The Seidio OBEX is the only waterproof case out at the time of this post for the Galaxy S4. I have has the case for two weeks now and have been pleased with the performance. However, there are ones out there that manage to complain about every single flaw or potential less than par aspect of an item.
One of the complaints about all waterproof cases is the call and sound quality. Which in my opinion is one of the top concerns next to the touch screen usability. The touch screen is magnificent to me, a major improvement from previous generations. Completely blows LifeProof’s iPhone 4S case out of the water. The OBEX’s sound quality has performed great IMO. Granted I still want the earpiece louder, it has done well compared to other waterproof cases I have had experience with.
Here in this review I hope to answer the big question of how well the call and sound quality is with this Galaxy S4 OBEX.
My method of testing is using a decibel meter app with an iPad, place the earpiece and back speaker as close to the iPad’s microphone as possible and find out what the decibel meter reads.
During the test I first had the case installed and my wife called me from outside the building. I did this to reduce as much noise as possible in the background and leave only the Galaxy S4 sounds produce the noise picked up by the decibel meter. After testing with the case I took the case off and ran the same test with a call coming from outside the building.
The second test was the back speaker quality. For this I place the installed case speaker area next to the iPad’s microphone and played a YouTube video. The video has a intro, speaking and music to test from. After the installed case test I removed the case to compare the difference of sound produced.
Test 1 – With the case installed the ringtone came through pretty much at a loud volume. However, the call was lowered. My wife was speaking in a normal called voice saying “Testing 1,2,3,4” twice. The decibel reader read about the 80s. Without the case installed the decibel reader told us around the 90s.
Test 2 – With the case installed the speaker volume read about in the upper 80s/ low 90s. Without the case installed it reached to around 95-96.
The call and sound output is definitely different between having the case installed or not. Mostly in the call quality test. The output of the back speaker is still rather loud. From my experience with other waterproof cases, this OBEX out performs the competition. Other waterproof cases it was near impossible to hear, especially in noisy atmospheres. I do want the call volume louder? Yes. But has it been annoying? No. I have had no complaints on the other end of the line and I have asked a number of people what they thought of the call quality on their end.
I accept the fact that the call and sound qualities will not sound exactly the same as if the case was not installed, at this point in the game. IMO this case gets the job done and better than the competition.
Take a look at the video test. I did my best to write up an analysis, but the video really does help clarify how the testing went.
Like the OBEX? Get it HERE