DROID RAZR M by Motorola

Verizon Wireless

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    orangetux
    Droid RAZR M by Motorola: Audio Static / Hissing
    Discussion posted September 24, 2012 by orangetuxTelegraph  , tagged Droid RAZR M by Motorola, Verizon Wireless
    7653 Views, 46 Comments
    Discussion Subject:
    Droid RAZR M by Motorola: Audio Static / Hissing
    Comment:

    Is anyone else experiencing static or hissing sound over speakerphone AND headphones?  This is improved by turning Audio Effects OFF, but not eliminated.  I also went to the Verizon store and tried out a display RAZR M and it had the same problem.  This is very noticeable over headphones when listening in a quiet room.  The behavior is indepedent of audio source, headphone type and speaker vs. headphone jack.

    Answer

    • mgerbasio

      I think it is a combination of a noise filter and a cleaner, isolated power supply. I know he said it happens on the battery too. Probably a good idea to be sure the phone isn't touching any metal; I don't use a cradle. I'm really out of my element and probably just showing my ignorance.

      As for the jack, I use Klipsch S4a or Etymotic HF2 headsets (I guess these are middle of the road) almost daily my use is on the run, subway, bus, Manhattan where there is so much ambient noise I doubt a monitor quality set would help especially with mp3. My hearing has deterioritated over the years too which doesn't help. I have a set of high end earbuds but never use them as they don't have a mic and now I'm using it with a phone, not an mp3 player.

      For a phone that plays music, its a winner for me. Have I heard better sound quality, yep, but I can't make calls and fit that in my pocket.

    • JoeA
      mgerbasio said:

      I think it is a combination of a noise filter and a cleaner, isolated power supply. I know he said it happens on the battery too. Probably a good idea to be sure the phone isn't touching any metal; I don't use a cradle. I'm really out of my element and probably just showing my ignorance.

      As for the jack, I use Klipsch S4a or Etymotic HF2 headsets (I guess these are middle of the road) almost daily my use is on the run, subway, bus, Manhattan where there is so much ambient noise I doubt a monitor quality set would help especially with mp3. My hearing has deterioritated over the years too which doesn't help. I have a set of high end earbuds but never use them as they don't have a mic and now I'm using it with a phone, not an mp3 player.

      For a phone that plays music, its a winner for me. Have I heard better sound quality, yep, but I can't make calls and fit that in my pocket.

      View original

      Not connected to any power supply or ac adapater.  I get the noise when the only cable connected to the phone is the aux cable.  Also get the noise when the car is not running.  Phone is not in a cradle, and sitting on the plastic center console, so not touching any metal.

      So, I'm pretty confident it's not related to the car's electrical system.

      Don't think the aux cables with built in noise filters would help, because they are designed to isolate noise coming from the car's electrical system.

      Plus, the main thing that makes me believe it's a problem with the RAZR M is that there is absolutely no noise with my DROID X.  Same car, same aux cable - the DROID X is quiet with no background noise.  The RAZR M has a very annoying hiss/whine/static background noise.

      Based on my experience using the RAZR M for about 3 weeks, I would NOT recommend it to anyone who wants to listen to music or podcasts.  In all other respects, it's a nice smartphone.

       

    • JoeA
      DansDroid said:
      JoeA said:

      New update.  On a business trip and I rented a Nissan Maxima.  Plugged my Droid RAZR M into the aux input in the Maxima's stereo and settled in for a 3 hour drive - perfect time to catch-up on my podcasts.

      And there was the static and noise again.  Just like in my BMW.

      So I called Verizon Wireless again to try again to see if they had a solution.  First rep was not helpful - told me to try a noise cancellation app from Google Play.  Of course, that revealed that he didn't understand the problem.  Of course, those apps are for reducing ambient noise, not noise that the phone itself is generating.

      Called back again later and got more suggestions.  Tried them all and the problem is always there.  Tried it with the car running versus not running. Tried multiple audio cables.  Tried with and without the charger plugged in.  Tried turning off all data services.  Nothing made a difference.  Always a very annoying hiss/whine/static sound coming through.  Same in 2 cars now - BMW and Nissan.

      And my old Droid X works fine in the exact same situation - no hiss/whine/static at all.

      The last Verizon Wireless rep I spoke with really wanted to send me a replacement phone to see if it would work.  Told him that I've already tried 2 different Droid RAZR M phones (mine and a coworkers) and they are the same.  But I got the sense that if I didn't try the replacement they were pushing, I wouldn't get any closer to a resolution.  So I said OK and it shows up on Friday.  We'll see what happens and I'll post an update over the weekend.

      Sure wish someone at Motorola would look into this.  I use my phone a lot to listen to music and podcasts and this is really unacceptable.  Surely must be a known issue somewhere inside Motorola.  Or maybe they just didn't test with a decent range of headsets, stereos, external speakers and cars...

       

      View original

      Hello Joe, thanks for the update.  While all of us try to address situations such as this reported on the forums as best we can and within our abilities, our forum manager Matt is always on top of any reported anomalies, especially with newly released devices.     --- Dan

      View original

      Hi Dan - good to know that Matt is generally on top of things.  But I haven't heard from him.  And so far there is no apparent solution.  Seems like the RAZR M just has a low quality AUX output.  And since listening to music and podcasts is important to me, I'm coming to the conclusion that getting the RAZR M was a mistake.

    • JoeA
      DansDroid said:
      mgerbasio said:

      Google "Aux Jack Filter" there are some kits sold, here's one for an iphone:

      http://www.mymac.com/2010/06/noise-reducing-aux-audio-cable-review/

      Maybe this will have better results. If I can find my cable, I'll try mine in my car for you to see if it gives me any problems.

      View original


      Thank you for the link.  I'm sure we would all be very interested to know if a passive noise filter in the cable would rectify this problem.    --- Dan

      View original

      Yes it would be interesting to know if a noise filter helps.  Though I'm skeptical because all my experiments suggest the noise is not coming from the car's electrical system.  Plus, and perhaps even more importantly, my DROID X didn't have this problem.  Same car, same AUX cable - the DROID X is nice and quiet, and the RAZR M has all this background noise...

    • JoeA

      Replicated the same noise issue this evening using a Jawbone Jambox.  Connected it to my RAZR M using the AUX cable that comes with the Jambox.  No charger connected to the phone.  The noise is at a lower level than in the BMW or Nissan car stereo, but it's the same noise.  In the car, the noise is audible during quiet/soft sections of music, when nobody is talking during a radio show or podcast, and for about 10-15 seconds after stopping audio playback.  With the Jambox  It's most noticeable for that period after stopping playback.

    • mgerbasio

      I plugged in my Klipsch S4a headset and picked these three youtube videos:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irNtyaNHq5A

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uOxOgm5jQ4

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRgXUFnfKIY

      All three sound fine. The last two have brief moments of silence and I'm not hearing any hiss or static. I just turned 49 and work on construction sites so my hearing isn't the best as I"ve said but these links sound great to me.

      This is a very long shot but are you always using the same device with the phone first, like your car aux jack and that is somehow damaging the phone? I'm not using any third party apps to change sound settings (volume, equalizer, etc.).

    • JoeA
      mgerbasio said:

      I plugged in my Klipsch S4a headset and picked these three youtube videos:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irNtyaNHq5A

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uOxOgm5jQ4

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRgXUFnfKIY

      All three sound fine. The last two have brief moments of silence and I'm not hearing any hiss or static. I just turned 49 and work on construction sites so my hearing isn't the best as I"ve said but these links sound great to me.

      This is a very long shot but are you always using the same device with the phone first, like your car aux jack and that is somehow damaging the phone? I'm not using any third party apps to change sound settings (volume, equalizer, etc.).

      View original

      In my experience, the RAZR M works with some devices and not with others.  My BOSE IE2 headphones are fine.  Plugging into the AUX port in a BMW or NIssan is the worst - lots of background noise.  The Jambox is in the middle - not as quiet as the IE2s, but not as noisy as the car stereos.  So you might just be lucky that your headphones are one of the devices that work OK.  In my opinion, there's some electrical compatibility issue between the headset jack on the RAZR M and various audio devices - unlike my old DROID X which worked great with everything.

      There is no pattern to which device I use first before hearing the noise.  I too am not using any equalizer or other app to modify audio or sound settings.  I'm using SlackerRadio (comes with the phone) and BeyondPod (my favorite podcasting app).  Same noise with both.

    • JoeA

      Another update.  Received a replacement RAZR M from Verizon today.  Powered it up, went out to my car, plugged in the AUX cable and started up Slacker Radio.  Same noise - no improvement.  So, that makes three RAZR M phones with exactly the same behavior - static, hissing, and noise when you plug certain devices into the AUX port.  Happens on the RAZR M that I bought from Verizon, happens with my friend's RAZR M, and now happens with the replacement that Verizon sent...

      Not sure where to go next.  But the Verizon rep said that they would call on Monday to find out whether the replacement worked.  So, hopefully they'll call and then we'll see...

    • droidxx

      Thank God i found this topic. I just bought my Droid Razr Maxx (outright) in hopes of keeping my exisiting unlimited data. I usually hit 6GB a month from streaming music alone.

      Most of what I do is stream media. I wish I would have come across this forum before I purchased the Droid Razr Maxx. Great phone, UNLESS you are a music fanatic.  I cannot beleive there arent more people on here voicing thier concerns about the UNACCEPTABLE audio qualtiy. The audio quality on this phone sucks. I can honestly say (as the other user here has) that I too am a previous owener of the Driod X the audio between phones is night and day.

      I really wish I would have stayed away from this phone, but I guess I was under the assumption it would at least compete with the Droix X's audio since its a Moto product and older phone.

      This phone is one of the best designed phones, but ultimately I JUST cannot get over how horrible the audio quailty is.

      I may look into trading it for a Samsung Galaxy S3 (even thought i dont appreciate the white and oversized screen)

    • droidxx

      Ok all, I may have jumped the gun, but will provide an update.

       

      I searched other forums, and everyone is stating to disable the Motorola default sound setting, which i believe may the source of the problem. To disable, go to ..

       

      1: Go into Settings

      2:Select sound

      3: Select  Wired Stereo Devices.

      4. Disable "Enable Audio Effects"

      I will post an update later.

    • JoeA
      droidxx said:

      Ok all, I may have jumped the gun, but will provide an update.

       

      I searched other forums, and everyone is stating to disable the Motorola default sound setting, which i believe may the source of the problem. To disable, go to ..

       

      1: Go into Settings

      2:Select sound

      3: Select  Wired Stereo Devices.

      4. Disable "Enable Audio Effects"

      I will post an update later.

      View original

      Please do follow-up and let us know whether that works for you.  I made this change on my RAZR M and it didn't help.  Still noisy - makes no difference whether Audio Effects are enabled or not.  But, maybe it's different on the RAZR Maxx.

      Also, just curious - do you have the RAZR Maxx or the new RAZR Maxx HD?  I'd love to know whether the RAZR Maxx HD has the same noise problem.  I was thinking that the RAZR Maxx HD might be a solution for me.  Otherwise, I guess I'll have to look at the Samsung GS3 too...

    • JoeA
      JoeA said:

      Another update.  Received a replacement RAZR M from Verizon today.  Powered it up, went out to my car, plugged in the AUX cable and started up Slacker Radio.  Same noise - no improvement.  So, that makes three RAZR M phones with exactly the same behavior - static, hissing, and noise when you plug certain devices into the AUX port.  Happens on the RAZR M that I bought from Verizon, happens with my friend's RAZR M, and now happens with the replacement that Verizon sent...

      Not sure where to go next.  But the Verizon rep said that they would call on Monday to find out whether the replacement worked.  So, hopefully they'll call and then we'll see...

      View original

      Not surprising of course, but Verizon did NOT call yesterday like they said they were going to.  So I'll be following up with them to let them know that the replacement has noisy audio just like mine.  I'll post an update later and let everyone know what happens next...

    • klopus
      droidxx said:
      Most of what I do is stream media. I wish I would have come across this forum before I purchased the Droid Razr Maxx. Great phone, UNLESS you are a music fanatic.  I cannot beleive there arent more people on here voicing thier concerns about the UNACCEPTABLE audio qualtiy. The audio quality on this phone sucks. I can honestly say (as the other user here has) that I too am View original

      Welcome to the club, unfortunately :( I have Razor M and the headphone output is dismal and I'm not not talking just about hissing. I'm a bit of audiophile and on the go I use very revealing and detailed $400 Westone 4 in-ear headphones with 4 drivers per side. With good source and record these headphones sound amazingly even un-amped  (though they definitely benefit from the external DAC) from iPhone 4 and Rockboxed Sansa Clip+. I also used many other portable sources but M must be the worst. Compared to iPhone 4 overall sound is veiled and muddy, mids are recessed, presentation that was so wonderfully spacious in now congested and flat and instrument separation is diminished.

      The opinion on Head-fi forum is that M (and I guess this applies to HD also) besides noisy and cheap built-in amp/DAC has very high output impedance around 10 ohm. That especially badly affects headphones with balanced armature drivers even if they have low input impedance. Dynamic driver headphones are affected less.

      Though I’m really disappointed I still like the Razr M so I’m keeping. One way to improve the sound is to switch to the Neutron player that you can find on the Play app store. It’s not the best player in terms of usability, functions and resources but it does magic with sound by trying to directly control hardware and bypass Moto/Google specific API layer and drivers. You’ll notice marked difference in sound quality, especially in clarity and improved soundstage, even if you leave it on default with EQ and tone controls on.  No amount of tweaking with PowerAmp (not speaking of stock player) will give you these results on Razr M/HD.

      Needless to say that you need to disable Moto’s sound effects in settings. They make things even worse.

    • klopus
      droidxx said:
      1: Go into Settings

      2:Select sound

      3: Select  Wired Stereo Devices.

      4. Disable "Enable Audio Effects"

      View original

      It doesn't affect hissing a tiny bit. But it still makes sense to disable Audio Effects since they make headphone out sound even worse than it already is. Seriously, Razor M (and as I understand HD) is the worst sounding portable device I have ever used. With decent in-ear headphones it's almost impossible unless you use Neutron player.

       

    • JoeA
      JoeA said:
      JoeA said:

      Another update.  Received a replacement RAZR M from Verizon today.  Powered it up, went out to my car, plugged in the AUX cable and started up Slacker Radio.  Same noise - no improvement.  So, that makes three RAZR M phones with exactly the same behavior - static, hissing, and noise when you plug certain devices into the AUX port.  Happens on the RAZR M that I bought from Verizon, happens with my friend's RAZR M, and now happens with the replacement that Verizon sent...

      Not sure where to go next.  But the Verizon rep said that they would call on Monday to find out whether the replacement worked.  So, hopefully they'll call and then we'll see...

      View original

      Not surprising of course, but Verizon did NOT call yesterday like they said they were going to.  So I'll be following up with them to let them know that the replacement has noisy audio just like mine.  I'll post an update later and let everyone know what happens next...

      View original

      OK, so I called Verizon today.  Told them the replacement they sent has exactly the same problem.  They asked me to send the replacement back, which I'll do.  I asked them what they are going to do next, given that we appear to have exhausted all their troubleshooting and diagnostic steps.  I told them I feel stuck with a phone that doesn't work for me, since listening to music and podcasts is important to me.  And  since the DROID X worked great, so I naturally expected the DROID RAZR M would be the same or better - certainly not worse!  Verizon offerred no solution.  Basically said I was stuck with a phone that has a problem and that I'm not satisfied with.  Pretty horrible if you ask me - I've had the phone less than a month and followed all their processes to report and try to resolve the issue.  I even first reported the problem within their 14 day return window, but I chose to try to work with them to fix the issue.  And now they say that they can't replace the phone with a different model because we're past the 14 day window!!!

      Verizon basically passed the buck. Said that they are just the reseller, and I'd have to pursue with Motorola.  So, they transferred me to Motorola and I spent another unproductive 30 min on the phone with them.  First rep said we needed to clear caches on the phone - which made no sense to me.  But I agreed to try this and the rep gave me instructions that didn't work!  So he gave up and passed me to the next tier.  The next Motorola rep couldn't do anything either.  Basically said that he tried a RAZR M and he couldn't hear any noise - to which I replied that is exactly the problem.  Some earbuds and speakers are OK, others are noisy.  Then the Motorola rep said I'd have to take the issue up with Verizon.  That's perfect, they're each passing the buck to each other and I'm stuck with a phone that doens't work if listening to music and podcasts is important - and that doesn't work as well as my old DROID X did.

      I guess I'll be forced to buy a new phone at full retail.  Or live with the crappy audio on this phone until I'm eligible for an upgrade again.  Or mabye I'll go back to Verizon and appeal to their customer service team to try and get some kind of resolution.  At this point, I just want to return this phone and upgrade to a different phone that has decent quality audio...

      No sign that anyone at Motorola engineering is aware or working on this.  The last rep I spoke with said he would report it to engineering, but there's no way to know whether that happens, or what engineering will (or can) do about it...

      Bottom line, if you care about listening to music and/or podcasts with your phone, don't buy a RAZR M.  Or, immediately test your new RAZR M with the headsets, stereos, speakers and cars you might plug it into using an AUX cable.  You might be lucky and have audio devices that work with the RAZR M.  Or you might be like me and have a BMW or a Nissan or a JAMBOX (or other devices that people are reporting) and have noisy audio output...