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Audio/Headphone related query

by DNA_105 / March 14, 2012 2:35 AM PDT

Hello folks,

I'm more of a consumer than an enthusiast; just a curious one looking forward to some expert opinions.

Music is heavily essential for me and I'm about to spend some dope on it. I'm looking to buy a phone right now and I would like to enjoy music on-the-move.

Query - Would all devices with the conventional headphone jack socket (technically known as the TRS 3.5mm) offer exactly the same audio experience on a descent pair of earphones? (I'm ready to spend a few on buying a good pair of earphones). Or something like an iphone would deliver better (on the same earphones)?
I don't really bother about the speaker output.

All I'm looking for is a good audio experience on-the-move.

Any enlightenment shall be highly appreciated!

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All Answers

Best Answer as chosen by DNA_105

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There is some degree of trial and error, and...
by Pepe7 / March 14, 2012 3:45 AM PDT

...other variables. For example, some folks were dissatisfied with the audio quality on the iPhone but didn't bother to employ a popular EQ app to improve the experience. In this sense, you aren't always limited by the 'stock' device trappings.

If you are referring to audiophile quality listening though, don't bother looking for that on a mobile device. The quality of the headphones (not earbuds, since they do not properly isolate the listener) can make a difference though.

IME and O, all but the most jaded listeners can get very adequate sound quality from most of the latest smartphones. I like the fact that with both Android & iOS you can get additional audio apps for playback.

Also ask yourself if you care about being tied down to iTunes or not. That may affect your smartphone purchase.

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Thanks!
by DNA_105 / March 14, 2012 4:18 AM PDT

Hiya Pepe7, appreciate your response.

So just to be more specific now. I'm in strong inclination towards buying the Samsung Galaxy S2. The specs of that thing are just mesmerizing. But then as I do my research I find they've changed the audio chip from the supposedly better 'Wolfson' to 'Yamaha' and the audio experience is only average. (I'm not a quick believer though.)

Have you or your any of friends got any personal experience on the device? My only point is I want to spend the cash in the right direction and explore all choices; music incidentally is one of the priorities. So would at least like being "satisfied" if not "overwhelmed".

Any suggestions or alternatives?

P.S - If it's worth - I mostly listen to music within the confines of Rock and Metal.

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Keep in mind what I said
by Pepe7 / March 14, 2012 4:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

Regardless of what the audiophile pundits on the interwebs state <insert large dose of sarcasm>, this change from the Wolfson to Yamaha processor doesn't mean as much on a mobile device in real world terms. A great number of those same folks have not bothered to learn about what configurations and/or apps are available to further enhance their music experience on the hardware. Instead, they make blind complaints w/o working with their aforementioned device. They worry more about the paint color of the water trough instead of whether or not their tapwater tastes good ;).

While I haven't worked for more than about 45 minutes total with an S2, I do think it's a quality device once you get the lay of the land. Haven't done any blind audio tests vs iPhone,etc either. Keep in mind that there's normally a return policy of at least 14 days with the big carriers (or greater, sometimes), so that helps you out too in properly evaluating what quality meets your needs.

I will be somewhat candid with you regarding the type of music you will be mostly listening to. If you listen to generally cacophonic music like crazy loud rock or metal, what sort of DAC is present under the hood won't be nearly the issue as it would if you were a classical enthusiast with a lot of very quiet, breathy passages to absorb through headphones coming from your device.

Put a little more effort into the headphones, like you would with a home audio system with getting proper sounding speakers. It's the part that folks starting out leave behind, somewhat.

Are you working with only MP3s/lossy files? Or do you also maintain/listen to any other lossless files in your collection such as WAV/ALAC/FLAC? An Android device will generally give you better options for more flexiblity in the types of files you can play, FWIW.

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Thanks, again!
by DNA_105 / March 14, 2012 2:56 PM PDT

Haha, that was cheerful. I guess you're right, I was understating the "real-world" element and doing too much maths. So I am finally going for GS2 and yes I will work sincerely on buying a nice pair of headphones as well, pretty soon.
About the lossless audio - yes I do have (a few) FLAC files including the entire Iron Maiden discography! Of course I do realize it does make a difference, even from a 320 kbps mp3. I was so glad to find out this device has default support to such formats.
So in the end I believe HQ audio, good headphones, a 'lil bit of software/firmware support and I shall be duly satisfied.
Again, thanks a tonne for your responses. I do consider my self a computer enthusiast but I never really owned a smartphone before so was a bit skeptical. (It's my graduation reward, heh.) Will look forward to your services in future as well!

Peace...

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Iron Maiden?
by Pepe7 / March 15, 2012 12:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, again!

Wow, that takes me back to when I was a bit of a headbanger, many moons ago ;). They really put on some amazing concerts. Loud and clear, from what I remember, compared to some other metal bands I would go see live. Seeing the huge robotic 'Eddie's was really fun too. It's really hard for other metal acts to beat their first four releases IMO, especially Killers & Number of the Beast(!) Their best tour was Piece of Mind though. <starting to feel old today...>

Have fun with the new toy,
P

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Got it!
by DNA_105 / March 15, 2012 11:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Iron Maiden?

So I got it. And you can't be any more overwhelmed with what that device could do!

Tried it on my speakers - no horrors whatsoever. Did some research and also ordered a nice pair of headphones.

But seriously, sod audio. That phone's all about video. Those colors are just, delicious!

Thanks for the support man, will be needing more of that for sure!

Up the Irons!

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