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Weak audio output from N4 audio jack

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rushmore, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    This has depressed me (as much as a device can at any rate), but the N4 has the weakest audio output of any device I have tested. I tested two N4s and same result. The audio output is WEAK from the jack and that is with 16ohm buds (Klipsch). I turned up to 13 (90%) and boosted the EQ to help out. 100% exhibited slight distortion that is indicative of weak output.

    Folks can forget using higher ohm headphones IF there is no way to increase the gain and volume, or even using 16ohm on a subway. I am stunned since find the S4 and N3 not exactly loud, but passable. N4 output is weak compared to them. I became concerned when GSMarena reported half the output of the iPhone and one third less than the G3.

    Sad too, since the audio features and sound quality are nice- if listening in bed or a library. More sad IMO that GSMarena did not test headphone output when noticed such a huge output difference.

    I am hoping Poweramp can access the gain and volume and hardware level to override this apparent travesty of weak volume. Stock app IMO is mainly useless for headphones due to the volume.

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  2. question729

    question729 Android Enthusiast

    Poweramp. My go-to player for the past 4 years. Hope it helps the issue.
  3. stevehoffman

    stevehoffman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting this. This could be a deal-killer for me, as I increasingly listen to stuff via my Android phone -- e.g., lots of worldwide radio broadcasts on TuneIn, MLB broadcasts, etc. I will check this out on in-store model before getting Note 4, if the audio output really sucks I'll stick with my Note 3.
  4. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The sad thing is the output was weak with 16 ohm buds, which is essentially the lowest ohm buds there is. People are in for a shock if expecting to power anything above that. Truly epic fail IMO and ditto for reviews not pointing it out.

    Perhaps the apparent 10/23 date is for the better now, since time to see if the volume can be increased with an app or through root. Frankly I am bummed now since this makes no sense.

    The main thing that sucks is the Samsung stock music app is actually very nice, but little good with the weak a$$ output.
  5. zombdroid

    zombdroid Android Enthusiast

    I picked up a Bluetooth headset few months back, so no deal breaker for me. I do occasionally use a wired set, I hope it does not suck too bad.
  6. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    No way to spin it. Reviews that actually measure the output point out the weak output and I heard it myself. I need to now test and see if Poweramp can override the low volume setting. Some devices it will, some it will not.

    The iPod 5, iPhones, M8, G3, S4 and N3 all have better output. Samsung appears to have got some serious stupid with the audio output on the N4.

    The app though is one of the best I have used and even has a vacuum tube setting to emulate the warmth of analog. It actually does a decent digital emulation of the warmth tube amplification has. Note to audiophiles, I KNOW that is a sacrilege to say, but just pointing out the warmth is there. Still digital- I get that ;)

    What I do NOT get is the weak output that renders the great stock app WORTHLESS for wired headphone use. I do not use bluetooth headphones. Too many very good wired headphones on hand that work very well.

    MISS DIVA Android Enthusiast

    I never could understand why audio on the Note range is so average. This issue really needs to be addressed in the Note 5.

    This weakness is unacceptable in a so called premium device.
  8. Canesfan

    Canesfan Android Enthusiast

    My pre-order is due in at BB 2 wks. from tomorrow. This could be a deal breaker for me as well.
  9. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    18 ohm was of course lower and to the point that even 100% volume is inadequate. My guess is people with Beats or other high ohm headphones are going to be trying to figure why the volume will not go up. It can't!

    Somebody with Poweramp please test if the volume can be increased over the stock option. The BB devices did not have the Play market open so could not test myself.
  10. animeware

    animeware Well-Known Member

    I've tested the Note 4 Audio at Best Buy it's quite loud I do not know where you got the information where it's not loud. I've tested with Youtube player it was loud.... it was half way I think.....
  11. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Phonearena has a chart listing the output as half the iPhone and one third less than the G3. I tested the music app as noted above on the black and white versions. I kept thinking it was GSMarena.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review - Camera and Multimedia
  12. stevehoffman

    stevehoffman Well-Known Member

    Could it be that there are two different issues when it comes to audio output:

    (1) how loud is the audio coming from the phone's SPEAKER, vs.

    (2) how loud is the audio coming from the earphone JACK?

    Could it be the audio from the speaker is OK whereas the output from the jack is weak? (And if so, where does that leave audio one accesses via Bluetooth?)

    -Steve H.
  13. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The speaker is fine. It is the output from the 3.5mm jack and the stock music app.
  14. 1989galaxys4

    1989galaxys4 Newbie

    Before preordering the Note 4 I also got a hands on at BB and even played with the audio on youtube. Halfway up the volume without headphones was loud and crisp. I didn't test with headphones but as long as I don't get that annoying warning sign, " listening above this level may cause hearing problems." Or whatever it says on my GS4
  15. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Nothing has been implied about the speaker. It is Marshall amp loud compared to the audio jack output for headphones.

    Added: I get the impression some folks do not appreciate there is a physical audio line difference between the audio jack and speaker. These are not linked in series, but in parallel to the chipset audio out line.
  16. mcan1xx

    mcan1xx Newbie

    Thank you.
    This isn't about youtube volume in best buy, this is about drowning out a squalling kid on a flight from LA to Atlanta. Lol

    Hopefully someone will try power amp and post some results before the verizon phones show up.
  17. chong67

    chong67 Android Expert

    I put my bud in and I crank up all the way. My ear hurts. Its too loud.

    My BT pair to my car stereo is fine. Got bass too. Same bass as my HTC One M7 with Beats Audio turn on.
    question729 likes this.
  18. question729

    question729 Android Enthusiast

    Nice. You've inched me closer to purchasing this thing.
  19. 1989galaxys4

    1989galaxys4 Newbie

    well unless your partially deaf I can see why it matters. It doesn't seem like a big deal though of what its being made of.... How shitty can the output be that you can't stand the sound output.
  20. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Test for yourself :)
  21. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The sound output is LOW using the stock app and reviews have pointed out the low volume output. It is literally 60% lower than iPhone as an example. The S4 has low output too, but not this low.

    I retested devices at BB and audio impression has not changed. The stock app is low with 16 ohm and low to the point of being worthless with higher ohm buds.

    Poweramp though improved the output with gain and volume increase options. Sound quality is very good. The stock app IMO is worthless unless in a very quiet place. I would say also with noise cancellation phones too, but they usually have higher that 16 ohm impedance.

    Either you all have bionic ears, or tried Note 4s that were different from what I tested and what Phonearena and others tested. Stock app = low output.

    Audio fans would be best served getting Poweramp IMO.
    astaris likes this.
  22. The only sound problem I've had is with the phone. Unless I'm on Speaker or Wifi Calling, I can barely hear the person.
  23. zombdroid

    zombdroid Android Enthusiast

    I just tested with my new Note 4 with a pair of sub $10 ear buds. When you turn the volume up with both the default app and Play Music the volume seems normal. I see the volume indicator changes color as you increase the volume (at what looks like 65%, give/take). When you hit the color change you are presented the general warning.

    This sucker is loud and crystal clear. I turned it up to about 80% and had to back it off because it is simply too loud. The sound quality did not change at the higher volume.

    I talked to the Samsung rep that was at the Best Buy today and he told me the display units are not exactly the same as what they are selling...at least at the store I was at. The carrier software was all removed and there was no visible indication of a carrier either on the phones or in the Settings.
  24. 1989galaxys4

    1989galaxys4 Newbie

    Agreed. Sorry op but your being way too picky. I have had my device for two days now and listen to music off the speaker and headphone jack. Sounds fine to me. Sound doesn't distort after taking it past the halfway mark. Maybe op needs to buy a boombox
  25. MattMJB0188

    MattMJB0188 Newbie

    I am curious on the audio output of this device? Is it loud? Would love to hear some feedback on it?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date was October 2014. Features and Specs include a 5.7" inch screen, 16MP camera, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 805 processor, and 3220mAh battery.

October 2014
Release Date

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