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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. larry piencenaves
    theres a fiio m6 right now on the market that i believe has the same chips used in the m7 but has more features, but i dont really know if its a good dap.
  2. artpiggo
    Yes both are good. M series for fiio for me quite satisfactory in its price.
  3. janx
    I got my Meizu 16th global a few days ago and could compare it now to the Meizu Pro 5.

    The first minutes I must admit I was really disappointed about the sound quality in comparison but later on I found that the sound quality wasn't actually that bad.

    I listened to the following devices:
    - Speakers: Direct Amp Input (passthroughing everything else in there) of Yamaha RX-V 1200 connected to HECO Metas 700
    - Cheap Panasonic In-ear headphones (about 30€ a pair - I still find them very comfortable to wear)
    - Meizu HD50 Headphones

    I listened only on Spotify, mostly new but also some dated electronic music:

    When listening on the 16th and the Pro 5 (switching more than 100 times between those devices :wink: those were the things coming to my mind concerning the 16th sound:

    - less dynamic
    - less punch
    - less precision
    - less differentiated
    - highs are good but still not on the same level
    - good clarity
    - softer
    - by direct comparison "unexcited"
    - Still, plays with everything with ease, meaning it does not sound "stressed"
    - very deep basses were a little less deep than on Pro5
    - less bright
    - slightly less detailed
    - bass sounds a little softer
    - good voices (the bit more of softness might be sometimes an advantage for the 16th)
    - also good stage, although not as good as Pro 5
    - differences on headphones less obvious
    - especially bass differences were with speakers much more obvious (punch, roughness better on Pro 5)
    - highs were sometimes less "edgy" / "scratchy" -> felt sometimes actually better on 16th
    - sounds sometimes like there is a filter in between taking away "directness" or clarity
    - in general softer sound
    - older songs with lower quality and higher noise level sounded better on 16th
    - sound on my cheaper headphone nearly as good on the 16th as it is on the pro5 - on high volumes it sounds much more scratchy on Pro 5

    At that point I was a bit disappointed and was actually considering to put it on ebay to sell right away.

    Then I compared the 16th to the Xiaomi Mipad 4 (SD 660):

    - more clarity
    - less noise
    - more loudness / dynamic
    - 16th sounds great to max. volume where the Mipad doesn't
    - both have a rather soft sound compared to Pro 5
    - Mipad sounds a bit like a tape deck in comparison to Pro 5 & 16th XD
    - Mipad:really bad sound on higher levels
    - Mipad: bass sounds broken

    So overall, I am still not finally decided if I keep the 16th.
    The device itself is absolutely incredible concerning everything else.
    Sound is good too overall, but it lacks a bit of charachter in my opinion, everything sounds good and clear but there is definitely something missing and it is not the device I would choose to just sit down and listen for 1 or 2 hours on my stereo to my most favourite tracks...


    PS: Looking forward what your experiences were with the 15 or 16 series!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    andrewski likes this.
  4. artpiggo
    So it seems meizu forgot to add music magic in newer model now.

    Thank you for testing for us
  5. pokipoki08
    Seems like Meizu Pro 5 is still as good as ever, its on taobao, very cheap, refurbished 90% look like new, although a new battery is recommended. Hesitated to buy, scared pro 5 die on me in the next 2 years, but the customer review are all good.

    BTW, Vivo X21 is on sale now (AK9376A), ~40% less. It's new, with warranty, sold direct from Vivo store.

    What's the general opinion on refurbished units for DAP function only? Is it worth the risk? There are many LG V30, Vivo Xplay6 from taobao on the cheap.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  6. janx
    The battery of my pro 5 is still after 3 1/2 years daily use working well. Wouldn't worry too much, and changing it should be not hard if necessary at some point.

    @artpiggo: concerning the 16th sound quality: We are comparing here the top 0.5% of phones, so overall the sound is still very good, it is just not amongst the real top.
  7. artpiggo
    For any user, I always recommend vivo xplay6 if you can find it, no more research in other smartphone.

    Even chinese webboard there is one question whether he should go for granbeat if he already has xplay6. All answer from there said not necessary.
    andrewski likes this.
  8. sh0bo
    Hello everyone

    So im searching for audiophile smartphone indeed
    And my thoughts until now are those there:

    Id like warm, musical stuff against neutral, analytic

    So from what i understood pro 5 or vivo xplay 6 would have the lead for fulfill my quest but since its is hard to find and the others features might have got ages and they not fully work with French 4g networks, i wonder if there wouldn't be less old phone who could be close to pro 5 and vivo xp6 audio quality and signature ?

    Thx for this great thread
    Cheers from France. sorry for my in progress english
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    andrewski likes this.
  9. artpiggo
    Vivo nex S. That's it.
  10. pokipoki08
    I am trying to move in the same direction, offloading music player to external via Bluetooth.
    If want a phone with good display, the sq is sub-par. Most people simply don't consider sq to be important, so its market forces dictates. Its hard to find a good model which meets one expectations of sq, display, xda updates, battery etc.

    Screen or display quality is very important, it cannot be changed or enhanced after purchase, unlike sound quality, battery capacity or OS updates.

    Good display brands = Samsung Super AMOLED, Sony Xperia XZ, Asus Super IPS Plus
    important criterias: black levels, contrast, HDR, % of color gamuts: DCI-P3, NTSC
    example: Samsung Galaxy S10 review (note AMOLED have screen flickering issues, some people are sensitive may experience eye strain or headaches)
    color gamuts is like box of crayons, some come with 12 sticks, some 24/36/48 sticks, so the extra color palette and phone calibration offered by the brand will enhance screen quality, giving amazing display and sharpness.

    Asus Zenfone 5Z (ZS620KL) is under-appreciated, it sports a great display but many sites simply don't give it good review or mention it at all. Zenfone 5 (ZE620KL) cheaper model, Lenovo Z5 series uses the same display panel.

    Bluetooth LDAC support for your device, check here.
    Android 8.1 and above will support APTX-HD and LDAC, but not all brands will include it, most offensive is Huawei/Honor, even if the OS is Android 9 (Pie). Another way to fix this is to flash Custom ROM, or root with Magisk, there are a few APTX-HD & LDAC modules. For this you need XDA developers support. Flashing custom roms also ensure the phone get the latest Android OS versions (Pie and Q).

    Non-developer friendly brands: Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, Huawei
    They make it super hard to unlock bootloader, install custom recovery (TWRP), root. Even after successful root, it will revert or brick upon restart. Or the stock rom is messed up after rooting.

    Developer friendly brands: OnePlus, Xiaomi, Asus

    Charging for small capacity batteries: simply use a good USB-C PD charger or battery cases (many on taobao). Battery cases is simply a modified case but with power bank built-in. Just slip on and charge as you use it. Beware some on taobao over state the battery capacity of the case.

    Even if the phone don't support wireless charging, a quick & cheap mod/plug-and-play solution. Dual or triple coil recommended.

    Most flagship series will drop price a year after launch.

    Right now I'm stuck on how to securely mount Shanling M0 to the back of the phone.
    Buy 2 normal phone case
    Buy 1 Shanling M0 case
    Glue or secure M0 case to phone case with velcro
    connect using Shanling M0 L2 usb-c OTG cable, or go wireless via Bluetooth LDAC
    when not in use, slip on the phone case without glued M0 case
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  11. sh0bo
    Is "nex s", different device than "nex"?

    I struggle to find "nex S" in my online browsing most of my research lead me to "nex" without extension.
    However i migh go for vivo xplay6 aswell but i am reading about pro5 legend since so long in same time, lol.
    My listenings are very eclectic, the predominant might be jazz funk tho
  12. artpiggo
    Then Nex S might be out of product line already. They are.different. some might call nex ultimate.

    Vivo xplay6 is better for electromusic and funk.

    Meizu mostly for vocal.

    Cpu of xplay6 and camera.also better.
  13. stenog
    Tradingshenzhen have it and they ship to Europe. I have bought from them before without any problem.

  14. sh0bo
    Wow, thx guys
    Last question, do the different models "nex" and "nex S" have different audio segment or is it about "nex S" being a prenium version of "nex" like phones who gets version with more ram and storage space?
  15. TheUnknow
    Nex A :
    6gb , Snapdragon 710 , AK4376A ;

    Nex S (Ultimate) :
    8gb , Snapdragon 845 , CS43199 ;

    Nex Dual Display :
    10gb , Snapdragon 845 , AK4377A ;


    DAC's in normal Nex (A) or Dual Display are All-in-One AK chips ( DAC + AMP ) like ESS Chip ES93xxP , ES 92xxP etc ...
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