LG V40 ThinQ

Switching from V30

  • Yes

    Votes: 45 41.7%
  • No

    Votes: 63 58.3%

  • Total voters
    108
Jul 14, 2022 at 8:46 PM Post #931 of 943

csglinux

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Posts
3,639
Likes
2,826
Yes, i know that they will be connected via usb c cable but im asking if the lg v40 is able to output digital signal from ESS dacs.
So my question is if the V40 sounds better via usb c than other smartphones? I know it sounds better via jack out (i had the v30). IFI Gold Bar scales very well with better quality digital signal.
You'll need to use an app like UAPP. This can send your digital signal, bit-perfect to any external DAC via USB.

Your V40 would not be using the signal from its ESS DACs if you do this; it would simply act as a transport to the DAC in the iFi Go bar. TBH, an LG V40 is probably overkill just acting as a transport here. With a good USB cable and clean contacts, pretty much any Android phone would be able to do this. (I'm not 100% sure about iPhone - I gave up on Apple years ago, but I believe MFi licensing limits your maximum sample rate to 48 kHz: https://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3022.)

We have an IFo Go Bar coming in here for testing next week, so I'll report back with a groveling apology to iFi Audio if I'm wrong about my next sentence. But if you already own a V40, I think you're largely wasting your money with an external DAC like this. The ESS quad DACs in LG's V-series phones are extremely good. This will, of course, be disputed by all respectable headfiers, who know deep in their hearts that newer, shinier and more expensive always directly correlates with sound quality, but our measurements show the LG quad DACs outperform most other portable DAPs/DACs currently on the market. The V40 can output 2Vrms in high-impedance mode. Easily enough to drive something like a Sennheiser IE800S. How much hearing damage are you looking for?

I see the iFo Go Bar (Gold or otherwise) as a product for somebody who has an older run-of-the-mill smartphone (e.g., Samsung, iPhone) with a weaker 3.5 mm output, or a newer smartphone with no 3.5 mm output at all. There's a very good possibility your V40's SQ will be taking a step backward by plugging in an iFi Go Bar.
 
Jul 14, 2022 at 9:05 PM Post #932 of 943

RIGATIO

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Posts
2,247
Likes
3,371
Location
Karlsruhe, Germany
You'll need to use an app like UAPP. This can send your digital signal, bit-perfect to any external DAC via USB.

Your V40 would not be using the signal from its ESS DACs if you do this; it would simply act as a transport to the DAC in the iFi Go bar. TBH, an LG V40 is probably overkill just acting as a transport here. With a good USB cable and clean contacts, pretty much any Android phone would be able to do this. (I'm not 100% sure about iPhone - I gave up on Apple years ago, but I believe MFi licensing limits your maximum sample rate to 48 kHz: https://www.realhd-audio.com/?p=3022.)

We have an IFo Go Bar coming in here for testing next week, so I'll report back with a groveling apology to iFi Audio if I'm wrong about my next sentence. But if you already own a V40, I think you're largely wasting your money with an external DAC like this. The ESS quad DACs in LG's V-series phones are extremely good. This will, of course, be disputed by all respectable headfiers, who know deep in their hearts that newer, shinier and more expensive always directly correlates with sound quality, but our measurements show the LG quad DACs outperform most other portable DAPs/DACs currently on the market. The V40 can output 2Vrms in high-impedance mode. Easily enough to drive something like a Sennheiser IE800S. How much hearing damage are you looking for?

I see the iFo Go Bar (Gold or otherwise) as a product for somebody who has an older run-of-the-mill smartphone (e.g., Samsung, iPhone) with a weaker 3.5 mm output, or a newer smartphone with no 3.5 mm output at all. There's a very good possibility your V40's SQ will be taking a step backward by plugging in an iFi Go Bar.
Thank you for your answer.
I know that LG sounds very good, i had V30 in the past. But it wasn't as good as the Pioneer 300r, or especially iBasso dx220.
The v40 alone will not be enough sq wise. I had dx320 and now AK Kann Max, so there is no chance for the v40 to surpass them.
But the ifi Gold Bar is able to boost the sq significantly. And it scales incredibly well with better source.
The sq from IBasso dx320 through the Gold Bar was almost the same as from the dx320's jack output.
I'm getting a very good quality from my PC and the Gold Bar compared to the Kann Max. So im thinking if the already great sounding phone like v40 would give a great sound paired with the Gold Bar.
I tried the Gold Bar with my Samsung s20 and even though it sounded good, the sq was unacceptable for my ears. Too digital and flat dynamics.
 
Jul 14, 2022 at 9:17 PM Post #933 of 943

csglinux

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Posts
3,639
Likes
2,826
Thank you for your answer.
I know that LG sounds very good, i had V30 in the past. But it wasn't as good as the Pioneer 300r, or especially iBasso dx220.
The v40 alone will not be enough sq wise. I had dx320 and now AK Kann Max, so there is no chance for the v40 to surpass them.
But the ifi Gold Bar is able to boost the sq significantly. And it scales incredibly well with better source.
The sq from IBasso dx320 through the Gold Bar was almost the same as from the dx320's jack output.
I'm getting a very good quality from my PC and the Gold Bar compared to the Kann Max. So im thinking if the already great sounding phone like v40 would give a great sound paired with the Gold Bar.
I tried the Gold Bar with my Samsung s20 and even though it sounded good, the sq was unacceptable for my ears. Too digital and flat dynamics.
What app were you using on the Samsung S20, and what headphones are you driving?
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 4:56 AM Post #935 of 943

Chris Kaoss

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Posts
2,357
Likes
1,922
Location
Bavaria
Amazon HD and Monarch Mk2.
Not to use an app like UAPP or Neutron is a big mistake on any android phone.
Bc almost any (newer) android phone is, without a proper music app, down(up)sampling to 48kHz through android sound API, sadly.
Afaik the LG Music app should be able to bypass on LG phones.
Don't know about using LG Music app with other brands.

Even newer Tidal is limited to 48kHz. :frowning2:
 
Jul 15, 2022 at 4:34 PM Post #936 of 943

csglinux

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Posts
3,639
Likes
2,826
Chris offers wise words which we should all live by :)

One nuance though... LG's Music app can't actually play back 16-bit 44 kHz PCM files without re-sampling, and it won't send a bit-perfect stream to your external DAC either. Below are some tests we did a while back on the V35.

UAPP (Internal audio driver set to "HiRes Direct Driver", HiRes driver flag set to "Direct PCM"):
UAPP.png


LG Music app:
LGMA.png


The key number to look for in the above slides is the histogram median. This is the statical error, averaged over about 2.5 hours of actual music playback. Via UAPP (with the correct settings), playback accuracy is excellent (average error more than 70 dB below the fundamental). Via LG's Music app, accuracy is a bit more mediocre, with a much larger standard deviation - somewhere more in the ballpark of an Apple dongle.

Throughout the entire history of these devices, LG never fixed this problem. LG's Music app is ok for higher sample rates (48 kHz and up), but not for the sample rate that 99% of current music files use. The problem is compounded by the fact that re-sampling to 48 kHz on the LG phones is done at 16 bit - this is what creates most of the audible errors on sensitive IEMs at low volume. The problem isn't exclusive to the LG Music app - any app other than UAPP or Neutron (and maybe Poweramp, if you remember to manually set the correct sample rate) is going to have the exact same issue.

The bottom line is to use UAPP or Neutron and make sure your driver settings are correct.
 
Jul 17, 2022 at 3:02 AM Post #937 of 943

Chris Kaoss

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 18, 2019
Posts
2,357
Likes
1,922
Location
Bavaria
Guess reencoding to 24 bit should do the trick on LG Music app?
That's what UAPP is doing while playback, if I'm not that wrong.
 
Jul 17, 2022 at 3:34 PM Post #938 of 943

csglinux

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Posts
3,639
Likes
2,826
Guess reencoding to 24 bit should do the trick on LG Music app?
That's what UAPP is doing while playback, if I'm not that wrong.
You're not wrong :) UAPP (and Neutron, which was actually the first app to figure this out) bit-pads to get from 16 to 24 bit and the DAC happily handles 44/24 natively without re-sampling. There's absolutely zero error in this.

You're also right that this would/should do the trick on the LG Music app, but it doesn't happen automatically, because in all the years LG were selling their phones they never ever fixed this problem in their own music app. IMHO, it's too much to expect people to go and re-encode their entire library just to pander to a silly oversight from LG.

The entire V series are still great phones, but only because they were rescued by Dmitry (Neutron) and Davy (UAPP).
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 2:32 AM Post #940 of 943

DynamicEars

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Posts
2,602
Likes
5,058
I have both V40 and DX160 (pre 2020), V40 characteristic more neutral, but DX160 is more dynamic and have more punch and edgy (read : more fun presentation) and definitely more powerful. UI side of course V40 much better with Snapdragon 845, with streaming apps also more flawless. But sound quality only, DX160 wins by quite margin, and plus I can use 4.4mm balanced on it.
Both currently lying down on my cabinet since I reach more to my Fiio M11 plus ESS with better sound quality but that is on another class too.
Hopefully these helps your decision, but still best if you can try and hear by yourself first before buy it. Cheers
 
Jul 25, 2022 at 11:43 AM Post #941 of 943

csglinux

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Posts
3,639
Likes
2,826
The M11 Plus ESS is an excellent DAP. (The original M11 wasn't - so be careful to buy the ESS version.) There's a small article on this here: https://www.hypethesonics.com/fiio-m11-plus-minihype/

@Thieftime - if you can do your own listening tests, try to listen blind, SPL-matched and have a friend flick the switch for you. Because for the specific case of 44 kHz Redbook FLAC played back via properly-configured UAPP at 150 mV into a 32 Ohm static load, the LG V-series phones outperform the M11 ESS for reproduction accuracy on every single test vector, including actual music. (See the above link for legitimate reasons to buy an M11 ESS.)

You'll always - and especially on headfi - be able to find anecdotal examples of people claiming something newer, shinier and more expensive sounds better. You can expect those same people to get understandably angry and indignant when challenged, because they absolutely believe what they're hearing is real. This industry runs on placebo.

I'm not saying there can't be situations in which a particular listener hears some relevant difference that goes counter to every single measurement, but unless that listening test is conducted properly, it's not possible to distinguish claimed preference from placebo.
 
Last edited:
Jul 29, 2022 at 12:11 AM Post #942 of 943

Brain Damage

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Posts
122
Likes
116
Location
Our known universe
Does the LG V40 benefit from a headphone amplifier when driving harder cans (e.g. Beyer DT 880 pro 250Ω)? Advice from those who have had experience of pairing an LG V-series phone with a headphone amp would be greatly appreciated.
I've been eyeing up the Topping NX7 and iFi Zen CAN as well as the SMSL SAP-11.
Thanks.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top