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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noise

    UPDATE
    This issue has been confirmed on at least 16 Galaxy S3's from various carriers but it doesn't affect every phone.

    Please check to see if you can hear excess buzz/hiss when listening to audiobooks or podcasts at the lowest volume setting in a quiet room. You can't hear it if there's background noise like a fan running but in a quiet room it's extremely annoying.

    If your phone has this issue please contact your carrier and report the issue to a Samsung technician at 1-877-392-4252

    Good luck getting a working replacement. I exchanged mine and the replacement had the same issue as did the store display model.

    ORIGINAL POST

    I have a US Galaxy S3 (AT&T).

    When I play audio through the external speaker or headphones I can hear a buzzing hiss noise that is constant but fluctuating as though from CPU activity. It's hard to hear with music and the volume turned up but it's very very noticeable when listening to audio books at a lower volume level which I do a lot.

    I've tried several different types of headphones with no change.
    I've made sure that the effects and equalizers were turned off in the music players.
    This problem occurs when it's not connected to USB and when every other app has been quit.

    The fastest way to see if your S3 has this problem is to go to Grooveshark Mobile and search for "Tom Clancy". Play one of the tracks at the lowest volume setting and hold the external speaker right up to your ear. If you hear a lot of buzzing noise as well as the audio book then your S3 has this problem too. You should hear the same noise through headphones as well.

    Please post what you find. I'm curious to see if every carrier and version of the S3 has this problem. I'm also wondering if it can be fixed with a software update because if it can't I'm returning mine and getting an HTC One X.

    If anyone has an S3 with a custom ROM installed I'd be curious to hear your results...

    It's very disappointing because even my old Palm Pre had better sound quality than this.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I think you should try a warranty exchange, could be something specific to your device.
  3. #3  

    Default

    I have a similar issue on my 2 yr old DROID X at the lowest volume. I was hoping that the SGS3 would not. Sigh...

    Post back if your replacement is better.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Android Central Forums
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    it is the same issue i have on my Skyrocket. i exchanged the phone and found the same thing on another one. then I did a bit of a digging and found this Pretty Disappointed with the Audio side of the SkyRocket - xda-developers
    apparently Samsung is using the same chip for the GS3 (basically for the whole line of galaxy phones)
  5. #5  

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    I have the Sprint version, never had this issue, sounds hardware related, but could be software related

    Message brought to you by my stock GalaxyS3
  6. #6  
    Ricey20's Avatar

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    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevalkin View Post
    it is the same issue i have on my Skyrocket. i exchanged the phone and found the same thing on another one. then I did a bit of a digging and found this Pretty Disappointed with the Audio side of the SkyRocket - xda-developers
    apparently Samsung is using the same chip for the GS3 (basically for the whole line of galaxy phones)
    This is slightly incorrect. The GS1 and variants used the Wolfson WM8994. The GS2 variants/Galaxy Note ended up using the terrible Yamaha C1YMU823 / MC-1N2 DAC. The GS3 is using the built in audio chip of the Snapdragon S4, the Qualcomm WCD9310.

    The issues with the Skyrocket (GS2 variant) is due to the yamaha chip which is fairly infamous now. The hissing problem is the first time I've heard of happening to a GS3 as the Qualcomm chip is supposedly very good, so I'm assuming it's a hardware/interference issue.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I have to say the audio quality on my SGS3 is pretty bad. There is quite a bit of background noise, regardless of app or headphones.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying to find a display model to compare but nobody has one yet.

    If I can't find one soon I'll just send it back for a replacement. I'm still within my 30 days.
  9. #9  
    MOTH477's Avatar

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    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I had the same issue on T-Mobile S3. It was driving me crazy. At first I thought it was the HTC ringtones I had downloaded from Zedge, but when the issue persisted with music playback, I knew something was wrong. I took it back to T-Mobile and had it exchanged. The new phone works good and no static or hiss noise.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I just tested mine again through headphones and it sounds perfectly fine, no crackling or hiss. I'd already been run some movies and tested sound and such and hadn't noticed it in the past but I connected my headphones and listened to a variety of stuff from movies, internet radios, some voice clips I'd recorded, etc and no issues whatsoever with poor sound quality whatsoever. You might just have a bad unit.

    *BTW - Not that it matters much but I'm a musician as well, so I definitely don't ignore any audio flaws at all!

    Rev.
    Galaxy S5
    Ubuntu Linux 12.04
    IT Tech
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Rev2010 - Good to know. I'll exchange it for sure. I think the AT&T stores get them in on Friday so I'll be waiting at the door when they open
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Just to clarify - I'm not hearing crackling or pops or something that would indicate there is something defective. It's just the noise floor is higher than other devices I've had. So when listening to quiet music at higher volumes I can hear the background hiss more noticeably than on my iphone.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Ok, maybe I'll try some classical and see if I hear it. I have some Chopin that I think will be good to test with. I'll report back.


    Rev.
    Galaxy S5
    Ubuntu Linux 12.04
    IT Tech
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    OK, I tested this just now through headphones and the speaker listening to Chopin's (Op. 9) Nocturne No. 1 in Bb Minor both at low volume and loud volume That song starts out extremely quiet and has a lot of passages that go from quiet to louder and back. I didn't hear one bit of crackle and the only hiss was from the actual recording itself, which I'm very familiar with. I'm sorry to say but I don't have on bit of the issue you describe. I say "sorry" because" I know it sucks to have it possibly be the device in question. Obviously some others have responded saying they noticed the same issue you have, but I really can't reproduce the issue on mine, and as mentioned I am a musician for over 21 years and am very much discerning when it comes to audio quality.

    Granted, I have a dedicated MP3 player, a Cowon S9 which I love, so I don't listen to a ton of music on my new S3. However, I do watch movies on it and occasionally use internet radio like Jango, Pandora, etc. I've only had my phone for 1 week and 1 day though, but testing this out and looking for it I still don't find any issue whatsoever.

    I hope this helps you somewhat and best of luck!


    Rev.
    Galaxy S5
    Ubuntu Linux 12.04
    IT Tech
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I have seen this as well, primarily when playing audio over Bluetooth. I went back to the Sprint store today, and tried two additional units, all three of them have the issue. Even playing back over my bluetooth headphones at minimum volume, where I cant even hear the audio from the phone, I get the crackling and hissing
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I have noticed that you can clearly hear the audio hiss even when the volume is fully muted. When headphones are connected but no application is running, it is totally silent. As soon as I hit play on media player or any other app, even while muted, the hiss instantly turns on at the same time. Is this due to the CPU usage? Really bad DAC? Or what?
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I have had the same issue with my ATT GS3. With ringtones, music playback through Pandora/Music Player etc. I hear a crackling and hissing noise that is horrible coming from the external speaker. ATT says I can exchange at a local store which I plan to do since I already tried the old factory reset trick to no avail. I have a hard time believing it is the speaker though. I can crank it up and I actually hear less distortion.

    Anyone else had any luck with swapping the unit out?

    Cheers
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Have you tried playing the "Star Gazer" ring tone? I get a horrible buzz and static. This is what I get while playing other audio.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    So for anyone that is having the fuzzy, distorted external loud speaker issue...I went to my local ATT store and tested their demo units there. There was NO issue with speaker distortion. I explained to the ATT person my issue, she confirmed that my speaker sounded like crap, swapped it out and I was on my way. No speaker distortion at all.

    Not sure if it was isolated or a bad batch, but I'm a happy camper now. I switched from the iPhone 4S and was hoping for a good/better experience. With this issue resolved, I'm glad I made the switch. Good bye 3.5 inch screen
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Hi, Canadian S3 owner on Bell here. I have the exact same problem the OP described. I'm going to try and exchange my handset tonight, although the manager of the store I got it from is going to be really pissed off at me since I've already exchanged it twice due to screen issues :P I'll update on whether my replacement (if I can get it) is any better.

    EDIT: Nope. I didn't bother exchanging, because my friend's S3 and the six display phones I tried from different stores just now all have this problem. Maybe the Canadian batch got the short end of the stick. I'm going to contact Samsung directly to try and resolve this issue.
  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I exchanged mine and the new one had the same problem.

    I went back the next day and checked their display model which they had just put out and it also had the problem.

    So that's 3 phones that all have this issue. Like I said in the title of this post, I suspect this is a hardware design fault that can't be fixed in software. Clearly not every phone has this problem but obviously a lot do if every phone that I've tried has it. I'm wondering if they will have to do a recall over this...
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I think I'm going to return my AT&T SGS3 and get the international one instead. Apparently the international one has a good high-end DAC while the N.A. variants have a crappy low end one. This may be the problem with the poor audio quality.
  23. #23  

    Default

    I've had that same issue with my EVO LTE on sprint. I've done factory resets, ran the RUU, changed headphones and blue tooth devices and still get the pops hiss and slight crackle noises. One thing I've noticed is that it's very dependant on network strength. The weeker/slower my network is, the worse the noises get. On days when I have good steady signal, I can stream Pandora and not hear any extra noises. Software? Hardware? Dunno.

    Sent from my EVO using Android Central Forums
  24. #24  
    KreepyKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    I'm definitely getting some inconsistent weirdness with audio on mine. I have over an hour commute to and from work each day, and I usually listen to podcasts. I plug the phone into the car power with a standard car charger and run a stereo minipin cable from the headphone jack to the AUX IN on my car stereo. Never had an issue with my Captivate (except for the random audio pause because the processor occasionally choked).

    With my SGS III this morning, I got all sorts of popping and hissing over my podcasts. It was driving me crazy. After a half hour or so, it stopped, then after another 15 minutes or so it started again. When I got to work, I started unhooking everything. I first unplugged the power from the phone, and all the noise immediately stopped. I plugged it back in and the noise came back. I think the charger that came with my car dock is dirty. (Do they even make shielded chargers???)

    Tonight, after reading this thread, I did some tests with a podcast:

    1. With headphones, phone NOT plugged in. No noise.
    2. With headphones, phone plugged into UPS. No noise.
    3. With headphones, phone plugged into CAR power with "dirty" cable (car in AUX, engine not running). No noise.
    4. Phone plugged into car stereo, and plugged into car power with "dirty" cable (car in AUX, engine not running). No noise.
    5. Phone plugged into car stereo, and plugged into car power with "dirty" cable (engine actually running). No noise.

    WTF? I just couldn't duplicate the problem. Everything sounded beautiful.

    I'll check it out again on tomorrow's commute. The only thing I can think of is that when I apply the gas, it creates engine noise that somehow interferes with the power cable.

    I'll test it out again on tomorrow's commute and report back what I find.
  25. #25  
    KreepyKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible Galaxy S3 Design Fault - Audio Buzz Hiss Crackle Noi

    Another update:

    I tested the external speaker to play the following:

    1. A podcast with Pocket Casts
    2. A tune streamed via iHeartRadio
    3. Two local music files played on the stock music app
    4. Another podcast played with PowerAmp

    Every single one of these things yielded noise over the audio. When listening to podcasts, I distinctly hear a voice. I think this thing is picking up interference...FM radio maybe? I really hope this is fixable.
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