Sony Mobile is working hard to improve sound quality in Android O

by XB on 21st March 2017

in Android

Google formally unveiled Android O earlier today, announcing the Developer Preview enabling devs to start work on the newest OS to ensure their apps are compatible. Some of the big additions include better batter life by restricting background processes as well as improvements to notifications.

What we found most interesting though, is the amount of work that Google’s partners are putting into Android O and specifically Sony. According to a report from The Verge, Sony has been one of the biggest contributors with “more than 30 feature enhancements and 250 bug fixes” so far.

In particular, Sony is pushing to make Android O a better platform for wireless hi-res audio, by contributing its LDAC wireless audio coding technology. LDAC is already featured in a number of Xperia smartphones and also appears in the company’s high-end audio products. LDAC allows data transfer via Bluetooth three times higher than normal, with a bitrate of 990kbps.

To get the most out of this, you would still need hardware capable of LDAC support, which requires a licence fee. But regardless, it is great to see Sony pushing support for better audio quality across mobile devices and hopefully means that Sony will not rush to end support of the 3.5mm headphone jack anytime soon.

Via The Verge.

Thanks difwwh, Diogo and Utsav!

  • David Elton

    Uh, if Sony are pushing their wireless audio codec, why would that suggest they’re committing to 3.5mm? Surely it means the exact opposite!

  • Bloobat

    So basically the software if now incorporated into android but to use it you need the hardware which requires paying Sony a license fee. If so smart move

  • Rick777

    The next question is… will i get it to z5 compact? :D

  • Not exactly. If anything, it would encourage IMPROVING Bluetooth connectivity to the point that it’s finally competitive for audiophiles with wired headsets. From a business standpoint that would be better for Sony than just shoving Bluetooth and removing the 3.5mm port because they can then convince people to buy more Sony wired headsets and Bluetooth cans and speakers to get the “best” audio quality on Android O…

  • Little Man

    Poor Sony, receiving so little from Google and never had been a Nexus manufacturer, but still contributing so much to the coming generation Android platform.

  • Biancoceleste

    It’s a shame Sony never made a nexus handset. I’d have loved that.

  • Moisés

    I read somewhere last year that in 2017 Xperia would be a priority for Sony..
    I hope Sony can repeat 2014.

  • Moisés

    I guess.. Z5 is not 2 y.o yet..
    About z4, not sure if it gets 7.1

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Now there is less possibility to see DAC/AMP on Xperia…


  • JC

    Shouldn’t they be more concerned about the audio issues they created with that buggy Nougat update?

  • rygarto

    So, can I expect LDAC support on my S7 to connect with MDR-1000X?

    (Sorry, Sony, but I wasn’t about to buy a Z5 and XZ was a long time coming when my Z2 died.)

  • mountain

    If you read about android O, they are bringing in picture in picture support. Does this mean that we are getting small apps back?

  • Haekal Zidni Barkan

    Yeah, the reason i loved my Z3 so much is because there’s two TFA9890 chip are present, even though it’s not a high-end chip but still it’s better than standard chip they used on other devices

    If they still do this, i will move to LG maybe. Sorry.

  • disqus_90IfYXmwVG

    LG phone famous with bootloop technology

  • carla.taylor

    I was paid 104000 dollars last year by doing an internet job and also I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r several hours on a daily basis. I applied work opportunity I came across on the internet and so I am excited that I was able to earn such decent money. It is really newbie-friendly and therefore I’m so grateful that I discovered out regarding it. Look into what I do…

  • David Elton

    By including LDAC, they *do* seem to be going down that path though. Maybe LDAC isn’t the end of 3.5mm for everyone, but it will be for the 90% of non-audiophile users.

  • Khillo81

    Yes, but it will be by the time Android O comes out to the non-Google phones

  • hansip

    No, it means that any Android phone can implement the LDAC but the receiver device (i.e the Bluetooth headset) manufacturer must pay Sony if they want to implement such codec (e.g JBL, Harman Kardon etc.). If no one pays, then the only LDAC capable devices are Sony’s own.. but at least their own audio device is one of solid build and high quality.

  • hansip

    I guess it’s just how Sony reacts to US market which is the barrier for Google to use Sony as Nexus.

  • hansip

    Yes you can, once you get the O..

  • rygarto

    Ah, dream on, then. Only just got N.

  • mharckk

    still have small apps in z5p nougat

  • Talos the Robot

    Google copied the stamina mode and now is copying the Ldac. Next time let Sony to develop your operating system if you lack of ideas.

  • Warren Chang

    they should incorpate their S-Master HX High-Resolution Audio amplifier like what they have in their excellent walkman range, it just sound so awesome, my nw-zx100

  • Talos the Robot

    I think the 3,5mm jack should be replace with a balanced audio input and not be eliminated at all. Many people hate the wireless audio because it can never reach the top music quality of the wired audio, and also the 2,5ghz frequencies always interfere with wifi routers, microwave ovens and other stuff and at the end suck your music experience.

  • NinJy

    You have to be sure it has hardware compatible with LDAC too as said in the article.

  • Talos the Robot
  • Moisés

    Z1 : 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.0.2, 5.1.1
    Z2: 4.4.2, 4.4.4, 5.0.2, 5.1.1, 6.0.1
    Z3: 4.4.4, 5.0.2, 5.1.1, 6.0.1
    Z4: 5.0.2, 6.0, 6.0.1, 7.0 , ?
    Z5: 5.1.1, 6.0, 6.0.1, 7.0 , ?

    5 updates, z3 would have N to reach 5..

    You see a pattern here: z1(5.1) , z2(6.0.1), z3( would be 7.0), z4( 7.1 maybe), z5( maybe 8.0).
    Every semester a Z phone is left behind. If you do not consider z3

    2 options : Z5 gets 7.1 and done or skips 7.1 and gets 8.0 . My opinion of course….

  • Zayed Kotayba

    In either case SONY is winning and this is meaning we will get faster updates because SONY will have less of work to do as this feature will be part of the OS.

  • Alfino Setya

    If sony is developing the Android, sure Sony would be as good as Apple. Lol.

  • Alfino Setya

    Samsung phones are well known for their hi-explosive technology (which is pretty cool features)

  • Zayed Kotayba

    Yes that’s right in fact SONY was rushed to release its X Series they should have given Z Series more time to mature but anyway I’m really hoping the XZs and XZP to succeed this year and give SONY more freedom to take on bold moves in the future.

  • Little Man

    That could be true.

  • This LDAC feature had sony flagship devices from Z2(i think).

  • ludimilojko

    How about to, instead of sound quality, they improve the loudness? For years they have very weak speakers. What’s the use of improving the sound quality if you can’t hear it?

  • Gahead

    Do you even know what LDAC is? and how sound quality relates to it, it’s not the Xperia speakers but the headphone accessories and speakers, dude, LDAC is so impressive that Beats and other handsets can’t even touch the quality of it (make sure it’s in FLAC format better if it’s 24 bit 44khz,96 khz and 192 khz)

  • Gahead

    Sony Mobile really is too unselfish, providing Camera Sensors and now LDAC which is a premium wireless technology for headphones and speakers?

  • Kaarthikeyan Swaminathan

    Nothing selfless. It earns them lot of revenue by sales. So its sharp business

  • Moisés

    Just curious…

    Zuk Z1 has SD801 and it is getting android 7. How is that possible?

  • Moisés

    My z3 plus used to be louder on android 5

  • ew210

    nope it’s not that , Google wants someone who will make it for cheap and the issue is SONY is not cheap at all.

  • rygarto

    Well, my headphones are compatible. I hope that LDAC support on the phone is a matter of software on a high end device.

  • ew210

    from Z3+/Z4 .

  • Warren Chang

    no mention of 7.0 on gsmarena

  • Warren Chang

    yes, wireless high resolution/ audiophile grade wireless standard, ie, standard bluetooth at 320 kps ( sounds compressed and compromised), rival qualcomm standard apx hd ( on lg and astell & kern dap 600kps ( sounds decent), but sony ldac at 980kps, is truely audio perfection

  • Warren Chang

    Sony Mobile and Sony Electronics as usual, failing to identify essential accessories which consumers want, LDAC is only around 10 sony xperia phones from 2015 onwards, but they don’t have SBH (wireless receier/headset with 3.5mm) range

  • kari.clark

    I was paid 104000 dollars last year by doing a web based work and also I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r several hours regularly. I used work opportunity I found on the web and so I am excited that I was manage to make such decent money. It’s actually newbie-friendly and I’m so pleased that I discovered out regarding it. Look into what I do…

  • Warren Chang

    don’t think that’s possible you need ldac hardware for ldac, not software implemented, in future a samsung may use sony’s licenced hardware for ldac, or they may not, samsung may use rival technology, aptx hd or bluetooth 5.0

  • Kathrynktrujillo

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !dw191c:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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  • fried_egg

    Android needs a quality sound boast to counter Apple…. and Sony needs it’s tech to get out of just a few high end products to give it a future. This is a win win for Sony and Android. What is important is Sony is not tempted to get greedy as it did with past formats such as its memory stick format etc. Sony might have to share the glory, but a share of the glory is better than a page in the history books only. “It’s a Sony” used to more important than the product subbrand like “Trintron” & “Walkman” – yet since the Playstation the Sony brand took a back seat to the product subbranding… It’s a freeaking Sony should be reprised

  • Bashar Shehab

    actually I read that Sony is the one refusing to do so, and they had an offer before the Galaxy Nexus to make a nexus device but they refused, they want to stick to the Xperia line, they said.

    I don’t remember where I read that, so do not take it as a fact.

  • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

    So true. It would have helped them with mobile game. But I think other manufacturers gave electronics for cheap. I hope Sony would help google to make the next Pixel with cool design.

  • Alam Sandi WIjaya

    when sony improve the camera quality?

  • Michal

    They can stick it in their butt till then they wont repair the sound issues on Z5 family on android N!!!

  • I was paid 104000 dollars last 12 months by doing an internet work and also I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r several hours each day. I utilized job opportunity I found over the internet and therefore I am thrilled that I was in the position to earn such decent cash. It is really newbie-friendly and I am so pleased that I found out regarding it. Take a look at exactly what I do…

  • Michellesjolly

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj291d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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  • Shubham

    They were suppose to make the first android phone and they turned it down.

  • FYLegend21

    Not likely to happen as Sony Audio and Sony Mobile are separate departments and the former owns exclusive rights to it.

  • FYLegend21

    The two TFA9890 chips and Class D Amplifier were used for the speakers. Some people think they may be used for the headphone output and the debate goes on and on. However I find it unlikely as it said on the NXP site that the TFA chip was designed for speakers. That’s not to say the Z3 doesn’t have bad quality. I only tried it briefly and thought it sounded good but it is seriously underpowered even for a Xiaomi Piston 3 IEM.

    Qualcomm now has their own dedicated DAC option called Aqstic (HTC 10 uses it) but Sony isn’t using it…

  • MrWalker1000

    do you know why

  • MrWalker1000

    it doesnt matter the z3 had the best audio output in 2014 when it was out. Volume is low, but quality is very high esepcialy if you use gear that simply increases the output the sound quality itself is good.

    the debate goes on some say the two chips were also used for the headphone output making it dual purpose.

    whatever the case is, I feel like dedicated DAC are kind of overrated. They all come from like the same two companies.

  • MrWalker1000

    android O will have so many of the features that I already have on my xperia. Sony is very underrated.

  • MrWalker1000

    XZP is already pretty insane. its got everyones attention they just need to market this really well.

  • MrWalker1000

    is that an inhouse produced amplifier or did they buy it from another company?

  • MrWalker1000

    isnt aptxhd as good as LDAC anyways.

  • MrWalker1000

    APTXhd is as good as LDAc you shouldnt let that limit you to LDAC.

    but you could use the mdr1000x on it.

  • MrWalker1000

    isnt aptxhd gonna be as good as ldac. whats the point of ldac.

  • MrWalker1000

    aptxhd is going to be on par with LDAC.

  • MrWalker1000

    the weak sound output is actually due to software. Which I think in nougat they increases by a lot.

  • MrWalker1000

    didnt nougat make their phones finally louder in headphone output

  • JC

    Actually I’m talking about speakerphone volume, they lowered the volume in many Z5P devices after they rolled out Nougat.

  • Warren Chang

    aptx hd is around 600kbps, standard bluetooth around 350kbps, ldac is around 980kbps, not sure about bluetooth 5.0 bitrate

    apple may release their own standard ( guessing) in future

  • fried_egg

    no. aptx hd is better than aptx but no where near the specs of ldac.

  • fried_egg

    aptx to aptx hd was described as ” 576 kbps vs 352 kbps. You may notice a difference on high-end audio equipment” while “Sony’s own LDAC audio coding technology, which Sony claimed at the launch to enable Hi-Res Audio over Bluetooth, a bit-rate of 990kbps compared with maximum Bluetooth SBC rates of 328kbp” You may not notice it with a lower end mobile and lower end headphones but with the proper kit it isnt as good… and as we know the future always gets better… people who bought a 720HD tv didnt really see the big difference with a 1080fullhd tv.. but now 4K is available they can see it “was good enough but now isn’t – you start with worse and it soon becomes not good enough.

  • Shubham

    I think Sony Ericsson was doing pretty good back then and android was pretty new and untested venture. Maybe , that’s why! I’m not sure of exact reason but the above reason is what i can think of.

  • I was paid 104000 bucks last year by doing a web based job and consequently I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r several hours regularly. I tried job opportunity I found on-line and therefore I am excited that I was succeed to earn such decent money. It’s genuinely newbie-friendly and I am so delighted that I found out regarding it. Take a look at what I do…

  • Gahead

    DUDE! Do your research APTX HD is nowhere near LDAC, of it does, then Sony should’ve just trashed it away, LDAC is better in the output of real lossless audio, as for aptxhd, I read somewhere that it’s still lossy, AGAIN do your research.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    If Sony can get Samsung and other OEMs to pay for their LDAC license, that will bring huge profits to Sony. Just a $10 license charge to Samsung will bring $500 million a year of profits to Sony. Licensing it to LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, Apple will bring billions of dollars of profits to Sony. They could use this to develop more technologies to license to other vendors and ultimately with huge profit growth could turn their entire Xperia division around.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    I’m hoping Sony’s IFA flagships can really put some stronger competition on Samsung and increase their sales and market share.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    Sony’s own in-house one but that’s too big and power hungry to implement into a phone. Maybe they could make a phone version tho that’s better than the ones currently in their Xperia flagships.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    Yes, you will, but you may have to wait a bit longer.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    A fix is coming out very soon, within 1-2 weeks.

  • Moisés

    The main issue is price Sony charges in South America and Asia.
    I saw E5 few weeks ago. The store sells it for almost 400 dollars.
    Same price of Moto G4 or J5 Metal.
    XZ and Z5 Premium are still more than 1000 dollars.
    Z5 has a better price. Same of XA Ultra, but is more than 500 US$.

    My z4 was 530 dollars, in March/2016

  • Moisés

    I would do this if I were boss at Sony

    XE: 4,8″ HD , helio p15, 2.5gb , 16gb, 2500 mAh US$ 170

    XA: 5″ HD , helio p25, 2900 mAh, 32gb, 3gb, ip68, fingerprint scanner, US$ 330 plastic back

    XA Ultra : 6″ full hd, helio p25, 4500 mAh, 64gb, 4gb, ip68, fingerprint scanner, US$ 370 plastic back

    X : 5″ full hd, SD 660, 3200 mAh, 4gb, 64gb, ip68 fingerprint scanner, US$ 490 metal back

    X Compact : 4,5″ HD, SD 660, 2800mAh, 4gb, 64gb, ip68, finger scanner, US$ 440 metal back

    XZ Compact : 4,5″ full hd, SD 835, 2800 mAh, 6gb, 64gb, ip68, finger scanner, glass body, US$ 580

    XZ : 5,2″ QHD , SD 835, 3430 mAh, 6gb, 64gb, ip68, finger scanner, glass body US$ 680

    XZ Premium : 5,6 ” 4k HDR , SD 835, 3800 mAh, 6gb, 128gb, ip68, finger scanner, glass body, US$ 780

  • FYLegend21

    It’s just like how Sony’s Alpha department doesn’t directly deal with smartphones but since the Z5 they say they have cooperated with the Alpha team to make better cameras… Yet they could do nothing about shutter lag until Xperia X series

  • MrWalker1000

    sony is working with google they might make this standard in all google.

    also i have an xperia phone which means buying buying an LDAC headphone is a no brainer for that amazing bluetooth.

  • MrWalker1000

    I see thanks. there are many who doubt sony’s LDAC>

    I want this to remain sony exlcusive though. maybe sony is trying to get more people to buy their headphones? Cuz they need exclusive technoogy to grab peoples money.

  • MrWalker1000

    wow man im really jealous of those sony IEms and that akg. I want all 3 but they are very expensive. I hate that AKG paired up with samsung though I wish it was sony instead. Samsung is quite scary now with akg partnership.

    Sony i heard is usually beats quality expect for when you go higher up the price range. They’ve made the mdr10 and mdz 1 so i guess they are very capable. Any good IEms to replace my stock sony mh750? theyre probably gonna break soon so I wanna replace them. Was thinking sennheiser cx 300 thoughts?

  • MrWalker1000

    my bad. Its just that I hear from others that its getting competitive and that APTXhd might be on par.

  • MrWalker1000

    so does my z3c have LDAC? and if so is there a button to activate this?

  • Its from Z3+ supported. My mistake.

  • Warren Chang

    i got my xba-40 cheap, brand new from japan, mail order, they seem to have a surplus supply, probably as they wasn’t very popular ( dense sounding, very v shaped) and most people prefer the neutral sounding xba-30 ( but they are sold out), the cost was a fraction of original price

    even the AKG511 was discounted, brand new, very good, but not good for rock or dance, excellent for lighter stuff

  • Warren Chang

    yes, i also have a pair of MDR-NC750, great noise cancellation, but it;s very mid range, not audiophile grade though

  • MrWalker1000

    reduce bezels. s8 is groundbreaking new display with near bezeless design everyone has eyes on it.

    if sony doesn’t change it will look outdated

  • MrWalker1000

    i know many audiophiles who out that AKG as one of the best headphones you can buy right now. Blue i heard is also very good.

    whats your absolute top notch best headphone you own/ever tried?

    also I listen to all kinds of music ranging from indite to electronic. I listen to lots of music with complex sounds, reverbs, delay effect pedals etc so I have a hard time thinking whats best for me beause my sound is so varied.

  • Warren Chang

    preference of earphones is really matter of taste, i know a lot of people who don’t like the tonality colour of AKG as they are

  • fried_egg

    very few things are like Blutooth (largely IP royalty free)… there are 100s of royalty IP licences in just a DVD player that keep companies going (r&d is very expensive). So what would you choose, $10 profit per item by selling 1 million units of hardware or 10cents on every phone sold for 10 years (1.4bil smartphones are shipped a year)… sometimes you want the exclusive product, sometimes you want the IP fee income from as many products using the tech as possible.. and that is why Apple are suing Samsung, Samsung sue Apple, Nokia sues everyone, Philips sues the Chinese no brand companies… they all want their 10c per item rights for the technology used… even Sega charge for games that have the ability to switch between driver view / in car / behind car coding… they are all patents and all cost money to develop… every wondered why there are only 3 games machine systems in a global market worth billions? people keep trying to be “the next machine” but they lose 100s of millions developing and marketing machines that fail to become popular enough to pay back the investment… it;s not greed, it is paying back the cost of developing 10 products for only 1 to actually make money….

  • MrWalker1000

    it seems like there is really no objective way to measure quality? There should be tbh. Bass is fine but, i think balance is best if you really want to bring out the sound of the music the artist intended. BAss can really take away from the rest of the sounds coming through. I know bass heads who listen to music with lots of bass ruins the song. I want clarity.

    what do i get if i listen to lots of music with eeltronic synthesizers? What should I get if I like techno or synthpop. What If I like ambient music?

    akg is very well renown brand though. But I want the 100 dollar earphone from sony xpba or whatever.

  • Woody UK

    The cynic in me tells me Sony are not interested in having great sound on their device because of the great technology they have built in to use with their headphones. They want us to instead spend hundreds more on their fancy headphones with fancy features.
    In Japan people don’t use phones to speak or listen to music on the speakers whilst on public transport as it’s classed as being disrespectful, so maybe they’re trying to show the rest of the world some manners?
    And they’ll never end support for the headphone jack whilst,
    1. They need the cable on the headphones to act as the arial on the FM radio app
    2. The only way to get the best of their features in the top end phones

  • Shamoy Rahman

    I think Sony should make it more like this. Xperia E line as entry, Xperia X line as midrangers, A line as flagship, and Z line as special ultrapremium version. Less smartphone lineups and simpler names = less hassle and better recognition. E line made in China, X line partially China/Japan, A line made majority in Japan, Z line completely made in Japan.

    Xperia E Line

    (All plastic, EMMc)

    Xperia E6 Compact: 4.6″ 720p, 2000mAh, Snapdragon 430, 2GB, 16GB $150

    Xperia E6: 5.2″ 720p, 2200mAh, Snapdragon 430, 2GB, 16GB $200

    Xperia E6+: 5.6″ 720p, 2500mAh, Snapdragon 430, 2GB, 16GB $250

    Xperia X Line

    (Plastic metal hybrid, eMMC, midrange 1080p displays)

    Xperia X6 Compact: 4.6″ 1080p, 2500mAh, Snapdragon 660, 3GB, 32GB $300

    Xperia X6: 5.2″ 1080p, 2700mAh, Snapdragon 660, 3GB, 32GB $350

    Xperia X6+: 5.6″ 1080p, 3000mAh, Snapdragon 660, 3GB, 32GB $400

    Xperia A Line

    (Full metal, IP68, UFS 2.1, top of the line 1080p LCDs)

    Xperia A6 Compact: 4.6″ 1080p, 2900mAh, Snapdragon 835, 4GB, 64GB $500 and 128GB $550

    Xperia A6: 5.2″ 1080p, 3300mAh, Snapdragon 835, 4GB, 64GB $600 and 128GB $650

    Xperia A6 Premium: 5.5″ 4K, 3700mAh, Snapdragon 835, 4GB, 64GB $700 and 128GB $750

    Xperia A6 Ultra: 6.0″ 4K, 4000mAh, Snapdragon 835, 4GB, 64GB $800 and 128GB $850

    Xperia Z Line

    (Carbon fiber and ultrapremium materials, higher than IP68, UFS 2.1, made in Japan)

    Xperia Z6: 5.8″ 4K 18:9 Japan Display AMOLED thinner bezels on sides (0.5mm side bezel) and 85% screen to body ratio (not bezeless on top but much thinner) with slight edge curve, dual 24MP OIS Optical Zoom 1/1.5″ camera sensor with 1.7um pixels on front and back with triple tone flash, laser autofocus, and RGBC-IR sensor on front and back, 4000mAh Sony Olivine battery, Z1R speaker technology, Sony DAC, convection vapor cooling copper pipe, 128GB $1000 and 256GB $1200

    This would be a great variety.

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