1. jensigner's Avatar
    Based on reports of poor audio quality of the S4 with low-impedance headsets (~ 12 ohm or so), I have tested my S4 (SGH-I337) and compared with an S3 . My measurements, using pure resistive loads, clearly show an oscillation artifact in the S4 audio for headphone impedances <14ohm. This problem is NOT present in the S3 I tested under identical conditions.
    Note that stock headphones provided with the S4 and S3 have impedances of ~ 35 ohm and therefore won't be a problem. It is my opinion that if Samsung is aware of this issue, they should definitely include in the S4 spec a MINIMUM headphone impedance value of, say, 16 ohm and should clearly fix the problem in the next Galaxy S.. release.
    See below for measurement details:
    Samsung Galaxy S4: Problem With Low-Impedance Headphones
    05-10-2013 03:33 PM
  2. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    Interesting. Thanks.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2
    05-11-2013 08:30 AM
  3. MidasRK's Avatar
    I got the S4 and im glad to finally see a comment on the headset problem. I cant use my current headset from sony anymore. Im glad to see someone noticed it as well. However im not really amused by this stupid joke from samsung.. My music now has these cracky sounds etc.
    05-30-2013 05:16 AM
  4. garublador's Avatar
    FWIW, I have some Denon AH-C551K ear buds that are 16 ohm and I haven't seen the issue. I specifically looked for it knowing about this issue. This supports that your minimum suggested cutoff will work.
    05-30-2013 09:02 AM
  5. rushmore's Avatar
    This would suggest the capacitive design of the audio chip and or the line to the jack might be inadequate.
    05-30-2013 11:21 AM
  6. smooth4lyfe's Avatar
    Can this be fixed with a Software update? Or does it have to be a hardware thing?
    05-30-2013 11:28 AM
  7. rushmore's Avatar
    Probably a threshold issue compensated for by using higher impedance buds. My Klipsch S4 buds are 18ohm.

    That said, unless Verizon releases a 32gb model, I will be staying with my S3 anyway. No harm no foul in either case.
    MrBrownstone likes this.
    05-30-2013 12:08 PM
  8. DreLz2000's Avatar
    I mentioned this cracking sound problem when the S4 first came out but seemed nobody else here had this problem or didn't want to comment about it, good to see its widespread issue & not just me after returning my S4 twice, guys at BestBuy and AT&T looked at as if was crazy, even brought my Sennheiser i80s for them to try out but declined...
    MrBrownstone likes this.
    05-30-2013 12:23 PM
  9. jensigner's Avatar
    I have posted a summary of the status of this problem which seems to affect ALL i9505 owners using headphone impedance below roughly 16 ohm: imo it is extremely doubtful that this can be fixed in software/firmware. It looks exactly lilke a well-known hardware audio analog issue. A simple workaround is to use a resistive "impedance adapter" (just adds series resistance to each audio channel to bump up the total value to over ~ 20 ohm). However, this lowers the output audio level and will change the tonal balance of the headset. The problem seems to be Samsung's design implementation of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 audio output section. Read more from links here:
    05-30-2013 03:23 PM
  10. DreLz2000's Avatar
    thanks for the info, where can i find the right impedance adapter? Its either that or returning the phone for the 3rd time going with the HTC One, don't know any other earbuds that would work with the S4 that's on par with my Sennheiser ie80 buds
    05-30-2013 07:24 PM
  11. jensigner's Avatar
    There is some info in this long XDA discussion including someone on eBay who is setting up to make custom resistive adapters. Also, there are some reports of good iems (over 16 ohm) that work well with the i9505 there, if you don't mind wading through that ever-growing thread to find the info.
    05-31-2013 07:52 AM
  12. smalba's Avatar
    Can someone explain this in layman's terms? I am using both the klipsch s4 headphones and beats in ear. Will I be affected and how am I affected?
    05-31-2013 09:51 AM
  13. jensigner's Avatar
    Can someone explain this in layman's terms? I am using both the klipsch s4 headphones and beats in ear. Will I be affected and how am I affected?
    Looks like those Klipsch S4 have ~ 18 ohm nominal impedance and fairly contstant at low frequency. So that means you shouldn't have any audio issues like that discussed in that XDA thread. If you add tons of bass EQ in your playback settings that might cause a problem. Not sure about the "beats in ear".
    06-02-2013 10:06 AM
  14. jensigner's Avatar
    Looks like a recently released German firmware I9505XXUBMEA *appears* to have fixed this problem with the i9505 and low-impedance headphones. Some more info starting on this page: Sound crackling/distortion with certain headphones? - Page 60 - xda-developers
    06-10-2013 12:15 PM
  15. CCobarrubias's Avatar
    I recently purchased the Klipsch S4A headphones and noticed that I cannot control the volume using the actual headset..I can ONLY control the volume via the phone. Is there a headset out there that will allow me to control the volume via the headset?
    07-23-2013 06:44 PM
  16. jensigner's Avatar
    Can this be fixed with a Software update? Or does it have to be a hardware thing?
    This problem has been fixed with the latest firmware update (measured on my SGH-I337M). All other great headphone audio characteristics (frequency response, low noise, distortion etc.) have not been affected by the update, so the problem was some sort of digital artifact and not a limitation of the Qualcomm audio used in the i9505 and SGH-I337 versions. Updated info here .
    07-27-2013 09:13 AM
  17. ObservandoDaqui's Avatar
    Has somedody measured each earphone resistance of Samsung S4 yet? Yes, I'm refering to ohmic resistance, not impedance, using an ohmmeter. I've just measure mine and I've got an megaohm range resistance, almost infinite, on both earphone, what made me suppose that they could be a piezo type.

    My Samsung earphone has lost low-frequency response, maybe part of midrange frquency too. I say "has lost" because it had such a hi-quality sound and "suddenly" it became defective, I guess right after it got (accidentally) wet. As you should know, piezo device cannot be wet because internal crystal is damaged.
    Since an usual 32 Ohm coil-type earphone wouldn't change its ohmic resistance due moist, I realize that mine is piezo type.

    Emphasizing what I've said above, the earphone AREN'T dead, they still emitts sound, but only of high range and volume is lower than it was. If it was a coil-type earphone, such megaohm range resistance would mean a coil interruption and than NO sound would be generated.

    Has somedody anything to comment about?

    12-07-2013 10:25 AM
  18. MrBrownstone's Avatar
    The problem wasn't exactly fixed, now EQ features no longer work and no aftermarket equalizer will work
    12-08-2013 01:30 AM
  19. kimmybels's Avatar
    hi,i have volume issues with my s4.from ringtone,media to notification and system volume-all are in full/maximum volume (15 of 15) but whenever i play music,watch movies or check some new videos on youtube nor receive calls and texts i cannot hear any sound.except only if i place the phone (back speaker) on my ear,i hear a very low sound.but when i try to use a headseat/earphone,the volume is as good as new whether in maximum or minimum.on the other hand,calling someone seems to be okay,we can hear both ways.it seems that i do not have any problem except when i try to put the call on speaker,i hear very little when in fact i have it on full volume.can you help me with this?i do not know what to do,tried all of the steps i read from different forums.uninstalled dowloaded app,reboot system and wipe cache partition.none of it solved my problem.thanks!
    Michael Wheeler1 likes this.
    02-22-2014 08:57 AM

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