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Best smartphones for music lovers | April 2017

18 April 2017 4

In the first quarter of the year, we have seen tons of new smartphones were unveiled from different manufacturers around the globe. Every manufacturer tries to bring something special so that their smartphone can attract customers, it could be a camera, price tag, top notch hardware and sound quality as well.

It’s all dependent on buyers usage, sometimes user smartphone main usage is to stream music and videos. For sure, it is fascinating for buyers as they have tons of options while purchasing a new smartphone, they don’t have to compromise on any aspect of the handset. In past year or so we have seen smartphone manufacturers are not just focusing on design but they are paying special attention to other key aspects as well and smartphone sound quality is one of them.

That is one of the reason, this year we have smartphones with best selfie cameras as it is becoming one of the key selling features of the handset. Another aspect which company’s paid special attention is the audio capability of smartphones. This year smartphone brings the new level of audio experience.

We have to admit everyone is fond of music and loves to play music on their smartphones. In a year or so good sound players and Hi-Fi sound, chipsets make smartphones a treat for music lovers. You can also check out our list of best 7 music streaming services.

Although all smartphones have the speaker but not all of them are capable of providing best sound experience. The device perfect hardware combination with software level boost is necessary to turn music lovers head. So if you are a music lover and planning to grab a smartphone which can provide best sound experience, we enlist top smartphones available in the market with the best sound capabilities. After going through this post, it will certainly help you out while making a decision regarding smartphone with better audio capabilities

HTC U Ultra

Being an HTC smartphone, the device should have premium audio experience as buyers expect top-notch sound capabilities, same is the case with the HTC U Ultra. It is packed with twin BoomSound speakers which are key aspects of earlier HTC's flagships. The device is adorned with Hi-Fi Edition of Boomsound, we have seen similar for last year flagship HTC 10 as well. The speakers bring awesome stereo sound not only from the base speaker but also from ear speakers as well. Its sound quality is way better than devices packed with mono speakers.

To make sure it has high-quality audio recording capabilities, HTC packed it with three mics which are responsible for recording video in 3D. A special dedicated 24-bit DAC chipset is onboard and also USonic headphones are quite amazing. HTC used similar headphones for last year HTC 10 Evo. It doesn't have 3.5mm headphone socket but that doesn't effect its audio capabilities.

Another amazing aspect is that HTC U Ultra owners can personalize headphones according to their requirement, so different user can preset audio profiles. Despite not being a flagship, it still provides amazing sound experience. Let's check out what this device is offering in terms of hardware.

The HTC U Ultra is featuring a 5.7-inches Quad HD display. The Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 821 SoC is powering the device with 4GB of RAM. The device built-in internal storage is 64GB. Surprisingly, the HTC U Ultra rear primary snapper is less in megapixels as compared to front facing snapper. The rear primary snapper is 12MP while the front-facing module is 16MP. A 3,000mAH battery cell is on board to keep its lights on. As OS, the device is running on Android Nougat and comes pre-loaded with Sense Companion AI assistant.


This year LG was the first smartphone manufacturer who unveils the flagship smartphone G6 at the MWC 2017. LG ditched last year modular design and brought a solid metal unibody design. Though the company brought the major change in design but still they paid special attention to the device audio capabilities.

Like last year V20, the device is featuring special DAC chipset which makes sure device provides premium sound experience. Last year G5 was packed with 32-bit DAC chip but this year DAC chip is upgraded to 64-bit. This year G6 speakers’ quality is way better than last year flagship G5.

In terms of hardware specification, the G5 is featuring a 5.7-inch quad HD display. The device screen-to-body ratio is 18:9. The Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 SoC is powering the device with 4GB RAM and built-in internal storage is 32/64GB. The memory can be further expanded using external MicroSD card. The dual rear snapper is of 13MP, both have the same aperture of F/1.8 to provide best camera experience. On the front side, the wide-angled camera is a selfie-centric 5MP module. A 3,300mAh battery cell lightning the handset.

LG V20:

The LG’s second flagship of the year V20 is also pretty good in sound quality, even though it doesn’t have B&O module but still company’s brings changes at hardware and software level. The ESS latest DAC ES9218 is on board for the V20, which not only reduces the noise but it also enhanced the amp performance. To provide equally good sound experience while listening through headphones, the company provides special headphones which provide audio output of 2Vrms.

Though DAC is an up gradation but still it has only minor plus points as compared to last year V10. The V10 is packed with ES9018 DAC and for the amplifying sound, it has 9602. The new DAC quad designing makes it superior as compared to older models.

According to LG, the V20 new DAC provides 50% enhancement in performance during noise. To further reduce noise, LG placed a metal shield over the DAC chip. Clearly, the company paid special attention to make sure LG V20 owners can enjoy the best sound experience. By default, the V20 supports 32-bit music, however, usually there are not many music files available in the market with such enormous size.The users can easily play files from top quality music streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz.

It’s important to mention that quad DAC performance is only via 3.55mm headphone and the music output via USB Type-C will be entirely dependent on external headphones DAC performance. The B&O also joins hand with LG for the V20 audio features. The LG V20 has enough features to stand out of the competition when considering smartphones with best music experience.

The V20 is the phablet device with the 5.7-inch display of quad HD screen resolution. The Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 Soc is powering the handset with 4GB RAM and internal memory is 64GB. The dual rear primary camera snapper is 16MP and 12MP while the front facing camera is 5MP. A 3,200mAh battery cell is on board to keep the device lights on

ZTE Axon 7:

On the announcement event, ZTE presented Axon 7 audio capabilities as one of the selling points. The Axon 7 is featuring dual Hi-Fi chips for providing better sound. The front facing speakers are adorning the device with Dolby’s ATMOS. No doubt, the final product is quite amazing in audio capabilities.

The first Chip on Axon 7 for audio is AKM AK4961 DAC and according to AKM, their chip provides the best audio experience even for 32 bit audio, whereas the secondary chip is also from AKM and it is AK4490 DAC. Both the Chips are powerful enough to provide the premium experience for listening audio. We can claim that the DAC chips used by ZTE for Axon are the best available in a $400 range smartphone.

Alongside all this, the company also place dual front facing cameras with ATMOS surround sound tech, which for sure is a big up gradation from ZTE as the predecessor device has only single speakers. It’s not just an addition of a speaker but the company also worked pretty good to bring overall premium sound experience.

ZTE’s hard work is paying off as Axon 7 is offering a pleasurable clean and loud audio output. To further attract buyers, the Axon 7 is pretty less expensive as compared to its high-end competitors. All these aspects made Axon 7 one of the best choice to grab if you are looking for an affordable smartphone with best audio experience.

The Axon 7 is packed with the 5.5-inch display with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The device display is protected with corning Gorilla 4. The Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 Soc is powering the handset with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. On the rear side, the primary camera is 20MP while the front facing camera is 8MP. A 3,250mAh battery cell is keeping the device lights on.

Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:

The Cupertino giant Apple stepped up their game this year with the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. So far Apple is criticized for not bringing best audio experience but that’s not the case for this year flagship iPhones. According to the company, the iPhone 7 sound volume and quality is nearly 2 times better than the iPhone 6S.

Another addition with the new iPhone 7 is its stereo sound system which makes it first of its kind. To ensure that device has best sound experience, Apple introduced stereo speakers on top and bottom of the handset which not only enhances sound quality but also make it is clearer. Apple also brings dedicated Airpods which can be connected wirelessly or earpods are also available which needs the lightning connector to connect with new iPhone.

Once again, Apple joins hand with Cirrus logic for a dedicated Audio chips. The 338S00105 is the DAC on board, however, there are two more chips act as an amplifier which is used for speakers on top and bottom side.

In terms of hardware specs, the 4.7-inch display screen resolution is 750 x 1334 pixels. The Apple’s special A10 fusion Soc is powering the handset with 2GB RAM and built-in memory for the base variant is 128GB, however, it can’t be expanded via external MicroSD card. On the rear side, the camera module is 12MP while front facing camera is of 7MP. A 1960mAh battery keeps the device running.

Huawei Mate 9

Best things do come in small packages but you know, not always, there lies a strict exception in such categories. Considering you're a music lover and don't want to settle for less then Huawei's one of the latest flagships - Mate 9 is the smartphone for you.

Coming with a dual stereo speaker setup with a single speaker found on the bottom and a secondary speaker built into the earpiece above the display, Huawei Mate 9 provides you premium audio experience, of course, we aren't calling it the no expensive device. These speakers produce louder and clear sound even when kept at the lower sound levels. You hardly need to raise the volume above the 60% or so.

Huawei Mate 9 can't give a tough competition to the audio-centric smartphones like LG V20 and ZTE Axon 7 but it's not less either. It can provide you an ample sound experience. If you're looking for a new flagship which not only offers the best audio experience but also the top-notch hardware then you should consider Mate 9 or keep it in the list of select smartphones.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony took the wraps of their latest flagship Xperia XZ Premium at the recently held MWC 2017 event. The audio quality of the device is one of the highlights or USPs of the device next to the 4K HDR display and the camera. It's equipped wth front stereo speakers. Xperia XZ Premium supports the LDAC technology, which prevents loss of quality when the XZ Premium is connected to wireless loudspeakers or headphones.

Furthermore, another technology DSEE, developed by the company itself, provides better sound when playing MP3s. The High-res audio is also supported by the device, hence you get an overall best audio experience from this flagship.

Sony Xperia XZs

Sony Xperia XZs was unveiled at the same time when its premium sibling saw the light of the launch. It's also an audio-centric smartphone, however, this isn't the only asset that makes the smartphone outstanding.

It produces stereo audio outputs for its smartphones. The device also offers support for high-definition files and also DSEE HX technology, which we learned in the XZ Premium smartphone. This technology developed by the company itself provides improved playback for MP3 files.

A few lines on some older devices HTC One M9 and an affordable Lenovo A7000 grabbed much attention for their audio experiences. One M9, in fact, garnered so many appreciations due to its best speakers' virtue. The device has front-facing stereo speakers which feature BoomSound. Thanks to the latter, the audio experience is loud, clear, and crisp.

Final Words:

At the end, it is important to mention that these device are not in order so the device appearing first doesn’t mean it will have best sound experience but instead all of them have number of sound experience aspects which made them stand out of competition that’s why we enlisted them as the best device unveiled this year which has best audio capabilities.

Do share your thoughts regarding the best smartphone with audio capabilities in the comments section below and which device would you prefer to purchase amongst aforementioned devices or if you think we missed any smartphone with the best sound experience, you can share it below.

  • The LG G6 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The HTC U Ultra isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The LG V20 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Apple iPhone 7 Plus isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Apple iPhone 7 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The ZTE Axon 7 isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The LG G5 is available at Amazon Marketplace for $ 329. The price/quality is good and this is the best device in this price range.
(last update 24 April 2017 @ 21:01)



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  • As far as the Apple devices are concerned, I'm very happy with these two devices. For audio and video output, the iPhone 7/Plus are one of the best things to happen to Apple of late. No doubt, they stand out for me.

    • For me, it has only to be the LG G5. The primary reason, in my opinion, is the hardware that is needed for such a kind of audio output. And the G5 does have it.

        • Yeah, you can easily say that. But the thing is the there's LG G5's sibling - the G20. Now, my reason for that is that the new DAC makes it possible to have more improvements.

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