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Contributor
Dave_P
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎07-24-2010

Nook Color Audio Quality

Has anyone had a chance to evaluate the audio quality of the Nook Color yet?  I'm already aware that it is primarily a reading device, so I don't need to be reminded of that.  Yet, it has much more capability than that - one potential being to replace my iPod on trips.  So, after having examined many other features of the device and being generally quite pleased, I've finally gotten around to evaluating the audio quality.

 

I loaded some of my music onto the Nook Color and listened to it using several headphones that surround the ear as well as several earbuds.  My first impression is that it ain't no iPod.  It comes up quite short to the point of having me believe that it would fall to the bottom of the audio playback pack.  I'm rather disapointed and would like to hear that I'm doing something wrong.

 

Has anyone else formulated an opinion on this yet?

Contributor
kayannep
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-31-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I had just the opposite impression.  I haven't added any of my own music yet but I used my MP3 player headphones to listen to Pandora and thought the audio quality was better than my ipod (Zune 16MB).  Maybe your ipod has better audio quality than mine, but I considered the Nook Color Audio Quality pleasing.

Frequent Contributor
rwillen
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎08-13-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

[ Edited ]

Using Audio Technica noise cancelling headphones, I thought Pandora sounded very good.

Edited portion:

 

Comparing the same mp3 on my Samsung Epic and the Nook Color, the Nook has way too much treble and a thinner sound. I'll be sticking with my Epic for music for now.

Frequent Contributor
Bugeyed
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎11-06-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

FWIW I find the audio quality of the Nook classic to be pretty poor. Hope the NC is better!

Contributor
Dave_K_TN
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎11-20-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

Hi,

 

Serious audiophile / music lover here. The audio quality of the NC I grade as adequate. Below is what my ears perceive, I haven't had the time yet to point instruments at the NC.

 

It's a tad noisy / hissy.  This is common in a lot of computing devices and is a hard engineering problem to solve. In my use, once my focus was on the text I didn't find the noise intrusive.

 

VBR encoded MP3's (produced to average around 128K) seem to me to have a more noticeable artifact, a bit more sibilance than other devices I use.  CBR at 128K and higher sounds OK.

 

No equalizer. That would be a very welcome addition in an upgrade :smileyhappy: Especially if it supported presets - head set responses vary, a lot.

 

Output level can be set way, way to high. With a pair of cheap ear buds and the NC volume slider at 75% I can hear them 20 feet away. It could be an ear-blaster if not used carefully.

 

 

Inspired Scribe
Doreenpv
Posts: 1,872
Registered: ‎11-15-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I don't think the volume is high enough especially when listening to the children's books,and my keyboard I can hardly hear the clicks.

Contributor
TheJohnNewton
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎11-18-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

The sound quality is not too bad but as somebody mentioned above it's a bit noisy (background hiss, noise).  It sounds better than my netbook but it's not an audiophile device.

Contributor
Serenrhapsody
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-27-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I agree about the children's, read to me books. Even with the volume control set fully up, it is difficult to hear the stories. Factor in any additional, common noises in our daily environment, and, forget hearing the story at all. Seren
Inspired Scribe
Doreenpv
Posts: 1,872
Registered: ‎11-15-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

Especially in a moving vehicle.

Wordsmith
watchingDclock
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎11-16-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

Agree with everyone here. The speaker on the NC is pretty useless, unless you're in a relatively quiet room. Also, the fact that it's on the back of the device (instead of on the side or front) makes the problem worse. Really, really poor design decision IMO, and one that was clearly made in favor of form over function.

 

The audio quality from headphones or auxiliary speakers isn't great, either.

Contributor
Dave_P
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎07-24-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I've gone back and re-evaluated the audio quality, this time putting the earbuds aside.  I also chose an album from Jordi Savall, which can be loosely classified as Classical, rather than the Americana album that I used earlier.  Compared to my iPod, I still think that it is not as pleasing, though I was perhaps a bit too harsh earlier.

 

Clearly, this is a portable device and there will be compromises.  It was in this spirit that I performed the evaluation, after having just purchased a new set of earbuds.  My hope was that the ease of transport of the earbuds would outweigh the loss of audio quality.  Unfortunately, I haven't found a solution to this problem yet.

 

Still, it makes me wonder why the iPod is better.  I agree with you that an equalizer would be a welcome addition.  My hope is that when B&N opens their app store someone will offer a better audio playback program and that the hardware is up to the task.  I would also like to see multiple ways to sort the music.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

 

Inspired Contributor
TheBeerSoapCompany
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎11-17-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I thinkt ha udio quality is good. i do wish it were louder for reading children's books, but the kids could hear it quite well. I ordered some earbuds for it here on B&N so I don't know how earbuds work yet.

Correspondent
Traff
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎12-28-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

[ Edited ]

I only just got round to testing the audio quality and I'm far from impressed.   I tested with my current favourite IEMs, Shure SE530s, and 320kbps mp3s of music I've listened to regularly for over 20 years.  The internal speaker is good enough for keyboard clicks, but not much else.  The headphone output is very noisy, and has a very thin sound with no real bass or treble.  I'll save my memory for books and videos and continue to carry my iPod...  I don't see much hope for improvements.  I think the only way to get better sound out of the NC would be to possibly get digital audio on the USB and feed it to an external DAC.  But I doubt if it'd be worth the effort. 

Frequent Contributor
justsayyes
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I found the headphone jack to be very noisy compared to my iPod Touch (returned), Zen Stone (running at work on treadmill), and Apple Shuffle 3rd Gen (running/mtn. biking on weekends).  It seems to be software related as the hiss is very low/not material if you're just reading, but once you have either the music or video player running but paused, the hiss is considerable.  And the only way to then get rid of it is to turn the volume up.

 

Hopefully, the BN Android App store will include some better a/v software as I, for one, bought the NC to replace my iPod Touch on long plane rides as well as my first experiment with an eReader.

Contributor
thumbslinger
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-30-2011
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I just played with a NookColor tonight in a store. There are enough other features that make me want to really consider buying.

 

As to hiss, perhaps the circuitry or parts are the cause, but is there a way to disable the wireless antennae?

 

I know that when I record on my laptop or desktop using a DAW with multi-tracks, one suggestion is there is noise is to disable wireless because of the frequencies that could cause noise in a track.

 

Just noting that here. Might not be an issue. Has anyone tried to running the audio out of the nook through an actual stereo system or amplifier?

 

I want to try doing that through a simple 10 watt guitar amp which is small. It just takes a conversion end from Radio Shack. I've hooked up my laptop like that and the sound was, as expected, much better as I used the eq/treble/bass of the amp to mold the sound.

 

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
Josienjoe
Posts: 1,949
Registered: ‎02-15-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

@ thumbslinger,

 

This thread is in the nook general discussion board.  You may want to move your thoughts/questions over to on of the NOOKColor boards -

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOKcolor-General-Discussion/bd-p/NOOKcolorGeneralDiscussion

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOKcolor-Technical-Support/bd-p/NOOKcolortechnicalsupport

Contributor
thumbslinger
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-30-2011
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

Thanks...but I just responded to the thread... guess the author should move it?

Distinguished Wordsmith
Josienjoe
Posts: 1,949
Registered: ‎02-15-2010
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

 


thumbslinger wrote:

Thanks...but I just responded to the thread... guess the author should move it?


Unfortunately, the author can't move it and no one at B&N seems to be monitoring these boards very well lately.

 

Contributor
Winterlight00
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-18-2011
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

My experience is with both cheap earbuds and a pair of good Koss headphones and the sound on the Nook Color is as good as my Zune or my kids Sansa Fuze. I don't understand the complaints about the NC's sound, its great, pushes the Koss headphones well. I, for one, am very pleased with how the NC sounds.
bsa
New User
bsa
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-05-2011
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Re: Nook Color Audio Quality

I can't believe people think that audio quality is average on this device! Its way below average, meaning very poor audio engineering. I just can't understand why B&N didn't put some decent audio DAC chips on the NC Color. What a shame, considering they advertise it as an e-reader with audio/video playback capability. My Sansa Clip sounds like heaven compared to the NC Color full of hiss and noise. I'm returning this e-reader as soon as possible.