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Best Smartphone for audiophile Part II (Updated: Mar 2019)

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by artpiggo, Jun 19, 2017.
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  1. nort ycagel
    most flagship nowdays are good for low impedance IEMs.
    take the one you like the most and if you're not satisfied by audio quality just get the 10$ apple usb c dac which sounds great for low impedance IMO
     
    bluebair likes this.
  2. Pondu
    I have been using my Vivo Xplay 6 for more than 2 months now, and I felt the need to share some impressions. I bought it on aliexpress, and it cost me around 415€. It seems my seller does not sell it anymore. My audio listenings were made with my Hidition NT6 Pro only.

    USER EXPERIENCE

    I received my package the 23rd of septembre, and during the first 2-3 weeks, this phone was often a pain in the *** to use. Unlike EUI or FLYME, which I found to be more intuitive, FUNTOUCH was a little more difficult to apprehend.
    Even simple things generally speaking (such as taking screenshots) have been made sophisticated by Vivo. It was particularly exasperating for me (as a non-chinese user) at the beginning because even when VIvo adds tutorials for some features, it is only in Chinese...


    But I discovered this phone has some cool features:
    - the stock weather app is probably the most accurate wheather application I've ever used
    - the smart motion: allows you to wake/ unlock your phone in a gesture. The MX4 Pro has something similar, but with a lot less options
    - fingerprint scanner and facial recognition to unlock your phone: I don't use the second one, but coming from the Le Max which already had a performant fingerprint scanner, I am happy to use a more precise one with the Xplay6.
    - the stock voice recorder app is very good and precise: I often use it and it works well
    - you can also record your calls without downloading another application, like the MX4 Pro
    - the GPS seems more accurate than what I knew with my previous phone especially when I use Maps ou Runtastic Pro
    - the stock music application has its own widget, which was cruelly missing on the LeTV

    The navigation has always been fluid, but the phone froze twice (I had to restart it). So far, no major problem to declare.

    I appreciate the fact that you have OTA updates of FUNTOUCH OS, but also of stock applications (i Music, i Theme...). It means they continue to improve their product; even if it is becoming quite old now.

    The battery life is ok for my use: texting, playing to Marvel Puzzle Quest 30 minutes to an hour, listening to music 2hours per day, a few phone calls, but the battery rarely falls to 50%. I never charge my phone at work for example. But at home, during week-ends I often had to charge the phone in the afternoon, because I used the GPS a lot, with youtube application...

    Vivo's dual-enging quick charging does charge as fast as the Le Max charging system.




    AUDIO QUALITY


    BASS
    I don't know what Vivo did with its phone but the bass are not what you'll find on most phones, that is to say with some boomy effects that will surely please the bassheads (among who I put my humble person).
    The bass region is incredibly detailed, can go surprisingly low; be visceral (even when it rumbles down low) and hit hard, or be anemic and frustrating. It is fast enough to keep up with any song, and can be slow enough to allow you to enjoy old songs.
    Technically, it reminds me my Concero HP. Please read me well: I never said it as good as my Resonessence, but the performance in the bass region reminds me what my DAC-AMP is capable of in that section. Impressive. But the bass lack power, additional authority.

    MIDS
    I was afraid the Xplay 6 could sound too bright/artificial, dry, like the Ibasso DX100, especially combined to my CIEM.
    Thankfully, it is not the case. The mids are rather sweet, with some texture. Instruments, voices come to life. Of course, bad recordings are revealed, but it not as agressive as my Resonessence for example. You don't simply listen to music: if you close your eyes and increase the volume, you'll find yourself in the studio with the singer. This region is clear, full of details, but Vivo avoided the error of sacrificing musicality for performance. Again, impressive.

    HIGHS
    The extension is excellent, sparkly enough without twisting your eardrums

    SOUNDSTAGE
    It is big enough, with some songs, you have the feeling of a 3D soundstage, there is height, more than what I am used to on that type of device. This allows to have a little more details, also adds more musicality. But I was not that impressed by the soundstage.


    Xplay 6 vs. Fiio X7 Mark2
    I compared these two a month ago during two hours. The sounstage of the Fiio impressed me: a lot of space allowing the sound to spread. The bass hit harder, with power and authority. But somethimes I felt like the bass were a tad boomy and slow compared to the Xplay 6. The mids, thanks to the bigger soundstage adds a little more details, or give them a better presentation. The problem is that the Fiio sounds thin and too sibilant to my ears. An overpriced device to my ears.


    Xplay 6 vs. Meizu MX4 Pro
    The Meizu's soundstage is narrower, the bass lack extension and realism (they sometimes sound almost fake). But for the mids, the MX4 Pro remains the champion, as it goes further in terms of realism and emotion, by a little margin. It is still my favourite for old school R&B and Soul, Jazz, vocals. But for how long?


    Xplay 6 vs. LeTV Le Max
    The Vivo has a bigger soundstage, the bass can rumble down low and is more as detailed. The difference is not that big in this region. To my ears, the LeTV is a little brighter. The mids on the Le Max are not artificial, but they lack realism. And as a consequence it rarely convey emotion.



    Technically speaking, the Xplay 6 is the best, folowed by the Le Max. But my criteria would rather rank the MX4 Pro as the king, very closely followed by the Xplay 6.




    Conclusion
    Honestly, the Xplay 6 also made me wonder if using a simple smartphone on-the-go was relevant, considering all the TOTL daps on the market. I tested the Fiio X7 mark 2 and the Cayin N5II, and I still believe I made the right choice.
    TOTAL daps are a big upgrade over smartphone, but they are just too bulky and heavy. The Xplay 6 is not that far behind the Cayin in term of performance, which is already amazing considering is mainly supposed to allow you to make calls and text people.
    Bravo to Vivo for making such an interesting dap. I hope in the future, they won't follow Meizu's example.

    Many thanks to Artpiggo and to the others who helped me to make a satisfiying choice.
     
  3. artpiggo
    Thanks for very descriptive review on xplay6!

    I am happy that my infomation in this thread is helpful to your decision for enjoying the music.
     
  4. god-bluff
    If for some peculiar reason you are lucky enough to have an intact pair of Focal Classics (if that is the case I am extremely JEALOUS; I went through 3 cracked head band pairs in 18 months) you owe it to yourself to save up for a Chord Mojo. By some margin that is the best combination I have ever heard. PERFECTION.. . and would be 'End Game' but in my case just heart breaking!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  5. nimanchev
    Unfortunately, my pair has also cracked and Focal sent me a wired Listen instead. While I will always miss the Classic, I agree with most forum members who claim the Listen is a step up. I find the sound fuller, with more body and bass. The detail is there, but a very different form of detail. It is truly shocking, as I never encountered such a thing. Having listened to dozens of high end headphones, I never thought I`d listen (no pun intended) to headphones that are tremendously detailed as well...but in a different way. Isn`t the Yulong D200 a step up from the Mojo? I do not want a portable source for now.
     
  6. TheUnknow
    It's sad that Spirits are discontinued :confused:

    Vivo Nex 2 available on pre-order in Aliexpress.

    No info about audio .
     
  7. artpiggo
    Nex 2 will officially launched on 11 Dec.

    Wait for its spec...
     
  8. artpiggo
    Nex S + andromeda S = perfect match, no hiss and full power to drive.

    FB_IMG_1544141192852.jpg
     
    bencherian, thamasha69 and bluebair like this.
  9. unnamedplayer
    To all the people still using LeTv x800 CN.
    Which rom are you using? I'm on CM 14.1 - android 7.1 and poweramp shows snapdragon under hifi.
    Does it mean it does not use the better DAC?
     
  10. lordaine
    Zenfone 5 supports Neutron hi-res audio

    Screenshot_20181211-020417.jpg Screenshot_20181211-020427.jpg Screenshot_20181211-020450.jpg Screenshot_20181211-021135.jpg
     
  11. artpiggo
    Dont use poweramp, go get neutron and try my setting on first page in this thread.
     
  12. artpiggo
    FB_IMG_1544495688353.jpg

    Nex 2 unoffical spec leak
     
    Broquen likes this.
  13. wwyjoe
    Broquen likes this.
  14. artpiggo
    I am not sure. Would like to know too.
     
  15. lordaine
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