It has gone everyone so it’s 2019 let’s be an honest best audio quality smartphone is nearly perfect when it comes to music. But nearly perfect is not perfect and if you take the best audio smartphone. Seriously it’s good to know which smartphone is gonna do what you want.
While music may not technically be a “universe language,” it’s the one language listened to by all. There are over 1,500 music genres today rock, jazz, trap, hip-hop, rap, classical, house, new wave, charred death, Nintendocore… and also the list goes on. And if you are like most people, you now probably listen to the majority of your music on your smartphone.
According to Park Associates, 68% of US smartphone owners stream music on a daily basis and that is just streaming. So whether you are using apps like Spotify or Pandora, listening to the radio, or going old school and enjoying MP3s and FLAC files that you downloaded from the internet or converted from CDs, the music lover inside of you desires a capable phone to truly set it free.
A truly nice listening experience depends on a range of factors, including the hardware in your phone, the quality of the music, and also the headphones that you are using. True Hi-Fi sound in a smartphone the kind that would be pleasing to even the most discerning audiophile’s ear is made possible by a mixture of top-of-the-line hardware like a dedicated amp and a digital-to-analog converter, along with software that utilizes these components to their most potential.
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To find that excellent balance, we tested many of the top smartphones on the market in an effort to uncover those that offered the best overall audio experience. Since there is nothing better than music that leaves you with an otherworldly feeling, we created sure that the following smartphones not only have the best hardware available but that they also support the best software enhancements available to customers.
Top 7 Best Smartphones for Music in 2020
1. Razer Phone 2
The Razer Phone 2 is advertised as one of the best audio quality smartphones around, and not just in audio performance, but in display hardware, gaming performance, and battery life. I have been testing the device both in benchmarks and real-world use.
Though it does not have a headphone jack, the Razer Phone 2’s use of android Pie has given it all of the Bluetooth features of the Google Pixel 2. Because it has much better speakers, and Dolby Atmos support through its dongle, this phone edges out the Pixel 3 and takes a spot on the most effective five handsets.
Razer might not be a household name when it comes to smartphones quite however, they do go out of their thanks to making a statement with audio. Though it does not have a speedy update schedule just like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Razer’s handset will have the most recent and greatest when it comes to wireless listening.
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While the wired performance is really good, dongle-haters can still find the accessory frustrating. However, adding the Atmos support permits a simulated surround sound effect that’s only offered on the Galaxy S9+ otherwise.
Given the price difference between the two, the Razer option has a higher value if you are okay with the dongle. Unlike Apple’s ditching of the headphone jack, Razer at least offers a damned good tradeoff for going dongle-only for wired listening.
2. LG V30
If you don’t go the wireless route and end up plugging in a pair of headphones. At least you get something for your troubles. So if you already have a high-end pair of wired headphones or are thinking of getting one in the near future. There is really only one option for you the LG V30 best smartphone with audio quality files.
Love the LG V30 for a reason and that reason is the headphone jack. Not only is that in itself is a plus these days. But this phone also has a quad back inside that supports a 32 bit audio and an amp that can power a pretty high-end pair of headphones.
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So I have had no issues with the performance of the V30 it performs extremely well. Even in heavy use like most smartphones that we are seeing in 2017, the LG V30 is water and dust resistant. It’s IP 68 which means it is protected for up to one and a half meters for up to 30 minutes. So this means we can use it in the rain or drop it in a puddle of water.
It will be perfectly fine the fingerprint sensor of the V30 is on the back and it is nice and centered so it is easier to reach with your index finger. It is a very fast and accurate fingerprint sensor. I have not had any issues with it but what I really enjoy about LG’s implementation with their fingerprint sensor is that it also doubles as the power key.
This is something that LG has been doing for a while now and I kind of really wish that more manufacturers would adopt these features like previous LG V Series smartphones.
The LG V series of smartphones has always been about videography, photography, and audio and that is what makes the LG V30 so exciting.
We will get into all that stuff but first, let’s get all the basic smartphone stuff out of the way starting off with these specs you have a Snapdragon 835 processor 4 gigabytes of RAM.
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It also comes with 64 gigabytes of internal storage standard but there is also a Plus model which will vary by region that comes with a 128 gigabytes of internal storage.
3. Samsung Galaxy S9+
We have the Galaxy s9+ Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone for music. Now was it the best in any one category but it scored well enough to compete.
Let’s be real it has a headphone jack. It too supports 32-bit audio and is Dolby Atmos-certified when you plug in a pair of headphones.
The Razor phone does this too to be fair but the s9 does it without a stupid dongle. It takes the prize home for Best processing just because of that again.
The speakers here aren’t the best and the Dolby Atmos that. You get on them won’t be as impressive as they are with headphones.
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But it’s still something that the other phones don’t have you also have the option to customize the frequency response on a system level. Which is useful for cutting out frequencies that you physically can’t hear anyway.
4. LG V40 ThinQ
The LG V40 is currently the most effective phone out there to listen with wired headphones, as its high amp output modes and quad DAC will drive even high-end headphones fairly simply. Its noise floor is somewhere around -100dB and its measured total harmonic distortion (THD) is very low under LG V40
Whereas many of those results are far beyond the limits of human perception, even minuscule errors will come back to light under certain conditions. That’s why it’s always better to err on the side of better test results.
Better still, the phone will output a far stronger signal than alternative phones on the market, even running afoul of some esoteric EU regulations on phone output. Whereas this is often only a big deal for audiophiles with high-impedance headphones, it’s still good to know that your companion for the next two years will handle anything you throw at it.
Really, the only way the LG G7 falls short is that it does not support Sony’s LDAC. However, unless you own a set of high-end wireless Sony headphones, this isn’t an issue. Most premium wireless headphones these days support aptX and aptX HD competing for higher-fidelity codecs.
You are extremely unlikely to listen to the iconic Bluetooth hiss, and you are definitely not going to notice much if any degradation of audio quality.
Not only is the speaker good, however, it also features a “boombox” mode, allowing you to place your phone on an item with an open cavity (think: guitar, cup) and use it as a pseudo-amplifier. It’s pretty neat if you don’t wish to hold extra accessories around with you, but it won’t replace a stronger speaker.
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Of the available phones here, the microphone of the LG V40 is that the best, sporting a complicated setup with redundancies and therefore the ability to record 24-bit/192kHz audio files and 24-bit, the 48kHz output for video (taken from the LG V30).
Whereas that’s definitely overkilled, having that much extra data permits you to tweak the audio in post-production if you therefore choose. However, in some modes, you will wind up recording only mono, so keep that in mind.
5. Google Pixel 2 XL
We have Google’s flagship the Pixel 2 XL which made this list even without a headphone jack. Let me explain the Google Pixel 2 XL is on this list not because of its front-facing speakers. Which were the second loudest out of any that we tested at 74 points 4 decibels.
Now it’s here for the same reason that it is the best audio quality smartphone to get period. It’s first in line for updates coming straight from Google and while that may not seem like a huge deal right now.
Pixel owners will be the first to get any updates or software tweaks that will make the audio experience even better. It’s also compatible with all of the Bluetooth codecs except for Samsung HD which is exclusive to the Galaxy.
The only thing that would make this phone objectively better is if it actually had a decent headphone jack. Which I’m never gonna let go so just deal with it.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
As far as killer features go, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 includes a lot going for it. However, the best feature it’s overall other phones is Dolby Atmos support through its headphone jack.
We were ready to give it a whirl at MWC this year, and it’s very cool to finally be able to enjoy a surround sound-like experience with over-ear headphones. Truth be told, I feel most people would wish that headphone jack back if this was out a bit sooner.
Though none of the shortcomings of the onboard DAC and amp are what we’d term “audible,” they’re definitely ever-so-slightly behind the LG V40.
However, we’d be lying if we said we did not appreciate the headphone jack’s appearance on the phone and therefore the fact that it offers features to entice a lot of users. If it were not for the LG V40’s ability to drive a lot of power-hungry headphones, this handset would take the top spot.
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The rest of the specs on the Galaxy Note 9 are fairly standard, and the performance is rock solid. Adam and Josh were not impressed by the speakers, but then again: we are not impressed by any smartphone speakers out there.
We do just like the ability to tailor frequency response at a system level to filter out sounds you cannot hear (based on age). The auto-upscaling feature is of dubious merit however is a very cool thing to have in your back pocket.
7. Nokia 7.1
It looks like this spot is perpetually reserved for a Nokia phone. However, HMD global has been quietly making solid, reasonable phones for a while now. Shelling out below $350 can get you a pretty reliable phone with a headphone jack and good performance.
While it is not necessarily going to make you forget a flagship phone, the difference between this year’s bargain basement and last year’s flagships are not really as much as you think that.
In fact, phones have gotten so good so fast that it is tough to find an objectively “bad” one anymore. Whereas Android Authority was a bit tepid on this model, the Nokia 7.1 is that the absolute cheapest phone you can buy without some frustrating as hell trade-off or another. For example, the Pocophone F1’s inability to stream video at a higher res than 540p.
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What is your Best Audio Smartphone?
What is your favorite best audio quality smartphone? Definitely drop those in the comments below.