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LG G3 as a portable source?

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

a thread for accumulating information about the audio capabilities of the newly released lg g3, especially as it might compare with the htc one m8, or other smartphones or phablets for use in this capacity.  any information about the amp TO THE HEADPHONE OUT would be useful.  similarly any info about its dac.  if a phone is used just as a storage device, via usb otg to an external dac/amp, then obviously all phones are equal.  so the question is how good is the phone if you use its own dac and output.

 

lg g3 

 

 

"Audio fans will appreciate the 1W speaker at the back of the G3, which is similar to the one found in the LG G Pro 2. However this time LG has also enabled a boost mode, which brings its power to 1.5W."  

 

i have not been able to find anything which would verify that this same amp goes to the headphone outlet, though that would make sense.  i came across the amp chip specification below, but haven't been able to find any useful info about that chip used in this capacity.

 

 

 

Speaker Amp Cirrus Logic CS35L32
post #2 of 59

I would like to know about it's headphone output quality as well, or at least how it sounds compared to the G2.   My G2 is the only phone I've owned that I thought sounded good with IEMs.  Even when compared to the Fiio E17 it sounds great for a phone.

post #3 of 59

Qualcomm WCD9320 is the default audio chip for all Snapdragon 800 and 801 phones. My understanding is that it is a "digital" or class D amplifier, so it probably handle the D/A conversion as part of the process that produces the headphone out signal.

 

Now, the G2 is already using the 9320, but since we have gotten multiple phones with the same chip but vary in SQ, it is possible for LG to further improve on the headphone out.

 

About the speaker amp, looking at HTC and Vivo's implementation, it would seem that the amp for speakers is for that purpose only, and do not handle the headphone out.

post #4 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatofamatch View Post
 

Qualcomm WCD9320 is the default audio chip for all Snapdragon 800 and 801 phones. My understanding is that it is a "digital" or class D amplifier, so it probably handle the D/A conversion as part of the process that produces the headphone out signal.

 

Now, the G2 is already using the 9320, but since we have gotten multiple phones with the same chip but vary in SQ, it is possible for LG to further improve on the headphone out.

 

About the speaker amp, looking at HTC and Vivo's implementation, it would seem that the amp for speakers is for that purpose only, and do not handle the headphone out.

i'm pretty sure i read somewhere that the m8 uses the same amp for the headphones as for the speakers.  sorry, i don't have a link handy.

 

------  little work later:

 

ifixit teardown shows only 1 amp chip, not a separate one for the headphones

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/HTC+One+(M8)+Teardown/23615

 

some info on m8 audio output in the multimedia comparison charts at the bottom of these pages- all show the headphone output of the m8 generating MUCH higher output voltage than other smartphones.  of course power isn't everything, but it's something. e.g. m8 headphone output voltage is 1.28 v, while galaxy s5 as well as note 3 are each 0.43, sony z1 and lg g2 both 0.29

 

http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-One-M8-vs-Apple-iPhone-5s_id3624/page/3

http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-One-M8-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3_id3648/page/3

http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Samsung-Galaxy-S5-Review_id3639/page/3


Edited by jk47 - 5/28/14 at 7:34pm
post #5 of 59
Thread Starter 

first full length review i've come across

 

http://www.androidcentral.com/lg-g3-review

 

little about audio other than the speaker doesnt sound as good as the htc one m8's, and the call quality is "average" for an android flagship phone.  nothing about the headphone out, or whether the heavily advertised 1w amp for the speaker also powers the headphones.  i would think so, but i'm only guessing.

 

here's another

 

http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/4/5778556/lg-g3-review


Edited by jk47 - 6/5/14 at 2:10pm
post #6 of 59
Thread Starter 

fwiw

 

Amazingly clean audio output

The LG G3 results in the first part of our audio quality test are nothing short of amazing. The smartphone produced the best numbers we've ever seen including a perfect -100 on the stereo crosstalk score. Sadly, the volume levels weren't quite up with the best so we can't really crown the G3 as the unequivocally best out there, but it will be for those that value cleanness above loudness.

Plugging in a pair of headphones tells a similar story - the output is almost perfectly clean (the stereo crosstalk reading while excellent on its own, is no longer the best we've seen), while the volume levels are slightly below average. The volume is still higher than on the Xperia Z2, for example, so the overall performance is still among the best even for flagships.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
LG G3 +0.02, -0.08 -99.4 98.9 0.0016 0.035 -100.0
LG G3 (headphones attached) +0.02, -0.09 -93.7 93.3 0.0060 0.032 -78.5
Sony Xperia Z2 +0.02, -0.08 -88.2 90.1 0.0063 0.013 -88.9
Sony Xperia Z2 (headphones attached) +0.08, -0.04 -84.7 87.6 0.120 0.066 -60.2
Samsung Galaxy S5 +0.02, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0017 0.0089 -95.2
Samsung Galaxy S5 (headphones) +0.01, -0.08 -96.3 93.3 0.0095 0.018 -61.9
HTC One (M8) +0.04, -0.10 -95.4 93.4 0.0012 0.010 -93.2
HTC One (M8) (headphones) +0.04, -0.08 -94.9 93.9 0.0014 0.018 -79.7
LG G2 +0.03, -0.28 -91.9 91.9 0.0097 0.011 -91.3
LG G2 (headphones) +0.07, -0.03 -91.5 91.8 0.037 0.041 -54.3
Oppo Find 7a +0.03, -0.16 -92.7 92.6 0.0057 0.072 -92.0
Oppo Find 7a (headphones)

http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g3-review-1086p7.php

post #7 of 59

Still don`t know how reliable their testing methods are. But it would be fantastic if it's true.


Edited by Oldfield - 6/7/14 at 8:24am
post #8 of 59

Is it a snapdragon integrated DAC?  What DAC chip is it using?

post #9 of 59

I got the G2 and returned it after comparing to my old I9300. Will be interesting to see what people have to say once it is available.

post #10 of 59
Unfortunately looking at gsmarena's readings, only the speaker output is clean, the headphone output has more distortion and crosstalk in all areas than the m8 and s5.
post #11 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanjsoo View Post

Unfortunately looking at gsmarena's readings, only the speaker output is clean, the headphone output has more distortion and crosstalk in all areas than the m8 and s5.

i'm not sure how significant those differences are.  are they audible, or just slightly different numbers that your ears can't detect?

 

the gmsarena summary of their own numbers for the g3 is:

 

"Plugging in a pair of headphones tells a similar story - the output is almost perfectly clean (the stereo crosstalk reading while excellent on its own, is no longer the best we've seen), while the volume levels are slightly below average. The volume is still higher than on the Xperia Z2, for example, so the overall performance is still among the best even for flagships."

 

i take this to mean that in their estimation there is no practical meaning to the slightly worse numbers compared to the m8, for example.

 

i'm hoping that eventually some members here take the plunge, buy some and review them, or at least take some headphones down to a cell-phone store and do some listening and compare them to the m8.


Edited by jk47 - 6/8/14 at 6:11am
post #12 of 59
Thread Starter 

fwiw, from phonearena, headphone output voltage:

m8  1.28

g3   0.57

s5   0.43

z2   0.29

 
post #13 of 59

We just got one of the Korean LG G3's here to play with a couple of hours ago. As soon as I can manage it I am going to try to get it home to use with my phones and music files.

post #14 of 59

im looking to buy the g3 as well. please let us know how the sound sounds like.

post #15 of 59
Thread Starter 

all the snapdragon devices are using the same dac built into the soc, so no difference there. you're storing the same digital files in the phones, so no difference there, either.  i doubt the data i showed in post #6, above, has much meaning in terms of perceived SQ given the limitations on power shown in THIS post.

 

the only major difference among the phones is in the voltage driving the headphone out. i'm not discussing built-in speakers here.  the only built-in speakers worth anything - according to the reviews - are those of the htc m8, and i doubt they would equal ANY, even the cheapest, of the headphones discussed at this site in terms of SQ.

 

the chart below is from

 

http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/LG-G3-Review_id3718/page/3

 

and shows headphone output voltage.  the original chart actually has pretty, colored bars which go out to the numbers listed.  somehow the copy function here didn't bring those over.  nonetheless, you can see the numbers.  

 

my translation- if you're using super light, super easy to drive portable buds or headset, you'll get pretty much the same sound from each, because the headset quality will define your SQ.  bottom line- your ability to use anything other than an m8 as a portable source is totally dependent on - and limited by - your headset, not the phone.

 

edit- can't format the chart right, and the board won't let me paste a copy, so here's the data that counts:

 

HEADPHONE OUTPUT VOLTAGE

---------------------------------

 

HTC ONE M8           1.28

LG G3                     0.57

SAM S5                   0.43

SONY Z2                 0.29

   

if you want to be able to use better quality phones that might require some power to drive, then your only choice is the htc m8.  i'm skeptical, however, that even the m8 will provide a source that can compete in SQ with a dedicated device.  [i'd be interested in some comparisons by people who are not already committed to, and prejudiced by, the idea of simplifying their lives by using only 1 device for everything.]

 

i've decided to give up on the idea of using a phone as a portable source.  i purchased an ibasso dx90.  now i'll choose my phone based on other considerations entirely - i'm no longer going to worry about their utility as portable sources.

 

 

BTW- if you're interested in the other SQ as in, you know, actual phone calls, the M8 is supposed to be far superior to any of the others, because it uses one of its boom speakers as your earpiece.


Edited by jk47 - 6/16/14 at 11:51am
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