Will Verduzco · Nov 17, 2013 at 06:30 pm

Google Nexus 5 Speaker Volume Fix Yields Impressive Results

Remember that interesting hardware mod for the  that we talked about yesterday? If not, let me refresh your memory. When XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler noticed that his Nexus 5’s internal speaker wasn’t up to snuff, he decided to investigate.

Long story short, Adam posits that the speaker performance in some units is affected by glue that has snuck its way into unintended areas. This runny glue, however, doesn’t seem to be a problem for everyone. But on some units, it makes even hearing the ringer troublesome.

After reading Adam’s instructions, XDA Senior Member Oli1122 decided to give the modification a shot. In addition to simply performing the steps, he decided to objectively measure the results. They were impressive, to say the least. After performing the modification, Oli1122 observed a 13 dB increase in sound pressure level.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the logarithmic scale used in SPL measurement, let me put that into more understandable terms. 13 dB of SPL increase corresponds to roughly 2.46x the perceived loudness (since perceived loudness doubles with increases ranging from 6 to 10 dB, depending on frequency and loudness). In other words, this will sound more than twice as loud. Not impressive enough? Let’s consider signal amplitude. The modification resulted in 4.47x the sound pressure level on Oli1122’s device. And if you want to consider power (acoustic intensity), 13 dB equates to 19.95x the required power. In other words, to achieve the same volume level on the flawed unit, you’d have to pump nearly 20x the wattage through the speaker. If this isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is.

Now, it is important to keep in mind that your results will obviously vary. Naturally, the modification will only benefit those units with troublesome glue in the first place. In other words, if your volume is fine, don’t attempt this mod. But if you are aware of the risks and want to give this a go, make your way over to the original thread, read all the steps, and share your results. Do be careful, though. Any hardware mod is inherently risky. As good of a value as the $350 Nexus 5 is, it isn’t quite as much of a steal once you turn it into a paperweight.


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Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
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