HP 210 / HP 214 Audio Quality

Discussion in 'HP iPAQ 210 Enterprise Handheld' started by OzoneSpin, Mar 4, 2008.

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  1. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    Is anyone else having audio quality problems with their HP 210 / HP 214? Maybe I'm expecting too much, but my hx4700 was excellent. I've tried a hard reset and I've produced the best quality MP3's I can - they play great via a hi fi system or on a laptop, but once on the HP 214 there's a high frequency hiss while a song plays - very noticeable on quiet classic stuff. It stops between songs so it doesn't seem to be a jack plug issue.

    If I route the iPAQ into the hi fi the hiss is still there - so that eliminates dodgy earphones.

    I'm using TCPMP and Pocket Player both have the same problem and I'm ripping with Exact Audio Copy and LAME 9.7 in secure mode. I'm on the verge of returning to the retailer as defective (reluctant as it's already chock full of business stuff) - but maybe there's a simple answer. Any ideas gratefully considered.
     
  2. neillm

    neillm Mobile Deity

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    Is your HP connected to the charger or USB? There is definitely noise when plugged in. I think there's a charge pump in there and they are electrically noisy.
    My 214 seems to have excellent quality when not connected. What are you using to playback? Perhaps your software has it's equaliser switched on? These can often introduce noise unless written well.
     
  3. dceggert

    dceggert Mobile Deity

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    I can second that. Last evening I was testing out the new 211 in the car running TomTom 6. It was in the old holder I used for the 4705, the stereo patch cord plugged into the car radio (by the way, the earphone plug on the bottom looks like it was made for this use since all cables come out the bottom now), and I had it plugged into the powerpoint. There was a background high frequency hiss that I thought was something going wrong with the car. Unplugging the power feed the hiss went away.
     
  4. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    The hiss is occurring when running off the battery and playback is via JVC earphones using TCPMP or Pocket Player. So it's not related to the power feed.
     
  5. dceggert

    dceggert Mobile Deity

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    Is the hiss there during playback with Windows Media Player?
     
  6. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    If anything the hiss is worse with Windows Media Player.
     
  7. neillm

    neillm Mobile Deity

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    Just to be absolutely sure, you have the USB unplugged as well?
     
  8. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    Yes everything is unplugged - I'm wondering if I have a faulty jack plug socket but the hiss only occurs on playing the MP3s.
     
  9. dceggert

    dceggert Mobile Deity

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    Hmmm, any way you can post a non-licensed mp3 that exibits the hiss? One of us can download and try it out and see if the file hisses on our machine as well.
     
  10. kuo1yang

    kuo1yang Mobile Enthusiast

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    I have the same problem as you, so to confirm.
     
  11. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    Dan - I had thought of that - will this site let me upload 4Mb or so?

    However, I have played the same MP3s via an SD card on a Sony DAB hi fi without any hiss, so my thoughts are that it's not the quality of the MP3s.

    But I've now taken it to the ultimate quality and tried a FLAC lossless rip played on Pocket Player with their FLAC plugin - I still get a hiss but the music sounds great, it should do it's a 32Mb file! A good thing to note is that the HP 210 handled this size file very well - no drop outs or juddering at all (except for the hiss).

    And I've tried several different source CDs - same issue. I've also ripped from different PCs just in case. I see I'm not alone kou1yang ^^ has the problem.

    My actual machine is the HP 214 but I assume the spec is identical to the HP 210.

    Cheers Pete.
     
  12. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    I should add that the hiss is also present when live streaming radio with RealPlayer or playing back ram files with RealPlayer. I'm now fairly convinced it's a hardware or OS problem ...
     
  13. Konrad Pierce

    Konrad Pierce Village Idiot 2.0

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    You could try using a product called "Tweak" (a diluted form of Stabilant 22) on all of your audio connectors. It often makes all the difference.
     
  14. dceggert

    dceggert Mobile Deity

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    This is interesting. I use the WMP interface so I synchronize all of my music to my CF card in WMA format. I play it both with the Pocket WMP and TCPMP with the WMA codecs installed. I don't have a hiss. So, I copied an mp3 over just to see if it hisses and it does not. Here is the link to the file:

    http://www.4shared.com/file/39827559/43c9a7fb/blues.html

    Give it a try and see if it hisses.

    One thing I notice though is that it seems there are other audio players or software installed on the devices with the hissing. Just out of curiosity, what have you installed software wise since starting out with the 21x?

    For me it is just TCPMP v.72 RC1 and the codecs.

    I should add to this the following - I plugged a set of Sony MDR-210 headphones into the audio jack. On prior iPAQ's (the 2795b and 4705) the bluetooth Motorola 'over the ear' studio headset (I forgot what the model is but they were a fortune) hisses like a transistor radio! I haven't tried it with the 211 yet because I just assumed it would be the same - unusable. Sad for a high fidelity headset.

    So, what are you listening with, bluetooth headset or plug in?
     
  15. alantdc

    alantdc Mobile Enthusiast

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    Have you tried lowering the application volume? I got a lot of hiss and even distortion with CorePlayer at 100% volume. When I scaled it back to 75% and compensated by bumping up the volume on my Bluetooth headphones, the hiss and distortion went away--go figure.
     
  16. Big-AlH

    Big-AlH PDA Old Timer

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    Copied the file over to my SD (directly - not via ActiveSync/WMDC) and tried with WMP and Pocket Player. No hiss on my 210.

    For that matter, I haven't heard hissing on any audio...
     
  17. the_rangdo

    the_rangdo Mobile Evangelist

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    I was watching a XviD program on mine last night (wireless over my network) using CorePlayer 1.2 and using some in-ear phones - hissing all through the soundtrack. The hissing is a constant level, I have the system volume quite low but the hissing is there at any volum except at 0% when the hissing stops completely. It doesn't get any louder as you turn the volume up, so the louder the soundtrack the better.

    I tried listening to some FLAC files (again wireless streaming) using both CorePlayer and PocketPlayer and again both hissing. I don't have any 'normal' mp3's to test but the XviDs have an mp3 soundtrack to them.

    Not noticed this before, but I normally use a set of headphones which have quite a high impedence (250 ohms) meaning the volume needs cranking up, completely obscuring any hiss.

    I used to play FLACs on my old 2215 with the same in-ear phones and never noticed any hiss at all, but they were stored on a CF card so I may experiment tonight.
     
  18. dceggert

    dceggert Mobile Deity

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    Just some suggestions for trying to help out with those that hear a hiss:

    1. what music application do you hear the hiss with and with what formats (mp3, wma, wmv, etc.)?
    2. what is the system volume set at?
    3. what is the application volume set at?
    4. what headphones are you using (plug in, bluetooth, 4 ohm like iPod or 8 ohm, etc.)?
    5. when did the hiss show up? Was it after something was installed?

    I am just trying to see if there is a pattern or if thiis is random thing...ie: could it be mp3 codec incompatibilieis of installed software, a hardware issue with the unit, or something else going on?

    For me my 211 has some imperceptible 'noise' in the background that you can hear go away when I unplug the earphones, but it is nearly indetectible while listening. My system volume is max and the application volume with either WMP or TCPMP is about 80% using a set of 8 ohm Sony plug in headphones. With this combination there is no intrusive hiss and the volume is pretty high for loud parts of the music (Classic Rock mostly). I will try my bluetooth headset later when I get home from work and the battery is charged up!
     
  19. the_rangdo

    the_rangdo Mobile Evangelist

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    To cover your #2 and #3 then (I pretty much covered the others in my last post)

    I usually have the app (Core and Pocket Player) set to use system volume, so while watching my movie last night it was at maybe 10%. I tried setting system volume to max and app volume to comfort level, then system volume to low and ramped up the app volume.

    Hissed in all cases.
     
  20. OzoneSpin

    OzoneSpin Mobile Consultant

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    Dan - I downloaded your blues mp3, many thanks for posting that. It still played with a hiss but was great via a hi fi system. I have, in my mind, eliminated the audio file format issue having tried the best mp3 and FLAC available, but you never know. Evidence is growing that other peeps have this problem as well, there's a post on the HP business support forum. I spent some time today on line with HP technical support - the suggestion was to take out the battery and do a soft reset ... clearly no improvement.

    Re. your point 5. I had the hiss from day one on a virgin machine straight out of the box with no other software loaded. Maybe it's a faulty jack socket - but I don't have Bluetooth earphones to test this. Like the_rangdo ^^ the hiss is a constant frequency but does become less noticeable when lively songs are playing - but I'm now listening for the hiss all the time - like having a broken tooth.
     
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