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Why is the volume level so much lower on Samsung Galaxy S4 compared to the iPhone?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Real Loki, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Real Loki

    Real Loki Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi, last night I was watching the Glastonbury stream through the BBC Radio iPlayer app using a very loud portable Minirig speaker (wired using aux to aux) all on my new Samsung Galaxy S4. I was very disappointed to find that at full volume it was only just borderline loud. I initially put this down to limitations due to the source being streamed but I then decided to test plugging in my mate iPhone 4 and to my horror and frustration it was as loud as my S4's full volume just over half the way up. When I did dare to max the iPhone's volume to full it was incredibly loud and how I expected my phone to be. Considering I'm meant to have one of the best smartphones on the market I expect at least the same level of volume as an iPhone. This happened with my last HTC Desire HD when I tested the same mp3 song on the same speaker system compared to the iPhone and I was laughed out of the room with my poor low limit of volume. The only recommendations I got on here was apps to increase the volume that just distorted the sound. What I'm really looking for is some true hardware facts about the hand sets like that the low level is down to the phone's soundboard or etc. I will never be an iPhone owner but at the same time no one seemed to want to admit defeat that the iPhone wins hands down in the volume level department. Is it just the case that the iPhone has superior hardware for playing everything through the handsets? I do hope this is not true! Any recommendations to increase the volume on my S4 would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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  2. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Actually, Samsung abides by standard EU recommendations of volume limits to protect the ears of its users. On the other hand, Apple does not care if its buyers tear their eardrums off. Its a software limitation generally, since AFAIK some custom ROMs have higher volume output.
  3. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    If the same happened with the Desire HD then it's most likely due to the impedance of the speaker being unsuited to the output from the handset. The accepted standard for earphone output is 16ohm iirc.
  4. nizmoz

    nizmoz Well-Known Member

    Ummm no.
  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Umm, yes. This has been an issue since 2007. This complaint first cropped up against Nokia who were number 1 then, when their phone music volumes started dropping. Many manufacturers started following suit until only Apple remained as the loudest in terms of volume output among all devices. Samsung does have a SoundAlive externalization setting to overcome this when connected to speakers though.
  6. tytlyf

    tytlyf Member

    . Have you gone into your Settings > My Device > Sound > Volume > and made sure the sliders are all the way up for media etc?
  7. nizmoz

    nizmoz Well-Known Member

    Please provide proof of this. Because this seems a bit far fetched. :rolleyes:
  8. Real Loki

    Real Loki Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all your replies! :)

    Yes I made sure all the media volume was at full.

    So if I use the SoundAlive option which type would be aimed for an external speaker source does anyone know if there is one? Tube amp effect or Virtual 7.1 ch perhaps?

    If this doesn't surfice I will probably go down the rooted road of the links below but I would rather not and shouldn't have to really.

    DroidViews | How to Increase Speaker Volume on Your Rooted Samsung Galaxy S4


    [MOD] Galaxy S4 Sound Boost

    When you're down the beach or in a park you really want to be able to have a speaker to be at it's loudest at times and not have iPhone owners laughing at a volume level that should be standardised for a top of the range phone... :(
    shmn likes this.
  9. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor


    Also if you have an iPhone or iPod, in the settings there is an EU volume limit switch which decreases volume a lot.
    MLSS, Outatime, IOWA and 1 other person like this.
  10. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    I forgot to reply to this. Virtual 7.1 only works well if your speaker supports 7.1 channels. Not sure for your settings, but my S3mini has an 'externalizaton' option in the soundalive settings.. Just try everything until you find which works best for your speakers.
  11. androidpod

    androidpod Well-Known Member

    When I compare the range of Volume between my iPhone 5 and my Galaxy S4 I find them nearly identical. The slight difference is in the S4 which is able to play louder than the iPhone.

    Thus far my S4 has been a really fantastic phone. It's so much more advanced than my iPhone it's amazing. I'm so happy I switched to Android!
  12. snookie

    snookie Newbie

    No you are wrong. First the iPhone has to abide by a similar law which also exist in the U.S.and second the Galaxy S 4 sold in the U.S. has to abide by the same rules as the iPhone. The iPhone does have better sound quality, especially during calls, than the S 4 but it sounds like his loudness issue is a defect of his particular handset.

  13. androidpod

    androidpod Well-Known Member

    My Galaxy S4 & iPhone 5 are on the same carrier, In my experience the noise cancellation system in my S4 is far superior to my iPhone 5. This is also confirmed by those I call.

    In addition the clarity and range of volume adjustment is greater and more granular on the S4.

    I'm not advocating for Samsung, but simply sharing my personal experience of each of these phones.
  14. CzechPleez

    CzechPleez Member

    The Samsung GS4 has a known headphone jack "clipping" issue. For you Sprint customers (Thank YOU!), we are issuing an MR in the VERY near future that will fix the clipping issue and give better volume control from headphone jack output. Plus other enhancements.

    I can't speak to other carriers' GS4s.
  15. gwtx2

    gwtx2 Newbie

    I had this problem. Solved it by going into settings and adjusting volune level for music, video, games and other media. It was set at half way and I bumped it up to max.
  16. dynomot

    dynomot Android Expert

    I could, but only with links to a Nokia forum and I can't really be bothered. This was post 2008, and it is perfectly true about the limits set by the EU and the vast majority of phone manufactures abiding by the limit. It wasn't mandatory, even for EU countries, just recommended, all but Apple complied.

    There are custom ROMs and mods for rooted devices out there that remove the limit, and I have done so on a Galaxy S3 which was painfully loud through the stock ear buds once it was modified, and that without distortion.
  17. MLSS

    MLSS Android Expert

    Wasn't talking about the United States.
    They were talking about the EU.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S4 release date was April 2013. Features and Specs include a 5.0" inch screen, 13MP camera, 2GB RAM, Exynos 5410 Octa processor, and 2600mAh battery.

April 2013
Release Date

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