I'm so happy I found this thread BEFORE I bought a Lumia 800..
Something VERY strange just happened. I got my phone a few days ago and i LOVE it. Generally I've been happy with the sound. It's not great, but it's definently not as bad as the phone i tested about a weak ago. But I'm listening to a podcast right now using earbuds and the sound was terrible. TERRIBLE. Painfully terrible. But then a text came through and the "plingPlong"-sound played and suddenly the sound on the podcast became GREAT! I skipped back on the podcast to check if it was just a coincident and it WASN'T.
Now what was going on there? Interesting i tought. So i logged on and wrote this post.
I'm reading people saying they exchanged their phone and the new one did not have the disastrous audio quality? Does that mean Nokia have fixed the issue silently and all new phones are OK?? I want to know because I'm considering buying a phone...
Unfortunately there are no other windows phone I'm interested in, even though I should know better when reading all this (hopefully Samsung will get their **bleep** in gear and release a useful product instead). I feel this is a early sign that Nokia isn't taking their customers seriously. Hey, even if it costs you a lot exchanging those phones, the bad press from early adopters would be much worse. Its bugging me a lot that Nokia don't want to respond, you bet they are reading this as well. Ridiculous customer support that is, and you are trying to gain the market back?? Yeah right, now wonder its going down the drain...
I have waited a year for Nokia to reach my market with a windows phone, a f***** year! In this time there has been plenty of products from the Android gang I have been drooling over. But since I have always been a Microsoft fan I decided to wait, I wanted a Windows Phone product so badly. But still, I'm not interested in buying a half **bleep** product. The last couple of weeks though, I have really been considering giving up the wait and just go buy an Android phone. This thread especially putting some of the last nails in the coffin. You just don't sell a top of the line product with broken audio?? Come on. I guess it wasn't your intention to do so, but then at least be honest and admit that and tell us your doing everything to fix it. Also, tell us that all new phones released have perfect sound. Hell you guys have been building phones for centuries, you can produce handset with excellent sound, we all know that. Rest assured I'm not buying your product if I can't be sure the issues are fixed in new handsets, and I will not advice any others to do either.
I read blogs and newspapers telling me Windows Phone struggling to get market share, Microsoft and others pouring tons of money into marketing. Being a long term Microsoft fanboy, Windows phone has been the only product I want. I'm I don't need all the marketing, what I need is a lovely designed product (yes you made that), with no major flaws (not there yet?), how hard could it be?. I guess there are many more like me. If you can't sell product to the hardest fans, how are you gonna sell to the larger markets? Beats me...
Regards somebody just tired of waiting...
Oke so I have tested the following headphones;
-Sennheiser hd 25 1-ii 70 ohm impedance
-Sunrise SW Xcape Impressive Edition 40 ohm impedance
-Sennheiser CX200 16 ohm impedance.
My previous phone was a nokia n8 and I've also used my sister's iphone 4s, using the same tracks and same music files.
-Sennheiser hd 25 1-ii. The mids/highs or treble, sound better on the Lumia 800 than on the n8 and iphone. There is more audio seperation between the different vocalists and instruments. There is less sibilance which is a good thing (!!)The audio also sound more clearer on the Lumia 800 than on n8/iphone4s. The bass is slightly less on the Lumia 800 though. In short; 70ohm overall better sound quality than on other devices! No sibilance!
-Sunrise SW Xcape. The mids/highs or treble, sound the same on the 800 as on the N8 and iphone. Bass is less. Due to the bass being less, its a little bit flat.
-Sennheiser CX200 16 ohm impedance. No bass. Sound is really flat.
In conclusion, the higher the impedance the better the sound quality gets. If you use a headphone with I think higher than 55 ohm, the Lumia 800 will have better audio quality than other devices such as iphone4s/nokia n8.
But what about the headsets which comes bundled with handset. which sounds like a old radio complete FLAT.
*UNFIT* for the auditory  purpose intended.
Both ear pieces immediately fall out of my ears.
When these ill-fitting ear pieces are held in place
using both hands the resulting sound is execreble.
Plugging in my old hifi headphones  then the sound
is really quite impressive - source CD ripped with
EAC to FLAC and then LAME'd converted to 320k MP3.
 as a strand of copper for an FM aerial ...barely adequate
 beyerdynamic DT990 (impedance - long forgotten)
What opinion do you have about keeping things simple. I tested my phone with several headsets and it sounds worst than my dell latitude.
there tiny stock earplugs sound excellent on phones like desire Hd while they sound starved on the lumia. Which is sad . I think these earplugs are pretty decent and it is the phone that is the problem . Hope it gets fixed
What do you mean with keeping things simple? Anyway, I just listend to these with my sister's Grado SR60i and they sound like they should. SO I'm starting to believe that it was due to my Sunrise SW Xcape, that they are not properly burned-in because I received them just yesterday The Grado SR60i have an impedance of 35ohm, I believe. They have plenty of bass on the Lumia 800, they sound good. Which means that I'll adjust my opinion, anything above 30ohm (estimate) will sound good and normal on the Lumia 800.
If you cannot afford to buy a new headset or inears, I suggest you look into portable amplifiers. They strengthen the sound input, simply put they make headphones sound better. A good, reliable and good option is going for one of Fiio's amplifiers, they start at 20 euros I believe, which is a bargain considering what they do. And they do it well. I will update on monday/tuesday because by then, I will hopefully have received my Fiio E11.
2012-01-29 14:46 - edited 2012-01-29 14:52
I admire the K.I.S.S principle if that is what you mean.
Unfortunately in real life 'simple' doesn't always cut it.
An impedance mismatch can adversely affect the perceived
quality of any delivered audio. In my situation the audio
is not delivered by the supplied headset as the ear pieces
immediately fall away from my auditory canals. I cannot
'hear' any sound from ear pieces effectively on the ground.
Hence 'Unfit for the auditory purpose intended'. Truly
'digital' sound ...in ear then immediately out of ear:-/
It may be that my ears are abnormal. I don't possess any other
wretched ear pieces with which to compare this experience.
What you've described can be reasonably ascribed to the
result of a poor impedance match putting an inappropriate
load on the Lumia800 source which inevitably leads
to a poor transfer of the frequency range expected.
Nokia cannot know the impedance of the ear pieces you
have put to your Lumia800. However they should be well
aware of that of their own supplied (unfit) headset.
The first design point of an ear piece should be that
it stays put IN the ear to be suitable of aural use.
I'm not able to comment on your other headsets or mobiles.
This Lumia800 is my first & only smartphone. All my other
mobiles are so-called dumb phones - no SMS, no camera,
no video, no screen, no music ...simple mobile telephony.
I grant you that I may be pretty ancient but my hearing
is remarkably good with a reasonable range & well above
average sensitivity. Anything encoded down to MP3 (even
at a 320k bit sampling rate) is at best merely adequate
but not particularly special. The source CD or FLAC is
another matter:-) Lumia800 specs do not appear to be
able to support FLAC so I found some convertor tools
and used the above down conversion. Consider that,
at its most simple, this Lumia800 is a 'telephone'.
At best telephone ccts max out at 3KHz with a highly
compressed or otherwise modified dynamic amplitude.
For a 'telephone' the Lumia800 sounds very much more
than OK - by mere telephony standards. I have never
expected a telephone to supply HiFi but I do expect
an ear piece to remain 'in ear' ...simple definition.
I only unpacked the headset from new to get the
FM radio module working and that was in curiosity.
Also I was only testing 'music', again in curiosity,
with the aim of putting through an AUX socket some
CD material into a car without a multiple CD capability.
I don't possess any downloaded music aberrations and
this choice will subsist until FLAC downloads take off.
Your assertion that 'the earplugs are pretty decent'
rather puts Nokia on the hook. It seems to suggest that
they have not taken the financial/technical trouble
to ensure proper matching. Elsewhere we seem to agree
that the Lumia800 'can' provide decent sound quality.
Commonality exists between us w.r.t. that the headset
is 'Unfit for the purpose intended'. Nokia should
therefore consider replacing the supplied headsets
for ones that ARE fit for the purpose intended.
PostEdit: cammera --> camera
2012-01-31 17:55 - edited 2012-01-31 18:02
After the update, some of the audio issues I was seeing seem to have disappeared. However, it is sad that people have to put up with this offal when they could be experiencing pure audio bliss on their N9's like I am on my N950 with Harmattan PR1.2 (beta). It is awesome! So quit complaining about your Lumia and trade it in for an N9 with PR 1.2 (which will hopefully be available soon).
The "terrible sound" issue seems to happen once the device's audio-server is already playing, and you plug-in to the 1/8" jack to hear your source on headsets or external amplifier. The result -- no bass -- sounds terrible if you're plugging your phone into your stereo via a 1/8 to stereo RCA adapter. However if you stop the audio server, and then restart it again by clicking on the most recently played item in the Zune/music/video app, then the proper sound is restored.
Also, when in "terrible sound" mode, another incoming audio event resets the audioserver -- sometimes restoring the bass, and often changing the sound level. These are issues that have been long-solved, and more elegantly ( http://conference2010.meego.com/session/policy-fra
All's I can say is I hope Nokia rides the coattails of its Lumia introduction into markets (such as USA) that haven't seen Nokia product in decades. And that people in these markets will be able to more easily obtain the Nokia N9 ( http://swipe.nokia.com )and the hoped-for Meltemi follow-ons. http://qt-project.org and the N9/N950 is an excellent platform for innovative applications such as mine: http://code.google.com/p/voicetogoog/
PS: Unlike the Lumia, we can look into the audio on our N9/N950's.
~ # aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: dfl61twl4030 [dfl61-twl4030], device 0: TWL4030 twl4030-0 
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: dfl61dac33 [dfl61-dac33], device 0: DAC33 tlv320dac33-0 
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 2: dfl61wl1273 [dfl61-wl1273], device 0: BT/FM Stream WL1273 BT/FM codec-0 
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
Hmm http://www.ti.com/product/tlv320dac32 indeed looks and sounds good.
What's in the Lumia? Sounds more "capacitor-coupled" than the N950's output.
I've turned flight mode to on and this improves sounds quality, no inter track clicks or impulse noises.
Plenty of base on Senheisser HD650.
Phone could do with an equalizer....which I suspect will be comin!
2012-02-02 20:48 - last edited on 2012-02-02 21:20 by Sheldrick
Confirm! The most ugliest sound I ever heard.
Cracking sound, a lot of noise.
Really make headaahes on music listening.
Nokia really make me sad.
Moderators Note: Post has been edited, Foul language removed, Poor spelling corrected.
I too have this sound on my Lumia. It is coming from the phone radio as it "chats" with a cell tower. You hear the same sound if you have the phone next to a radio . This should not happen. I hope that this will be fixed in the audio update that we are all looking forward to !!!!
I am evaluating the audio quality now and comparing it to Nokia E6 and Nokia 701.
Have to give it a couple of days before judgement on this matter.
I can say though that Nokia E6 seems to have great,(almost as good as you can get on a phone actually with good headphone equipment) audio quality so perhaps it is unfair to say more for the moment...
Be right back.