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[Engadget] Smartphones for audiophiles

post #1 of 133
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http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/02/iphone-vs-rivals-audio-tests/
Quote:
In addition to testing Apple's new flagship we'll also look at the iPhone 4S, which is now a ton cheaper than it was a few weeks ago, as well as the Galaxy S III (both the global and the Sprint US version) plus the HTC One X (global and AT&T), and run them all through an audiophile obstacle course that goes right from purely subjective observations through to slightly more scientific tests as well as storage, OS and battery comparisons. There'll also be some consideration of the iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 800 and PureView 808, although it'll be more condensed.

Since I noticed quite a few audiophiles here, I thought i'd post this here...
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post #2 of 133
Ouch, my SIII didn't really do so well... Sounds good don't get me wrong, but room for improvement. And since these devices are used so often for audio or with headphones on, sounds is becoming ever more important.

Decent read, thanks for posting this.
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post #3 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuell View Post

Ouch, my SIII didn't really do so well... Sounds good don't get me wrong, but room for improvement. And since these devices are used so often for audio or with headphones on, sounds is becoming ever more important.
Decent read, thanks for posting this.

I have the GSIII as well, and stock, he is right, the sound isn't that great. If you look at where it lost the most points it was in "loudness" and quality. For the first, get an app called Volume+, for the other, I use Winamp Pro (there is a free version that works well too) and it has much better sound quality than the stock music player.
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post #4 of 133

Would like to have seen how the Galaxy S with the Wolfson DAC and using (Supercurio) Voodoo sound faired out.

I know it made a huge improvement over the standard sound

 

The Galaxy SIII is Voodoo sound capable, but not finished yet

 

"Voodoo Sound is able to control the digital volume and analog amplifier separately, while also removing the limit Samsung imposes on the amp. The GS III version of the app isn't out yet, and we only tested a very early build which had a few bugs so we didn't want to score it -- but suffice to say that it scored significantly higher than the stock GS III and it does solve the only real problem with this device's audio."

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post #5 of 133
The Beats Audio enhancer in my Rezound makes a world of difference in my car audio system. Turning it on/off is insane.
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post #6 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by KOBALT View Post

The Beats Audio enhancer in my Rezound makes a world of difference in my car audio system. Turning it on/off is insane.

Do remember, that is just an EQ they throw over the music to tweak it a little. They actually got caught a while back for making the EQ WORSE when it was off. So turning on the "enhancements" were were just turning off the limitations they built in on purpose.

Sorry if that turned out to be a hoax, but I remember that article clearly.
    
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post #7 of 133
Would have liked to see how my Nexus S fared against the ones in this test, as when the Wolfson DAC is tweaked (thank you Voodoo sound mod) it is really excellent for a phone
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post #8 of 133

What I would call audiophiles use external DAC and amp smile.gif. The best solutions end up being not so mobile, through biggrin.gif

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post #9 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by G woodlogger View Post

What I would call audiophiles use external DAC and amp smile.gif . The best solutions end up being not so mobile, through biggrin.gif

I use a FiiO E6 amp onto my IEM's from my Galaxy S II (Yamaha DAC). Not the best DAC on my phone but it can still sound great to my liking with correct Eq and amp settings...
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post #10 of 133
"We listened to the phones at full volume and tried to detect differences in loudness, hiss, distortion (such as clipping), dynamic range (the ability to make loud and soft stand out from each other) and overall "quality.""

Stopped reading there.

No output level matching? No thanks.

An iPhone should suffice for the vast majority of (even discriminating) users, and an external headphone amplifier will not help in all but the rarest cases.
Edited by friend'scatdied - 10/2/12 at 12:33pm
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