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Which Smartphone To Choose If You Love Listening To Music

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Smartphones these days are not the same as they were a couple of years ago, they’ve evolved into fully-fledged entertainment systems. Some of the new smartphones in the market also come with support for Dolby Atmos and have HiFi Quad DAC setup, something which was earlier limited to dedicated Audio Setups.

By Akhil Taneja - 
1st Apr 2020
Best smartphones to listen music

Highlights of the Story

  • Smartphones like the Samsung S20 Series and the OnePlus 7 Pro come with Dolby Atmos support and Dual Speaker setup
  • The LG G8s comes with a HiFi Quad DAC setup for extremely high-quality audio output for the users that want nothing but the best
  • iPhone 11 comes with the W11 chip that enables automatic and quick pairing with supported wireless audio devices
  • Redmi K20 Pro comes with a high-end DAC and a dedicated amplifier supporting for headphones with as much as 600ohms output

iPods and other music players were very common a few years ago, however, with each passing year, the existence of these dedicated portable music players is becoming more questionable. As a matter of fact, there are no mainstream companies making and marketing these portable audio players now.

Smartphones make it easy to download and stream the latest audio from the internet and have enabled more of the world to enjoy music. However, until recent times, most smartphones have had a very basic DAC or Digital Analog Converter and this has resulted in low-quality audio and lack of support for high-end headphones.

The current generation of smartphones are slowly catching up and have started to include higher quality DAC and Amplifiers along with support for built-in stereo speakers to enhance the experience. Here is a list of five such smartphones across different budget options that are the best choice for Music Lovers

Samsung Galaxy S20 Series

Samsung Galaxy S20 Series

The Samsung Galaxy S series has been the industry leader for an Android smartphone for a long time now, other competitors have struggled to reach the quality and have often failed. The Samsung Galaxy S20 is no different.

The device is known for its amazing display quality and camera optics for generations, however, the S20 Ultra does very well in the sound department too. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 32-bit 384kHz DAC inbuilt.

The audio in the Samsung Galaxy S20 series of smartphones is tuned by AKG for optimum lows and highs. The device also comes with a stereo speaker setup that is loud and support Dolby Atmos for a true surround experience. The Samsung Galaxy S20 series also comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and support for aptX HD enabling high-resolution audio streaming.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is an all-rounder with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. The battery on the device is of 5,000mAh capacity with 45W fast charging making it a perfect choice for media consumption.

Key Highlights:

  • Stereo speakers tuned by AKG for clear audio
  • Support for Dolby Atmos for true surround experience on the mobile device
  • 32-bit 384kHz DAC making it an industry leader in the smartphone market
  • Free AKG tuned headset with much better quality than competitors
  • Support for multiple high res Bluetooth streaming formats

Price: Samsung Galaxy S20 (Rs 66,990) Galaxy S20+ (Rs 73,990), and Galaxy S20 Ultra (Rs 92,999)

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Review

LG G8s

LG G8S

The LG G8S is unquestionably the best choice when it comes to audio experience in the India smartphone market right now. The device comes with a stereo speaker setup, but that isn’t all that makes the smartphone a great hit for music lovers. The LG G8s comes with a 32-bit Quad DAC with support for 192kHz audio.

The device also supports aptX HD for wireless audio over Bluetooth. The device also comes with DTS:X 3D audio and Meridian sound tuning to widen the sound field and echo all emotions as if you were at the stage. Apart from the audio specs, the device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and has 6GB RAM along with 128GB internal storage. The battery on the device is just 3,550mAh and comes with 18W fast charging adhering to QC 3.0 standards.

Highlights:

  • Stereo Speakers for loud and clear audio
  • Support for DTS:X 3D for a virtual surround effect
  • Comes with a Quad DAC for the best quality audio possible
  • Support for aptX HD for high-resolution Bluetooth streaming

Price: Rs 39,990

Redmi K20 Pro

Redmi K30 Pro

The Redmi K20 Pro is the ultimate budget contender in the list and is available for a price of less than Rs 30,000. The smartphone comes with a 24-bit/192kHz DAC onboard. While this is lower than the offerings from the Galaxy S20 Ultra or the LG G8s, a high-resolution dedicated DAC was unseen in this price segment. Also, the Redmi K20 Pro is one of the few smartphones in the market to still have a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The included amplifier in the Redmi K20 Pro allows the device to be connected to some really high-end headphones without the need for an external amplifier. The Redmi K20 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and comes with 8GB or 6GB RAM options and 128GB or 256GB internal storage options, despite the advanced DAC in the smartphone, it only comes with a single speaker setup and is powered by a 4,000mAh battery

Key highlights:

  • Support for 24-bit/192kHz DAC for uncompressed audio support
  • Dedicated WCD9340 Audio Chip for better audio performance
  • Supports AAC, LDAC, and aptX HD formats for high res Bluetooth playback

Price: Rs 24,999

Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review

OnePlus 7T Pro

Oneplus 7T Pro

The OnePlus 7T Pro is an all-rounder device with good audio specs, the device comes with a stereo speaker setup for good separation of audio. The device doesn’t have any special DAC but comes with support for Dolby Atmos for realistic 3D surround virtually.

The device also supports the most common high res Bluetooth audio streaming codecs for connecting your high-end audio devices wirelessly. The OnePlus 7T pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset and comes with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. The device has a 4,085mAh battery with 30W fast charge support ensuring you can consume all the media you want without worrying about the battery

Key Highlights

  • Stereo speakers for good sound separation across channels
  • Support for Dolby Atmos for good 3D virtual surround
  • Good overall specs making it an all-rounder
  • Support for all major Bluetooth codecs for high res streaming

Price: Rs 52,899

Also Read: OnePlus 7T Pro Review

iPhone 11 Series

Apple iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 doesn’t come with any fancy DAC or built-in amplifier, in fact, similar to most other flagship smartphones these days, the iPhone 11 doesn’t even have a 3.5mm headset jack. However, the iPhone 11 comes with iTunes, one of the biggest digital music libraries, this makes it a great choice for most users who have already purchased songs on iTunes or have a monthly subscription for it.

iPhone 11 also comes with a new U1 chipset that is said to improve the Bluetooth connection to AirPods and other supported Bluetooth headsets. With the new U1 chipset in the Apple iPhone 11, it is even easier to connect the smartphone to the compatible headset with fewer steps and in lesser time. The device comes with Stereo speakers that produce decent audio. The iPhone 11 is a good choice for someone looking for a decent smartphone that is simple to use and performs well on the audio front.  

Key Highlights:

  • iTunes built-in, one of the largest music directories
  • Comes with U1 chip for faster Bluetooth pairing
  • Stereo speakers for better audio performance
  • Support for most commonly used high-resolution Bluetooth codecs

Price: iPhone 11(Rs 64,900), iPhone 11 Pro (Rs 99,000), and iPhone 11 Pro Max (Rs 1,09,000)

Also Read: iPhone 11 Pro Review

Updates :

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

You can share your playlists, ask Siri to control and play the music and search to find songs, albums, artists, playlists, lyrics and more on this device. Even with a heavy price tag, this device assures great sound quality. With superb speakers onboard and wireless audio support, if you are a big fan of music and this brand, this is the right choice to go forward with. Listen to all of your favorite music,  discover new songs and listen to them in your iPhone 11 Pro.

Key Highlights

  • EarPods with Lightning Connector.
  • Audio formats supported – AAC‑LC, HE‑AAC, HE‑AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC‑3), Dolby Digital Plus (E‑AC‑3), Dolby Atmos and Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX and AAX+).
  • Improved Low-level dynamics allowing for extra drama in quieter tracks.
  • Spatial audio playback with support for Dolby Atmos. 
  • User‑configurable maximum volume limit.
  • H1 or W1 chip  that enables automatic and quick pairing with supported wireless audio devices.

Razer Phone 2

Dolby Stereo speakers, fast refresh 120Hz screen with HDR content support, Chroma lighting, tons of Razer game optimizations and a game boost mode that gives extra power if you need it are the brilliant features that makes you want to dive into this phone. More than a gaming phone, Razer Phone 2 is also up to the mark when it comes to satisfying the needs of an audiophile. The Razer Phone 2 is actually capable of some really impressive sound output. 

Key Highlights

  • Build-in Dolby Atmos.
  • Loud music.
  • Impressively consistent in loudness in the highs and mids.
  • Does a good job at trying to represent bass and lows.
  • Relies on a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adaptor.


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