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7/30/2008
11:15 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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LG To Add Dolby Mobile Sound To Its High-End Phones

As a certified audiophile, I am always looking for improvements in the quality of music playback in mobile phones. To date, very few have impressed me. Looks like LG could be changing that sad song to a happy one, though, as it announced it will begin putting Dolby Mobile sound into its premier phones later this year.

As a certified audiophile, I am always looking for improvements in the quality of music playback in mobile phones. To date, very few have impressed me. Looks like LG could be changing that sad song to a happy one, though, as it announced it will begin putting Dolby Mobile sound into its premier phones later this year.For anyone who cares how good their music sounds, this is good news. Many of today's mobile phones ship with music players on board, but the capabilities and quality of them range from terrible to pretty good. None are truly excellent. A lot of factors play a role in making music sound good, starting with the chips that control it and the associated audio processing software. Not all sound software is equal.

Dolby created Dolby Mobile specifically to enhance the abilities of phone-based music players. To date, no phone manufacturers have chosen to license the audio processing technology. LG will be the first. It announced that it will be adding Dolby Mobile to high-end handsets that are due out in the market later this year.

The improvements that Dolby Mobile will bring are:

Mobile Surround, which delivers a realistic surround sound experience using headphones

Sound Space Expander, which creates a wide, rich, and spacious soundstage suited to music

Natural Bass, which adds powerful boost and bass extension

High-Frequency Enhancer, which enhances music and other content by restoring high-frequency effects

Graphic EQ, which helps tune the audio experience for different content types

Sound Level Control, which helps level out audio for a more consistent playback volume

Mono-to-Stereo Converter, which improves the playback experience of user-generated content.

What excites me the most is the graphic EQ. Including graphic EQs seems a no-brainer to me. Many phones may have preloaded equalizer settings, such as "bass boost" or "treble boost" or "rock" and so on. Most of the time, these just don't cut it for me. I would like to be able to control the levels of the different bands. It amazes me that phones that purport to be high-end devices, such as the iPhone, don't include user-adjustable graphic equalizers. LG will be bringing graphic EQs to its phones by the end of the year.

"Being the first company to incorporate Dolby Mobile technology into handsets for the global market reinforces LG's role as a leader in the mobile industry and in multimedia phones," said Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications in a prepared statement. "We believe this technology will raise the bar for audio quality on multimedia phones and expect Dolby Mobile to help us create a new trend in the mobile phone industry. LG is committed to providing our customers with the best features available and our new collaboration with Dolby helps us deliver on this pledge."

Adding the above features are one step. If LG is going to be really serious about offering users a better music experience, it should partner with a maker of quality earphones, such as Bose, or Shure, and include a pair of good headphones with the handset.

Why do I have a feeling that may be asking too much...

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