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Audio "enhancements" for FP3+

Hi FP community!

A week before the FP3+ announcement I received my FP3 (bummer…).

I am thus interested in knowing more about the changes made, in detail. While is it quite clear what changed regarding the cameras sensors, I find it is not the case regarding the audio at all (despite my research).

I feel like both the recording and output sound quality has improved, according to Fairphone. How I understand it is:

  1. The top module has a better microphone, which improves (only?) video sound recording (but I guess not call quality, since the upper-microphone is probably used for noise cancelling opposed to the “bottom” microphone for main voice recording during calls).

  2. The Speaker module, increased from 94dB to 96dB from the specs. Why did they feel the need to modify this module, is there an increase in sound output quality as well? Provided it is a new hardware, why is it not available on the official store? This means that someone with the FP3+ with a failed speaker module will have to “downgrade” to the standard FP3 module to fix his device. Am I right?

I believe there are two physical speaker modules as I saw someone saying they can me differentiated from their icon (new one has a double circle around the icon). Here is an example from the digitec store, which seem to sell the two different speaker modules:

Old: https://www.galaxus.ch/de/s1/product/fairphone-3-speaker-modul-modul-fairphone-3-mobilgeraet-ersatzteile-11769683?tagIds=82-537

New: https://www.galaxus.ch/de/s1/product/fairphone-speaker-module-modul-fairphone-3-fairphone-3-mobilgeraet-ersatzteile-13644285?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6LzJn-TH6wIVyYBQBh3-iQYgEAQYBiABEgJ00vD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Could we have more clarifications about the audio improvements? Does someone know more about it?

Cheers everyone,
Theo

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You can sent your phone back without any reason within 2 weeks.

Hey Lidwien, thanks for this info. But I believe the effort may not be worth it as (I guess) I have to pay the shipping, also being from Switzerland, there were some import taxes to pay, which I have not idea how to get back in this case.

Just curious what exactly the changes are (except the amount of recycled plastic and the camera sensors) :wink:

Perhaps it’s an idea to get in touch with support about your ‘dilemma’.
As far as I know the changes are what you just wrote.

The sound is a bit sharper and a bit clearer. It isn’t only the volume. Though some audio improvements will only be available for the FP3+, because they need a new core-module.
You can watch the live they did on Facebook, there is more info given (check at 6:00, this is when the question about sound is answered).

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Thanks Alex, this is what I was looking for.

It therefore seems indeed like even the core module is different in the FP3+ vs the FP3 then…

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I marked my answer as solution so that others can quickly find the answer. Please undo it or tell me if it isn’t the case.

I don’t feel the sound is better.
If sharper means “more unwanted noise” then yes it’s sharper. But is the experience improved ? not at all.
On the contrary, it’s worse. I have all ambient noises on my recording but the what/who is being itself sounds like being in an isolated buble.

I have a Fairphone 3, I record acoustic music sample with it. The old module sound was very disappointing (comparing to any basic phones my friends have), so I swapped to the new one and just wanna cry now… Money wasted.

I really wonder if their product/engineering or whatever team check what they are claiming (like the “great pictures even in low light”, that seemed to be FP3 selling argument which is obviously not the case)

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Indeed, since I clearly stated in my post that

The sharper sound can only be achieved through a better amplifier that is located in the FP3+ core module… which means you won’t get a better quality sound just by changing the speaker module.

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Yep thanks, but it’s not specifically mentioned on their product page.
I’m not gonna browse the entire forum or call you ("since I clearly stated ") before buying stuff from them.

They said :
“Optimized for the Fairphone processor”
“The Top+ module works both as a spare part for the Fairphone 3+, as well as an upgrade for the Fairphone 3.”

Nowhere it’s mentioned that it’s not working on FP3(-).
If you’re able to say it, I guess their product and brand team should also be able to share that information. Aren’tint they supposed to be “transparent” ?

I believe there is a misunderstanding.
The improved speaker is the rear loudspeaker, which has its own module. The earspeaker wasn’t improved in the Top+ module. The Top+ module only includes a better camera compared with the old one.
And this new rear speaker module only improves the sound on FP3+.

I thought the same - at first -, but then I read the “advertisement” on the shop-page for the spare-part:

Enhanced audio recording provides crisp, clear audio.

So it seems, that the expectation to get a better audio-recording is not exactly incomprehensible. (To say the least. :wink: )

Edit:
It’s kind of the same with the camera, that still reads 48 MP without any indication, that it still has a 12 MP pictures output. That’s listed on phone-specs page only.

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Right, I totally agree it’s not clear on their website.

Wouldn’t that rather be about the secondary microphone that is found in the top module? Because it’s “audio recording”. That means the improvement wasn’t for the primary microphone located in the bottom module, which means there isn’t really audio enhancements on the recording side.

Edit:
I believe the misunderstanding was on my side as well. @Toc sorry for this, I thought you were talking about the audio quality of the loudspeaker and not the audio quality of the recording. I had missed this mention on the product page of the Top+ module.

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Just updated Fairphone 3 - Wikipedia with para on audio, quoting your text, further amended f-stop value for new rear camera.

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