Are the people you call with your shiny new Nexus 6P saying that they can't hear you? Then you might want to check out several threads on the GoogleProductForum and XDA-Developers. A common problem among early adopters seems to be weak and spotty voice quality - that's the voice of the Nexus 6P owner, not the other call party. At the time of writing, several dozen owners across the two sites are reporting very similar problems, both in standard call mode and when using the speakerphone. Google representatives have responded on the official forum, and say that they're looking into it.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a democratic tank battle game, a strategic minimal online battler, an atom-smashing puzzler, and the most singularly terrifying thing I've ever seen on a phone screen. Without further ado:
Democracy vs Freedom
You fancy yourself a pretty good tank commander, I'm sure.
WARNING: The following Android Police story contains Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe.
Music games are great for parties with close and consenting friends who won't judge you when you completely destroy that one riff in Down on the Corner. But they do have one failing: you can't play them without all the plastic instrument accessories, making spontaneous sessions at a friend's place something of a chore.
The creators of Sony's SingStar series have found a solution that will make you say, "why didn't I think of that?" The forthcoming PlayStation 4 edition of SingStar probably won't change the karaoke game's winning formula, but it will let you install a companion app on your Android phone and use said phone like a tiny, rectangular microphone.
We all use our smartphones differently. Some people rely on them for web browsing and apps, some for texting, and many of us still resort to making calls, you know, when we have to. Even within those categories, several patterns emerge and certain habits and practices have been developed. Many of us have long since abandoned using wired headsets for calling, but a lot of people still prefer them to keeping Bluetooth headsets charged or holding a 5-inch phone against an ear. Unfortunately, these simple wired accessories can also be plagued by bugs like anything else, and both the Nexus 4 and 5 seem to suffer from a pretty big one.
We've all heard the story before. A brand new, very popular device rolls out to the public and everybody hurries to get their hands on it. Shortly thereafter, people start to notice some of the more serious issues that degrade the experience or even make the gadget unusable. When that device is a phone and one of those issues is audio quality during calls and recordings, people can become justifiably angry. It seems this is exactly what's happening with quite a few Nexus 5 owners, as audio going into the built-in microphone is plagued by hissing, popping, loud static, and very low volume.
The winners have been selected. Check the list below to see if you won!
Do you like listening to music on the go but find that your headphones, for lack of a better word, suck? Then today is (potentially) your lucky day, because Nocs and Android Police are giving away ten pairs of Nocs NS200 earbuds (a $70 value each - find them at Amazon here), and they rock. In fact, check out our review of the NS200s, because you might just end up skipping this giveaway and buying a pair right now.
Never heard of Nocs? Neither had I until a few weeks ago, but I was stunned by the fidelity, character, and comfort of the NS200s, and I'm really looking forward to any more Android products they have coming down the line.
I'm a big fan of cutting the cord. But this time I'm not talking about cancelling your cable and moving your Judge Judy marathons online - I'm all about going wireless in the audio department. Wireless speakers, wireless streaming, and, of course, wireless portable audio.
My Previous Bluetooth Daily Driver - Sony HBH-IS800
Up until a few weeks ago, I was using Sony's HBH-IS800, which deserves a separate review of its own if I ever get to it. Sony attempted to make something quite revolutionary at the time, and for the most part succeeded - the IS800 is absolutely unbeatable at a gym due to its size, seal, surprisingly decent audio quality (although it's crucial you create the right seal, otherwise they sound terrible), and price point.
I've been on a bit of a headphone kick lately, and have tried out a number of sets from various manufacturers. The only on-ear headphones I've tried during this time, though, have been AKG's K 830 BT's, the company's only high fidelity Bluetooth headphones. Bluetooth headphones remain a relatively young technology, and have been growing steadily as more and more computers and smartphones adopt the A2DP Bluetooth audio transmission standard.
The 830 BT's are a very comfortable pair of headphones with some nicely designed (if plasticky) on-ear controls (track skip, volume, answer call, play/pause). But like all Bluetooth headphones, they suffer from diminished audio quality when compared to their corded counterparts, particularly at high volume and high frequencies.
Before seeking out a few companies to find the best Android-friendly headphones around, I had never heard of Etymotic Research. Apparently, they've been around quite a while - since 1983, actually, and were among the first companies to market in-ear headphones to consumers. They actually claim to be the inventors of in-ear headphones (or "canalphones"), though whether or not that's actually true is apparently an object of some controversy.
Anyway, the good folks at ER sent me a pair of their hf2 in-ear headphones with Android-friendly inline controls and microphone, and I have to say, these headphones rock - the sheer difference in sound quality from your standard $30-80 earbuds is mind-blowing.