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Best Audioquality Smartphone

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm just fishing for some opinions here. I am considering breaking down and finally getting a smartphone. I would like this to be able to also double as my music/media player. I am currently still using my Zune 30gb that I have had for years and I do have an Archos 43 as well. I probably wouldn't consider myself an audiophile but I can't seem to get much of an objective opinion from searching the web on what smartphones have the best audio quality. Which out of the current crop of smartphones have the best audio quality?
post #2 of 39
You're not going to find a difference between brands or OS, although HTC Android phones now have 'Beats by Dr. Dre', which in all likelihood is anything but the recorded music. Shop for the best phone there is in general and get a decent pair of earbuds.

What network are you on? I can make recommendations.
post #3 of 39
You are not going to find any smartphone out there with awesome sound on the built in speaker. Battery life, and storage space is what people are going for.
post #4 of 39
My song selections were all lossless on my iPhone 4 connected to a set of Ultimate Ears sfi5p and it sounds great to me.
post #5 of 39
Since you already have a Zune player, have you thought about getting a Windows phone? The newer ones have a built in Zune player, and it would make it easy for you to transfer your music over to the phone.
post #6 of 39
Transferring your music will be easy with any phone, it's the same process - drag & drop.
post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm on Verizon right now but I don't have a contract so I can switch to whatever. I wasn't really thinking Android vs iOS vs Windows Phone, I don't care either way, I was more thinking with a decent set of headphones are there any specific phones that have better audio quality.

I've heard that the older version of the galaxy s had a good DAC but the newer versions don't have that. I've heard some people say that the Razr has good media playback capabilities but for the most part when I see people talking about it they are talking about video resolution. So I'm trying to get a handle on what I'm looking at.

I mostly wonder if I'm going to see a noticeable drop off between the zune or Archos and my phone and end up just carrying two devices around anyway. The Archos runs Android and can do most of what an Android phone can do besides making calls but while video playback looks great and it can play just about any audio file the resistive screen is a little obnoxious and carrying two devices gets old (phone and player). I like the Zune a lot but it's just getting a little long in the tooth and is a little limited in it's functionality.
post #8 of 39
There is really no perceptible difference between media players outside of the quality of their speakers (cheap $1 Chinese for the most part). There are multiple manufacturers of quality earphones, I suggest you focus your search and reviews on them rather than an expectation of different phones lending to better or worse quality. I use Shure E4c, pricey but worth it.

Verizon IMO has the best lineup of phones, particularly Android (I'm on Sprint, so I don't say this from fanboy perspective). You can't go wrong with (in order of preference) the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX or the Motorola Droid RAZR. The HTC Rezound is another good choice, and it includes Beats Audio. While not for me, if you're a fan of bass my understanding is that Beats is the way to go.

I suggest going to a Best Buy Mobile or your local Verizon store and ask to see a few phones. Take your headphones with you, see if you detect a difference.

Honestly, smartphones are life changers. There is an incredible variety of convenience with you at all times, I wouldn't hesitate.

Good luck!
post #9 of 39
Well, I just had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine, a total audio geek who worked for years with DMB's sound crew. He said the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is great, the TI TWL6040 is quite good, although not as good as the Wolfson DAC Samsung previously used. He says stay away from the Samsung Galaxy SII, horrible Yamaha DAC.

iPhone has the flattest response from headphone jack, but like me he hates iTunes and the compromise isn't worth it.

He is actually impressed with Beats audio, which surprises me because he is a purist.

Worst of all, he was no help at all. He carries two devices, swearing by his Cowon S9 for music.
post #10 of 39
I have the Samsung Galaxy S1. It sounded decent but not as good as the iPhone...that is until I rooted the phone and added the Voodoo sound control app. My Galaxy S is now an incredible portable music device with substantial music storage capability. Too bad Samsung got rid of the Wolfson DAC in the Galaxy phones.

As well the Samsung Galaxy phones have the absolutely stunning Super AMOLED screens with Gorilla Glass. These screen are ultra sharp and vivid with awesome contrast. Mine is nearly two years old and with no screen saver it doesn't have a scratch on it (Gorilla Glass).

Good luck with your search, but I recommend you look at the full package rather than just sound quality. You may end up with a good sounding phone that is a really crappy phone.
post #11 of 39
I keep an ipod/laptop - external dac/amp - nice custom modled ear buds

i like to run flac/wav as my source, which isnt a great plan with phones these days.

It would be easy to demo, just drop a 320k mp3 file on a bunch of phone and bring you headphones to the store...its not exactly scientific...
post #12 of 39
I keep an ipod/laptop - external dac/amp - nice custom molded ear buds

i like to run flac/wav as my source, which isnt a great plan with phones these days.

It would be easy to demo, just drop a 320k mp3 file on a bunch of phone and bring you headphones to the store...its not exactly scientific...
post #13 of 39
the best "audio quality" smartphone will be the one with the best buds/iems/cans hooked up to it...

worrying about anything else is pointless...
post #14 of 39
^ +1

Twylight, if on Android both Winamp and Poweramp apps support FLAC playback. Winamp will also wirelessly keep your songs and playlists in sync. If on iPhone, I'm sorry
post #15 of 39
^^^

lol... no love for us apple drones?

oh that's right, we don't need any love... ours just works...
post #16 of 39
Haha, like mine doesn't

From an integration perspective I will never be nuts about proprietary systems, and while no expert I believe Android users have more choice.
post #17 of 39
^^^

ah, i was just yanking your chain... i'm a firm believer that everyone should use what is best for them... since i live in an apple ecosystem, it works for me...
post #18 of 39
And I yours. I agree, whatever works for you is best. I don't subscribe to the fanboy argument, that one technology is better than another. I've been in the IT biz since the late '70s and seen a lot of innovation in 35 years. Competition is good, I embrace it all, and I benefit whether a part of an ecosystem or not. Bring it on!!
post #19 of 39
I never understood how people could be happy using an all Apple system. Or any sort of proprietary system for that matter. I got tired of the Apple interface on their products pretty quickly.

Which is why I picked up a Windows Phone and would die with my custom built Windows PC...wait.

Seriously though, my Samsung Focus has pretty good sound when connected to my theater system, but not so great with my logitech desktop speakers. It's all about what you listen through, rather than what phone you use.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

And I yours. I agree, whatever works for you is best. I don't subscribe to the fanboy argument, that one technology is better than another. I've been in the IT biz since the late '70s and seen a lot of innovation in 35 years. Competition is good, I embrace it all, and I benefit whether a part of an ecosystem or not. Bring it on!!

me neither... they are all tools to be used...

however, see the post prior to mine... sadly, that "argument" still hasn't gone away...
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

me neither... they are all tools to be used...

however, see the post prior to mine... sadly, that "argument" still hasn't gone away...

Once again you are having troubles with comprehension. Your post was the introduction to the "fanboy" element by saying "oh that's right, we don't need any love... ours just works... ". My post was pointing out the silliness in the entire "fanboy" argument. I don't see how this could be taken the wrong way, but you seem to do that pretty well.
post #22 of 39
^^^

say "buh-bye"...,
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterofBlasting View Post

My post was pointing out the silliness in the entire "fanboy" argument. I don't see how this could be taken the wrong way, but you seem to do that pretty well.

Really. Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterofBlasting View Post

I never understood how people could be happy using an all Apple system.

Yeah, you did a great job of avoiding fanboyism. Medication running low?
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Really. Really?



Yeah, you did a great job of avoiding fanboyism. Medication running low?

"Or any sort of proprietary system for that matter.......Which is why I picked up a Windows Phone and would die with my custom built Windows PC...wait."

Is the sarcasm really that difficult to pick up on? What medication would I be running low on?

It seems like every thread on here turns into this type of conversation. Where a completely unrelated argument ensues, with an exchange of condescending posts aimed to "1-up" the previous poster. I find myself in these more than I want to be.
post #25 of 39
The world would be a much better place without smartphones or fanboys.





Sent from my sweet new 4G Blackberry Bold Touch 9900.
post #26 of 39
^^^

no soup for you!!!
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^

no soup for you!!!


Had to get all Soup Nazi on me, eh Chris?. I think the iPhone is one of the only Apple products I don't own--I just can't type on those damn virtual keyboards. The AVS app for the iPad is kinda cool.
post #28 of 39
^^^

lol. you thought I was gonna let that one pass?

yea it took me awhile to adjust to the keyboard, no doubt about that...
post #29 of 39
I AVS all the time from my kindle fire, and my htc sensation 4g. (Andriod)

I have an apple ipod for music playback, but I have about 10gb on my phone.....

The only diffence I hear is I don't get quite the output on my phone when compared to my ipod.
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
Wow, this is still going. I was actually a little surprised that the apple fanboy thing didn't break out sooner. I have considered getting the iphone but since everyone in my office perceives me as the anti-mac guy, even though I'm more in the whatever works for you category, I would have to put up with months of ribbing if I rolled in one day with an iphone in my pocket. I prefer more open platforms anyway. All that said I think I've narrowed it down to the droid razr or galaxy nexus.
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