Hello everyone, OK, there’s been a lot of chatter about the Nexus 5 sound quality and in my original sound review and so on, I seem to have caught a lot of flak with people saying Oh, you’re wrong, the sound quality on the Nexus 5 is rubbish etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Anyway, what I’m going to do now, I’m just going to round up some of the issues that people have discovered with the sound quality or nexus mobile audio renderer error and where we kind of lie with the fix. Now, what you have to bear in mind is that when a device is produced brand new coming out of the factory they tend to produce quite quickly and sometimes things go wrong. And that can be a software issue so Google made a bit of programming mistake and it can also be a physical manufacturing issue. Now we actually have two problems with the Nexus 5 right now.
One is how the software on the device individual applications are working with the sound driver effectively, the DSP of the Nexus 5 and the other issue is a manufacturing issue. Now in my tests I use Google Music and I use the YouTube app, OK? And in both of those tests I found the audio quality to be absolutely fine. Now interestingly enough if you try and play back some mp3 audio from another application or directly from the device itself you can hear the sound quality has gone thin.
It loses some of its punchiness. Effectively it sounds like the equalizer is not being used to in anyway enhance the sound quality. It feels flat. So that’s the first issue. Now we know Google are working on a fix for that. That should hopefully filter down over the coming weeks, maybe before Christmas would be great. Solet’s put that problem aside for a moment. Effectively that’s a software issue, if you’re having that problem where in Google Music or on YouTube things sound great there’s kicking off then that’s the problem – software bug.
Now the next issue is a physical hardware problem. What some developers have found over on the XDA developers forum is that when the device is being manufactured, this speaker grille at the bottom effectively too much glue has been used and it’s ended up blocking some of the egress holes that let the sound out. Now what one enterprising developer did was took his Nexus 5 apart, took out the speaker array, got a hot needle that he basically heated up with a lighter and poked some extra holes into the speaker grille.
This effectively allowed more sound out, thus everything was fine. So your choices are this. If you feel the Nexus 5 sound quality is subpar especially in the Google Music app and the YouTube app then you may very well have a physical manufacturing problem with glue bunging up those speaker holes. RMA your device. However if you find that the audio quality is great in Google Music great in YouTube and some other apps but awful in all your other apps, then you’ve got the software issue – just hold fire it’s going to get fixed.
So there’s really two problems as I say that we’re kind of dealing with here. One is a software issue the other is this physical hardware issue with too much glue being used in the speaker array. Basically the glue is being used to kind of hold all of the components in place. There is not a major problem with the Nexus 5 speakers, there is not a major problem with the Nexus 5 audio quality. What we have is some slight teething problems that probably should have been picked up at QA but weren’t.
Like I say, if you find that the sound quality is great in Google Music but sucks in every other app, wait for the software update. If you find though that the audio quality sucks in Google Music then you may very well need to RMA your device to have it swapped out because you’ve got glue bunging up that speaker array.