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Samsung Galaxy S5 audio review - Page 2

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by warawara View Post

I really don't mind if the S5 is not as loud as the M8, but can it be loud enough to comfortably listen to at the gym without losing the tightness in bass? With a pair of IEMs such as the GR07 BE?

 

Using the AUD-5X, I have no issues with volume or bass performance. It gets uncomfortably loud around 60% of max volume. The bass response is comparable to the M8, but the M8 has more of a v-shaped response, leading to greater separation.

 

That said, my IEMs are also 13 dB more sensitive than the GR07, so you will need to set the volume higher. Have you considered just taking your IEMs with you to a store that sells the S5 so you can hear for yourself? Upload a couple mp3s to dropbox, and you can A/B the S5 and the M8. That is what I did prior to purchasing.

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokkun View Post

Using the AUD-5X, I have no issues with volume or bass performance. It gets uncomfortably loud around 60% of max volume. The bass response is comparable to the M8, but the M8 has more of a v-shaped response, leading to greater separation.

That said, my IEMs are also 13 dB more sensitive than the GR07, so you will need to set the volume higher. Have you considered just taking your IEMs with you to a store that sells the S5 so you can hear for yourself? Upload a couple mp3s to dropbox, and you can A/B the S5 and the M8. That is what I did prior to purchasing.

That's a great suggestion. I've never thought of it before lol. Thanks. Which phone did you end up buying?
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by warawara View Post


That's a great suggestion. I've never thought of it before lol. Thanks. Which phone did you end up buying?

 

I bought the S5. I found the audio quality of the two to be pretty comparable. I would probably give the M8 a slight edge, based on the type of music I listen to, but it was not enough of a difference to make up for the other areas where I preferred the S5.

 

EDIT: Oh, remember to disable BoomSound in the settings menu on the M8 before you listen to it. The headphone out sounds like garbage with BoomSound enabled.


Edited by tokkun - 4/23/14 at 6:22pm
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokkun View Post
 

 

I bought the S5. I found the audio quality of the two to be pretty comparable. I would probably give the M8 a slight edge, based on the type of music I listen to, but it was not enough of a difference to make up for the other areas where I preferred the S5.

 

EDIT: Oh, remember to disable BoomSound in the settings menu on the M8 before you listen to it. The headphone out sounds like garbage with BoomSound enabled.

What music do you listen to?

Did you try other headphones?

Do you root/use V4a if so can you tell how much of a difference it has on the sound quality/output level?


Edited by ForceMajeure - 4/23/14 at 6:38pm
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceMajeure View Post
 

What music do you listen to?

Did you try other headphones?

Sorry, I have not tried it with any other headphones yet. My IEMs are the only thing I use with my phone, so I wasn't really concerned with its performance with full-sized headphones when I bought it.

 

I used the following albums for my comparison: Daft Punk, Discovery; Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better; Hot Chip, One Life Stand; Miami Horror, Illumination; Anoraak, Wherever the Sun Sets; Tegan and Sara, So Jealous

 

I would say the M8 sounded better on Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, and Hot Chip. Anoraak and Miami Horror were a wash. S5 sounded better on Tegan and Sara.

 

If you're looking for the pattern, the Tegan and Sara album is has a very dense midrange and lots of vocals. Hot Chip and Daft Punk are synth + vocals, and Franz Ferdinand is a vocals + guitar with a strong bass track. Basically it was what you would expect when comparing a v-shaped sound signature to a warm sound signature.

 

I have not rooted my phone yet. I may have time to do it this weekend. I would be interested to see how the S5 compares to the M8 if the S5's mids are turned down in the EQ.

post #21 of 33

Thanks.

Looking for your impressions of the S5 rooted/V4A.

post #22 of 33

As requested, some impression on using Viper4Android with the S5:

 

First, some comments on the ease of use. Getting V4A FX working on the S5 required the following steps (I am specifically using the Sprint variant, but it sounds like the instructions are the same for all versions of the S5):

1. Root

2. Install V4A as a system app

3. Install V4A driver from app (I used the Super Quality version)

4. In the Sound section of the settings menu, set the music effects processing to V4A

5. Edit build.prop to disable low-power audio tunneling (more on this in a bit)

 

After performing the previous steps and rebooting, V4A is now ready to use. I could get it to work in PowerAmp, but it could not get it working in the stock Samsung app. In fact, if I tried playing music with the Samsung music app, V4A would stop working altogether (including in PowerAmp), and would only start functioning again after a reboot.

 

I also mentioned earlier that using V4A requires you to disable low-power audio (LPA) in your build.prop file. For those not aware, LPA is a new feature that allows Android to directly offload sound processing to a hardware DSP. This has two potential advantages: (1) Audio processing on the DSP is typically more energy efficient than the CPU. Now for most people this may not be a big deal, as sound would make up a relatively small percentage of the total energy use compared to the screen and radios. However, if you are someone who spends the entire day listening to audio on your phone, it could have a noticeable impact on battery life. One website I found claimed that with LPA enabled they were able to get a 50% increase in battery life when using their phone only as a music player. (2) Having the CPU do audio processing could potentially affect the CPU's responsiveness for apps. For basic audio processing I don't think this will be very noticeable on a device as powerful as the S5, but if you are using particularly complex filters, maybe it could make a difference. Personally, I didn't feel a difference even when using the Super Quality driver. You can always use the High Quality or Low Power drivers if you feel like you need to mitigate either of these effects.

 

Now onto the impact on sound quality. I experimented with different settings while using my AUD-5X IEMs. For reference, they have a sensitivity of 118 dBm and an impedance of 48 ohms. Let me preface my comments by saying that I am not someone who particularly likes to mess around with effects on any of my sources. Personally I find that having too many small things to tweak causes me to get preoccupied with technical minutiae and gets in my way of enjoying music. That is to say, I am a novice when it comes to configuring the more advanced features of V4A. If you are a V4A pro, your experience may vary.

 

AGC: Some people have expressed concern over the output level of the S5. Enabling automatic gain control in V4A produces a significant increase in output levels, even when leaving the effect level at Slight and the maximum gain at 2X. Whereas most music got too loud for me at around 60-70% max volume, I can reach the same level at 40-50% volume with AGC enabled. AGC does introduce an audible noise/hiss to the sound output, but the magnitude of the hiss is low enough that I can really only make it out if the volume is set around 10%, so it is inaudible during normal listening, except for the moments of silence between songs. Still, since I don't have a problem with the base output level, I prefer to leave AGC turned off.

 

Equalizer: It's a software equalizer that works similar to any number of other equalizers.

 

Bass Boost: It achieves greater bass separation and texturing. If you are looking for a more fun sounds, it is worth turning on.

 

Clarity Boost: The idea here is to achieve greater transparency and separation in the midrange. The effect definitely does achieve more separation, but introduces audible noise. Even with 'Natural' setting and a 3.5 dB effect level, I could notice the noise during quite parts. I tried 'XHifi' setting and 6.0 dB, as suggested by someone on a forum, but this produced noise that was audible even at normal listening levels. I keep this setting disabled.

 

Convolver: I didn't have any IR data handy, so I didn't test this.

post #23 of 33

Thank you so much for this detailed impression on V4A.

I really appreciate your effort! 

post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokkun View Post
 

As requested, some impression on using Viper4Android with the S5:

 

[...]

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your great post about Viper4Android.

 

It has been very usefull for me your impressions, specially the LPA information so I was modifying it without knowing very well what I was doing.

 

In fact I modify this parameters in build.prop:

 

lpa.decode=false

lpa.use-stagefright=false

tunel.decode=false

 

The first option is the one you speak, but what do you think about the others? Do you think they are necesary?

post #25 of 33

Tested both the S5 and M8 in store with my Earsonics SM64 and the only real difference i can discern is the M8 is louder. I had to turn the volume up to around 75% on the S5 where as the M8 was only around 50%. Music sounded great out of both devices and i would have been happy with either for audio quality. Ultimately i went with the S5 due to its removable battery, better cell reception and because its dust and waterproof.

I was also happy to discover that the S5 works fine out of the box with my Fiio E07k when connected via a usb OTG cable.

post #26 of 33

Comparing the S4 to the S5, which I just got --- the S5 seems better in some ways.  The overall noise floor is perceptibly lower.   As other posted stated overall detail seems somewhat similar (maybe not the best in class).  Also, dynamics etc....have not changed much (a weakness).    But between the S4 and S5, improvements to my ears.      The biggest difference is the lack of harshness and naturalness in the high-frequency range.     Listening to symbols, and other percussive sounds through the S5 is less digital, less phasey -- with considerably reduced digital artifacts.    Changes like this must be due to audio processing differences (DAC/IV etc..) --- so perhaps it is from a different chipset?      Anyways....I dont have any of the other possibly better sounding non-samsung phones to compare with, but through various headphones the S5 is better than S4.    


Edited by jt25741 - 5/28/14 at 7:59pm
post #27 of 33

I'm able to see some good and some not so good reviews on this phone but not sure which is better exynos version or qualcomm version?

 

Can anyone let me know how exynos version sounds? is it warm and full sounding as Galaxy s3?

post #28 of 33

I just got mine, what can I do to get the best quality in my wired headphones? I use Poweramp and FLAC ofc but any other better players?

post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkomodo1 View Post
 

I just got mine, what can I do to get the best quality in my wired headphones? I use Poweramp and FLAC ofc but any other better players?


A lot of people will recommend the Neutron music player for best sound quality. I have used it and wll agree the sound quality is excellent however when i last used it the user interface was horrible and annoyed me so i stopped using it. At the moment i switch between the standard music player, poweramp or jetaudio. I find the poweramp equalizer seems to work the best but i prefer the sound quality of jetaudio.

post #30 of 33

Ah okay, what's the hifi verdict on Viper4Android.

 

I never know if I should use my amp EQ..the software EQ or the audio driver Viper's Eq..or no EQ at all..

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