Speaker ≠ Speaker?

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Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Mon May 16, 2016 8:52 am

In http://soundabout.userboard.net/t860-configuring-for-parrot-ck-3100-and-android-6-0-1#3156 I detail my problems with configuring SoundAbout to get the Google Maps sound to come out of my car speakers and ask for help. No answers yet, so maybe I'll try a smaller and (maybe) easier-to-answer question.

One of the options in SoundAbout for sound output is "Speaker."

But on my new Samsung Galaxy S7, I have a problem with the sounds from Google Maps. Sometimes it comes out the little tiny speaker that is used when you're holding your phone up to your ear, not the main speaker. It's almost impossible to hear when it's in a car mount. This behavior persists even after a reboot.

Is there any way for SoundAbout to fix this?

There seems to be no distinction in SoundAbout between the two speakers.

Perhaps the phone chooses by itself and SoundAbout has no control over it; it would be useful to know this. If so, that points to adifferent troubleshooting approach.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Tue May 17, 2016 11:07 pm

Another thing... when the phone is using only the ear-speaker instead of the main speaker, it is listening only for sounds right close to the microphone. It is obviously acting like it is on a phone call... I wonder if there is a proximity sensor that's getting confused.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Thu May 19, 2016 5:08 pm

Yet another thing. I was listening to music while in the shower (the S7 is waterproof) and, after most of the screen was covered with water droplets (though dark) the sound suddenly dropped by 90%. I assume that this is the phone misinterpreting the water as proximity of a head. In which case, it might be that the problems I've had are related to a proximity sensor in the phone, which doesn't make a lot of sense, because the phone shouldn't be using a proximity sensor to transfer the media output to the ear speaker when no call is in progress. Perhaps this is a feature that's actually turning out to be a bug.

Interestingly, about two minutes after I dried off the phone, the sound suddenly started coming out of the main speaker at the bottom of the phone. It had a little high-end distortion for about five minutes, which I attribute to water in the little speaker holes.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Thu May 19, 2016 10:13 pm

Even more information to contribute (hope my posting all this helps at least one other person).

Driving home from a meeting tonight, I had Google Maps navigation on, with the phone plugged into a charger and in an Arkon cellphone mount. Suddenly, the sound quit coming out of the main speaker and just coming out of the ear speaker, could barely hear it. Pulled the phone out of the cellphone mount to do something else when stopped in traffic, and then laid the phone down on the seat. Sound was now coming nice and loud out of the main speaker. Put the phone back into the cellphone mount, sound coming out of the ear speaker only. Put the phone on the seat, sound coming out the main speaker. I repeated this enough times (five or so) that it is entirely reproducible.

After getting home and taking care of a few things, I went out to the car. I started Google Navigation on the phone, neither plugged in nor in the cellphone mount... sound coming out of the main speaker. Put it in the cellphone mount without plugging it into power... sound still coming out of the mainspeaker. Reproducible. Started the car, plugged cellphone into power... every time I put it in the cellphone mount the sound only comes out of the ear speaker.

So, if the phone is plugged into power and it it is put into the cellphone mount, then sound only comes out of the ear speaker.

If it is not plugged into power, putting it in the cellphone mount makes no difference, the sound still comes out the main speaker.

If it is not in the cellphone mount, then plugging it into power makes no difference, the sound still comes out the main speaker.

I have no idea what this means, but at least there's a consistency about it.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by SoundAbout on Tue May 24, 2016 3:37 am

That cell phone mount is strange.

Can you try the new versions that have just been uploaded to Google play that will address various issues on Android 6+.

You can also get them now from the Beta section located here (need a login to the message board). There is also Betas for SoundAbout and SoundAbout Pro.
http://soundabout.userboard.net/f8-download-beta-versions

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Tue May 24, 2016 6:17 pm

The Arkon cellphone mount is nothing but plastic and a couple of neoprene pads. No electronics at all. I did put a few clear plastic sticky button feet stuck to the mount to prevent overheating. See http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2443014 where I even posted a picture. I did some more investigation, and have identified the source of the problem: mechanical, not electronic. Unlike my prior HTC One M8, and the M7 before that, the Samsung S7 uses the back of the case as the diaphragm for the main speaker. If you push it up against anything soft, then it damps the main speaker to inaudibility, leaving only the sound coming only out of the ear speaker. I can't figure out why this occurred before only when I plugged in the charger, perhaps when I didn't have it plugged into the cellphone I didn't push it into the mount all the way. I did take off the middle two of the six clear plastic feet I had put on the cellphone mount to prevent overheating, and now it only partially damps the main speaker.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Tue May 24, 2016 8:43 pm

With further experimentation, an even bigger mechanical component is that the two little tabs that keep the phone from sliding out of the bottom of the holder, which are covered with neoprene padding, are precisely positioned to cover up the speaker holes at the bottom of the phone, and the headphone jack, which is also used for speaker sound output. Simply sliding the phone up in the holder a bit uncovers these and massively improves the sound. I hope this post helps at least one other person. And this makes me even more eager to get Google Maps and Google Now sound to go through my Parrot wired bluetooth handsfree kit and come out my car speakers.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Tue May 24, 2016 8:45 pm

And the reason it happened with the charger cord attached was that the weight and springiness of the charger cord (I got a coiled one) pulled the phone down against those little bottom tabs harder.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by SoundAbout on Wed May 25, 2016 8:27 am

Google Maps used to work with what ever Text To Speech that you chose in the Android settings. Now they only use Google TTS inside the Navigation app. You can see this by choosing a different Text-To-Speech engine and trying to navigate. The voice will always be the Google voice.
When Google Navigation would use TTS, then the following setup would work:
http://soundabout.userboard.net/t418-using-google-navigation-waze-or-co-pilot-and-even-ivona-for-the-voices



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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Wed May 25, 2016 2:56 pm

Followed the instructions to the letter (and number) on my Samsung Galaxy S7 running Android 6.0.1 attached to a wired Parrot CK3100 Bluetooth handsfree kit.

Whether I set the TTS delay to 2 seconds, 6 seconds, or 0 seconds, I get the same behavior:

The first part of an utterance ("Turn right… " "Continue stra… " "In a quarter mi… "; about a second or a bit less) comes out of the phone speaker. Then, depending on the length of the utterance, there is just silence, or, sometimes, after a longer utterance, the last part of the utterance comes through the Bluetooth handsfree kit to the car speakers.

Now I have something new to be confused about.

Any help appreciated.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by SoundAbout on Wed May 25, 2016 3:33 pm

After using the TTS settings,  did you switch the Media Audio from "Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic)" back to "Let app decide"?  If not, it will try to work while the TTS is also working and you will get the same behavior as before.

Also, are you still using Google Navigation?

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Sat May 28, 2016 5:20 pm

I did not switch the Media Audio in the main menu back to Let App Decide. It is still "Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic)" as is the setting in the TTS settings. With this setting, the audio still starts from the phone, then disappears then sometimes comes through Bluetooth.

Of interest, the Android Notification screen shows "Bluetooth (dynamic) waiting" and as Google Maps is speaking, it alternates with "Bluetooth (mono) for media". And the Parrot handsfree kit's LCD, at the end of each utterance it sends to the speakers, it says "Call Ended."

You just uploaded an updated version to Google Play and I just updated to it. I then turned off SoundAbout, rebooted, and then turned SoundAbout back on.

Interestingly, every time I reboot, the "Media audio" setting in the main SoundAbout menu resets from "Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic)" to "Let App Decide" and I have to reset it to "Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic)".

Anyway, even with the latest version, this behavior continues.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by SoundAbout on Sat May 28, 2016 11:02 pm

There is nothing that can be done with Google Navigation. Google Maps (navigation) no longer uses the Text-to-Speech engine that you have chosen in the Android settings. This means there is no way for SoundAbout to intercept the directions (in text), then switch the audio to Bluetooth (mono), and then release the text so that the REAL Text-To-Speech engine plays the instructions over Bluetooth mono.

You are using the only other option, which is "Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic)". When in the "Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic)" mode, the phone is "waiting" for audio to be played on the phone. When audio is play, the SoundAbout listener detects the loss of audio focus. SoundAbout then switches the audio output to Bluetooth (mono). The issue with using this for navigation, is that it takes two seconds for that connection to be made. This means you miss two seconds of directions.

Bluetooth (mono) (dynamic) was really meant for someone to be able to listen to the car radio and then press a button on the phone and listen to a podcast or something of that nature.

The only good way to have Navigation, or any sporadic audio, play over Bluetooth (mono) is when the audio source is using the Text-to-Speech engine you have chosen in the Android settings (SoundAbout TTS).

The best way to see this work really well is to try a trial of CoPilot Navigation app. I use that app with SoundAbout TTS and it works perfectly with SoundAbout TTS settings on a two second delay.


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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by kconover on Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:21 pm

I am unwilling to give up Google Maps Navigation. Much as I appreciate all the work that has gone into SoundAbout, it is not helping with my particular issues. I finally decided to simply let Google Maps Navigation audio come out of my cellphone speakers (which now work much better once I reposition the phone in the car's cellphone holder so the sound's not blocked). If I really need to have the navigation voice come out of the car's speaker, due to high ambient noise, I use BTmono to switch all the media output to the bluetooth handsfree kit/car speakers. Can't listen to the radio that way, but that's OK. And I use BTGnow to get my bluetooth handsfree dialing to work, at least as best as can be done at present. Thanks very much for all your attempts to help.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

Post by SoundAbout on Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:53 pm

OK thanks. Also, setting SoundAbout media audio to "Bluetooth (mono)" does the same thing as BTMono.

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Re: Speaker ≠ Speaker?

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