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Topic: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality? (Read 6678 times) previous topic - next topic
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Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Hello, I am currently using an android phone with an external dac for listening to music.

I see that some audio apps market features such as "USB direct audio" that is supposed to bypass the internal audio system of android to provide better music quality.
Because, supposedly, Android resample all the audio to 48khz

Theses "audiophiles" apps are mostly: Hiby Music Player, USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) and Neutron Music Player.
When turned on, the software sound is maxed out, only the music from the app is playing (no notification sound or other system sound) and then it is possible to change the "hardware" volume via the application.

I cannot find clear information if this is actually an improvement and if android indeed does resample all the sound that is not 48kHz. There is some threads talking about this but they are confusing and with a lot of contradictory information. https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/avoiding-android-mixer-48khz-upsampling-of-44-1-16-audio.3933075/
https://community.roonlabs.com/t/automatic-resampling-to-48khz/86916/17

I tried looking up the documentation of android system and couldn't find any information about system wide resampling.

Not only that, I found that USB direct sounded either worse with Neutron/UAPP or somewhat identical if not the same with Hiby. (sighted test only)
I also did found a thread where someone found out that neutron music player actually had a high frequency roll off, being then objectively worse. (the thread has been taked down by the devs :) )

I am currently using regular music players from F-Droid that use the android system directly with an AOSP based custom rom and I found that it sound the best that way.

Therefore I begin to wonder if this thing about android resampling everything and making sound worse isn't just one person with a poorly optimized android phone that snowballed into being the norm over all android devices because a lot of people likes to repeat things they don't understand on the internet. (disclaimer: I've been guilty of that myself)

If you know what is going on with android audio system, I am eager to know. Thanks.

Re: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Reply #1
I won't comment on the resampling or audiophool claims, but I can tell you that a certain USB sound card doesn't play at its max volume on Android, unless I use Hiby Music and enable that "exclusive USB access". (Another USB sound card doesn't work at all with that enabled, however.)
So it's a legit way to bypass Android volume limits, for some USB devices.

Re: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Reply #2
All operating systems support multiple audio streams. This can only be done if all audio runs at the same sample rate.
Win/OSX/Linux have a interface allowing the user to set the default.
Android (to the best of my limited knowledge) doesn't have such an interface. So it runs fixed (at 48 kHz).

Win/OSX/Linux have options to circumnavigate the OS audio (WASAPI, hog mode, hw:)
As Android is more or less Linux, a program can do so, hence implement automatic sample rate switching.
Likewise Android supports USB audio (UAC2 I believe).
So a program bypassing the Android default can send hires to the USB
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Reply #3
But what about iOS?

That seems to connect directly to DACs, using different audio quality settings depending on the audio source.

But it can still swap between different audio signals with ease. Why can't Android?

 

Re: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Reply #4
Hi, found this thread in my search for answers on 48khz resampling. I’ve acquired an iPad specifically for its ability to output the native bit rate of the Apple Music stream. Shame this is not possible (out the box) with Android:(

Re: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Reply #5
Hi, found this thread in my search for answers on 48khz resampling. I’ve acquired an iPad specifically for its ability to output the native bit rate of the Apple Music stream. Shame this is not possible (out the box) with Android:(

https://developer.android.com/ndk/guides/audio/sampling-audio

Looks like modern versions use a sensible resampler, so shouldn't really matter which sampling rate the device runs at. 

Re: Android audio system resampling everything to 48kHz: Legend or reality?

Reply #6
It's an interesting subject. If we're talking about USB audio output to process the signal through external DAC, NVIDIA Shield (an Android TV box) for example, has two options: standard definition where everything is down or up sampled to 48 khz, or high definition where everything is up or downsampled to 192. So for most recordings resampling is unavoidable. (Standard being 44.1 khz).
Generally speaking, 48khz is what Android defaults to. So with USB audio output there is very little control over that.

Of course, there are some players (USB audio) which allow some control over that, but their user interface is not for everyone. And, as far as I know, no video players with sampling rate control.