Right now we have full data on four phones and partial data on a few more. We are working to compile as much data as possible to provide an overall look at the quality of audio from smartphones available today. The largest difference in current models is the power of the headphone output as some are much better equipped to drive more demanding headphones than others. As we compile data on more and more products we hope to see more differences arise.

We also have not seen much difference with different loads applied to the headphones. We will continue to test all three sets of headphones but the data here is for the Apple Earbuds. If different loads provide different results, then we will certainly report those different numbers in the future. It also appears that running Android phones in the automated routine causes the 20 kHz tone to be left out of the frequency response test. Humans usually can't hear this, I certainly can't, and so there isn't a huge amount of real-world ramification to this. It causes the reported THD+N to exclude that tone and provides a better result that phones that play it back. For the future, this will be done manually.

Here are the four phones we currently have, and more phones are being tested and reported on as quickly as possible to be added here.

Nexus 5 and LG G2 Issues Wrapping Up
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  • ph00ny - Thursday, December 12, 2013 - link

    i9100 had yamaha DAC and was dismissed by many as poor choice moving away from wolfson DAC which sounded especially great with voodoo sound. As for S3, US variants with Snapdragon did not come with Wolfson DAC Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    I own an S3 and I hate that it's output has a bass boost profile similar to the HTC One with its "Beats" profile. It's probably great for earbuds but for any other listening device the bass is overdriven. If it just produced a flat output I would be completely happy with it. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, December 9, 2013 - link

    Can't it be turned off somewhere? HTC's Beats glorified EQ can be turned off and ignored entirely, well, except for the persistent notification that lets you know that it is indeed turned off (seriously). Reply
  • Samus - Monday, December 9, 2013 - link

    A lot of custom roms try to circumvent Samsung audio layer with a combination of audio filters. Its pretty depressing...S3 owner here. Reply
  • speculatrix - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - link

    Xda devs is full of discussions about things like boeffla Kernel tweaks and hacks which expose more of the hardware controls of Wolfson DACs and thus allow customization of sound EQ.

    It does seem to be the case that you really do have to research a specific phone and all it's variants to be sure of getting the audio chain you want.
    Reply
  • barry spock - Monday, December 9, 2013 - link

    Excellent stuff. I hope you can do a showdown of the most popular phone models out there at the moment, including the iphone 5s. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Monday, December 9, 2013 - link

    I'd like to see iPod touch models added to the mix also, as whilst not actually a smartphone, it is in many ways very similar and music listening on it through the headphone jack is a major selling point of it. The thing is, as you don't need to hear it "ring" in a loud room, it has a much weaker internal speaker than any smartphone, so is the audio-amp driving the earphone socket as good as that of the iPhone, or have they saved money on it to hit the lower price point? Reply
  • Bansaku - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - link

    I too would like to see this as well. Especially between the 4th and 5th Gen. I swear the audio quality of my 4th Gen is superior to my 5th Gen. I also wonder the difference between the various models of iPhones. Reply
  • JoannWDean - Saturday, December 14, 2013 - link

    my buddy's aunt earned 14958 dollar past week. she been working on the laptop and got a 510900 dollar home. All she did was get blessed and put into action the information leaked on this site... http://cpl.pw/OKeIJo Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    This is perfect, I havn't read it all but I have an ancient Nexus S and it has horrendous headphone output. I've heard the next two Nexii weren't great in that either. Lots of hiss from all the radios, and even if there was no hiss there's just an odd EQ curve or something, it makes the bass muddy. I think the program Voodoo sound helped it but not completely. So audio output will be an important consideration in my next phone. Reply

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