also have the Galaxy Note 2
The Lumina 620 is also pictured but it's pretty much the same as the 920 with a bit less volume.. Tested with ATH 50 headphones.
Volume: 1. HTC 8X 2. iPhone 5 3. Galaxy Note 2 4. Nokia Lumina 920
The 8x edged out iPhone 5 with the new Beats audio for the loudest, which has never happened with any phone I've used. Apple has dominated in that area for years.
Stereo Separation: 1. Nokia Lumina 920 2. HTC 8X 3 iPhone 5 4. Galaxy Note 2
The Note was pretty bad compared to the others and sounded pretty close to mono. Lumina was head and shoulders above everything else and I'd highly recommend it to audiophiles, but you'll need a headphone amp. The soundstage is so good it seems like a shame to use it with normal portable closed backed headphones. If you do, be sure to get something pretty loud. If you use high end open backed headphones you'll definitely need an amp.
Overall: 1. iPhone 5 2. Nokia Lumina 920 3 HTC 8X 4. Galaxy Note 2
Now this is personal preference; an audiophile will like the Luminas best. But I like volume and I'll take a bit tighter soundstage if the music shakes my bones.
Apple escapes by the skin of its teeth imo. Nokia has the best soundstage but you'll need headphone amp assistance to get it going optimally. If you're willing to put up with it, it's worth it. HTC 8X has the volume and better separation than the iPhone, but it's Beats audio without the ability to change the EQ, which is huge. Even if you turn the Beats audio off, you lose a lot of high end and things sound too bassy and muddy. The Galaxy Note 2 seems like it has sound only as an afterthought.
Edited by inthere - 5/6/13 at 12:08pm