android
  #1  
Old 09-04-2010, 02:43 AM
The Fighting Green!'s Avatar
The Fighting Green! The Fighting Green! is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 8
Default MP3 player's lowest volume is too loud

Hi there, I'm new around here. I'm looking to buy myself a new MP3 player and one of my main requirements seems to be little-mentioned (as far as I can find anyway). That requirement is to be able to turn the volume down very low.

My Samsung Jet's minimum volume setting is mute, completely silent. The very next step up from there is often still too loud for when I'm trying to concentrate on a complex problem at work. I'd like an MP3 player that stands out in this department, but so far google has been almost completely useless.

Not as useless, however, as all the bricks-and-mortar stores in my area. I want a recent memory size like 16GB, and none of the stores around the place stock them yet. I'd feel bad about going into one of those stores and getting a staff member to let me listen to a few of their 8gb models, only to walk out and buy a 16GB from the net instead.

I know of some workarounds such as software to normalise or change volume levels of mp3 files, and using a player's equaliser to drop the volume as well, or an extension lead with an embedded volume dial. These are good enough as last resorts I guess, but they're still just workarounds. What I'd really like to know is if anyone out there has found this issue to be at all important to them, and what (if any) players or brands they found were better than others.

I used to use Shure canalphones, but breakages in the cable saw to their early retirement. I replaced them with UE Metro.Fi 170s which I'm not 100% happy with, so I may upgrade. I like being able to listen to very quiet music while I work, and I HATE distractions so good isolation's important to me. Therefore, an mp3 player that can't go low enough in volume is less than ideal. Your experiences in this area would be appreciated.

Last edited by The Fighting Green!; 09-07-2010 at 06:26 PM.
Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]

  #2  
Old 09-04-2010, 03:00 AM
lestatar's Avatar
lestatar lestatar is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hong Kong now, but NYC always
Posts: 4,657
Default

Interesting...welcome to ABi...Most people obviously have the opposite need but...

The 2 that immediately spring to mind are the Clip/+ and Fuze models. Each of these as I recall [I no longer use the original firmware for my Fuze] can be set for Europe by any user worldwide in the firmware at any time. This Euro setting results reportedly in much lower volume settings. This might be ideal for you - also, this setting for the Sandisk devices can be reverted back anytime by resetting the device settings and choosing any other part of the world so it is not an irreversible change should you decide you want increased volume. In addition, each of these are great players on their own. Max capacity for each is 8MB native memory but both support up to 32GB microSDHC cards. Additionally, if you are so inclined, both may be Rockboxed, though RB is not for everyone and would be a different conversation/thread.

Also, if you have access to them, I believe Sony Walkman models sold in EU all come by default with lower volume limits, as mandated by EU legislation.

I am sure others will chime in with suggestions/other possible solutions for you.

cheers and good luck,
-lestatar
__________________
DAPs:2xRBFuze8+16GB|SonyE345|ZenV+,Micro,Xtra40GBx2|RBG igabeatFX|RCAOpal
IEMs:PanaHJE900|Nuforce 700x|HippoVB|iMetal590,i490|SM PL-21|CX300|EP630,Aurvana
Guitars:IbanezS540,JS1200|Ovation
PoolCues: a bunch
A Glossary for Newbies

Last edited by lestatar; 09-04-2010 at 03:24 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old 09-04-2010, 03:05 AM
The Fighting Green!'s Avatar
The Fighting Green! The Fighting Green! is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 8
Default

Hi lestatar, thanks for the info. It sounds like those settings in the firmware would be for controlling the upper limit of the volume though, wouldn't they?
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old 09-04-2010, 03:24 AM
lestatar's Avatar
lestatar lestatar is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hong Kong now, but NYC always
Posts: 4,657
Default

Well, I have never used that setting, but reports from folks who accidentally opted for the Euro settings apparently resulted in noticeably lower volumes throughout the entire range, so not just a lower maximum volume [though I simply cannot be sure as I have not encountered/used this].

Stick around though - I am sure you will get more info/suggestions quite soon, and probably more useful than mine

-lestatar
__________________
DAPs:2xRBFuze8+16GB|SonyE345|ZenV+,Micro,Xtra40GBx2|RBG igabeatFX|RCAOpal
IEMs:PanaHJE900|Nuforce 700x|HippoVB|iMetal590,i490|SM PL-21|CX300|EP630,Aurvana
Guitars:IbanezS540,JS1200|Ovation
PoolCues: a bunch
A Glossary for Newbies
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old 09-04-2010, 03:28 AM
The Fighting Green!'s Avatar
The Fighting Green! The Fighting Green! is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 8
Default

Cheers, will do. At this point, top of my list is a Sony Walkman E-345.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old 09-04-2010, 10:11 AM
Olley Olley is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,894
Default

I've looked at dozens of media players. When I run into that problem the player automatically is a "fail" to me. If the lowest possible volume level on a player is still too loud, then run don't walk back to the store and complain LOUDLY until they give you your money back.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old 09-04-2010, 12:10 PM
FreeZ5's Avatar
FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,509
Default

I was under the impression that the European firmware limited the top volume not throughout the range. Perhaps somebody will be bored and test it.

One way to solve the problem is to run mp3gain against your music and drop the volume level. The default in mp3Gain is 89.0, and I know that many songs started out louder than that (95.0 plus), and many softer. So try dropping some to 86.0, and check the results. You might copy one song a few times. Call the copies 83, 86, & 89, and then apply that level to each of them. Then you can test several settings quickly.

Won't cost you anything but some time.

Steve
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old 09-04-2010, 01:44 PM
Jack4L's Avatar
Jack4L Jack4L is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,520
Default

Just try a volume controller(Attenuator) for your headphones. Its basically like adding impedance to your headphones to make them harder to drive. They barely cost anything and are typically faster to use then a normal players volume slider. You can find these things almost anywhere, and like I said they barely cost anything in the long run.

If you wanna go more extravagant, get a headphone amp, like a cheap CMOY amp. They make nice desk ornaments too ;p

Anyway with either of those 2 you wont have to worry about the player not being quiet enough.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 09-04-2010, 02:39 PM
yoavbd123 yoavbd123 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 38
Default

I just tried EU vs N.America on the Fuze.
I have to admit, I believe the Europe is generally more quiet, but really both sound so quiet on the lowest possible volume that's it hard to tell the difference.
Sounds like your headphones amplify the volume or something, or your player is messed up, or your hearing is cyber sonic :O
Try a different set of headphones maybe, or as suggested get a volume control to the headphones that should solve it.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old 09-04-2010, 02:52 PM
lestatar's Avatar
lestatar lestatar is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hong Kong now, but NYC always
Posts: 4,657
Default

Thanks yoavbd123 for the experiment

@OP, I too really like Jack4L's suggestion - an inline volume control/attenuator would seem to be the simplest potential solution, far less time consuming than bulk conversion of your music with stuff like mp3gain [though that is a good idea too!]...
__________________
DAPs:2xRBFuze8+16GB|SonyE345|ZenV+,Micro,Xtra40GBx2|RBG igabeatFX|RCAOpal
IEMs:PanaHJE900|Nuforce 700x|HippoVB|iMetal590,i490|SM PL-21|CX300|EP630,Aurvana
Guitars:IbanezS540,JS1200|Ovation
PoolCues: a bunch
A Glossary for Newbies
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old 09-04-2010, 08:10 PM
The DarkSide's Avatar
The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Qns Vlg, NYC
Posts: 16,054
Default

BTW, the Samsung Jet is a phone, not a portable media player - that's why the audio volume is an afterthought. Get a real mp3 player and this shouldn't be an issue for you. And most phones are only a backup solution for multimedia playback, remember that.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old 09-04-2010, 08:27 PM
The Fighting Green!'s Avatar
The Fighting Green! The Fighting Green! is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 8
Default

Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm thinking the inline volume control will have to be my workaround of choice.

Edit: Fair point, DarkSide. I do have a little Thomson Lyra 2gb player as well, it has the same issue. However, it has a custom equaliser setting which I can use to drop the volume further. So yeah I'm thinking I'll just have to take a swig of the ole HTFU juice and deal with it using those methods already mentioned. Thanks again everyone.
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old 09-04-2010, 10:20 PM
The DarkSide's Avatar
The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Qns Vlg, NYC
Posts: 16,054
Default

@The Fighting Green: Get a Fuze, Rockbox it, and all will be well. Take my word for it, you'll be amazed at how good it sounds, as well as the ability to adjust the volume to what you desire it to be.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old 09-05-2010, 02:14 PM
synaesthetic synaesthetic is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 82
Default

Not all phones are terrible at media playback.

The Samsung Galaxy S is pretty much equal to the P3 in terms of audio, and vastly outstrips it in video (hi there 4" AMOLED display).
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old 09-07-2010, 06:21 AM
The Fighting Green!'s Avatar
The Fighting Green! The Fighting Green! is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
@The Fighting Green: Get a Fuze, Rockbox it, and all will be well. Take my word for it, you'll be amazed at how good it sounds, as well as the ability to adjust the volume to what you desire it to be.
Step 1 - Done.
Step 2 - ...
Step 3 - Profit!!!

I just ordered a 4 gigglebyte fuze. Next item on my wishlist (apart from a microSD card to go in the Fuze) will be a better pair of canalphones. The new UE Metro.Fi 170 I have just doesn't get me the isolation I desire. So it's gonna be demoted to being the set I take to football matches to listen to the commentary on the radio while I watch my MIGHTY CANBERRA RAIDERS kick arse in the NRL :-)

Oh and to stay on topic, if the Fuze (Rockboxed or not) doesn't get the volume down to where I want it, I think my workaround of choice will be an inline attenuator.

Last edited by The Fighting Green!; 09-07-2010 at 06:36 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old 09-07-2010, 07:26 AM
FreeZ5's Avatar
FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,509
Default

Fighting Green:

I believe that it's the com bination of player and headphones that make the sound either too loud or too soft. For me with a Clip or a Clip+ or a Samsung YP-Z5 and JVC FX-33 Marshmallows with UE tips, the sound is too loud when lying in bed. I'm pretty sure that the Fuze will be the same, but I don't reall trying mne under these circumstances.

For various reasons, I used mp3Gain to set the loudness of my mp3s to 92. For some that is raising the volume, for others lowering. (I just got a new song that was at 96.8).

As a result of this thread, I lowered all the songs on a YP-Z5 to 86, and they are still a little loud. I'll try a lower number, maybe tonight.

Steve
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old 09-07-2010, 08:56 AM
EggyCuppy EggyCuppy is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 336
Default

fuze or clip+ with rockbox(far more tweakable volume wise then Orignal firmware)

also I can recommend the SoundMagic pl-50's they seem to work pretty well even at low volume, far better then I would have expected(just checked).

Not sure about other IEM's or hp's or other players, I know my samsung dedicated mp3 players have alll had higher min volume then the fuze seems to have with rb(you can also use the eq to tweak down the sound of you really want it lower.)
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old 09-27-2010, 02:13 AM
The Fighting Green!'s Avatar
The Fighting Green! The Fighting Green! is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 8
Default

Just a quick update for anyone who wants to know (present or distant future), the Rockbox installation solved my lowest-volume-is-too-loud problem. The lowest non-mute volume step is far quieter than with the normal Sansa firmware. Nice!
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old 09-27-2010, 02:15 AM
Marvin the Martian's Avatar
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: east central NY state
Posts: 10,602
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fighting Green! View Post
Just a quick update for anyone who wants to know (present or distant future), the Rockbox installation solved my lowest-volume-is-too-loud problem. The lowest non-mute volume step is far quieter than with the normal Sansa firmware. Nice!
Glad to hear it....pardon the pun!
__________________
iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB. Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 520
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old 09-27-2010, 11:18 AM
lestatar's Avatar
lestatar lestatar is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hong Kong now, but NYC always
Posts: 4,657
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
Glad to hear it....pardon the pun!
Kneeslapper! U so silly Marvin.... rofl

@OP, excellent news. I too am delighted to be informed of your success with Fuze and Rockbox.
__________________
DAPs:2xRBFuze8+16GB|SonyE345|ZenV+,Micro,Xtra40GBx2|RBG igabeatFX|RCAOpal
IEMs:PanaHJE900|Nuforce 700x|HippoVB|iMetal590,i490|SM PL-21|CX300|EP630,Aurvana
Guitars:IbanezS540,JS1200|Ovation
PoolCues: a bunch
A Glossary for Newbies
Reply With Quote

Reply

Tags
mp3, mute, player, too loud, volume

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:36 AM.