• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

LG V20-Best and affordable HiRes Music Player with Quad DAC

AV Cables

rajafan

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
79
Points
18
Location
Chennai
I wanted a Hi Res Music player that can be directly connected to an amp/active speakers without adding a separate DAC in the chain. Upon research, I found LG V20/V30 models best suited my needs..

1. It can play all sort of HI-Res files including DSD
2. It has Qaud DAC better than Fiio X5
3. It has 2Vrms output so that it can be directly connected to any power amp/active speakers
4. It has 64GB storage and expand via microSD card upto 2TB
5. You can install any number of android music players
6. Also, it is your usual phone

I wanted to try and I borrowed one from my friend. It was too good. So I bought one and permanently connected to my HiFi setup. Just a single cable from LG V20 to amp/active speakers. Sound quality is too good.

Borrow it from a friend, check the performance and compare it with others. You can get a used one for much lower price. You won't regret.
 

vinvk

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
37
Points
8
Location
bangalore
check out the vivo range aswell. To quote from GSMarena:

An audio centric smartphone like Vivo X5Max contains high quality discrete audio DAC, I/V converter and audio amplifying circuit. All these chips are powered by a separate power supply devoted to audio only. X5Max packs an ESS SABRE ES9018 digital-to-analog-converter (DAC), an ESS SABRE ES9601 current-to-voltage converter (op-amp) and a Texas Instruments OPA1612 headphone amplifier to provide professional grade mobile HiFi audio solution. The audio from X5Max can cover full frequency response range from 20Hz to 20KHz, which cover all the sound frequencies sensible to human ears. The 120dB high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) will keep all the music details while minimizing the noise generated through circulation. An incredible dynamic range of 118dB means X5Max is able to faithfully produce the quietest whispers/ murmurs in music as well as the loudest sounds. And less than 0.001% total harmonic distortion (THD) will make sure the sound you hear is true to the original sound. All the above explains why you can get exceptional music experience with X5Max.

Lenovo Vibe X3 shares many audio components of X5Max like the DAC & amplifier. It is able to produce similar audio performance to that of X5Max. I own both the phones and when it comes down to sound quality over headphones, I prefer X5Max over Vibe X3 by a slight margin. Both are able to create very high volume levels over ear buds and in-ear earphones. In short you will be able to achieve the path to audio nirvana with any of these smartphones.
 

rajafan

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
79
Points
18
Location
Chennai
check out the vivo range aswell. To quote from GSMarena:

An audio centric smartphone like Vivo X5Max contains high quality discrete audio DAC, I/V converter and audio amplifying circuit. All these chips are powered by a separate power supply devoted to audio only. X5Max packs an ESS SABRE ES9018 digital-to-analog-converter (DAC), an ESS SABRE ES9601 current-to-voltage converter (op-amp) and a Texas Instruments OPA1612 headphone amplifier to provide professional grade mobile HiFi audio solution. The audio from X5Max can cover full frequency response range from 20Hz to 20KHz, which cover all the sound frequencies sensible to human ears. The 120dB high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) will keep all the music details while minimizing the noise generated through circulation. An incredible dynamic range of 118dB means X5Max is able to faithfully produce the quietest whispers/ murmurs in music as well as the loudest sounds. And less than 0.001% total harmonic distortion (THD) will make sure the sound you hear is true to the original sound. All the above explains why you can get exceptional music experience with X5Max.

Lenovo Vibe X3 shares many audio components of X5Max like the DAC & amplifier. It is able to produce similar audio performance to that of X5Max. I own both the phones and when it comes down to sound quality over headphones, I prefer X5Max over Vibe X3 by a slight margin. Both are able to create very high volume levels over ear buds and in-ear earphones. In short you will be able to achieve the path to audio nirvana with any of these smartphones.
Have you compared the sound quality of LG V20/30 models with X5Max? If X5 is better, I will buy that one too. I like these mobiles for their simplicity.

I have permanently connected LG V20 to power. Is it harmful?
 

Moimanuh

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
42
Points
8
Location
Guwahati
Have you compared the sound quality of LG V20/30 models with X5Max? If X5 is better, I will buy that one too. I like these mobiles for their simplicity.

I have permanently connected LG V20 to power. Is it harmful?
i guess v20 is better. connected to power, may damage battery in long run, better get the 10000 mah battery from zerolemon
 

vinvk

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
37
Points
8
Location
bangalore
Have you compared the sound quality of LG V20/30 models with X5Max? If X5 is better, I will buy that one too. I like these mobiles for their simplicity.

I have permanently connected LG V20 to power. Is it harmful?

No. I've not compared the sound. Fe years ago when I was in market for a music oriented phone, I bought X5max. This may be discotinued now.
It sounds good but I didn't compare the sound with any other phone like V20/Sony/Iphone.
 

mpasanthosh

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
138
Points
43
Location
Chennai
I have heard the LG V20 with the Sennheiser HD650's they did sound very nice.
It did also perform very well when connect to my home audio setup as a DAC/Source.
 

rajafan

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
79
Points
18
Location
Chennai
LG V20 can automatically detect the impedance of the device connected to the headphone jack. While Quad DAC is automatically activated when any device is connected to the headphone jack, there are certain restrictions to avoid hearing damage. High Impedance mode will be activated only when a device with more than 50 ohms is connected. But there is a trick to activate it even with ordinary devices.

1. Connect a Y cable
2. First, connect a high impedance headphone/device which has 50 ohm or more to one end of the Y cable.
3. Next, connect your regular headphone/device to the other end of Y cable
4. Now remove the high impedance device described in step 2.

Now you can output high impedance to your low impedance headphone/device. This will be very useful when connecting it directly to a power amp.
 

shibashis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
1,029
Points
83
Location
Kolkata
Or use an ATH M50X with a detachable cable. Another option is to use a Soundmagic E80 IEM with 60 Ohm impedance, they pair well with LGs even though a touch on the brighter side.
 

Rosenarayanappa

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
104
Points
28
Location
Bangalore
What happens when you connect an external dac? Planning to use chord mojo. Will it bypass internal dac on phone? So I'm looking for a cheaper phone which just serves as player when I'm at home to Conne t/stream to amp. And serve as phone when I'm out. Not much into headphone listening.
 

Moimanuh

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
42
Points
8
Location
Guwahati
What happens when you connect an external dac? Planning to use chord mojo. Will it bypass internal dac on phone? So I'm looking for a cheaper phone which just serves as player when I'm at home to Conne t/stream to amp. And serve as phone when I'm out. Not much into headphone listening.
it will bypass the ess dac when you use the type c output
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
2,746
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
What happens when you connect an external dac? Planning to use chord mojo. Will it bypass internal dac on phone? So I'm looking for a cheaper phone which just serves as player when I'm at home to Conne t/stream to amp. And serve as phone when I'm out. Not much into headphone listening.

It is a bit confusing here. Chord Mojo is a portable dac/HP-amp. But you are not into headphones!!
So why the Mojo?

On other threads, I see you are looking for Harbeth/ProAc/Splendor speakers. These boys need decent amps to sing.
If your music content is primarily digital, then definitely a DAC is in play.
Now, when you say you want a cheap phone to play into such a system, lightbulbs are not flashing.
At least no lightbulbs for me (apologies in advance; I may be ignorant of advances in smartphone tech)

What is the rest of your music chain? IA, pre/pwr amps, speakers? Room size?
If all of the above are in place, what is lacking?
If you are building from scratch, it would do you good to start a brand new thread for FMs to understand your requirements.
And then coherently comment and/or offer suggestions.
I want this and this ... My room is ... My budget is ... My tastes are ... I won't compromise on ... I don't care about ...

Cheers,
Raghu
 

Rosenarayanappa

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
104
Points
28
Location
Bangalore
Thanks Raghu, got rega brio and concept 20 to start with. Planning to get harbeths later. My music will be mainly digital either streaming or from portable player(phone or DAP). Would love to get chord hugo but can't afford now so chord mojo. Room is 10x12 for now. Will use this dac as stationary dac and use it with mobile while on travel. Was looking to buy a new phone so was wondering if I can best out of it to double up as DAP. The streaming bit is what I'm not sure how to. Either get a dedicated streamer that does justice to the audio quality of the est of the items in chain.
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
2,746
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
Thanks Raghu, got rega brio and concept 20 to start with. Planning to get harbeths later. My music will be mainly digital either streaming or from portable player(phone or DAP). Would love to get chord hugo but can't afford now so chord mojo. Room is 10x12 for now. Will use this dac as stationary dac and use it with mobile while on travel. Was looking to buy a new phone so was wondering if I can best out of it to double up as DAP. The streaming bit is what I'm not sure how to. Either get a dedicated streamer that does justice to the audio quality of the est of the items in chain.

Ah!! The fog cleared up a bit.
You have a decent stereo setup. Rega Brio is a surprisingly good little amp. Concept 20s will work well in your room for now.

My sincere advice is this:
You are in transition mode. Don't rush into components higher up in the chain (like DAC, DAP, Streamer, etc).
Get a Chromecast Audio now and throw it into the current setup. Your existing phone/laptop running even VLC can cast to it.
It will address your streaming problem. The DAC in Chromecast Audio will not disappoint you.
When you upgrade your rig, you may still use the optical out mode to feed into a DAC of your choice.
If you know anyone who can source it from USA, have them bring it over. They are on sale for $15 until Feb 28, 2019 or until stocks last.
https://store.google.com/us/product/chromecast_audio?hl=en-US

Chord products are good, in fact very good. Is your decision based on actual listening or reviews?
Do consider other brands too. Schiit Audio is one brand you should consider and audition if possible.
Many FMs in Bangalore have their products. Price to performance is Schitt's mantra and they don't disappoint.
Online content when streamed will not be great unless it is a paid service; even then local content wired to the rig will always sound better
Go ahead and buy a new phone for what it is supposed to be; a communication device.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

Rosenarayanappa

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2018
Messages
104
Points
28
Location
Bangalore
You are right. No point rushing into. Let me enjoy the journey stage by stage. Have asked my frend to get a chromecast. Thanks for the link.
I heard the mojo when getting my amp. the FM who i bought it from is using it. Liked it. BUt have never heard other DACs. Will look into Schitt's.
thanks again.
 

shibashis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
1,029
Points
83
Location
Kolkata
Hope you do not mind if I jump in a little here, if it was me I would avoid Chord Mojo or other such portable options for a stereo rig. These do a fine job for a 'portable' setup with headphones but a stereo setup requires better. I have heard the Mojo and Dragonfly and such, I came away with the firm opinion that your stereo deserves a Schiit or Marantz or a Musical Fidelity or a Gustard or pretty much anything you like.
The portable constructions have inevitable limitations due to their limited space and choice of components. Listen to others and do not just pick something up because you heard it, hear some more, competition is always nice.
 

hifitoaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
624
Points
63
Location
India
I compared a shiit multi bit and the mojo on a pair of genelec 1031s. I liked mojos dac mode more than the multi bit for vocals and for airies treble multi bit. But, then what u get on mojo is a solid DAC which can outperform the entry level shits. But overall the mojo made me listen to music more. I was sceptical about the mojo claims over the internet. After 3 weeks, I became a fan of its sound. I have not listened to the DACs like musical fidelity m1 or audio lab. The full sized DACs I had in the past were a cambridge audio dac magic plus, oehbach dac xxl, shit multi bit. Mojo as a dac on hifi sounded better overall with micro details and layering than with the other DACs I mentioned though its a tiny thing.
 

shibashis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
1,029
Points
83
Location
Kolkata
DACs are very subjective, then what is not when it is about audio. Good synergy with the rest of the system is paramount for a DAC to be judged. Maybe in your case the Mojo was a better match than the others, quite easily possible.
Which Schiit did you listen to? Modi or Bifrost or higher?
I have heard both the Mojo and Dragonfly on my system but they did not quite blow me away, sounded nice for sure as they should but my Emotiva was better by all counts, so was a Musical Fidelity VDAC. I have had similar experiences on other setups as well.
 
Top