Best Smartphone for audiophile Part II (Updated: Jan 2020)
Apr 27, 2023 at 10:15 AM Post #4,966 of 5,154
Hello, I'm new here!

Right now I'm debating if I need to buy LG G7 as my new phone and music player(because of DAC) or is it better to buy some USB or USB-C DAC dongle to use it with my current phone.
My current phone is Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and to be honest I don't see any reason to change it right now, it works for me. I'm not interested in newest phone possible or best camera, etc. I use it only for instant messaging apps or some web browsing.
I've looked into LG QuadDAC series and only G7 meets my requirement for LCD display since OLED hurt my eyes badly.
There is some secondhand G7 phones in my country or from eBay USA for ~110-120USD or I can buy one with broken front glass for ~50USD and replace it with display from Ali for ~25USD.

So the question is, is it worth it to buy G7 and use it as a phone and music player or is it better to save the money(maybe even add some more) and invest it in some dongle-DAC, which I can also use with my notebook. And to be honest, if I'm going to update the phone I have some better options for this within same price range.
I listen to music with Chi-fi IEM's from 50-250USD price range(Tin-Audio, Fiio, etc)

I'll be glad to hear your opinions, thanks.
 
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Apr 27, 2023 at 12:18 PM Post #4,967 of 5,154
Hello, I'm new here!

Right now I'm debating if I need to buy LG G7 as my new phone and music player(because of DAC) or is it better to buy some USB or USB-C DAC dongle to use it with my current phone.
My current phone is Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and to be honest I don't see any reason to change it right now, it works for me. I'm not interested in newest phone possible or best camera, etc. I use it only for instant messaging apps or some web browsing.
I've looked into LG QuadDAC series and only G7 meets my requirement for LCD display since OLED hurt my eyes badly.
There is some secondhand G7 phones in my country or from eBay USA for ~110-120USD or I can buy one with broken front glass for ~50USD and replace it with display from Ali for ~25USD.

So the question is, is it worth it to buy G7 and use it as a phone and music player or is it better to save the money(maybe even add some more) and invest it in some dongle-DAC, which I can also use with my notebook. And to be honest, if I'm going to update the phone I have some better options for this within same price range.
I listen to music with Chi-fi IEM's from 50-250USD price range(Tin-Audio, Fiio, etc)

I'll be glad to hear your opinions, thanks.
Unless you find dongle DACs to be a nuisance for daily use, my recommendation would be to get something like the Fiio BTR5 2021 or iBasso DC03Pro... or something similar that meets your requirements like power output, battery (non-battery powered DACs drain the phone's battery a bit quickly), size... e.t.c. If you can find a used Fiio BTR7 or Cayin RU6, then that would be even better.

As for the phone, odd that you have issues with OLED, it's generally known to be less harmful/fatiguing than LCD but get what ever phone meets your requirements like price range, service center availability, screen size... e.t.c. most phones these days are pretty good. These days it's mostly the same story with portable DACs as most of them are pretty good and the main difference is how they are tuned and synergize with a particular transducer.

The only reason to go for something like the LG G7 would be if you don't like carrying an extra device with you and need an AIO device for music and general use that isn't as expensive as a decent quality DAP.

In comparision to the LG G7, the BTR5 2021 will be a tiny bit better (as long as you are using Balanced Out) and something like the RU6 or BTR7 will be even better (again, using Balanced Outs).
 
Apr 29, 2023 at 2:14 PM Post #4,968 of 5,154
As for the phone, odd that you have issues with OLED, it's generally known to be less harmful/fatiguing than LCD

It is exactly the opposite. I find it outrageous that unqualified people provide false info like this. Hint: brightness / contrast / light intensity. LED are crap and always will be. Do not ever trust the marketing hype. Manufacturers always claim that some world-unknown-nobodies "experts" said...exactly what is convenient for the manufacturers. Especially Scamsung, claiming that human eyes cannot perceive more than 400 ppi, where a simple optometric study proved that human eyes can easily perceive above 2 000 ppi. I won`t go much into detail, as nobody pays me to give my life`s work for free.
Be advised that, according to Notebookcheck " Unfortunately, the ThinQ uses PWM to regulate brightness at 42% brightness and below. The frequency is relatively high at 1,174 Hz, but it is detectable over a large portion of brightness, so those who are sensitive to PWM should bear this in mind. Additionally, we did not notice any backlight bleeding during our tests."
I own the G7 and while the colour accuracy is BAD, I find the cartoonish colours more pleasant than any LED crap, or Scamsung crap. The soundstage is smaller and the bass is a bit leaner than V10 and V20. But clarity and transparency, attack...oh, my!!! If your headphones are below 50 Ohm and have a replaceable headphone cable, plug it and then connect it to the phone, to enter AUX mode. With various CCA and KZ headphones, I only need to unplug the left cable from the earphone. The phone is quite fast and responsive, much better than LG V10 / V20 / HTC 10. That being said, V20 has quite a similar sound to G7. After hours of comparing, I tend to like the V20 a bit more. V10 is in a league of its own. I`d advise you to get one. I invested in spare batteries and external chargers. That way no heat, no bootloop will appear. Since I broke mine, I charged it with cable, just to see if it will bootloop, and it did...in the worst moment, and I lost a ton of data that I always told myself I would backup...tomorrow. I like the width of the display of G7. While no 16:9, it is exactly as wide as my HTC 10 and it is the most comfortable 20:9 phone I ever had in my hand, out of many. AliExpress has 99100 store, where they sell the ULM version (USA unlocked), this is what I had. PM me if you want a link. The charging of all mentioned LG phones was limited to prevent damage, and it is around 14W, which is fantastic. I don`t have to combine different chargers and cables to prevent quick charging. I extensively compared V10 to the xDuoo Link2 Bal and I prefer the LG. The xDuoo gives narrower soundstage and a V-W sound signature via balanced, at least on my HDD 599 SE. Since the xDuoo is legendary at the $ 150 range...I`d definitely take the V10 as a player, as it clearly surpasses G7, giving more raw, analogue sound, wider soundstate with fuller sound, higher quality bass with just the right speed / impact. On the other hand, G7 easily surpasses the non-pro iBasso DC03 and 7hz 71. So, if you would take a dongle, it must be of higher-end.
 
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Apr 29, 2023 at 7:26 PM Post #4,969 of 5,154
It is exactly the opposite. I find it outrageous that unqualified people provide false info like this. Hint: brightness / contrast / light intensity. LED are crap and always will be. Do not ever trust the marketing hype. Manufacturers always claim that some world-unknown-nobodies "experts" said...exactly what is convenient for the manufacturers. Especially Scamsung, claiming that human eyes cannot perceive more than 400 ppi, where a simple optometric study proved that human eyes can easily perceive above 2 000 ppi. I won`t go much into detail, as nobody pays me to give my life`s work for free.
What are you ranting about? What does my statement have to do with any of the things you've mentioned like ppi, brightness, Samsung, LED...?

I agree with you on one thing, the LG G7 has a really good form factor. It's a bit sad that most flagship phones these days are huge and not very comfortable to hold.

As for sound, after owning 3 different LG Phones and listening to 1 another LG Phone, I came to the conclusion that all of them are performing at a similar level but because of the way they are tuned, some IEMs might synergize a bit better with a particular LG model.

The output power is fine for most IEMs but on some hard to drive planar IEMs like Timeless or Hook-X or even with IEMs like IE 600, I was maxing out the volume and it was still below my usual listening levels. Using the Impedance trick helps but it's annoying (for me). Hence why I recommended an external DAC for better headroom and control over the transducer. Not to mention the possibilty to connect the same DAC to the users Laptop which was something that the user felt might come in handy.

As for performance, if you are comparing the G7 with phones from 2016 then it will probably seem fast but even Mid range phones these days have better performance and UI fluidity thanks to high refresh rate displays, newer chipsets, OS... which are things that are useful for a phone that's meant to be a primary device. If the user was only looking for a secondary device, just for music then I'd have recommended the G7 if he/she were on a budget.
 
Apr 30, 2023 at 9:38 AM Post #4,971 of 5,154
Loving my Xperia 1 iv
Great headphone out (quite bass-heavy), LDAC and lovely white finish. Really a change for Apple user like myself. 0E0EC2DA-7FD2-4827-89B1-2EBEDEA73070.jpeg
 
Apr 30, 2023 at 10:06 AM Post #4,972 of 5,154
I disagree. Comparing G7 to OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5g did not show any difference in responsiveness. I used both for weeks. What I found fascinating was how much worse did xDuoo Link2 Bal perform with Android. It was miles better with Foobar2000 + Wasapi under Windows 7. I prefer the latter, when comparing phones. But if I connect it to different Android phones and use either PowerAmp or LG`s built-in app...it is mediocre. Changing USB mode or gain via the switches does not help either. And with some tracks, it is especially bad. Same tracks sound greats under Windows. The consistency just isn`t there under Android. Shocking...
 
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Apr 30, 2023 at 3:12 PM Post #4,973 of 5,154
Loving my Xperia 1 iv
Great headphone out (quite bass-heavy), LDAC and lovely white finish. Really a change for Apple user like myself.0E0EC2DA-7FD2-4827-89B1-2EBEDEA73070.jpeg

I would have like to get a SKU with that chassis color, but at a 40% discount and lightly used I couldn't refuse the deal I got for mine.

Then I found a Spigen-knockoff case with the best rear-camera protection........

9sfr69Z.jpg
 
Apr 30, 2023 at 3:25 PM Post #4,974 of 5,154
I disagree. Comparing G7 to OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5g did not show any difference in responsiveness. I used both for weeks. What I found fascinating was how much worse did xDuoo Link2 Bal perform with Android. It was miles better with Foobar2000 + Wasapi under Windows 7. I prefer the latter, when comparing phones. But if I connect it to different Android phones and use either PowerAmp or LG`s built-in app...it is mediocre. Changing USB mode or gain via the switches does not help either. And with some tracks, it is especially bad. Same tracks sound greats under Windows. The consistency just isn`t there under Android. Shocking...
Isn't this just attributable to not using an Android app that can do bit-perfect output?
 
May 1, 2023 at 4:48 PM Post #4,976 of 5,154
It is exactly the opposite. I find it outrageous that unqualified people provide false info like this. Hint: brightness / contrast / light intensity. LED are crap and always will be. Do not ever trust the marketing hype. Manufacturers always claim that some world-unknown-nobodies "experts" said...exactly what is convenient for the manufacturers. Especially Scamsung, claiming that human eyes cannot perceive more than 400 ppi, where a simple optometric study proved that human eyes can easily perceive above 2 000 ppi. I won`t go much into detail, as nobody pays me to give my life`s work for free.
Be advised that, according to Notebookcheck " Unfortunately, the ThinQ uses PWM to regulate brightness at 42% brightness and below. The frequency is relatively high at 1,174 Hz, but it is detectable over a large portion of brightness, so those who are sensitive to PWM should bear this in mind. Additionally, we did not notice any backlight bleeding during our tests."
I own the G7 and while the colour accuracy is BAD, I find the cartoonish colours more pleasant than any LED crap, or Scamsung crap. The soundstage is smaller and the bass is a bit leaner than V10 and V20. But clarity and transparency, attack...oh, my!!! If your headphones are below 50 Ohm and have a replaceable headphone cable, plug it and then connect it to the phone, to enter AUX mode. With various CCA and KZ headphones, I only need to unplug the left cable from the earphone. The phone is quite fast and responsive, much better than LG V10 / V20 / HTC 10. That being said, V20 has quite a similar sound to G7. After hours of comparing, I tend to like the V20 a bit more. V10 is in a league of its own. I`d advise you to get one. I invested in spare batteries and external chargers. That way no heat, no bootloop will appear. Since I broke mine, I charged it with cable, just to see if it will bootloop, and it did...in the worst moment, and I lost a ton of data that I always told myself I would backup...tomorrow. I like the width of the display of G7. While no 16:9, it is exactly as wide as my HTC 10 and it is the most comfortable 20:9 phone I ever had in my hand, out of many. AliExpress has 99100 store, where they sell the ULM version (USA unlocked), this is what I had. PM me if you want a link. The charging of all mentioned LG phones was limited to prevent damage, and it is around 14W, which is fantastic. I don`t have to combine different chargers and cables to prevent quick charging. I extensively compared V10 to the xDuoo Link2 Bal and I prefer the LG. The xDuoo gives narrower soundstage and a V-W sound signature via balanced, at least on my HDD 599 SE. Since the xDuoo is legendary at the $ 150 range...I`d definitely take the V10 as a player, as it clearly surpasses G7, giving more raw, analogue sound, wider soundstate with fuller sound, higher quality bass with just the right speed / impact. On the other hand, G7 easily surpasses the non-pro iBasso DC03 and 7hz 71. So, if you would take a dongle, it must be of higher-end.

Wow. I'm afraid I had to pass on that super long paragraph.
 
May 1, 2023 at 6:02 PM Post #4,977 of 5,154
Thanks for letting us know, Your highness, and thanks for giving precious info for free. That`s some great contribution from you. I thought this was the world`s best forum for improving ourselves in terms of audio.
@finrodfelagund , I had the chance to compare V50 to V10. The first was so bad, it was laughable, and that was with DSD files and Focal Listen Pro. No comparison at all. I also own G7, USA unlocked version. It is very, very different from V10. It has cleaner, more transparent sound, especially fine details. It is much more dynamic...and tiring. Your head is being bombarded with so much audio sounds to process... V10 has bags of details too, buth with much more fun, analogue, neutral way (G7 sounds too digital with any filters). Their tunings could not be more different. V10 does not allow EQ in the LG app, which is fantastic. Otherwise you always try and try settings endlessly. The bass is better on V10, soundstage is wider too. And that is with HD 599 SE too. Just make sure to buy the LG hi-fi status app, and trigger high impedance mode with a 3.5mm adapter of 36 ohms. I bought some for $ 15-$20 from Aliexpress, since the cheap ones fail. Many people in this thread recommended the DUNU adapter, and I bought it - it is great. Also, spare batteries and an external charger for LG V10 means no bootloop. I started charging with cable, because I wanted my V10 to fail, it was too broken. And it did. Before that, I used it for a year with external chargers, I swapped batteries. I started charging via USB, and it bootlooped within a month. LG-H961N.
 
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May 8, 2023 at 3:29 PM Post #4,979 of 5,154
I'm about to get the Xperia 1-V as soon as it drops here (NA variant), pretty stoked for an upgrade since my previous ROG 6 Pro sounded awful due to tuning (which I returned at the right time). It won't have last iteration's thermal throttling issues due to SDG2.
 

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