Best Smartphone for audiophile Part II (Updated: Jan 2020)
Nov 27, 2022 at 11:28 PM Post #4,876 of 5,154
This is my third sleepless night, Using HD 599 SE, as my Focal Listen Pro are in another city. LG`s own music app gives considerably better results than Poweramp, that I am using on the HTC 10 with personal profile in Boomsound, and in the OnePlus. Comparing the 3 phones using 24 bit 96- HTC192 kHz audio and some DSF.
Bass is more on the latter, it makes the soundstage seem wider, but bass quality is the least better of the 3. Clarity and transparency are also behind the other two. The lovely warm tuning of the 695G gives quite an enjoyable, non-tiring and easy listen, but as soon as one starts clinical listening...yeah, you got the idea. HTC 10 has better highs. Think of it as a hybrid between the LG and the OnePlus. Of course, the LG shines in treble extension, and drums have the necesarry pitch to actually sound like drums. Tuning is indeed different, with the OnePlus pulling electric guitars forward in your face, leaving everything behind. And the highs...well, they sound like placed way above, maybe one on the ceiling, rather than on the floor with the rest. HTC 10 shows the best quality bass in rock, but LG excells in EDM in that regard. HTC 10 has some... not veil, but slight muddyness, which can be pleasant at times. Oneplus has Dirac Real HD sound, which is almost indistinguishable, on / off. A close call, but HTC is better, and takes second place after the LG. The HTC sounds more natural than the OnePlus, but I expected the first to smash the latter - this did not happen. More complex music really helps, especially with high-pitched violins, bagpipes and other instruments like this. The differences become quite more apparent.
LG had really good price to performence ratio. It had flagship feature at upper Mid-Tier price in most regions. ROG & Sony are good performers but cost a lot.

At the end of the day, in the current market these phones provide better sound than your typical smartphones or budget dongle DACs but can't beat some >200 USD DAC/Amps like EarMen Sparrow, Fiio BTR7, Cayin RU6...
 
Nov 28, 2022 at 3:14 AM Post #4,877 of 5,154
I snagged a brand new OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G with a contract for $ 80. I put my HD 599 SE on... Lo and behold... Qualcomm® WCD9385 and DSD playback on Android 12 (!), but I cannot say if it was converted to PCM in Poweramp. Good sound, not that far off LG V10 and G7, maybe on par with HTC 10. Great LCD, almost LED-like (I cannot stand Amoled), and plenty of power for my 50 ohm headphones. I guess the integraded audio soultions are becoming better and better, I was pleasantly surprised. While nothing to write home about, I expected the OnePlus to be totally annihilated by both LG phones, which did not happen, although they were clear winners. The sound signature was similar to Xperia 10 IV that I reviewed not so long ago, although it is clear that Sony tweaked the sound from 695G. A lot! Especially in the bass department.

https://www.qualcomm.com/products/application/audio/mobile-audio/wcd9385

I wonder if we'll ever see an upgrade from standard IPS LCD displays on phones to miniLED like on the iPad Pro? Cuz that would be a significant step towards near-OLED contrast via lots more dimming zones in backlit LCDs.

MicroLED & micro QD-OLED are the next step but we're still around 3-5 years away from "affordable luxury" products and 6-8 years away from mainstream offerings.

https://www.stoneitech.com/lcd-oled-mini-micro-led-micro-oled-technology-fully-explained/
 
Nov 28, 2022 at 7:10 PM Post #4,878 of 5,154
.........
Pleasantly surprised by an Android 12 update on my LG G8, with September security patch. Does my Bluetooth sound better? It's certainly louder. At least LG is going out with class :)

Yeah I somehow got an Android 12 patch on my 5-year-old Huawei P20 Pro and 4-year-old Oppo Reno 10X Zoom too!

The 5X actual/10X hybrid periscope zoom is a nice upgrade for sightseeing from the 3X/5X on the Huawei.

Respectively they were some of the first to sport standard telephoto and periscope lens cameras. :L3000:

Now I'm waiting on future ultrarepairable endomodular models from Fairphone or Shiftphone to be good enough as my daily driver -- US network band support, OLED displays, better cameras, etc. -- and 10-12.5 inch "expanda-phones" that hopefully have every flagship feature under the sun in addition to doubling both as a regular smartphone and netbook-sized tablet/laptop.

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P.S. I paired the BQEYZ KC2 with my pair of Fiio UTWS 3 tonight and the end-of-track hissing static was absent so that's good. Apparently my pair of BGVP Zero also has this problem with the Hidizs S9 Pro so I'll update you guys here again if I find more cases like this.
 
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Nov 29, 2022 at 8:13 PM Post #4,879 of 5,154
I never liked any LED. Too much of something is always wrong, be it contrast, brightness, or colour depth. Cartoonish colours and attention-grabbing picture...those things makw the pro photographer in me say "yuck, outrageously artificial". The only one I liked was in Xperia 10 IV, but PWM at 250 Hz.... It should be 25 kHz, as some people are sensitive up to 10 kHz. Newsflash: every human is. There are tons of pro-ophtalmologist articles on the matter, there's also led strain forum. I dropped out of Medical college, I choose electrical engineering instead of optometry. So I am a rare breed, but I am not a match at all to the above mentioned.

I was shocked at the black from Oneplus Nord CE 2 Lite 5g, I swear it looks like an Oled. Mimimal brightness is fantastic too. It was sharper than both LG V10 and G7, despite the lower resolution and PPI. I watched a ton of Youtube content, HDR and not, up to 12K, opting for the highest resolution. It was very different and beyons surprising to experience. Now I don't want to sell it for profit. Having 5 phones is too much for a man on a budget. So, even midrange screens now can please a pixel peeper like me. Even LG V0 is good enough for a heavy user and some games. The luxury of many external charges and thin batteries to swap in seconds beats everything else. I don't know if I'll ever again use a phone with non-removable battery. I laught at the kilowatt chargers and ridiculous flagship pricing thst costs like a decent used car does.
@userloser I did a blind test and HTC 10 was more rhytmic and refined. Snapdragon 695 sounds a bit bloated with bass, with all other frequencies on steroids, trying to engage you.
@Results45. Yeah, alot of thoughts. I used a wall plug with a Wattmeter display, and a dual USB tester by UniT (the meters in small form factor like pendrives are inaccurate). Realme and OnePlus share the same parent company, the charging is very similar. Mine came with 33W SuperVooc @ 10V. I didn't like my phone charging at 27W, 9V / 3A. Another cable gave 2A, which is better - less heat and wear on battety. Slower, but not slow charging. I found power banks that support the older Vooc, wherr my phone pulled 4.3V, aroind 13W. This is marvellous, as the voltage drops closer to the nominal 3.7V of the cell. From 20 to 80 %, it took 68 min to charge, which is great. 18W charging - 44 min, 27W - 33 min. So, not a deal breaker. As closer to 3.7V possible, and somewhat below its amperage is what the battery needs. A 5 Ah battery like the one im Nord CE 2 Lite must be charged at a current below 5A. The easiest way...look at the battery rating in Wh. A 15 Wh one must be charged at a maximum of 15W. So, 240W marketing gimmics should be prosecuted by law. Even dual cell batteries still suffer from too much charging power. Maximum 15W - a Samsung A52 with 5.16 Ah battery got hot even at 15W. This is how one gets the best of both worlds - fast charging and prolonged battery lifespan. It took me months of testing to figure out and share this simple truth.
 
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Dec 12, 2022 at 10:29 AM Post #4,880 of 5,154
Gentlemen, are there any interesting phones in recent 2-3 years? My Galaxy S7 is in service right now and as happy as I am with it (it just does the job for me plus DAC/Amp+Poweramp mix on it can ashame many bluetooth DACs) I would like to be ready just in case if it cannot be repaired.
As I'm based in Euorpe, S10 Exynos (Standard, not Ultra, as Ultra it is way too big for me) looks like a natural replacement but it's not the newest one and hard to obtain in Poland as new. Probably proper mix of size (tho I prefer S7 as I can use it easily with 1 hand), Cirrus' DAC/amp and 3,5mm jack and good performance.

Are there any other phones released after S10 with similar (or preferably smaller) size, with DAC, 3,5mm and strong hardware??
 
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Dec 22, 2022 at 9:45 PM Post #4,881 of 5,154
I currently have a Samsung S20 that I am running at 2400x1080 at 60hz to improve battery life which is just shy of 2 years old.

My main use is music followed by internet browsing, work apps such as Teams, Outlook, occasional YouTube.

I am thinking of getting the Xperia 10 iv even though it has lower specs compared to my S20 as I feel it will allow me to continue to use my SD card for music, give me back the 3.5mm jack for my wired headphones/IEM's, and give me more BT codec options (APTx HD/ Adaptive) versus just the usual AAC/SBC/LDAC options on the Samsung.

So would the music abilities be a step up from S20? If so would they over come some of the steps down from the S20 in regards to screen quality and possible slower processor?

I have also looked at the Xperia 1 and 5 but the 10 is less than 50% of the cost of the 5 and about 30% of the cost of the 1 so significantly cheaper and I do not do lots of photography so feel the lower camera will be OK and as stated above I actually use the S20 at a lower resolution and 60hz refresh to gain battery life so think the 10 iv will offer a somewhat similar user experience to what I am used to.

Does this make sense? Any thoughts on whether I would be satisfied with the midrange phone compared to a 2 year old flagship?
 
Dec 22, 2022 at 10:36 PM Post #4,882 of 5,154
I currently have a Samsung S20 that I am running at 2400x1080 at 60hz to improve battery life which is just shy of 2 years old.

My main use is music followed by internet browsing, work apps such as Teams, Outlook, occasional YouTube.

I am thinking of getting the Xperia 10 iv even though it has lower specs compared to my S20 as I feel it will allow me to continue to use my SD card for music, give me back the 3.5mm jack for my wired headphones/IEM's, and give me more BT codec options (APTx HD/ Adaptive) versus just the usual AAC/SBC/LDAC options on the Samsung.

So would the music abilities be a step up from S20? If so would they over come some of the steps down from the S20 in regards to screen quality and possible slower processor?

I have also looked at the Xperia 1 and 5 but the 10 is less than 50% of the cost of the 5 and about 30% of the cost of the 1 so significantly cheaper and I do not do lots of photography so feel the lower camera will be OK and as stated above I actually use the S20 at a lower resolution and 60hz refresh to gain battery life so think the 10 iv will offer a somewhat similar user experience to what I am used to.

Does this make sense? Any thoughts on whether I would be satisfied with the midrange phone compared to a 2 year old flagship?
get a used v60.
 
Dec 22, 2022 at 11:30 PM Post #4,883 of 5,154
I need a phone that's is able to stay current on the OS and security updates or it will get blocked for work use. Can't root it either. But I get the V60 comment as I do have an older V40 and used LG for quite a while.

But given the modern options how is the Xperia 10 iv? Again I like the 3.5mm jack, the SD card (have 256GB card in my S20 full of music). I also want as many latest codecs as possible.

If not Xperia, what si my next best option that has most of the features I want?
 
Dec 24, 2022 at 1:04 AM Post #4,884 of 5,154
@dweaver my rec would be to stick with the S20 since the sony phone won't bring any improvements in sound quality and you end up with lower performance.

With LDAC you get the best of bluetooth, I'm not sure why you want to use Aptx HD or Adaptive but purely for sound, LDAC is the best option currently.

As for the missing 3.5 jack, xperia 10 IV will probably have slightly better audio performence than most smartphones because of the sound enhancements that sony has implemented but it won't be comparable to LG or Asus ROG interms of power. At the end of the day, a good dedicated DAC/Amp will beat all the phones so...

Keep the S20 and get a good bluetooth DAC/Amp like Go Blu, BTR7 or if you don't like to charge and carry an extra device then some small dongle DAC like ddHiFi TC35 Pro should be good enough.
 
Dec 24, 2022 at 1:56 AM Post #4,885 of 5,154
Thanks @Johnfg465vd

In looking the 10 iv has bad support for cell providers in Canada so it's out for sure. The more I look the more I am thinking to just stand pat with me S20.

If I did buy, it would be the 1 iv as it would have the best cellular support, LDAC, APTx HD/Adaptive Snapdragon sound, 3.5mm jack, and ability to add SD memory. So offers the most audio options in a smart phone.

BUT I already have SD support in my S20 and have found I can also use HWA with Hiby music player to use LDHC for BT devices that support LDHC. Not quite as good as native support but doable and from my tests with my UTWS5 and some 24 41-96hz files I could definitely hear a difference that was very similar to LDAC for audio quality.

I do own my Pono player for just playing music so can use that too. But generally just use my phone because I am lazy LOL.

I could also just buy a good USB DAC with my phone and still be way cheaper than springing for a new phone... So barring winning the lottery I think my S20 which works great is good enough. I actually chose the S20 over the S21 just to get the SD slot.

Thanks for the good advice and walking me from the edge :).
 
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Dec 24, 2022 at 8:15 AM Post #4,886 of 5,154
Thanks @Johnfg465vd

In looking the 10 iv has bad support for cell providers in Canada so it's out for sure. The more I look the more I am thinking to just stand pat with me S20.

If I did buy, it would be the 1 iv as it would have the best cellular support, LDAC, APTx HD/Adaptive Snapdragon sound, 3.5mm jack, and ability to add SD memory. So offers the most audio options in a smart phone.

BUT I already have SD support in my S20 and have found I can also use HWA with Hiby music player to use LDHC for BT devices that support LDHC. Not quite as good as native support but doable and from my tests with my UTWS5 and some 24 41-96hz files I could definitely hear a difference that was very similar to LDAC for audio quality.

I do own my Pono player for just playing music so can use that too. But generally just use my phone because I am lazy LOL.

I could also just buy a good USB DAC with my phone and still be way cheaper than springing for a new phone... So barring winning the lottery I think my S20 which works great is good enough. I actually chose the S20 over the S21 just to get the SD slot.

Thanks for the good advice and walking me from the edge :).

Yeah you're pretty well off with your S20 as the most recent "flagship-like" Galaxy phones with headphone jacks are the S10 Lite and A52s 5G the former sporting the still-runs-everything-even-Apex-legends-at-60fps Snapdragon 855 and the latter sporting the equivalent-but-better-power-efficiency Snapdragon 778.

And the as @Johnfg465vd implied the latest phones to consider with a dedicated DAC-AMP are the V60 or G8X from LG or the Asus ROG Phone 5.

Going the USB dongle route and Bluetooth with the Fiio BTR5/BTR7 or UTWS 3/5 for IEMs is definitely the way to go IMO as that will allow you to drive almost any wired headphone in existence and even transform any pair/model of your choosing on a given into wireless headphones.

My only concern with using a dongle-DAC with flagship phones is the battery life since the ones with the Sabre ES9028/38 or ES9280/81 tend to boost your phone's rate of battery drain by 50% or even double hence why I considered either the Galaxy M51 or Xperia 10 IV (snagged Sony for under $300) as my dedicated travel DAP since they're midrange phones with energy efficient SoCs and huge 5,000-7,000mAh batteries.

Then again, my phone collection is growing both as I upgrade my daily driver every 1-2 years as my 'old' one slowly dies after a several drops off my bike at speed and I find an excuse to buy models on deep discount with unique features (modularity, periscope zoom, outstandingly long battery life, integrated quad-DAC, combos of said features, etc.) for such dedicated use cases: gaming, photography, DAP, and seeing on vacation if my my Moto Z4 can survive a week without charging with only 4 battery Moto Mods. 😏

I am excited to see what Samsung packs into the upcoming rumored Galaxy M34 since as the M51 and a few recent models demonstrate that Samsung is willing to keep the headphone jack and pair it with larger batteries and 120hz OLED displays with the same updated midrange SoC & cameras as variants in developed countries for the Indian market as well as adjacent markets in developing countries.
 
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Dec 25, 2022 at 4:38 AM Post #4,887 of 5,154
Just an update regarding the Asus ROG 6 Pro phone - it doesn't sound good at all compared to the LG V60 (just driving a pair of MEST MK2 and EE Legend Evo). Even the Bluetooth audio quality isn't great over aptX Adaptive (which is the main reason I chose the ROG 6 Pro flagship over the Xperia 1-IV 16GB edition and upcoming S23 Ultra).

I suspect it has something to do with that built-in Dirac Audio Wizard which I can't seem to disable - there's 4 preset audio profiles and it seems to interfere in terms of DSP with sound quality which is quite frustrating. I believe the Sony Xperia 1-IV also has a built-in audio wizard which you can't disable so I wonder if it has the same problem when streaming Bluetooth aptX Adaptive (I'm using the Noble FoKus Pro TWS which is by far my favorite TWS on the market).

Performance wise it's phenomenal though, huge upgrade in terms of speed and multitasking with the SDG1+ chipset/18GB RAM/165Hz/6000maH battery @1080P. Even the new Pixel 7 Pro (which I also got as gift) doesn't compare outside of camera and software UI/UX. I really wish Samsung would just stop forcing us to use their proprietary SSC codec and just pay Qualcomm to allow aptX Adaptive/Lossless, it would make things so much simpler.

Anyway I'm wondering if I should wait it out until the summer for the Xperia 1-V with improved thermals or get an Xperia 1-IV 16GB right now (assuming the Bluetooth SQ is actual aptX Adaptive and doesn't get affected by software DSP). It's hard to believe that my 3 year old LG V60 sounds much better over Bluetooth even though the codecs are identical (aptX Adaptive).

Edit: I did find a temporary workaround this issue, just use UAPP in bitperfect mode with Tidal and it bypasses all EQ/DSP. It sounds just as good as my V60 now but I really hate the UAPP UI/UX.

I wonder if it's worth trying the Xperia 1-IV (16GB gaming edition update with better thermals) at this point, I do need a flagship to upgrade so I'll likely return the ROG 6 Pro but there's always the option of a BT 5.3 transmitter from Nura for example. The Xperia looks like it can have all its audio enhancement settings disabled but I can't know for sure from my research. Dolby Sound, 360 Reality Audio, 360 Upmix, DSEE Ultimate (upscales compressed data somehow to make it sound better), and the intelligent wind filter all seem to be able to be turned off easily with a note at the bottom saying that turning all these off will still output base high-res audio. I hope it's like my LG V60's 3D sound engine which you can just toggle off with no issue.
 
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Dec 31, 2022 at 1:37 PM Post #4,888 of 5,154
:wink:Just an update regarding the Asus ROG 6 Pro phone - it doesn't sound good at all compared to the LG V60 (just driving a pair of MEST MK2 and EE Legend Evo). Even the Bluetooth audio quality isn't great over aptX Adaptive (which is the main reason I chose the ROG 6 Pro flagship over the Xperia 1-IV 16GB edition and upcoming S23 Ultra).

I suspect it has something to do with that built-in Dirac Audio Wizard which I can't seem to disable - there's 4 preset audio profiles and it seems to interfere in terms of DSP with sound quality which is quite frustrating. I believe the Sony Xperia 1-IV also has a built-in audio wizard which you can't disable so I wonder if it has the same problem when streaming Bluetooth aptX Adaptive (I'm using the Noble FoKus Pro TWS which is by far my favorite TWS on the market).

Performance wise it's phenomenal though, huge upgrade in terms of speed and multitasking with the SDG1+ chipset/18GB RAM/165Hz/6000maH battery @1080P. Even the new Pixel 7 Pro (which I also got as gift) doesn't compare outside of camera and software UI/UX. I really wish Samsung would just stop forcing us to use their proprietary SSC codec and just pay Qualcomm to allow aptX Adaptive/Lossless, it would make things so much simpler.

Anyway I'm wondering if I should wait it out until the summer for the Xperia 1-V with improved thermals or get an Xperia 1-IV 16GB right now (assuming the Bluetooth SQ is actual aptX Adaptive and doesn't get affected by software DSP). It's hard to believe that my 3 year old LG V60 sounds much better over Bluetooth even though the codecs are identical (aptX Adaptive).

Edit: I did find a temporary workaround this issue, just use UAPP in bitperfect mode with Tidal and it bypasses all EQ/DSP. It sounds just as good as my V60 now but I really hate the UAPP UI/UX.

I wonder if it's worth trying the Xperia 1-IV (16GB gaming edition update with better thermals) at this point, I do need a flagship to upgrade so I'll likely return the ROG 6 Pro but there's always the option of a BT 5.3 transmitter from Nura for example. The Xperia looks like it can have all its audio enhancement settings disabled but I can't know for sure from my research. Dolby Sound, 360 Reality Audio, 360 Upmix, DSEE Ultimate (upscales compressed data somehow to make it sound better), and the intelligent wind filter all seem to be able to be turned off easily with a note at the bottom saying that turning all these off will still output base high-res audio. I hope it's like my LG V60's 3D sound engine which you can just toggle off with no issue.

Well the big distinction is that the ROG Phone 6 no longer has integrated dedicated DAC-AMP circuitry. Now Asus sells it separately as a ES9281 PRO dongle wheres the ROG Phone 5 had an internal ES9280 Pro.

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Amplifier-Noise-Canceling-Compatible-Playstation/dp/B082GWQ77M

Also Adam Neely's Behringer PM1 (maybe costs a bit more for some similar XLR-to-balanced output device will more power?) solution seems pretty cool.



P.S. The January update of the "US-compatible Phones with 3.5mm jacks" list will be posted soon :wink:
 
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Dec 31, 2022 at 6:00 PM Post #4,889 of 5,154
Just an update regarding the Asus ROG 6 Pro phone - it doesn't sound good at all compared to the LG V60 (just driving a pair of MEST MK2 and EE Legend Evo). Even the Bluetooth audio quality isn't great over aptX Adaptive (which is the main reason I chose the ROG 6 Pro flagship over the Xperia 1-IV 16GB edition and upcoming S23 Ultra).

I suspect it has something to do with that built-in Dirac Audio Wizard which I can't seem to disable - there's 4 preset audio profiles and it seems to interfere in terms of DSP with sound quality which is quite frustrating. I believe the Sony Xperia 1-IV also has a built-in audio wizard which you can't disable so I wonder if it has the same problem when streaming Bluetooth aptX Adaptive (I'm using the Noble FoKus Pro TWS which is by far my favorite TWS on the market).

Performance wise it's phenomenal though, huge upgrade in terms of speed and multitasking with the SDG1+ chipset/18GB RAM/165Hz/6000maH battery @1080P. Even the new Pixel 7 Pro (which I also got as gift) doesn't compare outside of camera and software UI/UX. I really wish Samsung would just stop forcing us to use their proprietary SSC codec and just pay Qualcomm to allow aptX Adaptive/Lossless, it would make things so much simpler.

Anyway I'm wondering if I should wait it out until the summer for the Xperia 1-V with improved thermals or get an Xperia 1-IV 16GB right now (assuming the Bluetooth SQ is actual aptX Adaptive and doesn't get affected by software DSP). It's hard to believe that my 3 year old LG V60 sounds much better over Bluetooth even though the codecs are identical (aptX Adaptive).

Edit: I did find a temporary workaround this issue, just use UAPP in bitperfect mode with Tidal and it bypasses all EQ/DSP. It sounds just as good as my V60 now but I really hate the UAPP UI/UX.

I wonder if it's worth trying the Xperia 1-IV (16GB gaming edition update with better thermals) at this point, I do need a flagship to upgrade so I'll likely return the ROG 6 Pro but there's always the option of a BT 5.3 transmitter from Nura for example. The Xperia looks like it can have all its audio enhancement settings disabled but I can't know for sure from my research. Dolby Sound, 360 Reality Audio, 360 Upmix, DSEE Ultimate (upscales compressed data somehow to make it sound better), and the intelligent wind filter all seem to be able to be turned off easily with a note at the bottom saying that turning all these off will still output base high-res audio. I hope it's like my LG V60's 3D sound engine which you can just toggle off with no issue.
I have the Sony 5 iV and yes all audio enhancements can be turned off
 
Jan 11, 2023 at 2:55 PM Post #4,890 of 5,154
Just an update regarding the Asus ROG 6 Pro phone - it doesn't sound good at all compared to the LG V60 (just driving a pair of MEST MK2 and EE Legend Evo). Even the Bluetooth audio quality isn't great over aptX Adaptive (which is the main reason I chose the ROG 6 Pro flagship over the Xperia 1-IV 16GB edition and upcoming S23 Ultra).

I suspect it has something to do with that built-in Dirac Audio Wizard which I can't seem to disable - there's 4 preset audio profiles and it seems to interfere in terms of DSP with sound quality which is quite frustrating. I believe the Sony Xperia 1-IV also has a built-in audio wizard which you can't disable so I wonder if it has the same problem when streaming Bluetooth aptX Adaptive (I'm using the Noble FoKus Pro TWS which is by far my favorite TWS on the market).

Performance wise it's phenomenal though, huge upgrade in terms of speed and multitasking with the SDG1+ chipset/18GB RAM/165Hz/6000maH battery @1080P. Even the new Pixel 7 Pro (which I also got as gift) doesn't compare outside of camera and software UI/UX. I really wish Samsung would just stop forcing us to use their proprietary SSC codec and just pay Qualcomm to allow aptX Adaptive/Lossless, it would make things so much simpler.

Anyway I'm wondering if I should wait it out until the summer for the Xperia 1-V with improved thermals or get an Xperia 1-IV 16GB right now (assuming the Bluetooth SQ is actual aptX Adaptive and doesn't get affected by software DSP). It's hard to believe that my 3 year old LG V60 sounds much better over Bluetooth even though the codecs are identical (aptX Adaptive).

Edit: I did find a temporary workaround this issue, just use UAPP in bitperfect mode with Tidal and it bypasses all EQ/DSP. It sounds just as good as my V60 now but I really hate the UAPP UI/UX.

I wonder if it's worth trying the Xperia 1-IV (16GB gaming edition update with better thermals) at this point, I do need a flagship to upgrade so I'll likely return the ROG 6 Pro but there's always the option of a BT 5.3 transmitter from Nura for example. The Xperia looks like it can have all its audio enhancement settings disabled but I can't know for sure from my research. Dolby Sound, 360 Reality Audio, 360 Upmix, DSEE Ultimate (upscales compressed data somehow to make it sound better), and the intelligent wind filter all seem to be able to be turned off easily with a note at the bottom saying that turning all these off will still output base high-res audio. I hope it's like my LG V60's 3D sound engine which you can just toggle off with no issue.
As you may know, I compared the IV versions of Xperia 1 and 10. The flagship's audio was so bad, it was laughable. I couldn't believe it and checked many times if I had compared correctly...Yes, the 10 IV annihilated 1 IV in every way. Notebookcheck claims the pwm curve is even and flat, so even at 250 Hz might suit the sensitive eyes. I quite liked the display, considering there's nobody in the world who hates LED more than I do. It was shocking that the 1 IV costs more than 3x the price of a 10 IV.
 

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