1. LAGalaxyFan77's Avatar
    Since most reviews rarely cover audio quality outside of call quality, I was wondering how the S4 sound quality listening through headphones compares to the iPhone. I am looking to switch from the iPhone to the S4, but since one the main functions of using my iPhone is listening to music, I was wondering how the S4 compared to Apple's phone before making a final decision.

    Thanks for the help. Cheers!
    05-14-2013 01:39 PM
  2. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    Since most reviews rarely cover audio quality outside of call quality, I was wondering how the S4 sound quality listening through headphones compares to the iPhone. I am looking to switch from the iPhone to the S4, but since one the main functions of using my iPhone is listening to music, I was wondering how the S4 compared to Apple's phone before making a final decision.

    Thanks for the help. Cheers!
    Depends on the headphones, app, equalizer settings, etc.... I mean these are all factores. Everyone has different preferences on what's good or not and have different quality of headphones. So whether it's good to someone depends on those things. Wouldn't you agree headphones make a difference? Because you can ask 2 people the same question and they can give you different answers if one is using ear buds and the other is using over the ear, noise canceling Bose cans.
    05-14-2013 01:45 PM
  3. LAGalaxyFan77's Avatar
    Depends on the headphones, app, equalizer settings, etc.... I mean these are all factores. Everyone has different preferences on what's good or not and have different quality of headphones. So whether it's good to someone depends on those things. Wouldn't you agree headphones make a difference? Because you can ask 2 people the same question and they can give you different answers if one is using ear buds and the other is using over the ear, noise canceling Bose cans.
    I totally agree with your assessment. Nevertheless, I am not looking for a detailed quantified analysis of the two, I merely desire to read people's opinion of their experience listening to music on their S4. Since we all know that audio quality is very subjective and subjugated to the factors you detailed above, I just would like people to chime in on how their experiences listening to music has been thus far.

    Cheers and thanks for the response.
    05-14-2013 01:48 PM
  4. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    I totally agree with your assessment. Nevertheless, I am not looking for a detailed quantified analysis of the two, I merely desire to read people's opinion of their experience listening to music on their S4. Since we all know that audio quality is very subjective and subjugated to the factors you detailed above, I just would like people to chime in on how their experiences listening to music has been thus far.

    Cheers and thanks for the response.
    LOL.... again I would assume that most are satisfied with this phone and any smartphone given they have headphones that are sufficient for them. Nowadays, the sound quality coming out this phones is more about what you have hooked up. Now if you were asking about speaker quality, then that's different but I just think most would be satisfied because they can get good headphones and tweak equalizer settings. Take me for example. Sound is great with my soul by luda headphones and equalizer set to flat but I don't like the stock earbuds. Does that help you? Not sarcastic.... just wondering if that helps you.
    05-14-2013 01:57 PM
  5. LAGalaxyFan77's Avatar
    LOL.... again I would assume that most are satisfied with this phone and any smartphone given they have headphones that are sufficient for them. Nowadays, the sound quality coming out this phones is more about what you have hooked up. Now if you were asking about speaker quality, then that's different but I just think most would be satisfied because they can get good headphones and tweak equalizer settings. Take me for example. Sound is great with my soul by luda headphones and equalizer set to flat but I don't like the stock earbuds. Does that help you? Not sarcastic.... just wondering if that helps you.
    Actually it does. I have high quality headphones so your experience with yours helps me with my decision.

    The reason for this thread is that I had the original Droid and while I loved the phone, the audio quality was poor. And as a result, I switched to the iPhone since I very much enjoyed my iPod Touch. However, like many others, the iPhone has grown stale and with Apple crippling their devices after each new iPhone iteration, I want to move on. I am very intrigued with the S4 and how much more useful it would be than my current iPhone. Nonetheless, audio quality is a major factor when making a future purchase. So any opinions expressed here helps.

    Cheers.
    05-14-2013 02:03 PM
  6. smalba's Avatar
    I can't compare the iphones sound to the S4 because I don't have an iphone. But I can say the the sound quality is really good. I had a chance to try out the HTC ones sound quality with headphones and it was okay. I then purchased the S4 and the sound is really good.

    I used the adapt sound feature that the phone has and it enhanced my dre beats tour headphones a lot. Everything sounds clear and the bass comes in really good but doesn't down out the treble. I can honestly say that the sound this phone produces is the best of any Android I have used, and I've used a lot from the evo 4g to the s3 to the one.

    I'm very satisfied with the sound quality on the S4. If you do get the phone, I suggest trying out adapt sound.
    05-14-2013 02:27 PM
  7. scorpiodsu's Avatar
    Actually it does. I have high quality headphones so your experience with yours helps me with my decision.

    The reason for this thread is that I had the original Droid and while I loved the phone, the audio quality was poor. And as a result, I switched to the iPhone since I very much enjoyed my iPod Touch. However, like many others, the iPhone has grown stale and with Apple crippling their devices after each new iPhone iteration, I want to move on. I am very intrigued with the S4 and how much more useful it would be than my current iPhone. Nonetheless, audio quality is a major factor when making a future purchase. So any opinions expressed here helps.

    Cheers.
    Ok Cool. I'm particular about my sound and I would say it's fine on this device. I mean I don't like using earbuds but with a good set of headphones, I think you'll be fine. Good luck.
    05-14-2013 02:32 PM
  8. Sargentdel's Avatar
    Personally I think the sound quality isn't great. I had a pair of Sennheisser buds which cost 40 and the sound was amazing on my iPhone 4s however on the s4 it was distorted past 10/15. No problems when using the stock earbuds.

    I read a thread and found out that it was something to do with the number of rings on the jack connection. The stock has 3 rings and my Sennheissers have two.

    If your like me and like your music loud the S4 is not the phone for you. My iPhone was much louder than the S4 and I'm pretty gutted.

    Reading threads there is currently no fix. Unlike the S3, you could change the defaultgain file to increase the maximum volume.

    Hoping a fix comes soon :-(

    Posted via Android Central App
    05-15-2013 02:25 PM
  9. jensigner's Avatar
    I totally agree with your assessment. Nevertheless, I am not looking for a detailed quantified analysis of the two, I merely desire to read people's opinion of their experience listening to music on their S4. Since we all know that audio quality is very subjective and subjugated to the factors you detailed above, I just would like people to chime in on how their experiences listening to music has been thus far.

    Cheers and thanks for the response.
    My personal experience is that the sound is fabulous listening to jazz, and some classic rock. I have used a number of earbuds (~ 32 ohm ish) and Sennheiser quasi-audiophile phones. This is always subjective of course. However what is NOT subjective is that there is a serious audio issue if you plan to use nominally low-impedance earphones (<~ 15 ohm) as reported by many users of the i9505 and SGH-I337 versions. I have the SGH-I337 with this problem but since I don't use the lower-impedance buds, things sound fabulous to me. In fact audio quality was one of my criteria for choosing the S4. More on this here: Samsung Galaxy S4: Problem With Low-Impedance Headphones
    05-15-2013 03:02 PM
  10. LAGalaxyFan77's Avatar
    My personal experience is that the sound is fabulous listening to jazz, and some classic rock. I have used a number of earbuds (~ 32 ohm ish) and Sennheiser quasi-audiophile phones. This is always subjective of course. However what is NOT subjective is that there is a serious audio issue if you plan to use nominally low-impedance earphones (<~ 15 ohm) as reported by many users of the i9505 and SGH-I337 versions. I have the SGH-I337 with this problem but since I don't use the lower-impedance buds, things sound fabulous to me. In fact audio quality was one of my criteria for choosing the S4. More on this here: Samsung Galaxy S4: Problem With Low-Impedance Headphones
    Interesting findings. Thanks for sharing.
    05-15-2013 03:28 PM
  11. hovermet's Avatar
    Depends on the headphones, app, equalizer settings, etc.... I mean these are all factores. Everyone has different preferences on what's good or not and have different quality of headphones. So whether it's good to someone depends on those things. Wouldn't you agree headphones make a difference? Because you can ask 2 people the same question and they can give you different answers if one is using ear buds and the other is using over the ear, noise canceling Bose cans.
    Those factors doesn't really matter. Using identical headphone at stock setting will give us a good result. Instead of asking for user experience, we need specific specs of the audio chip that is embedded in the S4. Btw, in ur case, we shouldn't even bother asking question at all in life because is gonna be pointless. When someone asks u a question are u gonna state all ur preferences in details?

    I heard the chip on the i9500 and i9505 are different as well.

    I couldn't find any specific spec on google. i hope someone will post soon.
    05-15-2013 11:32 PM
  12. Dreamliner330's Avatar
    Those factors doesn't really matter. Using identical headphone at stock setting will give us a good result. Instead of asking for user experience, we need specific specs of the audio chip that is embedded in the S4. Btw, in ur case, we shouldn't even bother asking question at all in life because is gonna be pointless. When someone asks u a question are u gonna state all ur preferences in details?

    I heard the chip on the i9500 and i9505 are different as well.

    I couldn't find any specific spec on google. i hope someone will post soon.
    I'm pretty sure it's NOT a Wolfson DAC, which is a shame really (The Nexus 4 & S2 had it). Audio QUALITY has really become something people don't care about...with 'Beats' passing as high quality, I'm not surprised.

    If you really care about audio quality, I'd get a Cowon music player and play FLAC lossless. Depending on the quality of your headphones your ear and the source content, you may not even notice a sound quality difference from your iPhone.
    05-16-2013 03:11 AM
  13. jensigner's Avatar
    I'm pretty sure it's NOT a Wolfson DAC, which is a shame really (The Nexus 4 & S2 had it). Audio QUALITY has really become something people don't care about...with 'Beats' passing as high quality, I'm not surprised.

    If you really care about audio quality, I'd get a Cowon music player and play FLAC lossless. Depending on the quality of your headphones your ear and the source content, you may not even notice a sound quality difference from your iPhone.
    The info at Wiki S4 seems to indicate that the i9505 and SGH-I337 use a Qualcomm DAC (integrated with Snapdragon 600?) for audio but the i9500 uses the separate Wolson Micro WM5102 audio chip. Nevertheless the audio quality with the Qualcomm DAC is fantastic, provided you use higher impedance headphones. Apparently Samsung is now aware of the audio issue and, hopefully, is being escalated at Samsung.
    05-16-2013 09:17 AM
  14. madlaw1071's Avatar
    To the OP; I've had a 4S, S3 and now the S4 all with the same Rocketfish Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. The S4 is easily the best of those 3 both in terms of clarity and volume.
    05-16-2013 09:35 AM
  15. droideran's Avatar
    So far i have no problem with the Galaxy S4. I gave my S3 to my younger brother so I can't really tell the difference. But from what I can remember the S3 sound quality is not that good compared with the S4. The good news is, I still have my Galaxy S2 which is very poor in sound quality when using the default music player on it. I normally use beats studio headphones but I still don't get the quality in the S2 compared with the S4.
    Overall, the S4 sound is okay for me. Also, I have always used poweramp app for better music experience. With the poweramp I get good music even on my S2. If you don't like the music quality of the S4 you can get a poweramp app from the google app store and you definitely will enjoy.
    05-16-2013 09:36 AM
  16. racedog's Avatar
    There is a thread over at XDA about sound quality via earphones/earbuds. It seems that quite a few people are experiencing problems with higher end sets. They usually have lower impedance and the S4 seems to have a big problem with that. I have a set of Shure 530's that are $500 earbuds. I plan to take them with me to the store when Verizon has the phones in stock so that I can test them there before I buy this phone. I don't use them often, only when travelling by air (which I don't do as much now as I used to), but I want to make sure that they are going to work when I need them as finding out when I'm sitting on a plane or in an airport would likely cause to me to be escorted out by security once I let loose with a string of profanity.
    05-16-2013 11:39 AM
  17. Bojamijams's Avatar
    Jensigner has done a lot of testing on this (Thanks for all your hard work btw )

    The Shure se530 have a 36ohm output impedance so you'll be just fine.

    There is a thread over at XDA about sound quality via earphones/earbuds. It seems that quite a few people are experiencing problems with higher end sets. They usually have lower impedance and the S4 seems to have a big problem with that. I have a set of Shure 530's that are $500 earbuds. I plan to take them with me to the store when Verizon has the phones in stock so that I can test them there before I buy this phone. I don't use them often, only when travelling by air (which I don't do as much now as I used to), but I want to make sure that they are going to work when I need them as finding out when I'm sitting on a plane or in an airport would likely cause to me to be escorted out by security once I let loose with a string of profanity.
    05-16-2013 12:07 PM
  18. LAGalaxyFan77's Avatar
    To the OP; I've had a 4S, S3 and now the S4 all with the same Rocketfish Bluetooth Stereo Headphones. The S4 is easily the best of those 3 both in terms of clarity and volume.
    Thanks for sharing! Definitely helps.

    - - - Updated - - -

    There is a thread over at XDA about sound quality via earphones/earbuds. It seems that quite a few people are experiencing problems with higher end sets. They usually have lower impedance and the S4 seems to have a big problem with that. I have a set of Shure 530's that are $500 earbuds. I plan to take them with me to the store when Verizon has the phones in stock so that I can test them there before I buy this phone. I don't use them often, only when travelling by air (which I don't do as much now as I used to), but I want to make sure that they are going to work when I need them as finding out when I'm sitting on a plane or in an airport would likely cause to me to be escorted out by security once I let loose with a string of profanity.
    I need to check this out. Thanks.
    05-16-2013 12:38 PM

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