The attributes that define the audio performance of your phones are hard to quantify and, more often than not, aren’t highlighted in the spec-sheet. Perhaps that’s why we often come across terms like Dolby Atmos, Hi-Fi audio, Quad DACs highlighted but things like signal to noise ratio, frequency response, and stereo crosstalk that too have a well-pronounced impact are often never talked about.
So, if you are an audiophile looking for a phone with awesome audio output, here is a list that should help.
LG is one of the manufacturers that prioritized audio output on its flagship phones. The LG G6 is a reasonably priced one which comes with a quad DAC in India. The loudness isn’t remarkable, but when plugged in an external amplifier or via headphones – the audio quality is top notch. It also supports AptxHD Bluetooth codec which could help if you have a compatible pair of earbuds.
The phone also flaunts a rather compact form factor with a gorgeous 18:9 display panel (HDR 10 and Dolby Vision compatible. Other perks include Dual rear cameras, Snapdragon 821 chipset, and a 3300mAh battery.
The OnePlus 5 (Review) is another reasonably priced and impressive all-rounder this year. What you might not have heard very often is that this mid-range handset has one of the best audio output in its class. The loudspeaker is fairly loud and quality of the audio is excellent. Aptx HD support for wireless music transmission over Bluetooth is included too.
The handset further offers a decent camera, impressive battery backup with dash charging, light Oxygen OS, and extremely snappy performance.
The recently launched LG V30 is one of the best phones for audiophiles. The true LG flagship for 2017 includes a 32-Bit Hi-Fi quad DAC, support for AptxHD and MAQ format (the first phone to do so), a software EQ, and is powered by Snapdragon 835.
But LG V30 isn’t yet available in India and it won’t certainly be cheap at launch. You can also opt for the last years V20 if you are a moderate user primarily looking for high-quality audio experience.
Apple iPhone 7
If you don’t mind iOS, Apple’s iPhone 7 is a good option for audiophiles as well. The phone still can’t match to 2017 android flagships, but the audio output is still clean and the quality remains intact even when you plug-in your headphones.
HTC is another brand that’s known to focus on audio attributes. Current HTC flagship, U11, boasts of powerful boom sound speakers and is capable of reproducing highest class of audio you’d expect from a phone. Unfortunately, the phone is missing the audio jack but the USonic earbuds (USB Type-C) that HTC bundles with the phone are truly impressive.
The handset is powered by Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, had a 5.5-inch 2K display and was the first phone to flaunt Active side edges (you can squeeze it to trigger different actions).
Samsung Galaxy Note8
One key area where Note 8 (Review) makes a noticeable improvement over Samsung Galaxy S8+ is audio output. The handset delivers flawless audio quality with both loudspeaker and headphones.
Other interesting Note 8 features include S Pen stylus, excellent quality AMOLED display, dual cameras, water resistance, and an upgrade to 6GB RAM. And in light of the iPhone X and new Pixel phones, it doesn’t feel all that expensive anymore.
Best Phones for Music enthusiasts
These are some of the best options that we have handpicked based on our personal usage. The marketing terms that manufacturers advertise related to audio don’t often convey much and as a user, your best bet is to rely on expert reviews while deciding the phone best suited to your individual needs.