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Cell phone audio quality
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Nut

Cell phone audio quality

It seems like every cell phone which I have "upgraded" to in the last 6 or 8 years has had progressively worse mic/speaker quality (or maybe just internal processing). I notice the same thing happening with a LOT of my friend's phones.

I was just curious what your experiences have been with this. Also, what phones actually have very good quality audio? I am on Verizon, so any good Verizon friendly phones would be especially good to know about. I just hate listening to crappy phones when I feel that there must be better ones out there. As far as I know this info isn't listed anywhere. Please correct me if I am wrong! Thanks.
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Guru

Quote: the last 6 or 8 years...
just a guess, but I would suspect increasing subdivision of the digital bandwidth to accommodate more calls per tower before blaming the mics and speakers in the actual unit you hold in your hand.
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Addict

And parts are getting smaller and smaller, and more compact!
Old 15th November 2009
Blackberry Bold is nice and loud and is true stereo. It's the best "smart phone" speaker I have heard

the Blackberry Curve 8900 is weak (and mono?)

the iPhone speaker is mono and pretty quiet but has a nice, extended HF that is pleasant for classical music.
Old 15th November 2009
Here for the gear

i have a sony tm506 and it has almost decent sound for a reference if a file is thrown onto a computer or played through the stupid output jack that is not standard 1/8"
Old 15th November 2009
I have a Samsung "Ozzy Osborne" phone (bought it BEFORE his commercial aired) - it's only slightly easier to understand than Ozzy's mumbling on the commercial. However it DOES come with Guitar Hero! (which I've never played....)
Old 15th November 2009
I monitor through 2 Motorola Razors.
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Nut

Thanks all. All of your theories sound correct. Seams strange audio is the first thing to be sacrificed on a PHONE! Although, I wonder how many people even notice. Either you come from the mp3 generation, or you are old enough for your hearing to be going... or gone. Of course, I suppose there isn't much money in using the phone for talking anymore. Or that people even use it for talking anymore! I guess I'm just old fashioned...or just old.

One of my friends just switched to a Blackberry Storm. Sounds noticeably less defined and more boxy than his old LG flip (when he is talking to me). He said that his speaker sounds worse to him as well.

Well, thanks for the info. Keep those reviews coming!
Old 16th November 2009
Gear Addict
nicpope's Avatar

As long as phone systems have been digital they've been running at 8khz 8 bit. That gives you a bandwidth to (roughly) 4khz. You'd probably be amazed if you heard the files post encoding from a cell phone call but pre decoding on the other end.

It's actually a pretty ingenious system.
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