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M8 - Audiophile thread

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By Jamal Ahmed, Senior Member on 30th July 2014, 07:15 PM
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1st August 2014, 11:28 AM |#11  
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Angry
Long post (Darkseth), but ultimately just regurgitated from other audiophile nonsense. Boomsound is fine, and it's just elitist to claim it is anything else.

Most people like more bass in their music, most artists sound crap when played back without EQ. You can like it how it's meant to sound but artists want what THEY like, not what I like.

My favorite sound is poweramp music player with bass and treble cranked up, the mid tones almost removed as they sound rubbish with almost all music, and boomsound on top.

I am A1 qualified audiophile with qualifications from the school of knowing what I like


/bowing out and sorry if I derail anything.
1st August 2014, 11:57 AM |#12  
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The main reason for flashing the H/K mod is that it updates the adsp firmware to support 24bit 192kHz instead the 16bit 96kHz of the standard M8. Loaded up with hi-res flac files and through my Westone 4r's, the difference is night and day to me.
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1st August 2014, 12:26 PM |#13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WESBAR

The main reason for flashing the H/K mod is that it updates the adsp firmware to support 24bit 192kHz instead the 16bit 96kHz of the standard M8. Loaded up with hi-res flac files and through my Westone 4r's, the difference is night and day to me.

do you hear any difference bwn 192kHz and 96kHz ? tried myself but no difference in quality and head-fi also has many reviewers say no difference but file size just increase a lot
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1st August 2014, 12:51 PM |#14  
Question
Hey everyone, I'll say I'm an audiophile just because I like good quality, not because I have any knowledge, so this being said what do you guys have to say about ProjectERA?
1st August 2014, 01:22 PM |#15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtcOneJon

Long post (Darkseth), but ultimately just regurgitated from other audiophile nonsense. Boomsound is fine, and it's just elitist to claim it is anything else.

Most people like more bass in their music, most artists sound crap when played back without EQ. You can like it how it's meant to sound but artists want what THEY like, not what I like.

My favorite sound is poweramp music player with bass and treble cranked up, the mid tones almost removed as they sound rubbish with almost all music, and boomsound on top.

I am A1 qualified audiophile with qualifications from the school of knowing what I like


/bowing out and sorry if I derail anything.

Sarcasm? If yes, then thx for that giggle mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by thecrab93

Hey everyone, I'll say I'm an audiophile just because I like good quality, not because I have any knowledge, so this being said what do you guys have to say about ProjectERA?

Sounds like a good thing. I also had it flashed for a short time... Cant really claim, i heared a difference. But when you reboot into recovery, flash and reboot, thats too much time passed, to be able to really compare it.
You would need 2 devices, one with, one without ProjectERA mod, to really be able to compare it i think.
soo.... difficult to say.
1st August 2014, 03:23 PM |#16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseth

Sry in advance, too long post :<

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
Scroll down.




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.




Even if i do absolutely not share your opinion about Boomsound via Headphones, you might still be interested in my opinion in this comparison.

Boomsound:
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.


I completely agree with you
best: H / K for MP3 and Boumsound for speakers

the speakers do have a bad sound without boumsound

Viper4Android is very good to improve the quality but I did not try on the M8
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1st August 2014, 04:01 PM |#17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saj2001ind

do you hear any difference bwn 192kHz and 96kHz ? tried myself but no difference in quality and head-fi also has many reviewers say no difference but file size just increase a lot

I can hear the difference. 192kHz has a little more sparkle to me, especially the highs. Probably an exagerration to say night and day but I can hear it.
1st August 2014, 04:41 PM |#18  
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I like 24 bit 192 kHz more because it is easier to use hi-end equipment on it, and still be as authentic as possible. Logically, low resolution would sound worse to worst as the quality of your equipment goes higher. Hi-res has one advantage, if any, that it assures you that if you have invested more in your equipment, it won't go to waste all the time you are listening to audio on mobile.

and AFAIK 24 bit 192 kHz is the max supported resolution by headphones of even a pretty high caliber.
1st August 2014, 04:44 PM |#19  
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Hey OP. What else did you notice out of the 4.4.3 updpate that is so diff from 4.4.2? Sorry for changing topic lol
1st August 2014, 05:39 PM |#20  
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I can't stand BoomSound as it makes the music sound horrible and unrealistic (it works for the external speakers though). It does very weird things with the sound with headphones. I did not like the Harman Kardon mod either. It just pumped up the highs and has too low bass. Ironically it too sounded very bad in my Harman Kardon CL headphones. Though better than BoomSound.

I rather go flat than use any of those mods and any "audiphile" would agree. It might be good for cheaper heaphones though.

However Viper4Android is another story. With it you can customise the sound without destroying it and give it a richer character. I am extremely happy with it.
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1st August 2014, 06:10 PM |#21  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saj2001ind

do you hear any difference bwn 192kHz and 96kHz ? tried myself but no difference in quality and head-fi also has many reviewers say no difference but file size just increase a lot

I was really excited about hi-res audio on this phone and downloaded a demo album of 96kHz, 24 Bit audio tracks from HDtracks.com, which sounded really, really great. I wasn't sure if that was due to the higher resolution or just becuase the performances / recording / mastering etc. were particularly good for these recordings, but I suspected that the recording quality might have a bigger influence because HDtracks is obviously not going to use crappy recordings to showcase their product. I had planned on transcoding the hi-res FLACs into MP3s to make a direct comparison, but didn't get around to it until yesterday, when I read this very detailed article criticizing the merits of hi-res digital audio: criticizing the merits of hi-res digital audio. (TL;DR: 16 bit 44.1 khz is more than adequate to faithfully reproduce all musical content audible to the human ear when the encoding is done properly and higher sampling rates can actually harm the reproduced sounds by adding noise to the audible frequencies).

So, long story short, I re-encoded one of the 96 KHz / 24 bit tracks to a 44.1 Khz, 16 Bit Mp3 (192 KBpS), and couldn't hear the difference either on my sennheiser earbuds or my car stereo (an alpine head unit with audyssey multiEQ signal processor and JL and Rockford Fosgate amps, so it's a fairly good reference as far as car stereos are concerned). I Haven't tried the difference with my Sennheiser HD 280's yet, but I don't know if I'm going to bother because there really wasn't any difference and I don't anticipate hearing any difference on the better headphones. They both sound great though; if you're looking for some reference tracks to compare audio quality between different settings on the One M8 or between different devices, I'd recommend setting up an account with HDtracks.com just to download the free sample album.

I think we're likely to see much better improvements in audio quality in other areas; better headphones / amplifiers & speakers, properly ripped audio files, and even equalizers such as boomsound or clarifi (I put those last for a reason but I'll stay out of the boomsound sucks vs. it sounds good to me discussion). Support for external DACs is a very, very exciting IMO; the One M8 should really shine with an externally powered DAC that is powerful enough to properly drive my HD280's or produce an real line-level signal for the aux input in my car stereo.
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