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Galaxy S4 + Bose AE2 trouble

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello there


I've been listening to music on my Sony NWZ-X-1060 for about 4-5 years now (almost every day) and it's been the most pleasant auditory experience I've ever had. Unfortunately, the HOLD switch, which I've probably been switching for many thousand times, is broken. Anyways, the player is unusable now :triportsad:. And I can't get another one since it isn't sold anymore.


I thought I could as well buy a smartphone now since those can do everything. I could not have been more wrong. So I bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 Active with a 64GB micro SDXC card and thought that this was the perfect solution, plenty of space for my FLAC files, yay.

Now, my problem is that this phone has absolutely terrible audio quality despite having a big number of good reviews. The Bose AE2 have an impedance of about 38 Ohms (measured myself + seen on a reliable site since Bose doesn't tell) which should never be too much for any portable device. However, my phone can't handle it. First of all, the volume is terribly low, for the more quiet ambient music, full volume is not even close to the desirable volume. Okay, that wouldn't be too bad, but there's more:

- The highs are non-existent. No matter how much I play with the equalizer, they are either non-existent or screechy. It's a binary thing, really. And if the Bose AE2 is good at something, it's highs, so this is a really disappointing quality.

- The mids are muffled like through a cardboard box.

- The lows are weak on Bose AE2 but the Galaxy S4 Active makes it even worse, a lot of equalizing is needed. My Sony player had so much clear bass (basically louder bass) that I didn't even have to max it out.

- The whole frequency range is bad! D:


The problem is, no matter how much I play with the equalizer, it never sounds right! I'm pretty sure it's just an absolutely terrible DAC... What should I do? My smaller in-ear earphones work with nice volume (> 2/3 volume is unbearably loud, which is how it should be, that gives me plenty of room for equalizing and quiet ambient music) but obviously, they'll never reach the quality of full sized headphones. I have some solution in my mind right now, but maybe you guys can help me with your expertise?


- Buy another set of headphones? Can it handle an AudioTechnica ATH-M50 (probably not since it has similar impedance)? That'd be my replacement for the Bose AE2 which is quite old now.

- It surely can't handle a Bose QC15, right?

- Are Sony over ear headphones any good?

- Buy a portable DAC and connect with USB? I don't like the bulk of 2 devices though (especially in crowded trains with so little space to move), also I have to charge them and there are even more wires which I don't want.

- Buy Bose AE2 bluetooth Headphones so I don't have to put up with a trash DAC? I heard they're quite silent, though (low volume).

- Buy another, newer Sony player? Are the new ones, for example the Z series, worth it (but why only 32GB, Sony, why)?

- Buy a Cowon Z2 or something? Maybe I can use my SDXC card there...


I just want the same quality as the NWZ-X-1060, not necessarily more, not less. I just don't enjoy music anymore like this.


I'm open to any suggestions


Edited by Kenji2 - 9/27/13 at 4:31pm
post #2 of 5
Switch to the Note 2 (I have one). From what I've read, better audio quality than S4. And do this mod to the Note 2 to increase volume output. Simple config file change.

And the big screen is awesome! biggrin.gif
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, now I have the galaxy S4 active. I'm not going to buy another cellphone if I could buy a dedicated music played instead which actually has quality...

Also, don't those "volume increase" mods distort the sound? When I use the software amplifier (gain) of neutron, as soon as I go over the max volume, the crackling noises start when the song reaches its peak volume.

post #4 of 5
Have you tried the Adapt Sound feature? Settings>My Device>Sound>Adapt Sound after setting for your headphones download PowerAmp from the playstore as I feel it has better sound controls (EQ, gain, LF/Bass) let me know how it goes for you. I own Gnote 1 and 2 and GS 2 to 4 Active
post #5 of 5

I have the GS3. The audio quality is bad despite all the hype. What player are you using? I found the best SQ with PowerAmp with Noozxoide enabled (link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noozxoidelabs.eizo.rewirepro). I paired it with E17 but I didn't hear much improvement. I haven't tried the OTG connection as it might not work. Best to get a DAP which I'm now considering....Like Fiio X3.

Edited by zamorin - 11/1/13 at 1:28am
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