Windows Phone + Offspring + Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 live concert sample

One of the banner features of the Lumia Cyan update for high-end Nokia Lumias is the addition of Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio recording for video. The feature is a collaboration with Nokia and Dolby, along with the hardware needed in the Snapdragon 800 chipset and the four HAAC (high-amplitude audio recording) microphones

Ever since the Lumia 1520 received Cyan and Dolby recording, people have been asking for a sample. Last night, I managed to catch Pennywise, Bad Religion and the Offspring in Boston, where the Offspring were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their hit album Smash (1994).

The video was recorded at 1080P and 30 frames-per-second, along with Directional Stereo (it uses the microphones on the back of the phone to "aim" at your subject) and Surround sound on (aka Dolby Digital Plus 5.1).

If you want to get technical, the Lumia 1520 "generates a MP4 container with a H264 video stream, the DDPlus audio stream (E-AC3) and also a stereo stream (MPEG AAC Audio)", at least according to Bernhard Koenig in our forums, who is impressed.

The video is admittedly grainy, but it is low light, and I did have the Lumia 1520's 20 MP sensor zoomed in quite a bit for most of the show. The sound is certainly impressive considering the amount of bass present during the recording, which is filtered out using a 100 Hz Audio bass filter on the Lumia 1520.

For those who would like to record such moments, my recommendations include one tip: practice.

Even after two concerts recently, I am still toying with some of the settings, and I am curious as to how disabling the Audio bass filter can alter the sound i.e. worse or better. Focusing in low light conditions, holding the phone steady (even with optical image stabilization), and of course, being close to your subject are all also important. Zooming in and out and trying to make a video attention-grabbing is also something that takes some work.

Overall, though, I am very pleased with the video results. After all, this is a smartphone and not a professional recording device. I think it is quite impressive to be able to record such high-quality audio and video in 2014 from something that fits in your pocket.

Related reading: 'Here is what's new with the AT&T Lumia 1520 and Lumia Cyan update'

Do you have experience in using your Lumia to shoot video at concerts? Share your best tips below!

Dobly Digital 5.1 audio recording is found on the Lumia Icon, Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 smartphones with Lumia Cyan firmware


Reader comments

Windows Phone + Offspring + Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 live concert sample




Definatly wasn't needed.  We dont all get to see things before they come out and have 2 of every windows phone. 

The wait has been gruling and you should maybe empethize with your readers rather then mock.


This website is turning me away more and more everyday. 

Mobile, he's not mocking his readers.  He made it ABUNDANTLY clear that posting irrelevant comments is not warranted.  This video has NOTHING to do with the Icon, -  this is a completely different topic.

We get it, you want the icon update.  Fine.  Just remember, this is not an official MS-run website. Complaining about it here DOES NOT make it come to you any faster. 

The post ends by referencing the feature being available on the Lumia Icon, 930 and 1520 with Cyan Update, just someone saying they're still waiting for their update is hardly irrelevant to the post.

It will be available for the Icon with the Cyan update so maybe he should have qualified what he said. But personally I think that's so much splitting hair because that's already understood from the comment as it stands.

I'll give it a go later when I'm home, but I'm looking to invest in a high quality over the ear headset to enjoy my music and movies on the go.

I'm sorry Danny, but I really want those features already.... I don't know who to blame for this, Verizon or Microsoft? Apparently its MS job to be sure that the update works in Verizons network and be sure that its solid and up to code to work with the rest of the phones and ready for Verizon to release it OTA. That's at less what my cousin told me as he works at Verizon's Customer Support.

I never get tired of your replies. Thank you.


Also, Have you tested the Icon in a similar situation? I am on Verizon and want to upgrade considering it is free, but I also want to wait. What I definitely do know however is that my HTC 8X camera pales in comparison to either the 1520 or the Icon.

I love the Lumia's HAAC feature together with the Optical Stabalisation. When I see people posting concert video's recorded with their Android or iPhones, I'm like, could you please not do that and use a decent phone for that?

Depends on the update and the devices.   Last year they were one of the first to roll out the WP8 firmware and updates on their 822 and 928 devices.

Daniel, you're only old if you THINK you're old. My wife likes to hang around people that seriously make me feel old. I can't stand it. I look younger, and most of my crowd is my age or younger and we all feel that way.

It's a state of mind. You keep going to concerts and rocking out with the best of them. Kids these days have no clue what it used to be like (now THAT comment makes me feel old). ;)

I always disable the bass filter on my 1020. The sound is always awesome. Zoom in as little as possible.

In camera, go to settings, video, under audio Bass Filter select "off". The high SPL microphones don't over modulate the sound. You can be right up to the mains with no issue. Ideally you should be as center as possible between the speakers otherwise you're only going to capture sound from the left or right speaker.

This ^ - "disable the bass filter"


The filter is in place to catch low frequency wind and other types of noise, and if you are not in a windy environment, it might only be restricting the captured sound range.

Sound below 100Hz is low, but not uber low, and if you are recording 'bassy' music or the roar on a car engine, you might want that extra punch, so do some testing and try recording with it off in your environment.  

It really is!

Funny thing, IMO, is that lower end phones with the HAAC thing also work really well. My lumia 620 can get incredibly clear audio recording for a phone i bought for $80 outright.

I want a new Lumia pretty badly, as my battery is total crap after 8.1 updates, however once you get those great microphones, you can't go back. I love live music!

Very clear recording, but also sounds pretty hollow (especially when listening through high quality speakers). I was a little disappointed with my last concert audio recording. Maybe I just had the bass filter on...

I once recorded a live concert using my 920 back then when Amber enabled HAAC stereo recording. I was actually very impressed by the bass filter. I tried maxing out at 200% on VLC just to test out the distortion on both my Creative 5.1 system and headphones and I must say that the distortion was barely discernable. Great job, Nokia.

I guess the true awesomeness of this feature lies in the fact that you can watch this on your home theater setup, with an actual 5.1 surround sound speaker setup (since the recording contains that many audio streams).

Thanks to "Nokia play" with Miracast, which I love. Now, I put movies from the internet on my phone, then I'm able to shoot them to my home theatre, Xbox, Blu-ray, etc.

I use a monopod with an awesome clamp that fits my 1520 and 920 perfectly. Never using my hands to record a concert again. Look up my videos, mrshamoozoo is my channel name on youtube

My only concern is bringing a monopod. They didn't even let me wear my chain wallet last night, or bring in energy drinks...couldn't imagine me bringing in a baton like object, lol. But yeah, monopod would be ideal.

I def feel you. Some of the bigger venues only allow so much. I guess I only go to shows at smaller venues haha. Either way, def a bummer. Can't wait for cyan on my 1520 to see some major improvements. Come on preview for developers fix!

i have a 920 unfortunately after 3 years, i cracked my screen. yes i have a silicone case from new. just sat on it too hard, it still works but dont know for how long. warranty wants to give me a 1520 so im researching it. i also want to have a case wallet style, probably the nokia case (very thin) that covers the glass. i seen and read about so many people that dropped the phone and because its so big, the screen cracked. also, i want to keep the case on while using it to do vids and pics but dont want to have the speakers "covered" up.. thanks

That was awesome.  I've yet to find a device that compares to this level of video and audio quality.  I've owned many phones (ask my wife, LOL).  From iPhone to Android, this video singlehandedly blows them out of the water.  Thanks for sharing Daniel.

Oh, and +1520.  :)

TO WPC , please make a comparison video/audio between ,

1.default audio recording

2.strong bass filter recording

3.audio bass filter turned off (entire range of sound is recorded)

4.the latest 5.1 audio recording found on 800 chipset lumias.


Here's a couple videos from my 1020. Doesn't have the 4 mics for directional recording or surround, but the two HAAC mics still produce very good stereo recording. You can hear the difference without the directional recording as you can hear the audience much more in my videos than in Daniel's. These videos were also recorded at 1080p with the 100hz bass filter turned on. This first video is of 311 and I'm not super close to the stage, being able to zoom in so easily and with one hand is a huge plus, but yes, hard to hold still, as zooming with any camera is. In the second video of Ben Kenney I'm in the second row. One tip would be to zoom in and set focus manually before you start your video. I had a few issues where the person in front of me would raise their arms or something and the phone would try to push focus onto them, or just couldn't figure out that I wanted focus on the distant stage and not the crowd in front of me. But, conclusion: there is without a doubt no better phone to have with you at a show than a Lumia. 311 - http://youtu.be/iWNgyIqlKe8 :: Ben Kenney - http://youtu.be/M5cvTtbu5ws

Lumia phones are actually better than most android phones but its due to MS and Nokia's poor marketing strategy that this phone's aren't doing well......

I have amazing concert vids. 20k people and right up front. I'll post them in the forums if anyone wants to see how good the Nokia Lumia 920 is :)

@Daniel Rubino  Can you please upload the original video file to any cloud service so that people can download it and can experience it in their home theater(i want to try it in my home theater), also can you please mention the audio bitrate of Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3).

if you know how Youtube deals with audio codec, audio channels and video codec then you would have never told me to download this from Youtube. (its technical, dont want to explain or it will be a huge comment)

Smash the crappest recording I've ever heard of a band. Studio engineers should have been fired on that album

Listen to their more recent albums to hear even worse quality sound. The dynamic range on most music is terrible these days. Look up the loudness wars if you don't know what I'm referring to.

Good work Dan the sounds is awesome in my home theater, i would like to have the 5.1 update when i have record the Vans warped tour 2014 to Montreal, the sound is not too bad but when i was in front of the stage i should cut off the directional mic because the speaker was each side of the stage, but in rear of the crowd the directional mic do real a good job !!! Iv got the 1520.3 with cyan and update 1 now and my video still look grainy too in low light, it is a little better with the cyan but not enough... it was a way better with my 920 without zoom of course !! 

Very impressive Dan!

I just want to make an statement, one think that all the people say to me after recording some gig is that Nokia is amazing recording audio. Even with a Nokia N9 i made a Samsung Galaxy 3 owner really jealous. Nokia FTW.

If you like going to shows and capturing a little video for kicks, try using the app Vyclone with a few friends in different parts of the arena. It will stich together your separate videos and create a mix using the common time stamp. Makes it much more rewatchable than your single camera feed.

Does anyone know if the 920 has the bass filter? I just upgraded to the 1520, but I have quite a few concert recordings with the 920 and know it has the one HAAC mic. Those recordings were always pretty great in my opinion. 

Here's a recording of Tedeschi Trucks Band - Midnight in Harlem (2014 @ Bonnaroo). Sorry it's a bit unfocused (long song so arm got a bit tired, hard not to get into the rhythm, my drink was also getting attention).  

Sounds great! I did a test recording with my Lumia Icon sans Cyan a little while back as well (Black Star Riders doing the Thin Lizzy song "Massacre") :


(you'll want to set it to 1080p for best quality)

Even without Cyan, this phone makes fantastic audio recordings!

It's why I bought this phone. Good lighting + 1520 = all a musician ever needed to get some quality HD acoustic recordings up on Vimeo(Youtube's audio compression blows).

Disabling or enabling bass filter it depends on the concert, the bass aims at 20-200Hz but I don't think mics on Lumias have a dynamic range from 20-20.000Hz, but I think Cutting bass below 100Hz is good enough, so it eliminates undesired frequencies that could affect the sound queality. I used to record concerts with my 920 and the sound was amazing, the bass was good enough and not noisy like every other phone. I will try it when I get the update. Great article btw =)

I can't find those settings on my Lumia 1520, that's weird, I have Lumia Cyan installed.

There is no Settings->System->Video or Settings->System->Sound

Only the old Settings->System->Audio, that show equalizer and enhancements.

Amazing at the progression of technology and getting it in the hands of consumers in the last 10 years.


If you go back 20 years or even 10 years and look at professionally filmed concerts, most of them often don't have the quality of the video fans are getting with their phones.  It is especially true of Nokia phones that focus on image and sound quality beyond other devices.


This is an example where the argument that 'DLSRs are all we need and our phone camera is irrelevant' fails.


There are places and times when you can and only do have your phone.



TheNet Avenger: I totally agree. Ever since my 920, I only bust out my DSLR for occasions when I want more control on zoom and fstop. Otherwise, I've shot with my 920 and 1520 pretty exclusively.

Hello everybody.
I have a lumia 1520, the problem is when I record video with Nokia camera app, there is a continuous background sound that alters any clip I shoot. However with Windows phone camera app, this issue does not exist but the sound's quality is better with Nokia camera app.
Perhaps it's related to the four mics ? And directional stereo ? I have all updates and WP 8.1 GDR 1
The issue is there since I got the phone with WP 8.0
Please help !!!!

First generation high end Lumia should get Dolby digital plus 5.1 playback. Just like in Nokia 700, Nokia 808 purview. It is just awesome, really immersive experience. I've a Nokia 700 and I'm proud of it among my friends.

The sound is truly impressive! the video looks great under those conditions as well. Thanks for posting.

I haven't tried the 5.1 but you mention turning off the default 100 hz filter.  I believe that would work well when in a not so loud enviroment.  The default at times lacks bass.  So I think turning off the default might give you more natural bass in a low enviroment.


This is an example where it's not concert loud. Turning default off might help.




I think the video and audio was really good (not grainy) on my Icon. I hope to be able to get those results in the not so distant future.

I go to a lot of gigs and festivals and try to record when I can (whilst still trying to enjoy the show obviously) ;)


Check out my channel! ALL filmed with a Lumia of some kind. Newer ones are a mix of the 1520 and 1020! I imagine future ones will be even better with the Dolby Plus suppor! Excited for that!

A 1030 with a quad processor to process images faster and the 4 directional microphones, with dolby support and maybe even better zoom! THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!

hello, does anyone know where the MICS are located on the phone? i want to get a flat case that also covers the screen, in case of breakage but dont want to have the mics covered up. thanks