We have an image of 4K, but what about the sound?

We have a 4K picture, but what about the sound? This year’s producers will focus on audio!

Technological progress is very uneven. We have powerful processors and huge amounts of RAM. The devices also offer improved camera matrices that record a very detailed picture. 4K resolution becomes standard but … what about sound quality?

Record your smartphone (Shutterstock)
Audio behind

Until recently, the quality of the sound, both recorded and played by smartphones, was in most models lousy. Manufacturers focused on other parameters, which are easier to push the average Smith. Number of megapixels in the camera, screen resolution, RAM … These are all nicely presented in the form of digits on the packaging of the device. It’s easy to sell.

Unlike the sound. The average user is convinced that its quality depends solely on the hooked headphones. So how does the manufacturer have to sell a product whose asset is something that for the masses is incomprehensible? I think this is one of the reasons why so far the development of audio components has been slow.

Happily, something started to change. Let’s start by playing the sound. In the past few years, HTC has shipped stereo speakers to smartphones, which has picked up several other companies. But I do not want to focus on that. The revolution in question is not visible from the outside. It is rather about the components of this processing sound.

Play sound
Before the sound will be sound, it must be processed from the string of zeroes and ones, ie digital signal, to an analog signal. The DAC is the analog-to-digital converter. The analog signal must then be appropriately sent to the headphone for the corresponding amplifier. It is precisely from these two elements that the quality of the sound generated by the device depends largely. So far few manufacturers have attached importance to these elements. This is changing, among other things, through LG.

The LG V10 uses the high-end DAC SABRE 9018, which works with the same high-end amplifier as the SABER 9602. This combination drastically improves the sound quality at the headphone output. It is deeper, has more power, and the silence is … quiet. The V10 is not the first device with a solid audio hardware. However, for the first time the general public has put so much emphasis on sound quality.

Also worth mentioning is the latest flagship of the Korean manufacturer – LG G5. Here the approach is slightly different. The top-of-the-line converter and amplifier can be purchased separately and installed in the device. Cool thing, because not everyone needs top-shelf equipment.

Sound recording
For many, more important than the quality of playback, however, the quality of the recorded audio will be more important. In most mobile devices, the microphones are average. We have more and more of them (extra services are available for others), but in few phones this translates into real improvement in recording quality. This is an important element of the phone specifications.

Some time ago tried to do something about it Nokia. In Lumia 1020, it showed a new version of Rich Recording technology. It consisted of as many as 4 microphones working in pairs. Two of them recorded a sound of up to 120 decibels, and the other 2 & hairsp; above. This allowed for more detailed recording and less disturbance. Read more about Lumia Rich Recordnig in the text of Matthew.

The key to popularizing better microphones, however, may be a startup solution called Vesper. Its creators work with powerful AAC Technologies, which is responsible for, for example, microphones for practically all current iPhone and iPad generations. The manufacturer has 50% of the total market, so it is very likely that the Vesper startup solution will be accepted and popularized.

The technology is based on MEMS piezoelectric microphones (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems). Sounds complicated but gives measurable benefits. The most important is the maximum sound pressure level, which is the maximum pressure that the microphone can carry at the given distortion value. For the Vesper, it will be about 10 decibels higher than the best available microphones available today.

The microphone is based on two diaphragms, which makes it possible to achieve a fairly high signal to noise ratio & & gt; 66 decibels. The microphone is also distinguished by the point of maximum sound pressure. It is up to 135 decibels, so that very loud noises will be recorded in detail.

Equally important are the mechanical strength of piezoelectric microphones. They are completely resistant to water, dust and other particles. Why is it so important? Well, because the statistics speak clearly & & nbsp; – & hairsp; the second most common complaint among smartphone users is the malfunction of the microphone (just after the screen crack).

It is good that someone finally noticed that beyond the picture, the sound is also important. Finally, the quality of the sound will be able to match the image quality. These seemingly trivial things have a big impact on our daily use of smartphones.