I've read this thread for a while now... and i'm going to add my 10cents. This may piss some of you off.. but may also make a few smile. I'm guessing the members smiling, are my those that I would consider friends on here...
here we go...
The sound out of the speaker hardware
Firstly I'm not really sure why you would think this to be any better than it is.
Seriously?!?! You have a water proof device and want the speak to be loud? Thats like putting a silencer on a Glock18 and saying...
"stupid fricken gun didn't penetrate as much as without a silencer"
Thats the bloody point!!.. it minimises the sound at the expense of velocity...
Having the waterproof membrane will obviously reduce the sound output. So don't get angry with Sony.. get angry with SCIENCE !! !!
Sound is weak and not of great quality when plugging in VIA 3.5mm output
Basically you are someone that will never be satisfied. The Sony drivers have up to 320 kb/s sound quality. I know that means up to... but it sounds great in a headset or bluetooth peered device. There is no possible way to hear the difference in a head set anyway. Unless you've purchased the top AKG K3003 ($1,299.95)
FYI: most expensive headphones are Stax SR-009 ($5,250) other than Dr. Dre's personal set clustered in diamonds for $1,000,000.
So even if you want to moan about something... please actually back it up. Sony have a good hardware set in the Z! & Ultra. The S4 has slightly better... but even then you must have some pretty fantastic ears to detect the difference.
There is this guy in the UK that is paid millions and can detect sound quality. But this is $50 - 300,000 per hifi system. and I'm pretty sure that every member here hasn't got a system thats worth that. even mine is only $5,000 and I can't hear the difference between my Ultra and my Karan Acoustics KA180.