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Smartphone with great audio via 3.5mm out?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fiers,

I am new to head-fi. :)

Prefer headphones over IEMs but an IEM (with mic) makes life livable when one cant use headphones, say during work hours? :P

 

I am looking at buying a new phone for use as an audio source primarily.

  • Has to offer great (and as neutral as possible) audio quality via 3.5mm out, out-of-the-box
  • Should have enough volume/driving power as is, without requiring an additional amp. A phone with another box banded to it is not too appealing at the moment. (Might consider getting one later or use an USB DAC maybe. By then, it might be time for a new phone maybe)
  • Doesn't matter much if Android/WP8 but prefer Android.
  • Price is not a big issue. If there's something available for less, superb. If there is something pricier for minimal gain, depends on other features. If there is something significantly better for more, worth considering it definitely is.
  • Other notes: Want to avoid SAMOLED but Galaxy S3 might be one of main the contenders, so not stressing much on that.

Please help. :)

post #2 of 11

I prefer the iPhone 4s over the other iPhones for audio, including the i5.

 

As far as the best.. probably the S3 is your choice.. since they use good ol Wolfson DACs.

 

HTC One isn't a bad choice.. just turn off Beats Audio.

post #3 of 11

JVC HA-S500 folding headphone, sells for under $60

(does not come with a mic)

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

@RochRx7

Thank you.

 

Yes, I too have considered getting an iPhone 4S.

From whatever little i could understand from gsmarena reviews, the 4S is definitely one of the best, if not the best and better than the 5 too.

It also offers maximus volume with most undemanding HPs/IEMs i think.

 

I have to use 2 phones and that's why checking if there is something as good or better from the Android or WP8 camps.

 

2 suggestions i have till now from a few friends are the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Oppo Find 5

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9300_galaxy_s_iii-4238.php

http://www.gsmarena.com/oppo_find_5-5161.php

post #5 of 11

I reccomend the LG/Google Nexus 4 too.

Qualcomm SnapDragon integrated DAC has been improved a lot, and with a good media player you can squeeze it to recieve great audio performaces, of course you need to pair it with a good pair of headphones ora IEMs.

I personally like the Shure SE215, I've bought them for ~100€ on Amazon.it.

You can get the 16GB version for under 350€ here in Italy, but the price is even lower in other countries, and of course you'll get a wonderful 720p LCD IPS LG panel (LG makes the iPhone's retina display), a stunning Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro and a beautiful design.


Edited by gianguido - 7/19/13 at 5:28am
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RochRx7 View Post

As far as the best.. probably the S3 is your choice.. since they use good ol Wolfson DACs.

 

I thought Galaxy S3s didn't sport the Wolfson DAC chip in North America. D: [click]

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrScratch View Post

 

I thought Galaxy S3s didn't sport the Wolfson DAC chip in North America. D: [click]

In fact the North America Galaxy S3 uses Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, not a great deal in terms of audio quality.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrScratch View Post

 

I thought Galaxy S3s didn't sport the Wolfson DAC chip in North America. D: [click]

eeks.. sorry for that mistake.. I was reading about them in a UK forum and didn't give a second thought that Americans would do things differently.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Note II uses Wolfson too?

How to check if an S3 uses the Wolfson DAC?

 

Nexus 4 i wasn't so sure but can check with my friend's phone when we meet next.

 

A liitle off-topic but i found this online while checking up on the Wolfson pages. Cute little thing. :P

http://www.sharp.co.jp/products/sh07d/index.html#prContent

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

SH-06E and SH-07E on their product page- Wolfson and nice specs overall :)
http://k-tai.sharp.co.jp/lineup/docomo/

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

I might finally settle for an iPhone 4S and a Galaxy S3

or an iPhone 4S and the new Nexus 7 tablet. :)

 

Thanks for helping. :)

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