Smartphones are evolving to accommodate different needs of their target market.
You can see a lot of manufacturers upgrading the capabilities of their cameras. Some also gave attention to music.
But which is the best smartphone for listening to music? Let us look at the top ten picks of audiophiles.
Technical Comparison of the 10 Smartphone with Best Audio Quality
|Phone||DAC||Hi-fi Playback Capability||Stereo Crosstalk (dB)||3.5mm jack||Pros||Cons|
||High-end DAC quad 32-bit/192kHz||+||-94.4db||+||
||Cirrus Logic DAC AK4375 audio chip||+||-90.0dB||+||
Which Smartphone has the Best Music quality?
A Full Indepth Comparison on all 10 Smartphones
|HTC UC11/HTC U11
||Sony Xperia XZ Premium
||Samsung Galaxy S8
||Samsung Galaxy Note 8
||Vivo x5 pro
||ZTE Axon 7
|Resolution||1440 x 2560 pixels, 16:9 ratio||1440 x 2880 pixels, 18:9 ratio||3840 x 2160 pixels, 16:9 ratio||1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio||1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio||1440 x 2880 pixels, 18:9 ratio||1080 x 1920 pixels||1440 x 2560 pixels, 16:9 ratio||1440 x 2560 pixels, 16:9 ratio|
|Screen Size||5.5 inches||5.7 inches||5.46 inches||5.8 inches||6.3 inches||6.0 inches||5.2 inches||5.7 inches||5.5 inches|
|OS||Android 7.1 (Nougat), planned upgrade to Android 8.0 (Oreo)||Android 7.0 (Nougat)||Android 7.1 (Nougat), upgradable to Android 8.0 (Oreo)||Android 7.0 (Nougat)||Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)||Android 7.1.2 (Nougat)||Android 5.0 (Lollipop)||Android 7.0 (Nougat)||Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow), upgradable to 7.1.1 (Nougat)|
|Dimension||153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm||148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm||156 x 77 x 7.9 mm||148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm||162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm||151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm||147.9 x 73.5 x 6.4 mm||159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm||151.7 x 75 x 7.9 mm|
|CPU||Qualcomms Snapdragon MSM8998 835 Octa-Core||Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 Quad-core||Qualcomms Snapdragon MSM8998 835 Octa-Core||Exynos 8895 Octa – EMEA
Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 – USA & China
Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz & 4×1.7 GHz) – EMEA
Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo) – USA & China
|Exynos 8895 Octa – EMEA
Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 – USA & China
Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz & 4×1.7 GHz) – EMEA
Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo) – USA & China
|Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa-core (4×2.45 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)||
Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615
Octa-core (4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.1 GHz Cortex-A53)
|Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo)
Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
|RAM||4 GB RAM/ 6 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||6 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||2 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||4 GB RAM|
|Internal Memory||64 GB/ 128 GB||32/64/128 GB||64 GB||64 GB||64/128/256 GB||64 GB/128 GB||16 GB||32/64 GB||64 GB|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 3300 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3230 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3300 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 3300 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 2450 mAh battery||Removable Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 3250 mAh battery|
|Rear Camera||12 MP, f/1.7, phase detection autofocus, OIS, dual-LED (dual tone) flash||Dual 13 MP (f/1.8, OIS, 3-axis, phase detection AF) + 13 MP (f/2.4, no AF), dual-LED Flash||19 MP, f/2.0, 25mm, EIS (gyro), predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, LED flash||12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash||Dual 12 MP (26mm, f/1.7, PDAF & 52mm, f/2.4, AF), OIS, autofocus, 2x optical zoom, LED flash||Dual 16 MP (f/1.6, OIS, 3-axis, laser & phase detection autofocus) + 13 MP (f/1.9, no AF), LED flash||13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, LED flash||Dual 16 MP (29mm, f/1.8) + 8 MP (12mm, f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS, dual-LED flash||20 MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, OIS, dual-LED (dual tone) flash|
|Front Camera||16 MP, f/2.0, 1080p||5 MP, f/2.2, 1080p||13 MP, f/2.0, 22mm, 1/3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, 1080p||8 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR||8 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, 1/3.6″ sensor size, 1.22 µm pixel size, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR||5 MP, f/2.2, 1/5″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size||8 MP, f/2.4, 1080p||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps, 24-bit/192kHz stereo sound rec.||8 MP, f/2.2, 1/4″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, 1080p|
|Battery Life||Endurance rating 73h||Endurance rating 72h||Endurance rating 72h||Endurance rating 84h||Endurance rating 89h||Endurance rating 87h||Endurance rating 67h||Endurance rating 68h||Endurance rating 70h|
|Link||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon||BUY with Amazon|
Product Criterion for Smartphone Selection
The best smartphone for music lovers 2017 is judged using a suitable criterion. The ten values listed below will be the measurement in which the products will be judged.
Just the criterion is not enough, though. People will evaluate the products through reviews of its existing customers.
Even if the android phone looks good on paper, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you without testing it.
- Headphone AMP
- Hi-fi Playback Capability
- Audio Codec
- Stock Application
- Audio Accessibility
- Maximum Output (dB)
- Stereo Crosstalk (dB)
- 5mm jack Voltage
- Frequency Response
DAC – This feature is the acronym for the digital-to-analog converter. It converts the digital audio to an analog signal.
The dedicated DACs are responsible for allowing the connection of the sound from the phone to a headphone amp. The best would be a dedicated 32-bit quad DAC. It allows a faster processing of higher frequency music.
A dedicated 32-bit DAC is also good, and it’s better than a 16-bit DAC.
Headphone AMP – The headphone amp amplifies the analog signal from the dedicated DACs before sending it to your headphones. Having a robust headphone amp means a louder music produced.
The power of the headphone amp can be known by checking its watts requirement. You can also verify the number of volts it is giving the headphones via the 3.5 mm audio jack.
Hi-fi Playback Capability – Hi-fi is the short term for high fidelity. It is directly correlated with the DAC mentioned above.
You can measure the hi-fi sound via the bit and frequency responses of the DAC. The lowest accepted value of the frequency responses that you can consider as Hi-Fi is 16-bit, 44.1 KHz.
That is the quality of a stereo sound. The hi-fi sound capability is the measure of music quality that will be heard from the headphones.
Audio Codec – The audio codec is the software responsible for managing how the audio output is processed and handled in your device. The manufacturer of the phone usually produces the codecs.
Those that are made for high music quality would have a different codec that they made and developed on their own.
Stock Application – Having more options in the stock applications means that you can get a better audio experience out of it. At least, you will have alternatives if one does not fit your style.
Having options directly from your Android phone will remove the need for third-party players as well as equalizers. Who wants to carry around extra luggage anyway, right?
Audio Accessibility – It is the ease of how a user can get access to the phones’ audio capabilities. Some phones allow easy access, but those with more options in their stock applications can be a little tricky.
Maximum Output (dB) – It is the measurement of how loud the sound quality in the headphones can be. It is measured in decibels or dB.
The Loud sound effect can be significant, but care must be remembered to protect your ears.
Stereo Crosstalk (dB) – This feature is the measurement of how efficient it can produce the different sounds into the hires audio channels. A lower decibel value is desired, as it’s the measurement of interference that occurs when you play music or are listening to music.
3.5mm jack Voltage – A higher voltage output in the 3.5 mm headphone jack means that there will be higher decibel audio output when used. That means a louder music quality when playing a song.
Frequency Response – It is the measurement of the accuracy of the device’s amplifier. It can reproduce the surround sound being played when listening to music.
Zero means an entirely perfect reproduction. No device had reached this, though. So, we will go with the closest value as the winner for this one.back to menu ↑
Factors to Consider
It must be noted that these values are the just numerical basis on which a phone’s audio capabilities can be judged. There are other factors to be considered, but most will be subjective.
We will first classify the best music smartphone with these standard values. Having passing marks on all of these will give you great Android devices for listening to music.
The only thing that will make you decide which one is best is your preference. That can be price, look, or the way it tickles sweet spots in your ears.
It does not even have to pass all of the criteria above. If you want more information on standards for choosing the best music phones, then watch this video on the top 5 audio smartphones last year.
10 Best Smartphones for Music Lovers
Here is the list of smartphones to buy that we compiled by using the criterion above. These are not all premium smartphones, but their sound quality is exceptional.
It does not have to have the entire criterion in flying colors, but they would have some and are considerable. They would have enough qualities to be the top pick android phone that provides an excellent listening experience and sound effect for music lovers when listening to music.
#1 HTC UC11
HTC is well known for making a quality music phone, and HTC UC11 is not an exception.
This android phone is equipped with 24-bit 192 kHz DAC, which is an actual Hi-fi music capable. It has a stereo speaker, active noise cancellation, and dedicated microphone to boot. Crosstalk is at -94.5, which is not bad. It was terrific and meant to provide great sound experience.
The only downside of this product is that it does not have a 3.5 mm audio jack. It does come with HTC’s HT Usonic, which can tune the audio to your unique biology. It is coupled with noise canceling features. This android phone also sports the Boomsound Hi-Fi edition speaker, which delivers deafening sounds and with a dynamic audio range.
The absence of a 3.5 mm jack is a considerable downside, though. The Usonic might be good, but this will prevent you from using your favorite headphones, or you will have to use blue tooth connection. It’s not as good as those connected to the jack. This product fails on 3.5 mm jack voltage spot on since it does not have a headphone jack.
There is also a talk that the design is not as pleasing as its competitors. The camera is not as good, but music lovers might not mind.
It does deliver quality sounds, which is what this article is about.
- 24-bit/192kHz DAC
- Hi-Fi Capable
- BoomSound Hi-Fi edition Speakers
- Dynamic Range Audio
- Crosstalk -94.5dB
- Design is not good
- No 3.5 mm audio jack
- Screen is a little dim
HTC U11 approach listening to music their way, but it severely limits their phone’s audio function. The stock is good, but only for those who find it to be.
The hardware is good, and most of the software is also competitive. It is not as impressive as its competitors, however.
Based on some customer reviews, this phone for music has a great user rating of 4.5/5 stars. Most people who bought it were delighted. About 45 out of 61 gave it full ratings. Those who gave it a rating of one had issues from not receiving the product on delivery. Some did not get a service for a phone that was released four years ago (not HTC U11) while others had issues with it not working with VoLTE. There was another client that thinks the front camera is terrible for pictures.
Others commented on the battery draining too fast, and many are not satisfied with the price. Other phones like the OnePlus 5 beat it in additional features at a lower cost. Another customer is dissatisfied with its lack of other sensors, like infrared. The lack of a headphone jack or card slot is also an issue with the model. To most users, it is almost perfect. There is the issue of its case prone to scratches, but most commented that its music capability is indeed superb.
No single customer said otherwise, so this one is indeed a tremendous audio phone, among other things.
#2 LG G6
LG produces phones that are well intended for music lovers. The LG G6 has a 32-bit/192 kHz audio that is quad core. It’s the best DAC in the market.
It also comes with a 3.5 mm audio jack so that you can enjoy music with your favorite earphones. This android phone also comes with noise canceling feature, perfect to void distractions while you are enjoying your tune or listening to music.
The audio quality is at Crosstalk -94.4db, a little lower than HTC U11. That might be small on paper, but to audiophiles, that meant a lot.
Crosstalk nearer to zero means that the sound effect is as close as what the sound was intended to be, and that’s what music geeks wanted.
The bad thing about this phone is that most of its hardware is the same as the older version. It just added a few more features.
It made improvements in its aesthetics and display, but the camera did not improve much from the older version. It fails against its competitors in many departments, but not in the audio output.
- Great HD display
- High-end DAC quad 32-bit/192kHz
- 5 mm audio jack present
- Internals are the same as older versions
- Camera is not improved
- Models in other countries lack some features
LG G6 has the best DAC amongst all the competitors, meaning it can accommodate most of your music preference. The downside is that the rest of its features are lacking. If you want it as a music player and don’t mind the other features, then this one might be suitable for your taste
This unit does not fail in the audio output department, but it seems to fail in many others. Audiophiles might consider it for its great audio quality, but for practicality, other models may be better.
There are a lot of customer feedback for this phone for music. It has a total of 539 reviews and gets 4.0/5 stars. Those that commented at the lowest were mostly not having issues with the product, but with the delivery, after service, and damage upon arrival. There are those that dislike the camera, especially since the phone is a little bit expensive.
There are issues with boot loop, and it had been seen in this product as well. It was not in many cases. The design is getting a lot of bad points from the users as well, along with the camera. Customers also dislike the vibration when using it for calls. It seems to be suffering from network issues.
The phone got a lot of great reviews, but it seems people disliked the software a lot. Nevertheless, they never had any issues in listening to music. Even those giving it low scores mentioned that the music is good when played using this android phone.
#3 Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony is a name associated with music, as they were the one who released the Walkman decades ago. Sony Xperia XZ Premium is a product that they released this year, and it performs well in almost every department.
If something is lacking in this product, it is the design. It is quite uncomfortable to hold, and it does not look as flashy as other competitors.
Sony Xperia might be marketing the quality of its products, but it may be time to improve on the aesthetics department as well.
Everything else is excellent, though, from the hardware to software. Its camera is one of the best, and also offers a slow-motion ability for dramatic videos.
In the audio experience department, it has a 24-bit/192kHz DAC, with active noise cancellation and dedicated mic. It has the 3.5 mm audio jack, and a whopping -92.6 dB crosstalk.
It is better than the other two above, even though it’s not as powerful regarding DAC as the HTC U11. You can enjoy listening to music that is a lot closer to the sound effect of the audio produced in your headphones or stereo speaker.
- 4k display
- Great Hardware
- Great Software
- DAC is Hi-Fi capable
- With 3.5 mm audio jack
- Crosstalk is closer to Zero
- Aesthetics can do some work
- Uncomfortable to hold
- Lack of 4k content
Sony Xperia XZ Premium deserved being the flagship music phone for the tech giant regarding features, but it can make some improvements with its design. Most people will be holding their phones for an extended period, and they want it to be comfortable. If you like quality over looks and comfort in handling, then Sony Xperia XZ Premium might be just for you.
Having the 4k display feature is wasted if no content uses it that much. It’s like an added feature that you don’t need.
Sony Xperia might be developing some 4k apps and other features soon. We can only hope that it will come out sooner than later.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium has many customer reviews, and the complaints of the customers were mostly due to lousy customer service, or battery issue. Most of the users are not having the battery issue, though. The design had been mentioned too, not only in the negative feedbacks but the top scored feedbacks as well. The phone enjoys 4.3/5 stars, but its design is still getting noticed even by fans of the mobile phone.
For everything else, it passes with flying colors. Some experience network issues, but it seems like isolated cases. It’s great for gaming, watching videos, and listening to music. Its camera lags a little behind the top contenders, but not that much. It’s a bit harder to hold than other phones as well, so that’s a minus at comfort.
Music lovers will love this phone for its performance, though it’s pretty expensive, just like most products from Sony. Nevertheless, they do make it up for the stereo sound quality.
#4 Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung Galaxy seems to be raising the stakes in making high-end phones that won’t lose in looks. It does not only look good but the feeling when you hold it is also different.
They sure paid a lot of attention to its overall design, which started from the Samsung S7 Edge. It boasts high-quality hardware and software, and it won’t be behind other flagship phones in the audio department.
It has a 32-bit/384kHz DAC, with crosstalk at -92.8dB. The DAC is not quad HD like the LG U11, and the crosstalk is a little bit higher than Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
However, everything else is way higher. This phone had more fans in the stereo sound department than its peers. They consider it one of the best smartphones for music.
Not only that, the rest of its specs are as good or even better, giving it very high reviews.
- Excellent Display
- Innovative Features
- Camera is very excellent
- Audio experience is top notch
- 5 mm audio jack
- 32-bit/384kHz DAC
- Crosstalk low at -92.8dB
- Top notch hardware and software
- Fingerprint sensor could be placed in a better area
- Bixby, its virtual assistant, can be improved
Samsung’s new flagship enjoys a lot of attention, and it sports a great design with its features not lagging behind. It got the most fans amongst audiophiles, due to its quality sound effect. It might not have the highest score in the entire criterion, but it got the balance between good audio output and other features.
There are only 28 reviews, and 7 scored it less than 5. Those that did have complaints were about the low battery life, just a single stereo speaker, lower grade processor, lagging after a while, and heating.
The rest of the world still thinks that it’s one of the best smartphones for music to come out this year. The great things about it had been mentioned above, and they are confirmed by buyers who are very contented with their Android devices. It boasts great looks, display, great music, the high audio output from hardware and software, and much, much more.
#5 Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Galaxy Note 7 had some terrible issues that made its manufacturer issue a complete recall, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is making up for it. It shares many of the features of Samsung Galaxy S8, which makes it one of the best phones with the best music in the market.
It does not have a dual rear speaker, and it’s a bit big. Its audio quality is very excellent though, especially if you are going to listen using earphones.
It shared the same 32-bit/384kHz DAC with S8, but with a slightly higher crosstalk at -93.2dB. It is still way better than most other phones, and it deserves its spot in the top audio smartphone to buy in 2017.
- Very excellent design
- Screen is fantastic
- Stylus Software is well implemented
- Cameras are not lacking in any way
- Superb DAC at 32-bit/384kHz
- 5 mm audio jack present
- Crosstalk is good at -93.2dB
- Battery could last longer
- Very expensive
Samsung Galaxy Note eight shares most of S8’s features. In the audio output department, it only got a little higher Crosstalk gauge, and its stereo sound speakers are not dual. If you prefer a fablet, or phones with larger screens, then this one might be just perfect for your needs.
Samsung Galaxy is making a comeback with its Samsung Galaxy Note units, and it does make up for the Note 7 blunder. Buyers think that the android phone is too expensive, but the quality is good, so they will still get one if they got the cash.
Having 317 reviews and still getting 4.5/5 stars is impressive, and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 did not fail in that regard. People mostly complain about buying it online. A few said that it has battery issues are probably from the scare that Note 7 left. Some users said that s7 edge was way better, or that there was no improvement. The S-pen seems to be a rather useless feature according to some, and space can be used for the battery. The s-pen is the defining feature of the note.
There are those that complain that wireless charger does not come with the package. There is also an issue with its call audio output quality. The place where the fingerprint sensor was positioned is awkward. A lot of people agreed on that, whether they gave it a high or low rating. There was even someone complaining that it should have a lower price, just so that they can afford it.
The long list of reviews mentioned that the phone is a great find, though it can still use some improvement. The price is too high, and the battery capacity should be improved. It is still a great music player though, almost as good as S8.
#6 LG V30
Another product from LG makes our list. This time, it’s the LG V30. LG had built an excellent reputation for quality surround sound for its phones, and the V0 is no exception.
There is another LG phone on the list, the V30’s predecessor, LG V20, but we’ll talk about that later.
This LG unit has a 32-bit/192kHz DAC. It has a 3.5 mm jack for your headphones, and its audio chips recording is at 24-bit/48kHz. Its sound hardware is B&O certified. They are producers of high-quality stereo sound speakers and headphones, so that speaks something for this android phone.
This phone got a good revamp in its design too, mimicking the shape of its competitors, but keeping it as original as possible. It has the best look amongst the LG products.
Sadly, this phone can’t be upgraded past Android 7, so it loses heavily on that end. The software can also do some work, and the screen is also not as good as it looks.
- Has a lot of added features
- Nicest looking LG Phone
- 32-bit/192kHz DAC
- 5 mm jack
- 24-bit/48kHz recording
- B&O certified Audio
- Screen is not good
- Its stuck on Android 7
- Software is not as good as other brands
LG V30 sports a very classy look, better than G6 at least. It’s considered as the best model of LG regarding design. Like every other LG phones, its audio output capabilities are top notch. The downside is that the older version and the older version before that also shares most of its features. LG could do a bit more, especially for the price that they are asking.
LG might need to change the software running its phones, but no one can complain about the audio output of V30.
The phone does not have a lot of reviews from customers yet, but those that had tried the phone likes its new look. The downside is that it has been using the parts form older versions of LG, which makes people not want to spend high on a new phone.
It also seems to get a quick price slash due to low sales. People who buy LG phones do not like how the company messes with its price, especially since it affects the phone’s resale value.
#7 OnePlus 5T
OnePlus 5T is not yet released. In fact, it’s still in the rumor phase. If it’s an improved version of OnePlus 5, then it’s got to be good.
Let’s look at OnePlus 5, which was released in June 2017.
Nicknamed the iPhone for Android, OnePlus phones are known for its quality. This time, they paid special attention to the hires audio capacity of their phone, the OnePlus 5. It features dedicated 32-bit DAC audio chips for high-quality performance.
Not only does it support a higher audio experience than its predecessor, but it also got a great look, a fantastic camera, and great performance, which is even better than the last.
The only downside of this unit is that it’s more expensive than the previous unit. It also only supports full HD display, and it got no card slot for microSD.
- Good design
- Great Camera
- High performance
- 32-bit DAC
- 5 mm audio bar
- Crosstalk -94.2dB
- High price
- Full HD Display only
- No support for microSD
OnePlus 5T is not yet out, but its earlier version, OnePlus 5, got some great features in the stereo sound department and the design department as well. If 5T receives even more improvement, then it might reach an even higher popularity than OnePlus five today.
The OnePlus 5 sure got what it takes to be a Hi-Fi capable device. These features are expected on the 5t as well, with even more additional content. If they improve its audio capabilities more, then this one will be a great find for audiophiles.
OnePlus 5T is not yet out on the market, so it does not have reviews yet. OnePlus five seems to have a lot of reviews though, and there was barely 1200 that was highly dissatisfied with it, out of 13,124. It still enjoys 4.4/5 star rating, which meant that it delivers hardware and software in its units. The price seems to be a deciding factor here. OnePlus 5 costs less than other flagship phones and with better specs than others. There were some complaints about battery issues, from low battery efficiency to smoking phones. Most are still complaining about customer service, though.
It seems that service and the item itself should have a different rating. For now, it seems that OnePlus 5 suffers terrible ratings due to customer service issues. People might love this phone, as it boasts a lot of other features other than its sound effect too, and at a more affordable price.
#8 Vivo X5 Pro
Vivo X5Pro is undeniably a good looking smartphone. It mimics the iPhone regarding hardware and software, so having it is like getting an iPhone on the Android platform.
It has useful features, and it can easily outmatch many of the cheaper smartphones, but its price seems to be an issue.
That is because the eye scanning feature that made it unique is only available in its native China. Other countries don’t get some other features as well, but the price doesn’t seem to change.
Let’s talk about audio specs.
It has a 32-bit/192kHz DAC, which is Hi-Fi capable. It got a 3.5 mm audio jack, and its crosstalk is good at -90.0dB. This one would reproduce the studio sound effect a lot better than the others on the top of the list.
- Stylish design
- Cirrus Logic DAC AK4375 audio chip
- Suitable for high pitches and deep beats
- Very thin
- Battery capacity is an issue
- Very pricey for its specs
- Some features are not available outside China
If you want to feel what an iPhone feels like, but don’t want to transition from android just yet, then Vivi X5 Pro will let you experience the feeling of an iPhone. It got the same sleek design, and its software mimics the US Tech giant as well. Its Cirrus Logic DAC AK4375 might just have what it takes to satisfy your yearning for good music sound effect. It’s a bit expensive though, and buying it outside of China will not let you get some of its unique features, like iris recognition.
Vivo might want to rethink its pricing scheme or load all its features in phones outside its native country. They are trying to compete internationally after all. It does have the quality, but customers wanted it in full. This unit only got 12 reviews, but some of these have less than five rating, netting it 4.4/5. Customers are delighted with its look and its sound experience.
It might be costly, but it has similar features to an iPhone, at a lower cost. Those that gave it a low rating is not satisfied with its price, but that says nothing about its performance. Those that are awed by it have good reasons to, and its sound effect is one of them.
#9 LG V20
Here is the last LG phone on the list, but it’s not anyway less than its cousins regarding audio experience. LG V20 might be a year old already, but its components can still compete with today’s new flagship phones.
It got the ES9218 DAC, with a parallel configuration that aims to improve stereo sound performance. It got a dedicated headphone amp with 2Vrms, which is high.
It also does well with noise cancellation. It’s better than most.
The only downside of this is it’s the same as LG V10 regarding audio output. It does have an upgraded software and hardware though, compared to its predecessor. At this point, it’s already outdated, but the audio experience is still good.
- 32-bit/192kHz Audio
- B&O certified
- 24-bit48kHz recording
- Crosstalk at -93.7dB
- Best audio experience in its time
- It’s already one year old
- It’s predecessor have the same specs
LG V20 was one of the best audio phones when it was released, and even a year later, it is still part of it. Only LG V6 beats it regarding DAC capacity, and it’s comparable with even the latest flagship phones regarding stereo sound. The only downside for this product is that its predecessor shares these specs, and even by the newer model. You can probably buy this one at a lower price, or you can go for the V10 for an even lower price if you are an audiophile on a budget.
LG seems to have a thing for keeping most of their hardware and software the same as last year’s release. Hopefully, the next ones will have more innovations than this year’s, as its latest phones can be called “old wine into new bottles.”
This unit was released last year, and it gathered 268 reviews that gave it a score of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Those who are not satisfied with the product are rating it low due to the vendor, or the bad after service. The product itself had satisfied a lot of customers, but it does have a couple of drawbacks. The first one is that the battery drains too fast. It seems that online sellers have a penchant for delivering defective products as well, so it might be advisable to buy it from local stores or trusted sites.
The earphones that come with the product is not as good as it can get, so maybe using your earphones will be preferable to enjoy its high-quality listening experiences. The audio output received praises even from those that gave it a low rating. That only shows that the Android phone is still competitive, even against newer phones.
Another drawback is that in sound effect alone, LG V10 is comparable, and with a lower cost as well. The way LG lowers their prices troubled a lot of people, as well as they’re after service. The phone itself is good for its worth.
#10 ZTE Axon 7
The last but not the least is the ZTE Axon 7. It’s not designed in China, where the company is based, but in the US. What they made was something eye-catching, with great features but at the low price like the previous ZTE phones.
It is also compatible with Google Daydream VR. It’s the first phone that is capable of doing so. Google pixel also promised this feature, but ZTE took the initiative.
The camera is not as good as top branded phones though. Nevertheless, its Dolby Atmos enhanced audio, and 32-bit/192kHz DAC can deliver a most audio experience at its best quality.
- Good specs for cost ratio
- Great design for google pixel feature
- 32-bit/192kHz DAC
- Dolby Atmos Stereo Sound Speakers
- 5 mm audio jack
- Dolby Atmos audio enhancements
- Camera is not as good as high-end phones
- Some hardware specs had to be sacrificed
- Small touchscreen buttons don’t light up in dark
ZTE’s newest flagship is still on the affordable side, but it got better design than ever. That is because the company got it designed in the US, in their hopes to get an edge in the competition. The resulting product is great, and with just negligible hardware sacrifices, it can match even some of the high-end phones. Its camera is not as good though, and there are also some features that can be better, but its cost to quality ratio is good.
There are small sacrifices in its hardware, but these are tolerable, given that the phone has a lower price than other brands.
ZTE Axon 7 is not as well-known as the other brands, but it made a lot of people happy with its high-quality stereo sound performance. It’s not the cheapest on the list, but it got the specs to deserve a higher price. Its dual rear speakers provide great music when used, and its display is very nice too. The design is catchy.
This model has Hi-Fi audio, and it proved that it’s great for many music app users for listening to music. The camera is also good, as well as the software. The camera is not as good in lower lighting though, and it’s a little slippery when held. Some parts can also get better with a little more polish.
This phone is still excellent though, as it can provide everything that a music lover needs regarding music capacity. It’s not famous, but it’s not a bad buy.
Now that we have a better idea of the best smartphone to play music, we can safely make a judgment on which one makes a better offer. Even though LG V6 got the best DAC with a dedicated quad 32-bit, it still loses to Samsung S8 in almost every feature, like the sound effect and audio experience.
Samsung got the innovation, the looks, the other features, and it also got a higher frequency measured in kHz. Its crosstalk is too low at 92.8dB.
Even though it’s beaten by Sony and Vivo’s phones in Crosstalk, it still gets the better of those two in most another criterion.
That is not to say that Samsung S7 Edge or S8 or its phablet version, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will satisfy every audiophile when listening to music, but it will probably convince most of them. Its price tag might be a bit high, but it compensates with its audio experience, stereo sound, and sound effect quality.
By the end of the day, it will be you who will decide which one is best for you. Try them out and see for yourself, and choose which smartphone has the best music quality.back to menu ↑
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