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Android audio quality : my surprise revelation

hifitoaster

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Jul 4, 2018
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483
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India
Both Samsung and LG have started implanting high quality components in their flagship phones. I have an old S7Edge with lots of music and the onboard DAC sounds much better than the 2 iPhones that i have.
Better here is subjective. Depends on what headphones / earphones we pair with. I have a s8 and iPhone 7. IPhone has more mids. S8 is more neutral. Samsung lacks power driving power for over ear headphones in comparison to iphones. But with in ears, it's good enough. Samsungs background is cleaner than iphones though. Also it's more airy. But with over ears, it needs an amp in the chain. S8s sound profile is very similar to ODAC with less details and less darker background. IPhone is more midfocussed in comparison.

So depending upon on complimentary headphones one sounds better than the other. There is no absolute here.
 
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amitk777

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Apr 18, 2010
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174
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Hyderabad
No surprise.

LG V30 is rated as class A component by Stereophile.
It is going for cheap in India.

 

amit11

Active Member
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Jul 7, 2014
Messages
374
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Location
Pune (Sus Gaon)
This was a revelation, and I am happy for it.
Late night working hours, tired mind and body, a strong cup of coffee to keep you company, more common these days than we care to admit. It has been such a night for me, but this changed all that and a bit more I think.

Recently got myself a Lenovo K900 Android, it used to be a 'flagship' model, not anymore, that did not bother me. I needed a vivid and big screen, to read comics and casual books, this serves the purpose, has 2 GB RAM to boot, so all in all not bad. This however is not a review of the Lenovo K900.

Along with that strong cup of coffee, my AT M50 is by now my without-fail companion for nightly working hours, with my laptop and Asus Xonar U3.
I was listening to some music tonight as well, no different than any other. Then I got up to get myself some coffee....while in the kitchen I do not know why I thought of it or how it came to pass, but I thought I would connect my Audio Technica to the new Lenovo K900. Just curiosity I suppose.
Good thing that I did. :)

My Laptop uses the Xonar U3 (in HF mode, turning off all kinds of synthetic enhancements), and Foobar with WASAPI (Flacs mostly), it has kept me happy. Imagine my surprise when humble Lenovo either matched or surpassed the SQ offered by my regular config. I was not excited about the result honestly. I owned a HTC Desire V in the distant past, that had decent audio quality, since then I have been distinctly underwhelmed by more than one make of Sony Xperia's claims, and then the LG Nexus 4. Nexus was a superb phone, just amazing but listening to music was a less than satisfactory affair.
I should mention I own an iPod touch 4th gen, had an iPod classic (till it met its end), and have had experience with different Cowons. So I can make out the difference in portable audio quality, and believe me I was astounded with what the Lenovo offered. They are making my Audio Technical sing, and loud enough too. I have so far listened to Buddy Guy, Alice in Chains, Dire Straits....and what can I say, superb for a phone. Mind it, for a phone.

This was a true revelation, never expected this. If I was happy with the Lenovo before, then what am I now? :)
I started to look for answers, found that K900 uses the Wolfson WM5102, akin to much much pricier Samsung S4, I was not surprised given me experience tonight. So I decided to start this thread about Android sound quality with the myriad devices available in the market. Share your experiences with audio on phone, does not have to remain confined to Android I suppose.

My little search led me to this:
Complete Guide to Android Smartphone Audiophile

Thanks everyone for reading.
Does the k900 play at 44.1 khz sampling rate? Asking bcos by design, most android phones have 48 khz setting and they play it using the native audio driver of 48 khz.
 
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