found so far by scouring these forums and others is:
- An inline volume control (like Shure's) so that I can turn up the volume on my source (eliminating the noise) and then bring it back down for my IEMs. However, I hear this leads to poor sound quality because of the added impedance - but from what I hear this varies based on what IEMs I use? (I have the Samsung IEMs but I was considering the RE-ZERO or VSonic GR06, if it does matter.)
- A headphone amp (like the Fiio E6) that would serve the same purpose as before, but with (hopefully) better quality. My concern with this solution is that, as the E6 is an *amplifier*, that it won't have precise enough volume control. To put it better, I'm wondering how many of its 64 volume levels are quieter than the source and how many are louder.
- Just get a Sansa Clip+ and stop trying to work around my phone.
Does anyone have any recommendations/dealt with similar problems before? Thanks a lot to anyone who can help!
This is similar to http://www.head-fi.org/t/649672/how-do-i-deal-with-the-horrible-volume-control-in-android#post_9162120, but I didn't want to hijack his thread - the solution there works fine for more precise volume controls, but not for counteracting the fact that my GS3 is quite noisy.
EDIT: I considered a USB DAC, but as I am using CyanogenMod it won't work for me (only the stock GS3 firmware, which disgusts me, supports DACs).
Edited by lidavidm - 2/16/13 at 6:40pm