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I will soon buy a tablet for a friend in Thailand. He needs it for skype-phonecalls and surfing. And I need his help to record phrases in thai.

I have read that google nexus 7 has very good reviews and not so expensive. But in these reviews it seems that the sound-quality is a dissapointment. What is is meant with bad soundquality? - in which context?

Should I worry about this when I just want a persons voice to be recorded?

heres is the link to the review

http://www.gsmarena.com/asus_google_nexus_7-review-797p6.php#aq

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From my experiences using my own Nexus 7 (first generation), I would imagine they are referring to the speakers rather than the microphone. They're quiet, positioned off-center and fairly low quality; probably the weakest spec out of the whole model.

However, the tablet as a whole is a great piece of kit and you'd struggle to find anything anywhere near as good for the pricepoint, especially seeing as the 2012 model is available for around £139 now the new one is out.

  • Thanks for the answer!!! I'll probably buy nexus 7. But it would be nice to know more about the soundchip in google nexus. For example - what is the sampling rate, I need 44100 mghz, at least 22050. – Björn Hallström Sep 8 '13 at 18:38
  • From what I can gather, most tablets running a Tegra 3 chipset (including the 2012 Nexus 7) fare disappointingly in the audio department. Check out this GSM Arena review for more info. m.gsmarena.com/asus_google_nexus_7-review-797p6.php#aq – Will Tonna Sep 10 '13 at 14:28
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Worst case scenario, you can use an external USB Audio Interface with the tablet in order to produce the best quality sound possible. Android has a very open architecture and has pretty wide USB support. Apps like USB Audio Recorder Pro allow for you to hook up most ASIO compatible USB interfaces and get great quality recorded audio. More information about the entire procedure is documented pretty well (even for the Nexus 7 specifically) here.

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the quality is ok video and picture, actually it is quite enough, but when you record a video, the audio that comes with it is distorted, tried alot of angles and distance still same same. everything else is ok though except that built in microphone, compared the video/audio recording to a samsung S3 and iphone 4g, video quality is same with the 2, nexus's 7 audio sucks big time i'm in a band by the way and i try to record live performances of my band with this twice and you wont understand anything compared when, video is great though did not expect too much and was surprised i tried recording with an iphone 4 and s3 which is decent both video and audio wise

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Honestly, I recommend any Apple iOS over Android for any audio consideration simply because they have much better audio drivers that allow you to record with low latency.

Audio input just doesn't seem to be a priority for android yet.

Research:

http://gigaom.com/2014/06/26/with-androids-next-l-version-users-finally-get-to-be-t-pain/ It seems that with the upcoming update to Android "L", Google is touting latencies as low as 20ms, but that is still not suitable for multi-track over-dub style recording.

If you just need to record one mono track with no over-dubbing then android will be fine, but I don't see any reason not to go with the better experience and larger support base of Apple for audio.

P.S. For what it's worth; I am a full-time android phone and tablet user. I have tried an iPad 2 in the past and it was just a better experience for my recording & production needs.

  • There is more to it than just latency though. Some Android devices can actually support high quality USB audio interfaces via their USB port, something that Apple does not offer due to the closed off nature of their devices. The latency is one concern, but it is more for mixing than recording. – AJ Henderson Sep 8 '14 at 13:37
  • @AJHenderson Apple supports many actual audio interfaces such as iRig or the Apogee JAM. I've never heard about USB audio support on android, can you give me an example? – user9881 Sep 8 '14 at 16:50
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    the iRig is not an audio-interface, it is a pre-amp. The Apogee JAM does indeed appear that it may be an interface (I wasn't aware of it) but it requires an interface designed specifically for iOS and doesn't provide balanced input. On Android, you can use a normal USB port on many Android devices and hook them up to just about any ASIO compatible USB audio interface and use the USB Audio Recorder app. More details available here. – AJ Henderson Sep 8 '14 at 17:04
  • It is nice to see that some devices are starting to get around Apple's hoops, but I'd challenge that as far as ability to interface with high quality audio, Android's open platform still has the lead, though for mixing and reviewing on the device, Apple has the lead due to the low latency. This question was about recording though and specifically about recording on an Android device. – AJ Henderson Sep 8 '14 at 17:08
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I really love my Nexus 7 2013 except for the awful audio recording quality. The problem appears to be that the microphone records at too high a level and distorts. There is no way to adjust the gain. Same problem of bad audio when using the comes-with video recorder or with audio recorders I downloaded. Big, big disappointment.

  • How does this answer the question? – leftaroundabout Jan 29 '16 at 21:39
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I disagree whole-heartedly with many of the comments here.

The tablet brand, model, etc. does not matter. It is the microphone that matters.

If you are buying gear for any kind of audio recording, the first thing to shop for is a microphone, and then buy the tablet/phone/PC that goes with the microphone. The microphone is the recorder, and the tablet is a microphone accessory that provides a user interface and storage. User interface and storage have nothing to do with sound quality. Your sound quality is going to come from the microphone, not the tablet.

To record speech, you can very likely get a good result with just about any USB-based microphone. There are many that are aimed at podcasters who are doing speech-based shows with mobile gear. I recommend you look for a “mobile podcast microphone” because they are going to be speech-optimized and reasonably-priced. Even with the most basic podcast microphone, you will get exponentially better recording with the internal microphone and you will get usable recordings and you won’t waste everybody’s time.

Once you have the right microphone for your needs (high-quality enough, speech-optimized enough, small enough, rugged enough, mobile enough,) then you buy it a tablet. Take the microphone tablet shopping with you and plug it in to any candidate device and test it. Basic 16-bit USB audio is an old standard, so it shouldn’t be hard to find candidate devices, but with the very broad variation in non-Apple devices, you don’t really know if you will get good results until you actually test your microphone with a specific device. And not even just a specific model like “Nexus 7” but with a specific OS and its available audio recording apps and so on. But once you find a matching tablet, you have built yourself a good mobile audio recording system. Only then can you expect to get good results.

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