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
POST A COMMENT

188 Comments

View All Comments

  • dylan522p - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    The One is very interesting in terms of quality. There is a huge difference between the stock music, google play music, power amp, and astro. Astro is the best quality. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, December 9, 2013 - link

    You know, you briefly alluded to the single biggest difference maker and a ton of people would still take it for granted... If you're using crappy headphones much of this is wholly irrelevant. At the same time, expensive headphones aren't always an upgrade... For one thing you've got the Beats and Bose of the world getting by on marketing, and even beyond that not every headphone will be a good match to any given phone depending on how hard to drive it is (or isn't) and how out of whack the phone's output impedance is (something that's often taken for granted even with dedicated audio components). Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    I always thought the reference for audio testing equipment, especially in telecommunications, was HEAD acoustics. Still a good and interesting article. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    Jeez Anandtech rocks. Thanks guys! Reply
  • RoninX - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    Great! This is exactly what I've been waiting for.

    I've noticed the audio quality on my Droid 4 is sufficiently poor that I continue to carry around an iPod Classic along with the D4. I'm hoping that the sound quality on my next phone, likely either a Note 3 or the next gen HTC One (One Two?), will be good enough that this isn't necessary.
    Reply
  • pukemon1976 - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    2 thumbs up for galaxy note 3 audio quality. was quite surprised. Reply
  • dylan522p - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    One definely. The internal amp adds tons to quality the Two or whatever it is called will assuradly be even better. Reply
  • quick brown fox - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    As a mild audiophile who occasionally searches for electrical measurements of DAPs/smartphones on IF/GE/GSMA/Voldemort's Blog/etc, I am very pleased seeing this article in Anandtech! Had a mild laugh seeing the HTC One 'Beats Enabled' frequency response (is the treble peak still there without Beats?), and I'm very much looking forward to seeing some Nvidia Shield/SIII i9300 measurements. Reply
  • cheinonen - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    With Beats disabled, you actually see a bit of a roll-off in the bass and the treble. It's +/- 0.230 dB so not a level you'll likely hear. Overall the response is very flat if you turn off Beats. I'm still testing something else I found with the HTC One before I have full numbers up there. Reply
  • quick brown fox - Sunday, December 8, 2013 - link

    Thanks. Again, this article is excellent; looking forward for more measurements! Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now