Bit of an odd question, but, are we getting full volume?

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by Nazosan, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    One thing I've been wondering about with the 3DS lately is the output. Not just through its built in speakers and plugged in headphones, but even the line output is shockingly quiet. Connected to a very capable amplifier it is exponentially less than every single other line device I have ever used. For a lot of things, even if I set the system volume and the amplifier's volume all the way to the absolute maximum it's still not quite enough. I have to actually connect an amplifier in-line for some things when I want the music at a good volume (only a few games are worthy of this, but some truly really are.) Needless to say, this is a real pain to deal with -- especially since the absolute cheapest of the decent quality ones like the E5 won't really do this sort of thing (it doesn't really amplify so much as just compensate for really bad OPAMPs not being able to handle even cheap headphones well.)

    More confusing still, I'd just swear I remember them being louder originally (besides my current very recent model N3DS, I've had an O3DS and a 2DS, so I've been using them for a good while.) However, if I compare, my 2DS is not significantly louder (I've kind of made it not very good for testing by cutting out the plastic around the speaker so the sound is a lot clearer and better overall, but I don't want to do this for my N3DS as the chassis is not even remotely close to being as easy to work with.) Between this and the fact that even the line output to an external amplifier is ridiculously low I've been wondering if this is a software issue rather than a hardware one -- specifically if the system is essentially using a mixer setting that lowers main volume on purpose. I can absolutely see Nintendo doing a thing like this too with many countries even outright forcing a volume limit that assumes all devices are exactly the same (when, in actual reality, not all people use ultra-sensitive, ultra-cheap IEMs, so a limit for one thing isn't the same for another obviously.) Especially since Nintendo has children in mind a lot with the 3DS systems for all that they basically target all ages.

    I'm particularly wondering this because if this is something being done in software, perhaps it could be adjusted back to a 0dB output by a CFW?
     
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  2. Sketchy1

    Sketchy1 gbatemp's shadiest warez dealer

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    the output is probably intentionally lowered, cause the 3ds used cheap parts. also the 3ds is a Kids console, and Nintendo restricts 3d to keep kids from damaging their eyes. maybe it's low because they dont want kids hurting their ears too while using headphones.

    and as a side note, the 2ds isn't exactly lower with its speaker, just rather all sounds are coming out of one speaker (mono sound) rather then being split into two (stereo)
     
    Last edited by Sketchy1, Nov 30, 2016
  3. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    I believe the sound is being lowered, yes, but what I mean is: is it being done via hardware simply not amplifying sufficiently even as a line output, or is it a software mixer issue? If the former there is nothing that can be done short of replacing the OPAMP (or maybe a resistor that selects its output level) on the board which isn't something that most people would find worth doing. If the latter it's actually something that might potentially be adjustable by a CFW or maybe even just a third party program altogether.

    And I'm well aware the 2DS has only one speaker. What I was saying is mine is louder because I physically modified the case. This makes directly comparing the two difficult. However, it too has a pitifully low output when acting as a line output rather than driving a speaker or headphones.
     
    Last edited by Nazosan, Nov 30, 2016
  4. evandixon

    evandixon PMD Researcher

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    There's a thread about a hard mod somewhere on the forums detailing this. There's a resistor around the headphone jack that artificially limits the volume outputted by headphones, and shorting it increases maximum volume output.
     
  5. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    Interesting... Shorting a resistor isn't as hard to do as outright replacing it or something. I'll try to search for that, but I don't suppose you have a link?
     
  6. Columbo2811

    Columbo2811 GBAtemp Maniac

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  7. evandixon

    evandixon PMD Researcher

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  8. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    Darn. Doesn't cover the N3DS or even the 2DS (though I don't use the 2DS now.)
     
  9. Sketchy1

    Sketchy1 gbatemp's shadiest warez dealer

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    He did say its a resistor around the headphone jack. That's not too hard to find on a 3ds cause ya'know, its on the headphone jack port. Idk how your gonna get around to shorting it tho
     
  10. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    Shorting is easy. Just glomp on some solder. But I've never been any good at telling resistors apart from diodes or capacitors in these ultra-tiny SMD components.
     
  11. Sketchy1

    Sketchy1 gbatemp's shadiest warez dealer

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    In the picture of the n3ds it states that its the same as the 2ds. And the n3dsxl has it right on the port
     
  12. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    "Same as 2DS" as in "I don't have a picture just like how I don't have one for the 2DS."

    I'll post in that thread considering.
     
    Last edited by Nazosan, Dec 1, 2016
  13. trinhno

    trinhno GBAtemp Regular

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    Is your set European region and have AVLS? Could that be limiting the output?
    Personally, I've connected the N3DS to a powered speaker and my IEM, both works fine. Yes, the volume is lower, but not uncomfortably low.
    The built-in speakers are trash though. Won't be able to hear it unless you're alone in the room.
    Yes, you're right. The original 3DS has better speakers than the O3DS XL. 2DS has only one. They put it back around the same level for the new models as the O3DS.
     
    Last edited by trinhno, Dec 1, 2016
  14. medoli900

    medoli900 Open the Benzenes Gates

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    The N3DS has significantly higher volume and clearer sound. Japanese games tend to be louder (I remember having to lower the volume to almost the lower I could go with Project Mirai to be confortable). I don't have any issue playing with ambient sound on my N3DS, it was a little harder for the O3DS XL though.
     
  15. Nazosan
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    Nazosan GBAtemp Regular

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    This thread can be closed. To the people ignoring all the above posts, the question has been answered. It is a hardware thing -- specifically resistors on the output.

    And medoli900 your anecdote doesn't fit all possible scenarios. For example, some people have higher impedance headphones. I'm using the N3DS and going to a speaker amplifier I have to put in an amplifier to act as a preamp even. But even if we put all anecdotes aside, physically speaking a resistor must lower output and that is a fact, so I'm glad you're happy with it, but not everyone everywhere in all the world is, so let's not play this game huh?
     
  16. medoli900

    medoli900 Open the Benzenes Gates

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    Woah there, I'm sorry. I thought that the hardware was to lower the output of the built-in speaker, not for headphones. I only knew that after I read about the resistor soldering topic.