Android phone with best sound quality and volume for use with ATH-m50's?
Jan 25, 2012 at 10:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

zombiereptar

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I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S (with darkys rom) and I'm really unsatisfied with its volume output when listening with my m50's. I'm certainly not someone who like my music obnoxiously, ear-splittingly loud but even cranked up to the maximum level on Power amp the volume is unacceptable.  The sound quality itself is good it's just not loud enough, it sounds kind of flat and small. The volume packs a little more punch with my cheap Sony ear buds but of course that means a huge sacrifice in quality. To avoid choosing between volume and quality, I've resorted to using my old ipod nano for portable music instead, which is something I'd really like to avoid as I'd prefer to keep everything on one device and it's inability to play flac files or be used a mass storage device bothers me.
 
I know some people say a headphone amp is required to get the most of headphones like the m50's but they sound great on my computers and ipod, so I don't think expecting good performance out of a smart phone is too much to ask. Thankfully I'll be able to upgrade my phone in a month or so and I was wondering if you guys could recommend an android phone with good sound quality, compatibility with a variety of music formats and a high media volume. I really like the Look of the Samsung Galaxy nexus and S2 but I was concerned that being Samsung phones they might suffer from the same problem as the SGS (I’ve seen a few threads over at the XDA developer’s forums which confirm that).
 
Thanks guys!
 
Jan 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM Post #2 of 19

Ricardo Dawkins

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Get the Voodoo Control Plus app if that ROM has the proper kernel to support it.
 
Using the SGS Vibrant with the Phillips in my signature. Max volume for my enjoyment is what the doctor recommended. :D
 
Jan 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM Post #3 of 19

Kitano

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Best audio Ive heard outve phones have been from HTC thunderbolt and Rezound. the TB has SRS/ Dolby capabilities which is handy & the Rezound has some beats by dr dre audio thing, which granted should help audio a bit.

I use the TB with SRS & AKG Q460. Its also driven my 38ohm pair of headsets quite nicely. Anything above that though & youll need external amp

Sent from my Pinkied TB using Xparent Pink Tapatalk
 
Jan 27, 2012 at 4:32 AM Post #6 of 19

CC Lemon

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Quote:
Rezound has some beats by dr dre audio thing, which granted should help audio a bit.


 
Everything I've read would lead me to disagree with that. None of the reviews have been very favorable of the implementation of Beats audio on the device and many have suggested that you don't select the device specifically for audio quality. The Beats settings are only able to be toggled in the stock music app installed on the device. The primary Beats "feature" is basically a preset audio profile that boosts volume. The other "feature" is the inclusion of Beats IEM. Most reviews suggest that you're just as good picking the device you'd like and a decent pair of headphones to achieve the same effect. A good music player app will include a much better EQ and still allow you to see similar results or create a sound profile more tailored to your preferences.
 
I generally like the rezound, but I have to question how much they could have achieved with the device if they had omitted the inclusion of the Beats IEM and focused less on the Beats software and instead put those resources to build a better platform. I'd rather a cheaper device without the Beats stuff or a better device for the same price without it. I already have nice IEM/headphones and other music apps are almost always better than the stock app.
 
Jan 27, 2012 at 6:19 AM Post #7 of 19

Kitano

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Quote:
Rezound has some beats by dr dre audio thing, which granted should help audio a bit.


 
Everything I've read would lead me to disagree with that. None of the reviews have been very favorable of the implementation of Beats audio on the device and many have suggested that you don't select the device specifically for audio quality. The Beats settings are only able to be toggled in the stock music app installed on the device. The primary Beats "feature" is basically a preset audio profile that boosts volume. The other "feature" is the inclusion of Beats IEM. Most reviews suggest that you're just as good picking the device you'd like and a decent pair of headphones to achieve the same effect. A good music player app will include a much better EQ and still allow you to see similar results or create a sound profile more tailored to your preferences.
 
I generally like the rezound, but I have to question how much they could have achieved with the device if they had omitted the inclusion of the Beats IEM and focused less on the Beats software and instead put those resources to build a better platform. I'd rather a cheaper device without the Beats stuff or a better device for the same price without it. I already have nice IEM/headphones and other music apps are almost always better than the stock app.


Ah well, another cheap move from Monster then. Thought they would of had a chip or something...not just some sq

Sent from my Pinkied TB using Xparent Pink Tapatalk
 
Jan 27, 2012 at 9:39 AM Post #8 of 19

NewZJ

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Htc doesn't have a very good sound chip. samsungs are much better.

It's not night and day but you well notice in FLAC and 320mp3s that there is a increased sound quality

I have an Evo 3D and must use poweramp to get decent sound
 
Feb 5, 2012 at 9:49 PM Post #9 of 19

NZtechfreak

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Best Android SQ is the Galaxy S or Nexus S with Voodoo sound, and by an extremely large margin. You also can also considerably increase loudness with Voodoo Control, which seems to be one of the OPs issues.
 
 
 
Feb 6, 2012 at 1:57 AM Post #10 of 19

issuzark

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Another vote for Voodoo+Nexus S. First, Nexus S comes with a Wolfson DAC, which makes it as good as a 5.5g iPod. Also, Voodoo Control opens up the soundstage, and makes the sound less dark. 
 
Feb 6, 2012 at 4:19 AM Post #11 of 19

superpiper

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Quote:
Htc doesn't have a very good sound chip. samsungs are much better.
It's not night and day but you well notice in FLAC and 320mp3s that there is a increased sound quality
I have an Evo 3D and must use poweramp to get decent sound



 
Completely disagree here.
 
The monster Beats are currently the best earphones supplied with a phone by a country mile. Oh, you can obviously get much better earphones if you spend the money, but that will always be the case.
 
The Sensation XE is a superbly capable player. Just ditch the stock music player and upload Playerpro. Blows my IP3GS and IP4 clean out of the water to be honest. The beats setting btw uses the DSP capabillities of the Sensation XE, but does spoil it withan over zealous bass hump. The use of the after market Player pro+DSP circumvents this and you get the full capabillities of the XE.
 
I've never heard a soundstage or detail or balance, the likes of what i hear with my Sensation.
 
 
And no rooting required :)
 
Feb 6, 2012 at 4:46 AM Post #12 of 19

CC Lemon

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The HTC does get some credit for including an above average pair of earphones with the device. Many devices don't even include anything. I'd still rather get the device without them at a reduced price and have the option to choose what I'd like. If you want a top of the line phone with good audio quality and absolutely cannot get the earphones separately, it is probably the best option.
 
That said... Every review I have seen indicates that the sound quality of the device is nothing special. They basically indicate that the inclusion of decent earphones is the biggest benefit. Otherwise, you can buy any other device and pair it with a good pair of earphones and get similar or better results. The reviews haven't really suggested poor sound quality, so I wouldn't say it's a bad device for that. It's just not exceptional, in spite of that being a marketed feature of the device.
 
It would seem like the samsung devices listed in this thread have been consistently considered the best option if sound quality is your main goal.
 
Feb 6, 2012 at 6:40 AM Post #13 of 19

superpiper

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Quote:
The HTC does get some credit for including an above average pair of earphones with the device. Many devices don't even include anything. I'd still rather get the device without them at a reduced price and have the option to choose what I'd like. If you want a top of the line phone with good audio quality and absolutely cannot get the earphones separately, it is probably the best option.
 
That said... Every review I have seen indicates that the sound quality of the device is nothing special. They basically indicate that the inclusion of decent earphones is the biggest benefit. Otherwise, you can buy any other device and pair it with a good pair of earphones and get similar or better results. The reviews haven't really suggested poor sound quality, so I wouldn't say it's a bad device for that. It's just not exceptional, in spite of that being a marketed feature of the device.
 
It would seem like the samsung devices listed in this thread have been consistently considered the best option if sound quality is your main goal.


 
I think HTC in playing to the marketering debt of the beat brand have (by the eq settings on the player) hobbled the device tbh. I suspect there are some failry upset engineers at HTC.
But that said, out of the box, the Samsungs sound bloody awful and only with a kernel patch (Voodoo) do the samsungs begin to shine.
 
Its a shame tbh because the sensation XE without the beat engineering is bloody magnificent, its a shame the reviewers were never able to hear it sing properly.
 
I will say this, it took me a good few days to figure out the huge change from the Iphones when i switched. The difference i hear now is that the Androids actually have bass and soundstage, where as i always thought the Iphone was a little clinical and closed in (Vanilla if you like)
 
The headphone supplied with the XE really are not that bad. I am annoyed about the stock player but thats the beauty of android. You just change it.
 
Also, someone on here pointed to a german review of the Sensation which gave it a good review.
 
 
 
Feb 6, 2012 at 9:22 AM Post #14 of 19

issuzark

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A little off-topic, but what DAC does the HTC Sensation come with? 
 
Feb 7, 2012 at 3:54 AM Post #15 of 19

superpiper

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Quote:
A little off-topic, but what DAC does the HTC Sensation come with? 



 Dunno tbh, I find this recent Head-fi obsession with DAC chip origins a little bemusing to be honest, surely as with all audio electronic, we have learnt that the sum is greater than the parts and that all that matters is what you get at the end of the pipe.
 
You can have "good" chips sound crap and vice versa.
 
The DAC in the sensations does its job very well, and IIRC, there is also a SRS/Dolby module, which would perhaps explain the amazing soundstage i (Think) i get.
 

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