My cellphones are all bass and no treble, and this lack of treble troubles me terribly.
October 9, 2011 12:32 PM Subscribe
The internal speaker quality on most cellphones I've tried seems abysmal, yet no one else I've talked to seems to notice/care -- even those whose cell phones I've tried and which are terrible in exactly the same way. So: (i) Have I just had a string of bad luck with cell phones? (ii) Does anyone else notice this? and (iii) Is there a cellphone review site that actually rates speaker quality on cellphones? Or, better yet: (iv) Are there cellphones that have an equalizer I could use to adjust the speaker to my heart's content?
posted by matlock expressway to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
N.B.: I'm not referring to reception quality, nor the hands-free speaker quality [though see below], but the quality of the wee speaker that sits right next to one's ear. I expect these speakers to be as good as any speaker on a landline headset, and am mystified as to why they're not. Also, if it matters: I am young(ish), a musician, and my hearing seems to be significantly better than most. I'm even the sort of person who uses earplugs at concerts to take care of it, so I doubt this is a problem on my end.
Of the four cellphones, I've ever owned, cellphone 1 had perfectly crisp sound from its ear speaker. Every one since, however, has been a dud in that regard. 2 and 3 were so terrible that I ended up returning them. My current one is passable, but is still nowhere near the quality of my first, or of any landline phone, all of which have crystal clear quality.
The symptom seems to be this: these speakers output perfectly good bass and midrange, but offer very little treble. Or, even if they give off treble, the bass and midrange are so amped up in comparison that they drown it out. I either have to turn the volume down and press the phone hard against my ear, or turn it up to uncomfortable levels and hold the phone away from my head. Neither seems to approximate the sensible range of frequencies required for conversation. I ended up returning phones 2 and 3 because I had to ask everyone to repeat everything twice, which was annoying to everyone involved.
One hypothesis: phone 1 was much better than the rest because it was old and featureless and had no hands-free option. My most recent phone, on the other hand, has a hands-free option, and -- amazingly, to my mind -- uses the exact same speaker for hands-free as it does for normal use; it just turns the volume up to 11. So maybe the problem is that this speaker is designed for loud use, and the whisper-quiet volume needed for beside-the-ear use just can't provide the same range of sounds. I really don't know.
My questions (as above) then:
(a) Have I just had a string of bad luck with cell phones?
(b) Does anyone else notice this?
(c) Is there a cellphone review site that actually rates the quality of this speaker? or
(d) Are there cellphones with an equalizer for that speaker which could solve all my problems?