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iPhone 8: Better sound quality vs iPhone 7 or 6!?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by phiemon, Oct 5, 2017.
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  1. phiemon

    I wondering if the iPhone 8 really has a better sound quality via headphones despite of the adapter than the iPhone 7 or 6. Just compare the reviews and data:

    iPhone 6:

    iPhone 7:

    iPhone 8:

    My questions are:

    - How can it be if the iPhone 8 exactly as the iPhone 7 does not have the headphones port and they both have the same (cheap) DAC adapter?
    - How can they have such a good sound according the reviews?

    I personally compared the iPhone 6 and 8 with and without DAC (Chord Mojo and Dragonfly Red) and I barely noticed differences in the sound quality between the phones and the DACs.
  2. DarKu
    Since iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 don't have a headphone jack, they rely and use external DACs (the one in the lightning to 1/8" adapter ), so they will sound the same.
  3. phiemon
    Thank you for the reply.

    What do then the values in GSMarena about the connection to an external DAC mean? How can be these differents from phone to phone? And why can the iPhone 8 sounds better than the iPhone 7 according to WhatHiFi?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  4. DarKu
    Actually iPhone 7 + 7 plus + 8 and 8 plus measure the same (the small differences, such as below 1 dB cannot be counted as a difference) so again they all sound the same because they use the same external DACs located in the lightning adapter.
    I will not take WhatHiFi reviews seriously, but that is just me.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
    halcyon likes this.
  5. phiemon
    Sorry for the noob question: This means that the iPhone 6 too sounds the same as the iPhone 7 and 8 with that Apple Adapter oder that for example with the same DAC (Dragonfly Red or Chord Mojo) all the phones such as iPhones and Samsung Galaxys would sound exactly the same, right?
  6. DarKu
    If all of those phones will be connected to the same DAC, lets say to the Dragobly Red, they will bypass their internal DAC (if they have one), so they will sound the same, if your phones are plugged into Dragonfly Red.
  7. phiemon
    Thank you very much for this reply!
  8. DarKu
  9. solomare
    Is there any review of the iPhone 8 DAC compared with other external DAC's such as Dragonfly RED or similar?
  10. phiemon
    No, there isn't. But I compared the iPhone 6 and 8 to the Samsung S8 and Dragonfly Red. I just can say that the S8 (EU) sounds much, much better than the iPhone (and also iPad Pro 10.5); S8's DAC is really good! The DFR sounds for me just "a bit" better than the S8.
    halcyon likes this.
  11. Ryland Johnson
    I have read this thread several times and each time it just confuses the heck out of me even more? For the iPhone 8+ to reproduce music via its external speakers it would have to have an internal DAC.
    I have no idea if the lightning headphone cable has its own DAC but for sure the iPhone has one so why would the cable need another one?

    Some of you are reading graphs and looking at specifications-data and making assumptions based on such information as to the actual sound stage and reproduction of the devices mentioned. Bad idea and doesn't hold water. Bose do not publish any such information as they know its relative and not helpful to the actual sound we hear.

    One can actually take two identical devices with identical specs yet they can sound different? There are numerous reasons for this and its an electronics course.

    The 6, 7 and 8 are different devices and regardless of specs do produce a different sound stage etc. 'Best' is again a relative term and is often over used and abused.

    The iPhones do produce a very decent sound. Apple products generally do and I am not a fan of that company, far far from it!

    I can but write that I own the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 that I would never exchange for any iPhone as the Note 8 fits the vast majority of my mobile needs. Here comes the caveat, the DAC-Amp's that I now own, the Oppo HA2 SE and the Teac HA-P50SE do not behave well with the Note 8. Both Dac's where primarily designed to pair with Apple devices and the main problem being when connected to any Android device with a USB-C fitting rather than the Oppo charge the mobile phone the mobile phone charges the bloomin Oppo. Oppo have known about this situation for a long time and just suggest customers buy from Oppo their USB_OTG cable plus P+P! Why they don't put the correct cable in the box is mind boggling. The Teach is also charged the same way. Hence my purchase of the iPhone 8+ its purely to use as a source and not as a mobile phone.
    I can write this, the iPhone 8-Oppo dac-amp is an incredible combination and has ended my one year quest to find a suitable portable music player. I cannot recommend this combination enough. Subjective recommendation of course, its what makes me smile and gives me goose bumps when I listen to this set up via my various headphones including, surprisingly, the Sennheiser HD 650's!

    Can't comment on the iPhone 6 nor 7. Again I can write the iPhone 8 is a superb source for playing music. I will try the phone without DAC- amp tomorrow with maybe the Sennheiser HD598's and some in IEM's and let you know what the sound is like.

    Again understand the sound reproduction of most devices is an awful lot more than sets of figures and graphs-data. Specifications and data are deaf our ears are not. Always trust your own ears.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    471630 likes this.
  12. phiemon
    The Samsung Galaxy 8 sounds much better than every iPhone - I tested it personally.

    I compared the S8 and iPhone 8 with the DragonFly Red, Oppo HA-2SE and Chord Mojo too: They both in this case exactly the same!
  13. Ryland Johnson

    Excuse the short reply. Because "I tested it personally." does not and never will mean Amen. Rather unwise and odd thing to write?

    471630 likes this.
  14. TheGame21x
    The lightning cable does have its own DAC built in. It's tiny, but it's there. It actually measures really well too. If i'm not mistaken, the Lightning port is all digital, so it wouldn't be able to transfer an analog signal to headphones without one, so there must be a separate DAC on the phone itself for the speakers.
    Deftone likes this.
  15. Ryland Johnson

    Indeed. After reading this thread I endeavoured to seek the facts regarding this matter and I was informed the same as you wrote. Why Apple would place a DAC in the headphone adaptor plus another inside the mobile remains THE question non the less it is what it is? I often think Apple lost the plot? Thanks for the reply.

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