Lumia 1020: Now featuring stereo audio recording, coming to other Lumias too

Although many of are blown away by Nokia’s HAAC (high amplitude audio capture) microphones, which allow their Lumia line to record distortion-free audio (think of a rock concert), there was always one drawback that you may not have known about: mono.

Yup, despite having three microphones on board, the device only processed in mono sound, meaning even though it was distortion free it was still a step behind.

We can now confirm that the Nokia Lumia 1020 fixes this by featuring full-stereo HAAC recording ability. What’s more? It’s part of the Pro Camera suite that other Lumia devices are expected to get, meaning your Lumia 92x can get stereo-recording in the near future.

After all, you have the hardware. Now, Microsoft and Nokia have fixed the software.

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

54 Comments
  • Wow, I love that these features are coming to other 9xx owners, Nokia and Microsoft have worked really hard to enhance the user experience, 1020 owners are going to be super happy.
  • Really happy about this! The only thing I really wanted from the 1020 was the Pro Camera app for my 925. 
  • I have a 920. Super happy to hear that I will get the Pro Cam and Stereo Rich Recording (the mono one is amazing already).
  • Will it only be available to 92* series or will the 82* series get this as well?
  • Pureview branded camera's only.
  • what about 720?? 6.7mp cam
  • not included. needs pureview technology on board.
  • i installed just 2 days ago  Audio Recorder Pro, it's about 2 euros in Europe and it has Stereo wav recording,serch the app shop for it,you can upload ti skydrive too :)
  • I tried recording audio on my 1020 with Audio Recorder Pro. The result turned out to be better than the audio picked up in the Camera Pro app. In the Camera Pro app, when recording videos, the audio always had a low-frequency hum. I tried somebody else's 1020. It had the same hum. Then, I installed Audio Recorder Pro. The stereo recording by Audio Recorder Pro was crystal clear with no hum. It really impressed me how good Nokia 1020 can be. Yet, their default camera app could do better with the audio. 
  • Hmm that app seems to have way more than the default camera app
  • Hence, why it's called Pro Camera.
  • I hope it is going to come to HTC 8x at some point, bit I think I don't have to wait for that. I already thought it was weird that the devices all have 2 microphones but still record in mono. Nokia actually fix it! Although I have no Lumia phone, Nokia still amazes me every day!
  • Every time I see a Nokia exclusive post, my HTC 8X dies a little.
  • So does mine. It is a great phone but a Nokia would be much more worth the costs and Nokia works way better together with Microsoft. But I have to keep up with my 8X till November 2014 haha!
  • The HTC 8X can record stereo
    audio but only on the 720p setting.I know this because when I do video shoots on my phone and then process the videos it says stereo in the properties
  • So just freezing myself for 2 months to just awake when Microsoft delivers wp 8.1 ;)
  • WP 8.1 (Blue) is not coming out in 2 months. You're gonna have to freeze yourself for much longer. GDR3 though should be coming out later this year but not in 2 months. What you'll get in about a month or 2 depending on carrier is GDR2 which is currently present in the Lumia 925 and will be available in the Lumia 1020 when it ships.
  • Also the Amber firmware.
  • That's right.
  • Good to know guys, see you all in 2014 :)
  • I'd've called that trolling if that wasn't true
  • And GDR3 won't even be WP8.1 so that's going to be a long, long wait for us!
  • Be careful you'll end up like Eric Cartman when he froze himself for the Wii and we all know what happened there LOL
  • Okay, this I am happy about.
  • So I think I remember Daniel going off on how stereo recording on a smartphone was not necessary some time ago. Heehee
  • What about Lumia 720?
  • 92* nothing under so far, which sucks. Probably because of the camera hardware that on phones designated under 92*.
  • I guess I won't have to sell my kidney after all to get the 1020. I can be somewhat satisfied with the wealth of features Nokia is making available to my 920! :)
  • Nokia will have a kidney app available for 8.2 so no worries!
  • Please... Please... No more 1020 news for today at least...
  • Pureview 1 + Pureview 2 = lumia 1020
  • :)
  • Hi, Daniel. Did this come 'officially' from a Nokia source, or more of a speculation?
     
    Here's hoping it's official. I really love my 920 to have this feature. No disrespect. Just plain curious. Thanks!  
  • Yeah, I read on nokia's site that Pro Camera was exclusive to the 1020
  • On the coversations part of the Nokia website you can read the the Pro Cam comes to the 92x after the Amber update!
  • From Nokia Conversations
     
    Nokia Pro Camera will be available for Nokia Lumia 1020 at launch and it will also be coming to all Nokia Lumia PureView smartphones (Lumia 920, 925 and 928), but will require an upgrade to the latest Amber software.
  • I'm talking about the 'full-stereo HAAC recording ability' guys. I mean we may have the Pro Cam but the full-stereo HAAC recording ability...
  • Confirmed that it will come to all 92x phones.
  • So Pro Cam IS coming to the 920. Sweeeeet. Excited for the Amber update and this inclusion. So that I can set the default camera app to open Pro Cam!
  • +920
  • What about call recording feature..can any one plz tel if the cal recording feature is also coming to Lumia 820
  • Stoked for this!
  • Would like a SIP client, miss that feature a lot from my N8.
  • That's awesome! I think just having Pro Cam would go a long way to improving the 92X series. Bring on Amber!
  • Sweeeeet! Can't wait for Pro Cam because as much as I love the 920's camera, the interface is just MEH. :)
  • If ever the amber update releases. Will it be worldwide? Im not on postpaid im on prepaid.
  • Stupid. Stereo separation on a phone is nonexistent.
  • Depends on how reflective processing is done.   A smartphone's microphone separation is not much smaller than a human head, and most human's can process stereo sound quite well.
     
    My concern with the 1020 is the lack of the 3rd microphone in the array for active monitoring of levels. So far only the 928 has the three microphone array, the 920/925/1020 are all dual microphone arrays.
     
  • Separation not much smaller only if you've come across the Shuar!
  • it all depends on microphone placement. If the mics are on the same plane facing the same direction then yes, it would be quite terrible. But the 92x phones have 3 mics to work with; one on top, one on bottom... and I honestly don't know where the 3rd one is (maybe on bottom as well?). If using the top and bottom mics for left and right then it should have a similar separation to what the human head has. If it is using a different set then it may not be so great. Personally I still think that stereo recording on a camera is fairly useless, and there are lots of other goodies coming with Amber and GDR2 that I am excited for, but if they are going to give me stereo audio on my videos I am not exactly going to turn it down and say it is dumb. I'll just enjoy it for what it is.
  • I can think of plenty scenarios where stereo recording is necessary.
  • Where are the other to microphones located on the 920❔.. All I see is the one on the top.. Are the hidden behind the micro drilled holes❔..
  • Interesting tidbit about rich recording from 1020 white paper.  "For more advanced users - based on the feedback from  Nokia 808 PureView, we have provided a simple user interface to get the best from the hardware in different  recording scenarios and applications.Audio bass filter provides controls on the low frequency  audio characteristics with three options: The “Default” option is the best all-round setting and  provides sonically balanced recordings in most conditions. It applies a shelf filter to 0…200Hz frequency  band and works especially well in loud concert recordings, where the bass level can be too excessive for  balanced playback.The “Strong” option can become handy in the presence  of wind-noise or in-car noise. It applies a 200Hz highpass filter cutting effectively all low frequency content  from the recording." So 
  • Does anyone know of any strictly audio recording apps that let you take advantage of the stereo recording option without video on a Lumia 1020.