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Ok, i have also ordered 3.5mm jack splitter, let it come, and i will share my experience then....
In my experience with the V20, and contrary to my V10, high impedance doesn't mean better sound, but just that : higher gain if you need it with high impedance/less sensitive headphones. With custom IEMs (Custom Art Harmony 8.2) the sound is better with just low impedance (ESS DAC turned ON of course). But with something like my AKG K701 (88 ohms but dificult to drive) I'm happy to get this high power mode.
Sound quality is excellent anyway, it's less "bass in the face" than the V10, but you get more resolution, and sound details.
I don't know about the poster you responded to but I utilized the method you describe, as outlined in what seems like an eon ago in this thread, and while I certainly did hear some differences in high impedance mode the differences I heard were not dramatic and certainly not improvements in any way. I find the sound in high impedance mode to be brighter, and not in a good way, compressed and bass shy in comparison to normal mode. The only improvement I could hear was in detail retrieval. People in this thread, as well as threads for the G6 and V30 continue to misunderstand how the Quad DAC works and to be honest LG hasn't really done much to clear up the confusion once and for all. The very first time I put the phone into high impedance mode I didn't remove the 75 ohm adaptor and the sound was simply horrible, all muffled, closed in and congested.
Really disappointed after trying high imp mode, as i was very excited about it. Thinking of shifting to a good dap... Any suggestions are more than welcome, sony A30, fiio X3ii, ibasso dx80 etc are some, i have got eyes on..
Ya, I've had the V20 for a little more than 9 months now and for a phone it sounds very good, but even compared to my old FiiO X5 first gen DAP it was really no contest, even that older DAP outperforms the V20 by a fairly wide margin. I tried to convince myself that for the benefit of the convenience that carrying a single device provides I could compromise somewhat as far as sound quality goes, but now the reality of the loss of fidelity is hitting home and I am close to acquiring a new DAP, that most likely being the FiiO X7 mkii. Back to carrying two devices.
As my budget is low, so I would rather go for a cheaper option... My Preference is a warmer sounding source...
In my opinion, if you use portable decent headphones (so no planar or too high imedance cans) you have to buy mid to high-end DAP to get better results. For Fiio it means X5-III or X7-II. So you pay more just for the DAP. And pay attention to get a decent UI/touch interface (if you use one), some DAP are excellent on the paper (as Hidizs AP200), but firmware is really decieving, some features don't work properly (as USB audio out)...
I'm leaning towards sony dap, because of their fun and dark sound, as i like my music to be fun, and fiio daps are famous for their analytical sound. One thing great about fiio dap iz, they can be used as external usb dac.
Imho, most audio brand nowadays are making gears, which are more bright and cold sounding, so they can call them "audiophiles" grade. This thing takes the fun/engaging factor out of the listening experience. Dac chips like Sabres, AKMs etc which are used by all big dap makers, are making the sources shrill.
The fiio X5 3rd is more warm than analytical and so is the FiiO X7ii with amp 5 module. Both excellent daps.
I have multiple daps and dacs with akm and Sabre chips, the implementation is key, not the chip. I have a ess9018 day that is on the bright side and a dual ess9018 dap that is fun and engaging like not other. Check out the spec sheets of the new akm chips as well. Plenty of ways to use filters and eq to make this dac sound like the dap manufacturer wants it to.also the dac is only one part, the amp adds its coloration too.
As for Fiio, they are rather on the warm side and not overly analytical. But then their daps differ from model to model too.
I agree that implementation plays big role in coloring the sound. With sony audio products, I always find them fun kind of sweet sounding. What source you should suggest other than sony.?
One thing I wanna ask is, can V20 be used as external usb dac with laptop etc with usb otg or something?
I have been looking into this and the conclusion I have come to is no. There is simply no driver available to have it act as an audio device unless you write one. The closest would be doing a stream over wifi which will introduce some latency but probably OK unless you do competitive gaming.
In regards to impedance modes and SQ, I can't speak for impedance adapters but at least in external audio mode is a decent improvement to my headphones to the point I can tell the difference with a simple volume match without a/b
With my kef m100 holding down the call button while connecting triggers external audio mode. Compared to normal audio mode it is more detailed and dynamic even when volume matched. I can achieve the same thing on TH-X00 by plugging in the 1/4 to 1/8 adaptor first before connecting the can. The difference in detail retrieval is not quite as large but again it is more dynamic than normal audio mode.
This is purely comparing against itself. I do not have any desktop stacks to compare it against since I am primarily an iem guy. Compared to Centrance DACport HD v20 sounds better across the spectrum to my ears though not by a significant amount. The only thing it loses in is the soundstage.
Against some of the fiio portable DAC/amps I've had in the past like e7 and e17 both Centrance and v20 sounds significantly better. x7 might sound better than either, but it also costs 3-5x as much.
So the only reliable way to be 'high' mode is still to root? Cable manipulation is a pain. I'm having a lot of trouble rooting this T-mobile V20.