A note on music sound quality for iPhone and iPad users thinking of a Nexus 7

douglerner

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As mentioned elsewhere, I'm a long term Apple, iPhone and iPad user and got a Nexus 7 out of curiosity and to see how easy it is for an iPhone / iPad user. Generally I am very pleased with it, but I would be negligent if I didn't mention the relative speaker qualities, when playing music.

To be honest, the Nexus 7 speaker quality is only "fair" - I wouldn't say it is "good." It's actually rather tinny. And using the Nexus "surround" setting only makes it worse (it is good that is off by default).

My iMac has the best music sound quality of the speakers I have. The iPad 2 is next best, and very good. The sound quality drops quite a bit by the time you get to the iPhone 5. But even the iPhone 5 sound quality is much better than the Nexus 7, which obviously has the worst speaker of the lot, even if you are not an audiophile (which I'm not).

In summary, for the mobile devices I own, the speaker quality for music is:

Best: iPad 2
So-so: iPhone 5
Worst: Nexus 7

I haven't done a comparison with earplugs or headsets of these devices. I know, for example, that music sounds beautiful on my iPhone 5 when I use the earplugs. So this is probably simply a speaker issue.

Note: I did try using my iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 earplugs on my Nexus 7, but the output sound into the earplugs was extremely low. Does anybody know if this is a Nexus 7 earphone jack output setting issue? Or maybe the Apple earplugs are just not compatible with the Nexus 7? Or could the output jack be defective? I had the "volume for music" in Settings turned way up but the sound coming through the earplugs was very low.

Anyway, if you aren't doing a side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 5 or iPad 2 the Nexus 7 sound may seem "oh, that's not too bad" to you. But as soon as you switch and do a direct comparison it's pretty obvious.

doug
 

Grabber5.0

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I don't have a problem with the sound quality. If I want better sound I hook my devices up to a sound system.

My iPhone 5 headphones work perfectly in my nexus 7 - when I can find them. :O

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
 

douglerner

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I don't have a problem with the sound quality. If I want better sound I hook my devices up to a sound system.

My iPhone 5 headphones work perfectly in my nexus 7 - when I can find them. :O

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

That is good to know. But also discouraging for me to hear personally. It sounds like maybe it's the answer I least wanted to hear - that there might be a problem with my headset jack on my Nexus 7. :(

I hope that's not the case. Are there any special "headset volumes" which need to be set separately?

Thanks,

doug
 

Grabber5.0

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There is a separate volume setting for headphones. Just adjust the volume after plugging them in. Hope yours is okay.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
 

douglerner

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Additional note on earplugs: I did find an additional setting beyond Settings > Sound > Volumes > Music, video games & other media.

(By the way, the above setting gets reset every time you plug in or unplug a headset.)

The additional setting is just the volume control on the side of the Nexus 7. When the headset is in and you try to adjust the volume buttons up, you first get a warning about "setting volume too high." If you "ok" that, you can raise the volume and it sounds like a normally to-be-expected earplug volume via the iPhone earplugs. So that's a relief.

I still think (1) the sound isn't as loud as the maximum on the iPhone 5 (on the iPhone 5 I can't bear to listen to the maximum sound, but can easily do so with the Nexus 7) and (2) the sound quality seems better on the iPhone 5. Maybe "something got lost in translation" via the Google Music Player.

But the iPhone earplugs do work, and it does provide better sound quality than the rather tinny speakers.

doug

- - - Updated - - -

There is a separate volume setting for headphones. Just adjust the volume after plugging them in. Hope yours is okay.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

Thanks. Our notes crossed. :)

doug
 

jiggyb21

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In terms of everything else.............

Best: Nexus 7
So-so: iPhone 5
Worst: iPad 2

Not to mention the Nexus 7 costs half the price of the other devices you speak of. Apple's handheld consumer products were born with the ipod.....a music first device. They can't put out a device with poor audio...

Ever since I got my HTC One it has completely raised the bar for all portable audio. It's not that it takes the place of headphones or a separate speaker system but I'll have a really hard time buying another phone that does not have front-facing speakers. The next closest thing is an iPhone with the single speaker port on the bottom....but it doesn't compare. I guess what I'm saying is to me it's front facing speakers then everything else a distant second.....that is of course if external device audio is that important to you.
 

msavic6

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Just invest in a small portable bluetooth speaker, those things pump out audio extremely loud and no phone/tablet speaker can compare to the overall sound quality.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk 4
 

That70sGAdawg

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The OP may have an original Nexus 7, not a 2013 Nexus 7 (2) because he only mentions "speaker", not "speakers". The sound is a bit tinny, but better than an iPhone 5! I have both. I also used an HTC One for the last 4 months and yes, it"s the best sound on a cellphone.
On the Nexus 7 (2013) -When held in landscape even the stereo separation on a you tube video is apparent and appreciated. The new iPad 5 will FINALLY have stereo speakers, but they are useless on the same side together (bottom)..
 

DrWu

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Beginning to think OP is a plant. He starts out very open minded about things but every single one of his conclusions are anti android and his advice to people switching from Apple is don't do it. The sound on my Nexus 7 is head and shoulders better quality than the sound on my wifes iPad and through headphones? are you kidding me? ipods/iphones have notoriously crappy sound due to the AC4 compression. Maybe OP burned his AC4 collection on to CD's and then re-ripped it back out to MP3 to play on his Nexus - that would cause some loss of quality right there since he's basically listening to AC4 thats been compressed further into an MP3... loss on top of loss.
 

hodan

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You should try a HTC One with good headphones or speakers. Only phone I've heard that's better than i-products.

Posted via Android Central App
 

tflash

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Just invest in a small portable bluetooth speaker, those things pump out audio extremely loud and no phone/tablet speaker can compare to the overall sound quality.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk 4

This is debatable. BT audio is compressed for one thing.
 

msavic6

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This is debatable. BT audio is compressed for one thing.

Compressed audio through a bluetooth speaker will always sound better than the uncompressed audio coming out of the stock speakers in a tablet/phone. Its simply physics and the space constraints in portable devices that prevents the speakers from sounding as good a dedicated portable speaker.

With the AptX codec, audio quality through a bluetooth speaker is pretty much impossible too differentiate between a wireless and wired connection.

Plus, most bluetooth speakers have an aux port so you really can't lose. Go and try one, im sure you will be surprised too hear how much sound comes from such a small package.

Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk 4
 

douglerner

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The OP may have an original Nexus 7, not a 2013 Nexus 7 (2) because he only mentions "speaker", not "speakers". The sound is a bit tinny, but better than an iPhone 5! I have both. I also used an HTC One for the last 4 months and yes, it"s the best sound on a cellphone.
On the Nexus 7 (2013) -When held in landscape even the stereo separation on a you tube video is apparent and appreciated. The new iPad 5 will FINALLY have stereo speakers, but they are useless on the same side together (bottom)..

I am the OP and have the new 2013 Nexus 7. I just wrote speaker instead of speakers by error.

I am no audiophile, but the sound is much better on the iPhone 5! I can sit here playing the same songs side-by-side and quality difference is hugely apparent.

It may be that the music files "lost something in translation" while being transferred via the Google Play manager. That could account for the poorer quality. I don't see a way to check the info on the song to see if the file downloaded is the same sampling bitrate, filesize, etc. But the quality is definitely worse.

Perhaps I should try some other sound tests other than my music to compare the speakers. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

doug
 

douglerner

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Just invest in a small portable bluetooth speaker, those things pump out audio extremely loud and no phone/tablet speaker can compare to the overall sound quality.

I think I'd rather not get "extra accessories" as much as I can avoid it. The entire idea of the device (to me) is to be portable. :)

doug
 

douglerner

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Beginning to think OP is a plant. He starts out very open minded about things but every single one of his conclusions are anti android and his advice to people switching from Apple is don't do it.

That is a very unfair thing to write. I hope you acknowledge that and take it back. I am here posting in good faith. And what you say about my posts just isn't true. And I did not advise people not to switch (the one exception so far being if you need reliable voice dictation).

Did you even read my overall review so far which I posted yesterday, where I said I think the Nexus 7 is the better user experience (first link below).

Please see:

http://forums.androidcentral.com/go...est-user-interface-i-choose-nexus-winner.html

http://forums.androidcentral.com/go...ybody-tried-complete-restore.html#post3009831

http://forums.androidcentral.com/go...er-draining-report-really-not-bad-all-me.html

doug
 

ongre10

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I have had many digital players of every brand. I have listened to speakers, headphones, earbuds, bluetooth headsets and speakers and on board speakers. The Nexus 7 2013 is very good, better I think than any apple product of the ipod size. It can't fairly be compared to any laptop size device of course. I have a Nexus 10 as well, its on board speakers are actually quite impressive
I feel the on board sound of the new Nexus 7 is quite good considering that the speakers are smaller than your pinky nail. I normally use out board speakers of various types.
You might not have the "ears" you think you have, the source may not be of a quality nature, I'm not certain but I would express at this time that the other posts may be correct. Friend, give it another listen.
 
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douglerner

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I have had many digital players of every brand. I have listened to speakers, headphones, earbuds, bluetooth headsets and speakers and on board speakers. The Nexus 7 2013 is very good, better I think than any apple product of the ipad or ipod size. It can't fairly be compared to any laptop size device of course. You might not have the "ears" you think you have, the source may not be of a quality nature, I'm not certain but I would express at this time that the other posts may be correct. Friend, give it another listen.

Well, as I mentioned above, it may be that my music quality got lost in translation while being transferred via the Google Music Manager.

Is there something is independent of my music I can listen to to compare?

Thanks,

Doug
 

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