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February 4, 2014

Stream machines: Great sounds from Lumia

Wirelessly connecting a Bluetooth/NFC speaker is the easiest way to pump out music from your Lumia. But what options do you have inside and out?

Wearing giant headphones isn’t the only way to get the best audio from your Lumia. There are a number of ways to wring the last drop of musical fidelity from your smartphone, both with the help of in-built features and Nokia’s own hardware.

Setting the scene


Let’s start with what your Lumia can already do. Jump into Settings > System > Audio to load up the equaliser (EQ). Now, providing you have a set of headphones (or a wired speaker) connected to your Lumia, you’ll be able to choose from 18 presets, ranging from Bass boost and Vocal boost to Acoustic and Hip Hop. It’s definitely worth experimenting here, as the type of music you listen to will benefit from certain types of EQ.

Alternatively, for pro-level points, create your own custom preset by sliding the frequencies up and down with your finger. They range from 50-7000 MHz, with seven intermittent stages so you’ve got a pretty good scope to work with. Again, experimentation is the key for getting the best sound.

Slide the screen over to ‘Enhancements’ for three more tonal features to play with. First up is Dolby Headphone. Launched on Lumia back in 2012, this audio enhancement will create a surround effect within your standard headphones. Clever algorithms can give the impression of being at a live gig, experiencing the musicianship first hand. It’s also superb when watching movies on your Lumia – enveloping you in a wall of sound.

Another extremely handy feature – and one that could prevent sonic surprises – is ‘Audio levelling’. Switch this on and your Lumia will provide a concordant volume level for all music you listen to and video you watch.

‘Flip to silence’ does exactly what is says on the tin. Turn your Lumia face-down when a call comes in and your ringer will mute. Ok, so it’s not music related, but it could save embarrassment at inopportune moments.

Unwired for sound

Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster

Made by the same folk who first tied up with Dr Dre to make cans, these flagship ‘phones have been specifically designed to compliment mobile devices, pumping out rich bass and pin-sharp treble. They feature soft padding to reduce cranial ache and have in-line controls for music playback and volume. These ‘over-ears’ also sport an in-line mic for making handsfree calls, and come in a variety of colours to match your Lumia. Nokia also makes a wireless version, the BH940, which connects over Bluetooth 3.0/NFC and charges via Micro-USB.


JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia

What do you get if you cross one of the world’s best-selling speaker brands with one of the world’s most pioneering smartphone makers? A Bluetooth/NFC-enabled portable speaker that cranks out the beats while wirelesslycharging your Lumia, that’s what. The JBL PowerUp is just 28cm wide and 14.5cm thick, but still manages to cram in two full-range speaker drivers and apt-X Bluetooth tech. It also comes in three colours.


Nokia Bluetooth Stereo Headset BH-121

A real utility player, this isn’t just a Bluetooth headset that allows you make handsfree calls and listen to music wirelessly. Its party trick allows two phones to be connected simultaneously – your personal and business, if you will. You can control the headset via voice commands and pin the device to your Start screen for a quick glimpse at battery life (it’ll last for six hours before needing a re-juice). It comes with noise-isolating earphones, but you can also add your own. Such as…


Coloud Pop for Nokia Headphones

…these high-end noise-isolators by respected earphone-maker, Coloud. Designed to fit as comfortably in your pocket as they do in your lugholes, the Coloud Pop also features 9mm speaker drivers, a 32ohm speaker impedance and frequency response of 20-20 000Hz. They come in a brace of colours (blue and yellow) and sport a ‘Zound Lasso’, which keeps the cable tangle free.


Getting the beats


But none of the above is very useful if you don’t have some great music to listen to.


Of course there is Nokia MixRadio, packed with playlists and smart suggestions, it’s just at home in your ears, as it is DJ-ing at a house party.


Also, there’s a wealth of music apps for Lumia owners to choose from.

Do you have any sound advice for Nokia Lumia users? Let us know in the comments below.