The attributes that define the audio performance of your phones are hard to quantify and, more often than not, aren’t highlighted in the spec-sheet. Perhaps that’s why we often come across terms like Dolby Atmos, Hi-Fi audio, Quad DACs highlighted but things like signal to noise ratio, frequency response, and stereo crosstalk that too have a well-pronounced impact are often never talked about.
So, if you are an audiophile looking for a phone with awesome audio output, here is a list that should help.
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The Galaxy S20 series is Samsung’s 2020 flagship phones that deliver the best audio we have heard on any Samsung phone to date. All the phones feature a pair of stereo speakers tuned by AKG which help the Galaxy S20 trio sound fuller, better, and more balanced. The phone, however, has bid adieu to the good ol’ headphone jack. Anyway, you get a USB Type-C Samsung’s AKG earphone bundled inside the retail box.
The phones are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 standard along with codecs like A2DP and LE. For those unfamiliar, Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) technology and especially LC3 codec were revealed by Bluetooth SIG association at CES 2020. This is a major update that vaunts to improve sound quality as well as battery life. It also endows the simultaneous connection of hundreds of devices to a single source.
One the software side of things, you get Dolby Atmos with surround sound feel which can be tweaked using the built-in equalizer.
Needless to say, the rest of the specifications on all the 3 models are also top-notch. They are running on Snapdragon 865 with an abundance of memory, big battery and best in class displays.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Lowest Price and full specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Lowest Price and full specifications
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Lowest Price and full specifications
2. iPhone 11 Pro
If you prefer iOS, Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro is a great option for audiophiles. The phone is Apple’s flagship device that has a clean Audio output and the quality remains mesmerizing even when you plug-in Bluetooth headphones (ahem, Airpods Pro!).
Due to a lack of audio jack, you have to opt for an alternative – lightning to 3.5mm adapter or Airpods Pro. You also get to pair multiple earphones with a single iPhone. The latter is no-brainer choice by industrial reviews. It comes equipped with an Apple H1 chipset that reproduces a plummy audio signature.
Some other things to note are the presence of Dolby Digital Plus enhancements, stereo speakers, support for Apple Lossless, FLAC, and user‑configurable maximum volume limit.
As for the specifications, Apple iPhone 11 Pro has 5.8″ Super Retina XDR OLED display (with a notch) and includes versatile triple rear cameras with dual Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Face ID.
3. LG V50 ThinQ
The LG crown jewels are one of the best phones for audiophiles. The V50 is no different. It includes stereo speakers, a 32-Bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, support for AptxHD, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP and LE formats, a software EQ, and heck even an FM radio. The audio is tuned with Meridian Audio.
Coming to the Quad DAC, it combines four channels of digital signals while trimming the noise and sends this converted analog data to the headphone. Thus what you get as an end result outta your earwear is much more real and clearer output.
Other major specifications of the phone include a 6.4-inch P-Oled panel, triple rear shooters, dual selfie snappers, 4000mAh battery, and Snapdragon 855 processor.
4. Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro
This Xiaomi phone happens to score the top spot in DXOMark’s audio ranking. While most other phones come with a stereo speaker, here the placement is interestingly on the phone’s side. It is said to offer justice in various fronts such as timbre, dynamics, loudness, spatial rendering, etc. There is Bluetooth 5.1 and the slew of codecs in the mix, viz. A2DP, LE, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive.
The major caveat here is the absurd position, which can be accidentally blocked while landscape holding. And oh, there is no headphone jack.
As for other specs, the phone is loaded with Snapdragon 865, 108MP-led quad cameras at back, 4500mAh battery backed by 50W charger, and sAMOLED screen.
5. Huawei P30 Pro
Huawei P30 Pro packs a single speaker at the foot. Still, it outs genuinely loud audio with decent texture to it. No audio jack though! So, if you go for wireless means, the support for Bluetooth 5.0 and the ensuing codec formats A2DP, aptX HD, LE is a boon, nonetheless.
All that said, there is some audio distortion at full volume. But it’s otherwise very flagship-y.
The rest of the phone comprises of an high-end Kirin 980 chip, 4200mAh battery, 50X digital Zoom, etc.
6. Asus ROG Phone 2
Now, this one’s a full-fledged gaming phone and audio plays a paramount role in the gameplay experience. Asus has planted a broad speaker on top and bottom end. The audio is rich and open. The loudness is courtesy of the dedicated Smart NXP (x2) amplifier and DTS:X Ultra. There is an equalizer to toy around with the sound parameters.
There is a headphone jack that we won’t ever take as granted! If Bluetooth is your choice, well, there is 5.0, A2DP, LE, and aptX HD here.
This is a pumped-up stout with top-shelf specs like AMOLED panel, Snapdragon 855+, up to 12gigs of RAM and frickin’ 1TB of storage.
7. OnePlus 7T Pro
While both 7T Pro and the 7 Pro looks identical, don’t mistake them for similar audio producers. The main reason is the larger speaker outlets on the 7T Pro. So, obviously the loudness is up a notch. They are crisp, clear with pleasing imaging results.
Yes, there is support for the standard Bluetooth thingies such as 5.0 version, A2DP, LE, and aptX HD.
It goes without saying that OnePlus hasn’t skipped on top-brass specs like a powerful processor (Snapdragon 855+), a beefy battery (4085mAh) with the 30W Warp charger, huge memory configuration, etc.
8. Realme X2 Pro
Realme X2 Pro is that one phone which has a lot going for it, including audio dynamics. This is again a stereo discharger with pleasing loud and well-round. The included codecs are A2DP and LE bolstered by Bluetooth 5.0.
Yes, you can plug in your earphones and enjoy music straight off the bat. Even FM radio makes the cut.
The repertoire comprises of Snapdragon 855+, sAMOLED screen, a 64MP camera and its three companions at the back, 4000mAh battery along with 50W fast charger.
9. Google Pixel 3a XL
Stereo Speaker is here. Headphone Jack is also present. The audio emitted is respectable. In fact, the speaker output from the Pixel 3a XL is pretty loud. And the presence of jack is appreciated cuz the flagship-grade Pixel 4 doesn’t have one. Another good news is that the earphones come bundled in the box.
Still, if you put on any wireless pair, you get audio backed by Bluetooth 5,0, A2DP, LE, and aptX HD.
Although a mid-ranger, the phone sport some decent spec sheet. It carries Snapdragon 670 SoC, a 3700 mAh battery, 18W fast charger, and the magic of Google Camera.
10. Redmi K20 Pro
If you’re tight on budget, fret not this one’s a kicker. There are evident cost-cutting in areas like a solo speaker, but overall, it can punch above its weight. Redmi has stowed in an active external amplifier. Credit where credit is due – It can push high decibels (loudness).
The headphone experience is taken care of thanks to 3.5mm jack and availability of wireless standards like Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, and aptX HD.
The insides consist of Snapdragon 855, 4000 mAh battery, and more making it a wholesome package.
ALSO READ: 10 Best Stereo Speaker Phones To Buy In 2020
Best Phones for AudioPhiles
These are some of the best options that we have handpicked based on our personal usage. The marketing terms that manufacturers advertise related to audio don’t often convey much and as a user, your best bet is to rely on expert reviews while deciding the phone best suited to your individual needs.
Here’s is the sum-up list of the best phones for music enthusiasts in 2020:
|Samsung Galaxy S20||No|
|LG V50 ThinQ||Yes|
|iPhone 11 Pro||No|
|Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro||No|
|Huawei P30 Pro||No|
|Asus ROG Phone 2||Yes|
|OnePlus 7T Pro||No|
|Realme X2 Pro||Yes|
|Google Pixel 3a XL||Yes|
|Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro||Yes|