With much of the hype centered around its powerful cameras, it's easy to overlook the equally impressive audio capabilities of the Galaxy S9. After all, the S9 and S9+ are the first Samsung flagships to feature AKG-tuned stereo speakers, and that's not even mentioning all the software enhancements that help deliver rich, immersive sound in several different listening situations.
Though more well known for their OLED displays and advanced cameras, Galaxy phones like the S8, Note 10 & 10+ and S10 series are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to audio. In fact, flagships from the S9 on up feature AKG-tuned stereo speakers, along with a slew of software enhancements that make listening to music a truly pleasurable experience.
Many Samsung fans were excited when the Galaxy S9 kept the 3.5 mm headphone jack. While this is a rare delight in 2018, you also have the option for high quality audio playback over Bluetooth. When used with compatible headphones, the S9's new Bluetooth audio codecs can greatly improve audio quality.
When you think of high quality music, your phone isn't the first thing to pop into your mind, even though 68% of US smartphone owners stream music on a daily basis. Most of us tolerate the audio quality from our devices simply because music is something we can't live without — but we shouldn't have to put up with poor quality, and as it turns out, we don't.
The front-facing stereo speakers on the Nexus 6 certainly pump out some awesome sound—but it could always be better, right?
BEATS by Dr. Dre started making their studio-style headphones and speakers over four years ago, which claim to help listeners actually "hear" music as it was intended by the artists, since commodity headphones and earbuds are known for producing lackluster results. But you can only go so far with Beats Audio headphones, since your computers and mobile devices weren't built to take advantage of high quality audio equipment.
Many people don't realize much better audio can sound on their phones. While it's solid to begin with, Samsung has included several options in the Galaxy Note 10+ that will upgrade your listening experience to profound status.
The OnePlus 6T is easily one of 2018's best value phones for many reasons, especially when it comes to rooting and modding. But like many new phones, it's plagued with the single bottom-firing speaker that left us wanting more in the sound department. The speaker is decent on its own, but it appears to have some hidden potential at the same time.
Whether I'm in my car or making dinner, I always have music playing. And since I don't like to keep my headphones on me at all times, I end up using my Android's built-in speakers a good portion of the time.
Google's Pixel and Pixel XL flagship phones are a rousing success, with consumers praising the fluid user experience and overall performance as two of the devices' biggest strengths. But even though Google may have knocked it out of the park with a set of Apple-like smartphones that "just work," there's still room for improvement in a few areas.
Facebook Messenger Lite is an official, de-bloated version of Facebook Messenger for Android. It's snappier and it's a lot more battery-friendly, but this is because there are fewer features complicating everything. One feature they didn't leave out, however, is the ability to send audio messages.
One of the coolest things about Android is the ability to tweak things to your liking. When it comes to Galaxy phones, Samsung is no stranger to adding extra customizations. Want to add an equalizer to your volume panel? Samsung has an app specifically for that — no joke.
CyanogenMod continues to be the most popular custom ROM for a good reason. Their team of developers always stay on top of the latest trends, and ensure that their software is packed with nice tweaks and awesome features. One such feature is an audio equalizer that allows you to fine-tune your device's various sound outputs. It's got a great interface, and works with any app that calls on Android's default audio mixer.
The Nexus line of devices consistently offer the most bang for your buck. It's why many of us purchased a Nexus 5—at a $350 entry price, it's half the cost of any other phone with similar specs.
Every phone powered by a Qualcomm processor has a built-in WCD9xx Audio DAC, but it's rarely configured to be used to its full potential by OEMs. This might not seem like a problem to some people, but if you're a music lover, or you simply enjoy high-quality sound, it's an issue you'll definitely want to fix.
The HTC One has proven to be the industry standard in mobile audio performance. With BoomSound and Harman/Kardon technology backing its front-facing speakers, there is no doubt that every other flagship out there pales in comparison. Despite this, HTC didn't include a decent equalizer on the One. The M7 had Beats but the M8 doesn't have anything.
Recently, Sprint announced a partnership with Harman Kardon to deliver exclusive sound FX technology to their variant of the HTC One M8. The joint effort between the two companies is both to entice customers to switch to Sprint as well as improve the overall audio quality coming from the already extraordinary BoomSound speakers. But while this is great for new and existing Sprint customers, it does leave the rest of us out in the cold.
YouTube won't let you play videos in the background on Android without paying for YouTube Red, so if it's your primary source for streaming music, and you don't want to shell out $9.99/month, you'll just have to take matters into your own hands. The simplest solution to this problem would be to download MP3s straight from YouTube for offline playback, but in the past, this hasn't exactly been easy on a mobile device.
Whenever you need to record a quick message to yourself or someone else, the stock Voice Recorder app on the Galaxy Note 2 does a fine job. However, the situations when you need it the most are when you forget or don't care to actually use it, like during a heated argument or a random police stop where your words can be misconstrued or altogether unheard.
Google's version of Android is best described as AOSP with extra features. But while the Pixel's UI is rightfully praised for its simplicity, those "extra features" aren't as numerous as they are on other OEM skins like Samsung's One UI. Case in point, there's no real system-wide audio EQ.
When eyesight deteriorates, either due to illness or advanced age, many people turn to audiobooks as an alternative to reading. With today's technology there is an abundance of services and devices one can use.
Remember the good old days of Winamp? It was one of the first mainstream media players to support music visualizations, graphics with intricate designs that react to the tempo and pitch of the audio playing.
While the legality of secretly recording phone calls varies in each country, sometimes it's useful to have audio documentation of conversations you have on your Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Codecs are like ZIP archives for media files. Rather than storing an entire analog sound file, the digital version is compressed to save space. The algorithm used to reduce file size is called a codec, as it encodes to digitize and decodes when it's time to play the file back. So as you can imagine, a better codec can lead to drastically improved sound quality.
Getting the volume on our phones to be just right can be a pretty annoying task. Some people like to listen to music and videos with max volume while some like it a little lower. With the default volume control on your Samsung Galaxy S3, there are only 15 steps before you reach max volume, making it tough to find that sweet spot.
In an effort to make things simple and more secure, Google decided to slim down the power menu in Android 5.0. What once provided a quick link to shut your device down, turn on Airplane mode, and toggle volume states, has now been relegated to a simple power switch. Lucky for us, developer Gar Ynych has created a flashable ZIP that will revert these changes and restore functionality to the Nexus 5's power menu. In a few simple steps, you can add the volume toggles and Airplane mode switch rig...
The sound I get when receiving a new text message is the camel from that Geico commercial yelling "Hump Day!" Sure, I could find a less obnoxious notification sound, but it makes me laugh every time, and that's important.
Many of us rely on our smartphones for all our media needs. Now more than ever, we're using Bluetooth connections to play audio over speakers, headphones, car sound systems — the list goes on. If you own a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy S9, there are a number of Bluetooth tweaks and hidden tricks that can maximize your audio experience.
Let me paint a picture for you. You're on a long flight home, and while listening to music on your Samsung Galaxy S10, a great song comes on. You want your friend to hear it too, who's also listening to music using a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Thanks to Dual Audio, you can easily share your experience.
When you're on the road, the last thing you need to be doing is fumbling around with your phone. But with online radio services like Spotify and Google Play Music, you almost have to use your phone to play music through your stereo, because the in-dash head units on most cars lack the ability to connect to these services.
One of the hardest tradeoffs when installing a non-Sense-based custom ROM on an HTC One is the loss of Beats Audio. Due to a patent restrictions from Beats and compatibility issues, it's currently impossible to port it to a non-Sense ROM, but with ViPER4Android you can get almost identical results, bringing life back to the BoomSound speakers on your device.
With the release of the Samsung Galaxy S5 right around the corner, the first full system dump has been released by Sammobile. As the inevitable ports of functioning apps slowly begin to leak, today we've got a non-app aspect of the system and the one that tends to leak first—ringtones.
Ever been in an argument, only to have the other person cop out by saying "I never said that," when you know full well they did? Or how about one of those times when you're sitting in the lecture hall, half dozing off to your professor's monotone ramblings, when your ears perk up because they somehow know you missed something important that was just said?
Android does a great job at multitasking. Split-screen mode and picture-in-picture are terrific at letting you manage more than one app at a time. But there are some limitations. For instance, when you're playing a video and you open a second video in split-screen, the first one pauses. Thankfully, Samsung has a fix for this.
The Galaxy S9 is an audio powerhouse. It has the first set of stereo speakers on a Samsung flagship, and it even comes standard with a set of AKG-tuned earbuds that would normally cost $99. But if you want to further enhance your audio experience, there's a feature that will customize audio output to your own specific hearing.
Located at the bottom of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 lies the speaker from which music, notifications, and most other audio comes from, which provides warm and clear sound when needed.
The Galaxy Note 20 series has one of the largest screens on any smartphone. Such a massive display not only makes it easy to enjoy videos, but it also makes split-screen mode more viable, as each half of the screen is large enough to enjoy the content — including two different videos.
While the audio experience is solid on Galaxy phones, it isn't the absolute best out of the box. That's because Samsung has partnered with Dolby Laboratories to provide its industry-leading sound technology known as Dolby Atmos, but it's turned off by default. Once enabled, your audio experience will go from good to great.
Goertek's AM3D offers world-class audio processing software that powers millions of high-end devices around the world. Their biggest advancement is likely Virtual Surround Sound, which can make two speakers sound like a full 5.1 setup.
DSP Manager, Dolby Atmos, ViPER4Android — how are you supposed to pick just one from the wide variety of Android equalizers? Depending on your OEM, your phone may have come with a stock equalizer, but they're usually not enough. Combine them with a third-party equalizer, and then we're getting somewhere. However, installing multiple equalizers at the same time has always seemed to cause audio glitches — until now.