LG V20 Sound Quality

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by zachchen1996, Aug 1, 2016.
  1. vladstef
    I hate my V20 as much as I love it and this is exactly why. I want to root it yet I am almost certain that I will mess it up... I am using a volume adjusting extension cable (physical adjustment), plug headphones in it and lower the volume before plugging in V20 - it always gets detected as high impedance, and then I just readjust the volume up (tested with multiple headphones - always works). I think this is the least painful way to achieve high impedance without rooting because it doesn't require multiple things and connecting/disconnecting many things. You could also achieve AUX mode by plugging it without headphones and then headphones. This is the one that I am using (from some old sport IEMs Sennheiser CX680):

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    oliwek2 likes this.
  2. chowmanfu
    I just might try that! Thanks, man!

    I'm actually amping my V20 so it already sets to Aux. I want to combine High and amp so I can push my large planars.
  3. DJ The Rocket
    No it's fair, I realize I have been all over the place with this phone, and I don't really see how things could have been different. It's been an incredibly frustrating process to figure out the basics of what it can and cannot do, in large part because none of this is documented by LG anywhere. Call me silly, but I rely on a product's owner's manual or other documentation to tell me how to operate it correctly. The V20 owner's manual does not mention anything about different "impedance modes" even once.

    How is anyone supposed to have a clear understanding of the phone's capabilities then? Not too surprisingly, no one actually does understand. Just look at all the claims about how "external mode" improves the sound quality (really it only affects volume).

    As my journey of discovery has progressed, I have been at times disappointed by the V20's weak performance and at other times impressed by it's strong performance. Even when I'm impressed there's also the constant undercurrent of feeling upset about being misled, feeling upset about being required to jump through these stupid hoops, and all the time confused about why it has to be so confusing.

    How are my views out of line with everyone else, when there's no consensus view to be in line with?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  4. Emulle
    Received my HD6XX last week, god damn they sound nice driven by the V20 non B&O! :)

    I'm sorry I haven't posted any output data as I promised, but I've recently moved and I had to sell my desktop PC.

  5. oliwek2
    It's not just LG or the V serie, any smartphone with 3rd party DAC (AKM, ESS...) has similar issues : android resampling audio to 44.1 kHz, or everything (voice, OS notification sound...) passes through the DAC and so you can't get perfect bit output.
    Even android DAPs have similar issues (in android mode at least, maybe not in 'pure audio mode'). Android is not totally audiophile ready yet. Hiby R6 DAP seems quite inovative with its DTA architecture : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/hiby-r6-dap-dual-dac-balanced-out-250-funded-indiegogo.852042/page-9
    At the end of the day, I still could not go back to a Qualcomm DAC in mobility with my CIEM, and the achievement of the V20 and other audiophile smartphones is already quite enjoyable.

    @vladstef : thanks for the CX680 extension cable trick, I ordered one, it could be usefull with many things. I just hope the sound won't suffer using it.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  6. vladstef
    You are welcome! You probably didn't have to order exactly that cable, I think that any cable with physical volume adjustment should work. Since you did order, I will add that I lower the volume to about 50% on the cable when connecting and it works extremely well, but lowering it all the way to 0 sometimes registers as AUX output. Kinda weird and really confused me at first so I wanted to just point that out. Please share your experiences once it arrives just so that we have more idea about how it works in general, given that people have been exclusively using extension cable in combination with impedance adapter so far.
    In terms of sound quality that gets lost going through the cable, it shouldn't be anything drastic, although this and the inconvenience still nudges me towards rooting every once in a while.

    I had hopes for V30 and I still hope that V40 and future LG audiophile phones allow users to select output power manually. All kinds of amps have this option and go through regulations without issues so LG must have had other reasons for not allowing manual control.
  7. Makenshi
    Except that it does. Maybe not to your ears, or not on your cans, but I can tell even on my $30 Kef M100 by simply volume matching without a proper a/b. You are right. No one knows exactly how it works, so I am not sure how there is a generalized conclusion floating around that Aux mode only affects volume (not you specifically, I have seen this very same claim elsewhere before I accidentally triggered aux on my iem)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  8. DJ The Rocket
    I guess I should have been more pedantic: the aux mode lowers the noise floor, but that's all. How exactly are you using your phone in a way where this matters? The entire idea of the "normal" mode is that users are unlikely to run into a situation where the noise floor is the limiting factor for SQ.

    If you're using an external amplifier, this matters a lot, but you don't amp with normal mode. All aux mode does is turn on all 4 dacs instead of the one. Nothing else, according to everything I've read, so of you disagree you had better be able to cite where you're getting your info.

    From androidauthority:
    it’s sufficient to understand that a parallel sub-DAC structure can improve noise performance typically by (6 x Nth order)dB per octave increment in the number of channels. An alternative way to look at this is that signal outputs are summed, while more random quantization noise errors occasionally cancel out because of their non-fixed phase relationship.

    Put simply, doubling the number of ΣΔ modulator (sub-DAC) channels improves the noise performance by 6dB times the order of the modulator. So, a simple dual modulator design offers an extra 6dB of SNR over a single channel modulator,

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  9. Makenshi
    Source: my ears

    I don't understand. It seems like just last post you were saying that no one understands the phone's capabilities, but now you are citing a source for the capabilities for it. I can of course find contradictory articles, but it will just go back to your point of no one understanding the phone's capabilities. That is not what I am contending here.
    I can't tell you the science or the measurements behind ESS9218. All I can tell you is it does not produce identical sound with normal and aux mode on my $30 iem when volume matched. Nothing more, nothing less.
  10. jt25741
    This this have anything to do with the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator?
    The Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator is the reason for it all.
  11. LajostheHun
    Actually the Android SRC renders everything at 16/48, it's not just phones but Android TV boxes too. This is rather silly as there is nothing commercially released at those sampling rates, the venerable 44.1khz rate would have been a much better base level as most music files and all ripped CD's are 16/44.1 and would have required no conversion of any kind. This SRC was bypassed well before Hiby, and in earlier Android versions it was easier to accomplish it. Sony, HTC, were known for this a few years back.Since third part apps and now Hiby can do it, it means LG could have done it too, there is no excuse for this.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  12. Koolpep
    We established many many pages ago and also in the V10 thread that the amp used in normal mode is not the same as in aux and high impedance mode. The changes in sounds one hears are that some headphones just sound more engaging and overall better when driven well by a better or in cases more powerful amp.

    I do hear differences between the nodes with some of my in-ears but not with all. However with full size cans the difference can be more dramatic depending on their power requirements. Someone mentioned the HD6XX/650 and I agree that these would sound rather boring in the normal.mode but really nice in high impedance (more powerful) amp mode.

    If one dac or all 4 are used is way harder to hear, if at all.
    LajostheHun likes this.
  13. jt25741
    Goto the UAPP forum and ask to sign up for the UAPP Hi-Res DIRECT mode driver beta. Listen to any track <96Khz fs, and prove to anyone with any log output or metadata that what is getting rendered is SRC material. So far, using ADB is seems impossible to prove it one way or another --- but it sounds so much truer to life and allows DIRECT mode to select every single time...just not when the moon, planet and stars line-up just right or fall victim to android mixer output. The ES9218 is an amazing sounding part when fed a clean digital feed.
  14. chowmanfu
    You can plug in quality 'phones and get good DAC quality. You can also listen to YouTube music at 24/48 and watch Netflix.

    The phone doesn't sound as good as a dedicated DAP or DAC in the $800 range. But it sounds close and is uplinked to the world-wide web, something DAPs/DACs can't do. It's a damn bargain.

    I drive for a living. I jack my V20 into the car. I get better-than-CD quality music streaming for as long as I want. I can find almost any song I want at 24/48.

    Sometimes I drive 6 straight hours. Access to the net gives me everything I want, and I find new music I've never heard of.

    All the arguments I see are based on the phone's capabilities as a DAP--not as a DAP/computer. No normal computer can do what the V20 does unless extra parts are purchased, the same way graphics cards must be purchased for gaming.

    V20 is a good deal!
    gemmoglock and snellemin like this.
  15. shahkhan
    Can someone share any method, app etc to boost bass in v20 without sacrificing the other spectrum...

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