11-26-2014 12:12 AM
37 12
tools
  1. pwscott's Avatar
    So I am coming from a SGS4 on VZW and very excited to have my new Note 4. As I said in other threads, I really want the Seidio Surface Case with Kickstand and Holster (and that's coming by FEDEX today- yay!), but I also didn't want to be 'that guy' that scratched or dented his new Note 4 by holding out for a case.
    So, a week ago or so I ordered a gun metal grey Spigen Neo Hybrid Case on Amazon and received it 2 day via Amazon Prime. It fits great....seems to be great protection...it has two layers, but no 'holster' or 'belt clip' available. In general I really like it for an open case...fits fine with the Verizon Solid/flexible screen protector on as well...cool.

    The bad news is, I get really poor audio reports from people on phone calls with it installed. I tried adjusting the phone > settings but while that slightly improves it people report "..you sound really muffled..." and "...you sound like you're talking through a pillow or something..." When I switch to my Plantronics Legend + headset on BlueTooth they immediately say "...wow, you sound so much better, super clear..."

    So I removed the case and called my brother who was one of the people I tested with. He operates amateur radio and is a bit of a sound buff for audio recordings and concerts and so on. His comments were "...what a difference! Now it sounds really good...like you did before (SGS4 in Seidio case).

    So I did a little investigating with my reading glasses and a bright light and there are three microphones on the Note 4...two that are mostly for your spoken phone audio are at the very bottom of the device....little needle holes. When I look at the rubber case liner and the outer exo skeleton, it doesn't look like the holes line up so the mics are covered. The mics are way low on the bottom of the N4, but the case holes are kind of centered top to bottom...not going to allow audio in!

    It looks to me like it would be very easy and safe to mod the liner and case with a Dremel Tool or even a sharp pocket knife...May be it's just my sample...if you have that case please take a look and do a CASE OFF call and a CASE ON call with someone and see? I fully planned to keep this case as a backup but am rethinking.
    I will drop an email to Spigen if there is an address...mine will go back by Amazon since the Seidio Surface is en route anyway and I will leave them a note there too.
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 02:10 PM
  2. pwscott's Avatar
    Happily, testing with the Seidio Surface case has resulted in really good audio reports. Looks like the Spigen case goes back to Amazon.
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 03:29 PM
  3. JasW's Avatar
    So I did a little investigating with my reading glasses and a bright light and there are three microphones on the Note 4...two that are mostly for your spoken phone audio are at the very bottom of the device....little needle holes. When I look at the rubber case liner and the outer exo skeleton, it doesn't look like the holes line up so the mics are covered. The mics are way low on the bottom of the N4, but the case holes are kind of centered top to bottom...not going to allow audio in!
    Somebody in the lengthy "what case are you going for" thread posted that they had received this from Supcase after ordering.

    Note 4 Poor Phone Audio Reports with Spigen Neo Hybrid Case Installed on N4-2014-10-20-06-34-50.jpg

    I was like you in a way and ordered a Spigen case (the Capsule TPU) to cover the time before the case I really wanted, the Samsung protective cover, arrived. I note the holes in my Spigen case do line up with the mic holes -- I'm on AT&T, so I would guess you're not. I should also note that on the Samsung case itself, one of the two holes is elongated to accommodate the different mic locations.

    Case manufacturers either have to do what Samsung did and elongate one of the two holes or sell separate versions by carrier. If they don't do either, and one of the holes is covered up, it's defective and should go back.

    Spigen rushed their cases out to take advantage of early adopters and early pre-orderers looking for a case.
    fredwardnelson and Dural like this.
    10-23-2014 03:58 PM
  4. JasW's Avatar
    Here's the Spigen Capsule side by side with the Samsung protective cover -- you can see the elongated microphone hole on the Samsung cover:

    Note 4 Poor Phone Audio Reports with Spigen Neo Hybrid Case Installed on N4-20141023_170537.jpg
    fredwardnelson and Dural like this.
    10-23-2014 04:09 PM
  5. piercing heavens's Avatar
    Verizon Note 4 and the Spigen Tough Armor and Slim armor also have mic holes that are covered.
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 04:20 PM
  6. InfinitiFX35's Avatar
    I just ordered a Neo Hybrid as the Verus I ordered is lost. I need a case, I will drill it out if I have to. Have tools, will fix. LOL.
    cisSlacker and Dural like this.
    10-23-2014 04:22 PM
  7. wase4711's Avatar
    my Spigen tough armor hybrid has a small hole in the bottom left,exactly where the mic is, and another one on the bottom right, and I pre ordered mine, and it works perfectly..
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 04:26 PM
  8. pwscott's Avatar
    Very informative response @JasW! thank you. My Seidio seems good to go, but the Spigen case made my VZW phone sound terrible. Would be easy to fix with Xacto knife or nail scissors etc I think..
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 04:55 PM
  9. zeuswsu's Avatar
    my Spigen tough armor hybrid has a small hole in the bottom left,exactly where the mic is, and another one on the bottom right, and I pre ordered mine, and it works perfectly..
    Are you on Verizon?
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 05:20 PM
  10. nugj's Avatar
    OK folks. So here is a little help for folks looking to modify a case instead of returning it. Returning might not be an option for people until there are more cases out there that are actually designed to be used universally regardless of carrier version of the N4.

    Using a digital calipers the distance between the current hole and lets call it the VzW hole is 3mm give or take a couple hundredths of a mm.

    Now lets not make the mistake your friendly forum member...here..nugj the .blithering ***** made and remember that the Neo H is a two piece case. It is not a bonded one piece like lets say a UAG. So you want to detach the outer hard polycarb ring from the inner soft polymer jacket. Just pull them apart. No big deal. They are designed to just pull apart.

    Using a high speed drill and a proper sized bit you can simply drill a nice clean hole in the poycarb rib. But that leaves the pain in the rear, soft polymer to deal with. Here a drill bit won't work because the polymer just wants to suck in around the bit and while you will make a hole, it is more or less a self healing hole. So, you have to use a punch. I am a woodworker and as any woodworker will tell you, we never have enough tools....I do mean never. So I have punches as well with a myriad of punch sizes. Took the right one, really small, and punched a perfect sized hole in the polymer, also 3mm outside of the other hole. As long as the original hole size is correct to get the mic functioning properly, the holes I cut should also work. Since so many of these cases are polymer and polycarb, I might do this with the other cases coming instead of returning them. Heck for all we know, the discounted prices on these things are in part because their manufacturers knew this problem was waiting in the weeds. So a little work to cut the case cost in half, may be well worth the effort.
    bl4ckthought1 and Dural like this.
    10-23-2014 08:28 PM
  11. vitoa's Avatar
    Excellent information. Thank you!
    Mine is a Verizon Note 4 and a Spigen Ultra Hybrid case. The bottom right hole lines up, but the bottom left hole is off (case hole is too close to the micro USB) about 1/8". I slid just the bottom of the case off, placed a mark on the case in line with the actual mic hole on the phone. Then drilled a new hole right next to the original hole using the mark and original as a guide. Works perfect.

    As nugj said, TPU is a little weird to drill. The bit wants to "walk" around and the TPU snaps back into place after you drill it making the hole smaller than you intended. If you start off with an ultra small bit to punch through and then enlarge to size it will be easier. My final hole was a 1/8" dia bit and the hole snaps back to about half the size.
    Still, only took 2 min using a drill press.
    Dural likes this.
    10-23-2014 10:13 PM
  12. JasW's Avatar
    OK folks. So here is a little help for folks looking to modify a case instead of returning it. Returning might not be an option for people until there are more cases out there that are actually designed to be used universally regardless of carrier version of the N4.
    I don't know about folks looking to get "armored" and/or multi-piece cases, but if you are looking for the traditional TPU-type case, I can't say enough good things about the Samsung protective cover. Plus it has the universal hole for that one bottom mic.
    Dural likes this.
    10-24-2014 07:06 AM
  13. wase4711's Avatar
    Are you on Verizon?
    no, t mobile
    10-24-2014 07:42 AM
  14. nugj's Avatar
    Well unfortunately, those of us that did not get the Sammy protective cover early on are stuck because they are out of inventory on both blue and grey. I do wish their web storefront was a bit more user friendly. My usual process with a new phone device is to get at least one case from the device manufacturer as a safety net against this sort of thing. However they are so hot to sell those S cases that is all I could see initially. Some folks really like them and I am fine with that. They are just not for me, By the time I finally saw the protective cover, they were out of inventory and I already had the Spigen Neo H on the way. Best solution for me at that point was to just modify the Neo H.

    I think I will immediately turn the Spigen Tough Armor around and send it back. They were not even supposed to ship it yet. But now that they have I believe I will send it back as they are not providing any product information that would suggest their cases are not designed for a VzW variant N4. I think I will keep the Verus Thor that is on the way although I think i will likely have to modify it as well.

    Then gonna' just get something that is outside the sphere of any of the cases I have mentioned with the possible exception of the Thor. Probably going to get a Ballistic Tough Jacket for example. They have designed it like a Samsung, with an elongated left side mic hole. At that point presuming I can modify the Thor, I will be done with the case wars. I would still get the Sammy Protective Cover. But the modified Neo H will just have to cover that base and be my slim and trim variant. Too late now. But you are right. If I had seen the Sammy Protective Cover I would have bought it and that would have been my case both giving me something from the device manufacture and a slim and trim alternative instead of the darned Neo H.
    Dural likes this.
    10-24-2014 11:53 AM
  15. piercing heavens's Avatar
    Would inserting the drill bit manually by hand after it has been heated up work? Or just increasing drill bit sizes work best?
    Dural likes this.
    10-24-2014 06:15 PM
  16. nugj's Avatar
    I don't know if you have punches available to you...even leather punches will work. I think that no matter how you cut it, a punch will leave a cleaner hole in the polymer than a drill will. I would take a marking punch first to mark that spot. Take a block of wood and sit the polymer inner jack on the top of the wood block. Position your marking punch were you want it to be and let it do its thing. Then take a leather punch or something similar and hit it a good shot. Use relatively soft wood like pine and drive the leather punch right through the polymer and right into the wooden block with a hammer and you will have as clean a hole as you can expect.
    Dural likes this.
    10-24-2014 07:01 PM
  17. Dural's Avatar
    This Forum just saved my bacon. I was convinced I had a defective (audio) device since no one could hear me by phone. Otherwise, the (beast) device is performing perfectly. I've been hounding Best Buy to arrange replacement for a device whose only flaw is the case I put on it...

    Thanks to you all for posting this information and to AndroidCentral for making the support possible.
    10-24-2014 11:22 PM
  18. mcverry's Avatar
    I ended up with a Uag case that has access to the mic ports. Sorry for bad quality, took this with an ancient 10 megapixel dslr.

    Note 4 Poor Phone Audio Reports with Spigen Neo Hybrid Case Installed on N4-pa264715.jpg
    Note 4 Poor Phone Audio Reports with Spigen Neo Hybrid Case Installed on N4-pa264711.jpg
    Jumpman89 likes this.
    10-26-2014 11:32 PM
  19. jazonbee's Avatar
    Same issue here with the Neo Hybrid Spigen case. To return or mod, that is the question.
    10-27-2014 01:43 PM
  20. nugj's Avatar
    Let me start by saying I am not recommending people modify their cases. I am quite sure it voids the warranty. But in the first place I know some of you are stuck. The only case you have right now is one that won't work with the VzW left mic location. Others can't return it because all of their return time was sucked up in the shipping time! How convenient for the supplier.

    Also like so many other woodworkers, I have way more tools than any healthy normal male should have. Most times doing something I want to do short of building a skyscraper is simply a matter of grabbing something out of one of the tool boxes.

    So today its the Verus Thor modification for the left side mic hole.

    How is this different from the instructions I provided for modifying the Spigen Neo Hybrid. Well, the polycarb hard shell for the Verus does not go around the bottom or top of the case while the Neo H has a polycarb ring that goes around the entire circumference of the N4. So there is no need to drill out the polycarb for the Verus Thor. So it is an easier job in that respect.

    Where it is harder is that the polymer jacket that you do need to modify has a ridge just on the edge of the mic holes. So you have an angled surface to punch against, not a flat surface. The mic holes are larger for the Thor. So you need the punch one size up from the correct punch for the Neo H. The Neo H took the second smallest punch I had and this the third smallest. Same spacing between the current left mic hole and the one you are going to punch out.....3mm. Again mark the spot with a marking punch or otherwise marking tool. Take the polymer cover jacket out of the hard polycarb shell. Put the polymer jacket over the short edge of a block of wood for support. Set your punch in the right place and give a sharp blow with a hammer. Drive it all the way into the wood. If it takes more than one shot....fine....but do not remove the punch until you are sure you have driven it into the wood. Make sure it is soft wood...something like a block of pine 2 x 4. That is what I use. The hole was perfect, clean really as clean as the holes that were already there. Job done....case saved.....

    The other benefit to modifying these cases is that it is not clear to me whether some of these discounted prices we are getting are a result of the case maker knowing he has an issue with this series of cases with the VzW variant of the N4. I think the Thor suggested retail is $44 and I got mine for something like $14 plus shipping. Good luck and watch your fingers!
    10-27-2014 01:50 PM
  21. Alexander Burnside's Avatar
    Very disappointed. I will be sending the tough armor from Spigen back and going without a case until the case I want is in stock.

    I'm really not so clumsy that I think I'd drop my phone within the next few months.
    10-27-2014 01:53 PM
  22. jazonbee's Avatar
    To be returned on your dime? Does anyone else feel like Spigen should do their part in paying for return shipping on an item they were aware was defective?
    10-27-2014 02:07 PM
  23. nugj's Avatar
    I am very very disappointed in Spigen and have said so here. IMO, dumping these cases on the market with no descriptive material regarding N4 variant compatibility was not likely an honest mistake. Disappointed in the other case guys that have done this for the same reason. If I end up with $44 of value for $14 and my time and effort with a hole punch and a drill well that is fine for me. But not everybody has access to tools and the dexterity to use them and nobody should have to do so. I am truly disappointed in how these companies are handling this.

    I am keeping the Neo H which I have modified, returning the Tough Armor which I have not touched and keeping the Verus Thor which I have also modified. For those wondering and interested, the Tough Armor would have been as easy if not easier to modify than the Neo H was and easier than the Thor was as well.
    10-27-2014 02:23 PM
  24. flackberry's Avatar
    Did you notice with the Ultra Hybrid case on whether or not the camera lens makes contact when you lay the phone on its back? The back of the Ultra Hybrid almost looks flush with the lens.
    10-27-2014 03:20 PM
  25. Alexander Burnside's Avatar
    If you are responding to me, I am not sure who's dime it will be returned on. I bought it through Amazon, and I imagine it will either be resolved by Spigen or Amazon will pay for the seller's mistake. It sounds like Amazon is really stepping up admirably for other folks in my position - glad for that, but this shouldn't even be a thing.

    We'll see what happens. My case arrives today and I've already contacted Spigen through Amazon's system.
    10-27-2014 03:34 PM
37 12

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