Best Smartphone for audiophile Part II (Updated: Jan 2020)
Jul 9, 2023 at 6:17 AM Post #5,026 of 5,154
hello,boys, i want smartphone for music only use as dap. what is at moment best smartphones for with 2.5, 3.5 or 4.4 jack,512Gb memory or micrSD slot and with LDAC,lhdc or aptx HD bluetooth codecs,wifi 2.4 and 5 ghz .

or better idea get good DAP ? im see at prices range smartphone 400-700eur or dap 500-1000eur. I know for used ones can get for lower prices,even top noch older models, but think want buy new for use few years.
You're looking for the Sony Xperia line, it has everything you want. Used you can get them pretty cheap, the 1 IV is about 400 quid here.
 
Jul 23, 2023 at 6:39 AM Post #5,029 of 5,154
Does anyone know if the ZTE Nubia Red Magic 8s Pro+ would have a gaming centric tuning applied to its sound via Bluetooth codecs/SoC DAC 3.5mm output - just like the Asus ROG 6/7/Pro/Ultimate phones? The ROG still has that issue as confirmed by various forum users who resurrected my thread from over a year ago on the ROG 6 Pro which is why I returned it (the issue is still prevalent, I won't ever buy an Asus phone ever again). It's listed on Qualcomm's website as an official aptX

My Sony Xperia 1-V pre-order ships on Thursday so if there's a chance that the Red Magic 8S Pro+ won't have any additional tuning/DSP applied on top of just regular aptX Adaptive/Lossless then I might just cancel the pre-order from B&H and just wait for the North American store to carry it (there's a waitlist on the NA website). I'm mainly interested in the increased RAM (24GB LPDDR5X) which would benefit me immensely on top of the increased performance with better cooling (I found that the standard 12GB RAM is simply not enough for my use case and I don't do any mobile gaming).
 
Jul 23, 2023 at 9:07 AM Post #5,030 of 5,154
After a couple weeks with a Sony Xperia 1 V, I only have two criticisms.

1. The price (though it's probably fair)

2. Sony's native music app doesn't support gapless playback, which I find ... hilarious?

I haven't tested the headphone jack at all, as I have a Walkman for wired listening. But the the BT performance is superb :)
 
Jul 23, 2023 at 9:15 AM Post #5,031 of 5,154
If I'm using a DAC ( Luxury Precision W4), does it matter what phone I use? For example, I was looking at buying a Doogee phone which has a massive battery but other than that, specs aren't that great.
It shouldn’t matter in theory.

Based on personal experience, I’d say the biggest source of concern would be the USB charging port, and whether it is made to last or not.
 
Jul 23, 2023 at 12:59 PM Post #5,032 of 5,154
After a couple weeks with a Sony Xperia 1 V, I only have two criticisms.

1. The price (though it's probably fair)

2. Sony's native music app doesn't support gapless playback, which I find ... hilarious?

I haven't tested the headphone jack at all, as I have a Walkman for wired listening. But the the BT performance is superb :)

Doesn't it come with Tidal natively though? That's my de-facto streaming app along with UAPP. I'm just glad that you can turn off all the DSP related stuff on Sony phones like Dolby, DSEE, etc. unlike the Asus ROG Pro/Ultimate series which forces a gaming tuning at the firmware level which can't be removed. I'm worried the Nubia Red Magic 8S+ Pro would suffer the same fate given that it's a gaming phone itself, not to mention it more than likely uses the exact same overclocked SDG2 chipset @3.36gHz as the Samsung S23 Ultra meaning it might not have pure native aptX Adaptive/Lossless support without some sort of proprietary nonsense within the chain.

I also no longer care for a 3.5mm output from my yearly flagship upgrade since the days of a discrete HiFi DAC are long gone - we're only getting generic SoC DACs and I only use wired IEMs with a dedicated portable DAP at home or with a desktop AMP/DAC combo via my PC. TWS Bluetooth (through aptX Adaptive at least and Lossless/LDAC/CD quality 16bit/44.1kHz) has gotten decent enough to be be satisfied by its SQ when you're out and about for the sake of portability (Noble Audio FoKus Pro/Mystique an Hifiman Svanar in my case).

Here's a good list of new smartphones with aptX Adaptive/Lossless/Snapdragon Sound with the Asus Zenfone 10 having apparently fully lossless CD quality playback from the official Qualcomm website. It's basically a fight between the Sony Xperia 1-V, Red Magic 8S Pro+, Asus Zenfone 10 (great for it's tiny form factor and apparent 16bit/44.1kHz wireless playback). They're the only flagship options with a 3.5mm output too. Hmm, I have to make a decision before midweek but I'm leaning towards the RM 8S Pro+ for now after looking into it - it's the best performing phone on the market by far as per AnTuTu 10 preliminary benchmarks and has insane cooling/heat dissipation tech (not to mention twice the memory). I could try all 3 out of curiosity and return 2/3. The Xperia 1-V i surely going to suffer from thermal throttling @4k120 with my heavy usage (not even from filming). The RM 8SP+ works with both Telus and Bell 5G bands in Canada and 3/4 from Rogers, just not n61 600s) so should be fine.
 
Jul 23, 2023 at 2:21 PM Post #5,033 of 5,154
Doesn't it come with Tidal natively though? That's my de-facto streaming app along with UAPP. I'm just glad that you can turn off all the DSP related stuff on Sony phones like Dolby, DSEE, etc. unlike the Asus ROG Pro/Ultimate series which forces a gaming tuning at the firmware level which can't be removed. I'm worried the Nubia Red Magic 8S+ Pro would suffer the same fate given that it's a gaming phone itself, not to mention it more than likely uses the exact same overclocked SDG2 chipset @3.36gHz as the Samsung S23 Ultra meaning it might not have pure native aptX Adaptive/Lossless support without some sort of proprietary nonsense within the chain.

I also no longer care for a 3.5mm output from my yearly flagship upgrade since the days of a discrete HiFi DAC are long gone - we're only getting generic SoC DACs and I only use wired IEMs with a dedicated portable DAP at home or with a desktop AMP/DAC combo via my PC. TWS Bluetooth (through aptX Adaptive at least and Lossless/LDAC/CD quality 16bit/44.1kHz) has gotten decent enough to be be satisfied by its SQ when you're out and about for the sake of portability (Noble Audio FoKus Pro/Mystique an Hifiman Svanar in my case).

Here's a good list of new smartphones with aptX Adaptive/Lossless/Snapdragon Sound with the Asus Zenfone 10 having apparently fully lossless CD quality playback from the official Qualcomm website. It's basically a fight between the Sony Xperia 1-V, Red Magic 8S Pro+, Asus Zenfone 10 (great for it's tiny form factor and apparent 16bit/44.1kHz wireless playback). They're the only flagship options with a 3.5mm output too. Hmm, I have to make a decision before midweek but I'm leaning towards the RM 8S Pro+ for now after looking into it - it's the best performing phone on the market by far as per AnTuTu 10 preliminary benchmarks and has insane cooling/heat dissipation tech (not to mention twice the memory). I could try all 3 out of curiosity and return 2/3. The Xperia 1-V i surely going to suffer from thermal throttling @4k120 with my heavy usage (not even from filming). The RM 8SP+ works with both Telus and Bell 5G bands in Canada and 3/4 from Rogers, just not n61 600s) so should be fine.
Yeah, I turned off all the Dolby settings. I unassumingly bought the global 512G version (green). So it didn't come with Tidal. Nice how little bloat there was, but still had all the Google. I typically stick to UAPP, but have really enjoyed the sound using Sony's app for local files.
 
Last edited:
Jul 25, 2023 at 7:25 AM Post #5,034 of 5,154
Yeah, I turned off all the Dolby settings. I unassumingly bought the global 512G version (green). So it didn't come with Tidal. Nice how little bloat there was, but still had all the Google. I typically stick to UAPP, but have really enjoyed the sound using Sony's app for local files.
This is what worries me the most about the the Nubia RedMagic 8S Pro+ (just look at the audio section), I'm still trying to gather more info but I should probably just try both and eat up the return fee/restock fee on the one I dislike.
 
Jul 28, 2023 at 12:17 PM Post #5,036 of 5,154
Are there big differences audio wise between Sony 5 IV and the new 1 and 5? The fifth gen is a bit too costly for me so I would prefer the older one.
 
Jul 28, 2023 at 12:35 PM Post #5,037 of 5,154
Are there big differences audio wise between Sony 5 IV and the new 1 and 5? The fifth gen is a bit too costly for me so I would prefer the older one.

The only difference I'm aware of is that the fifth gen supports LE & LC3 for Bluetooth, but that's not really a huge deal from an audiophile perspective, those codecs are more focused on low latency and better quality at low bitrates. LDAC or AptX HD/Adaptive would probably still be preferable just for audio quality
 
Jul 29, 2023 at 8:14 AM Post #5,038 of 5,154
Hey all, it's been a while since I last posted an updated version of the "Smartphones that Still have a 3.5mm Headphone Jack" list. Been pretty busy with work, family, and extracurriculars but I am still keeping up with new phone industry releases so that I'm aware of which brands to update first.

Asus (Zenfone & ROG Phone) and Sony (all recent & new Xperia models I believe) are still going strong with keeping headphone jacks in all their models. Motorola/Lenovo/Legion-Xiaomi/Poco/Blackshark-ZTE/Red Magic-Infinix-Nokia-TCL all seem to be still keeping the jack in a decent fraction of their midrangers & gaming models while Samsung has let it slip from all models except for A1x/M1x/F1x & A2x/M2x & M3x series. BBK Electronics (OnePlus-Oppo-Vivo-Realme), Huawei, and Honor (now owned by SZNIT) seems to be following suit after Samsung.

IIRC Apple has had no new phones with a 3.5mm jack since the iPhone 6S & OG iPhone SE while Google dropped it entirely after the Pixel 5a and Fairphone as well after the Fairphone 3+. LG, HTC, and Blackberry have all seemingly bowed out of the smartphone space for now though all three companies are still working on other kinds of cool tech -- never say never but I wouldn't keep up my hopes either.

I am actually very curious about any experience you guys might have with the stock 3.5mm audio output quality and performance from the Zenfone 9 & 10 compared to Xperia, ROG, LG, and HTC phones :smirk:

And as always I recommend investing in a 5000-7000mAh phone + AMP-DAC dongle combo with multiple balanced outputs (Fiio KA3/KA5, Hidizs XO/S9 Pro, Cayin RU6/RU7 are all extremely good at their respective price points) as a high quality pocketable audio solution for $350-$850 over a dedicated, fully integrated $1000-$3000+ DAP of equivalent performance, features, and battery life.
Couldn't have said it better about G7 . It's clarity and transparency with DSD...is hard to describe. On some tracks, not all, bass is heavenly and better than my Yulong D200. But it's rare to be heard, I guess it's a picky phone. V10 is wider, bassier and more neutral and less digital. And not that forward with guitar riffs. I keep comparing both phones for hours and in the end, it's always victory for V10. And a fellow member said he's not liking Link2 Bal with Focal Listen Pro...my thoughts exactly. Both are on the brighter side,.and very detailed and revealing. That combo is lifeless and anemic with little bass. Shocking, actually. I had tremendous hopes about it.
I browsed Xperia 10 M4 in store to see if I can tolerate it's low Pwm. Notebookcheck praises it's even amplitude curve. But it wasn't long before headache kicked in. I'm not a fan of Cinemascope 21:9. But I'd pick it over 20:9. Outstanding battery life, audio jack and micro SD support, high PPI screen and great, warm, bassy audio that bests Xperia 1 M4...there are no other such phones out there anymore
 
Last edited:
Jul 31, 2023 at 5:30 PM Post #5,039 of 5,154
Couldn't have said it better about G7 . It's clarity and transparency with DSD...is hard to describe. On some tracks, not all, bass is heavenly and better than my Yulong D200. But it's rare to be heard, I guess it's a picky phone. V10 is wider, bassier and more neutral and less digital. And not that forward with guitar riffs. I keep comparing both phones for hours and in the end, it's always victory for V10. And a fellow member said he's not liking Link2 Bal with Focal Listen Pro...my thoughts exactly. Both are on the brighter side,.and very detailed and revealing. That combo is lifeless and anemic with little bass. Shocking, actually. I had tremendous hopes about it.
I browsed Xperia 10 M4 in store to see if I can tolerate it's low Pwm. Notebookcheck praises it's even amplitude curve. But it wasn't long before headache kicked in. I'm not a fan of Cinemascope 21:9. But I'd pick it over 20:9. Outstanding battery life, audio jack and micro SD support, high PPI screen and great, warm, bassy audio that bests Xperia 1 M4...there are no other such phones out there anymore
No,true; but there are dongle dacs today (like Cayin's RU6 and RU7) which definitely take SQ up a notch or too. I think LGs were the last smartphone that really cared about SQ from both a WIRED and Bluetooth perspective. Most phone companies have followed the mass market in keeping Audio SQ to within the limits of Bluetooth capabilities to make way for more internal specs in relation to camera and or battery quality. Dongle dacs (like the RU6 & RU7) are the way to go IMHO if you want the current best SQ from a phone OTG. Just my opinion though YMMV.
 
Jul 31, 2023 at 9:12 PM Post #5,040 of 5,154
So I have a question. I am seriously thinking of moving from Apple to android because of my new TWS, the Denon PerL Pro and aptX Lossless. I was bouncing between the Motorola RAZR+ and the Sony Xperia 1 V. But now, if I'm reading aptx.com right, the Xperia 5 iv has aptX Lossless as well. Is my interpretation of that correct and I can save myself $600CAD? The latest performance isn't a big deal for me, the biggest thing I do is stream music and watch a YouTube vid or two. Thanks all.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top