Sry in advance, too long post :<
Originally Posted by Jamal Ahmed
This phone's Boomsound software is actually a pretty good feature and raises just the right frequencies to the right extent, without distorting the authentic experience. But it was so loud/wild that it started to blow even my studio monitor Audio-Technica M50, which was something purely related to not up-to-the-mark coding, blowing off relatively neutral headphones.
But I just updated to 4.4.3 firmware, and they have actually improved a lot on that software deficiency. The headphones do not feel blown even at full volume, which is a giant leap considering how "sensitive" audio equalizers like BoomSound are to reach perfection. Sure, they still haven't reached perfection; audio loses detail nearly last 2 steps of volume, but it's nice to see they are actually improving on that.
Of course, I can turn off Boomsound anytime and be as authentic as anything, but for me boomsound is just a priceless software I'm yet to find in any mobile yet.
How can you call this an Audiophile thread with these claims? (no offense tho).
Boomsound is the by far most horrible crap, you can use for headphones, if you truly want a high audio quality.
And i am not talking about, that you might "like" the different sounding, when the bass/treble is raised, and the mids are lowered.
I talk about the PURE quality of the sound. Its worse. It is. Noise and distortion are by worlds higher. With my Beyerdynamic T90 (yes, treble peak.. but still) and also with my pretty neutal Logitech UE 900 it was not listenable. The treble distorted in alot songs, it hurts in the ears etc.
I still DO think, if Boomsound would do the same, but NOT raise the treble, if would be by miles better as a "fun-setting". But like this, its not usable, tbh.
Also, if you want a sorce besides my ears: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8078/s...ng-galaxy-s5/2
Comparing the THD+N ratio of BoomSound On to Off shows far more noise and distortion as well. If you want boomy bass, a harsh top-end, and no midrange, then use BoomSound. A better choice is to find headphones that suit your listening preferences more.
Originally Posted by Jamal Ahmed
I think I read in the official features of Android L that external DAC will be natively supported (correct me if I'm wrong), so I'm really looking forward to the future of audio in this phone.
If I am not mistaken, this feature is supported by Android from version 4.3 onwards. So, witha Fiio E07k, E18~ you should be able to use it as a DAC. In the M8 audio quality thread on head-fi.org, one User uses the E18 with this, and can't disable Boomsound, while using an external DAC.
Originally Posted by Jamal Ahmed
P.s. I would give an arm and leg to try out Harmon Kardon mod for this phone, but I can't because of no S-Off. I really can't wait to hear the difference between Boomsound and Harmon Kardon myself. Well, until the day I can get the mod!
Even if i do absolutely not share your opinion about Boomsound via Headphones, you might still be interested in my opinion in this comparison.
Just a cheap EQ setting. Works well together with the external speakers, but is pretty crap for Headphones (maybe its fine with dull headphones, which dont have good treble/clarity. Maybe Shure SE 215, or some other basshead headphones).
I truly cant recommend it. And like i said, its NOT because the EQ setting changes the "true sound" (i like the Use of EQs to do some fine tuning if needed), but because using this raises the noise AND distortion by a good bunch. You can hear that strongly. At least i can.
PLUS, theres one big thing: This is just ONE strong agressive Preset of an EQ. Bass below 120 hz gets +5db, lower mids (120-1000 Hz) gets lowered by up to -5 dB, while the frequencies from 2000 up to 10k+ Hz) gets raised by 4,5db. Above 10k Hz its even above 5 dB).
This makes the difference Bass/treble, to the Mids from 0 dB to 10 dB, since +5 and -5 adds to 10. Thats a really hard difference.
So, in conclusion: Depending on headphones, this might sound better, or actually MUCH worse.
Bassy headphones, lets take your M50s, already have strong bass. Depending on frequency response, that bass could even "overlap" the mids, if the bass is too strong. you can see that on beats headphones. With Boomsound, the bass gets even more stronger, and the mids will get even more back in the background. Alot Headphones, that have a V-curve (and so naturally weaks in the mids) gets even weaker mids.
Also, depending on your headphones also as with the Audio files, the distortion gets raised by a little, or maybe by A LOT.
If you are not happy with your Headphone sounding, you should maybe try another Headphone.
If you just need some fine tuning, then you are by MILES better, if you just use PowerAmp, and its Equalizer, since it can react like a million times better to the individual frequency response of the headphones, and to your own personal taste. Boomsound here is more like "boom in your face. be happy with it, or cry"
Harman & Kardon Soundmod:
Now, this thing is alot different. This is actually Not an Equalizer, like Boomsound. H&K's "Clear-Fi" technology tries to take a strongly compressed Audiofile, and tries to recreate the missing parts.
So, it tries to raise the pure "compressed" audioquality of bad audiofiles.
I personally have mostly 256+ kbit/s MP3s, and Flacs. So, this technology wont help much. it sounds almost the exact same --> not really usefull. You just wont hear much of a difference, unless your Files have a bad quality. And if they do, then get better quality files, instead of such a software, that might not even work well enough.
But, this Soundmod disables Boomsound. Yes, you can find a "trick", where you change the Boomsound parameter from false to true in a script, and enabling it back in the menu. But, it will NOT be active. its like just menu decoration. The "boomsound" sign in the task bar will not be there - Not even with external speakers.
Boomsound is made ONLY for the External speakers, they work together quite well. Without Boomsound (ergo, with H&K soundmod flashed), the External speakers will sound much more thin/tinny. I have yet to find a way to have Boomsound for the speakers, and H&K Soundmod for headphones. Unless theres something new here, this is not possible together.
Lets go a bit deeper into the Audiophile theorycrafting:
H&K's "Clear-Fi", and its purpose might sound awesome. But it has its negative sights:
- It only helps on Crappy Audiophiles. Someone, who cares about audio quality will not use <128 kbit/s mp3s. At LEAST 192, but more 256-320 Kbit/s or even flac. So this will not help you, as the compression on 256+ is not strong enough, to make a difference (also, because most songs have a crappy quality from beeing badly mastered)
- The thoughts behind clear-fi are adressing the "problem" at the totally wrong spot. On most songs, it just does not matter, what file quality (bitrate etc) you use, because most songs are just really really crappy mastered in the studio. Its because alot people dont care about audio quality. so they use cheap crap, like beats headphones, logitech speakers for 30 bucks, and 10 bucks earphones etc. Crappy mastered/produced music sounds better on cheap devices, than a high quality master.
I mean, how are you supposed to "guess" the higher quality, if the artists arent producing high quality music?
I think, the following is a perfect comparison:
You create a 480p Movie, and try to upscale it into 1080p using a cheap software... Do you honestly think, that will raise the quality? I personally don't..
So, to make it pretty short: The worse your File quality is (and higher the file compression), the more "Clear-Fi" might make a difference.
The higher the file quality, the less difference this will make.
To get a high audio quality into your ears, you need a different priority:
1. The Song must be produced in a good/high quality. Much more important, than Bitrate. For example: Michael Jackson's Thriller album at 128 kbit/s will sound much better, than the new Linkin Park Album in 320 kbit+. (i like linkin park, but the new album has such an incredible low quality... its like zero fun listening to it, when you have really good headphones)
2. You need good headphones (Besides the master quality headphones are responsible for like 70-90% of the Audioquality. The REST comes from the DAC/AMP)
3. DAC / AMP Quality
The "Chain" is important. If just one part of it has a low quality, the whole chain will sound low.