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HiFi phones

F

FunkyMonkey

Guest
Hi. I am looking to upgrade my phone.

I would like one that is able to play DSD if possible, and at the very least, high resolution, i.e. 192kps files, and FLAC.

A good DAC on board would help but not essential.

Apple is a NO-NO.

Does not need to be the latest models, but something released 2016 onwards so that I could get Android N.
 

Al ears

Moderator
insider9 said:
Have you considered a DAP? You could keep your existing mobile.
Best way. If you try playing Hi-Res files from a phone you're going to be very limited on storage capacity. Even something relatively cheap like the Fiio X3 is going to have better audio quality than a 'phone and more storage space. You cannot beat something that is designed to do one specific job..... ;-)
 
F

FunkyMonkey

Guest
I had the LG6 in mind. I do not want a seperate box as I want it for work. Also I want it to be mobile. Stoarge is not an issue with modern phones.
 
Oct 12, 2016
11
0
0
Have you considered the LG v20? Or the new v30?

Similar to the LG g6 but has the b&o dac built in and is less bulky. They play dsd but downsample to pcm.

There's also mobile DACs but I find the otg usb connection a pain. I've gone through two phones as I've worn out the usb from walking and listening and the strain on the cable.

Ive started looking into DAPs but I'm not convinced that DAPs are worth investments yet. I'm saying this and i have yet to listen to a serious one but costs seem excessive for listening which is probably going to take place outside in a noisy environment. Plus they seem to be poorly designed as there extremely bulky for a pocket and they have short battery life, I don't want a device which I have to charge as much as my mobile. Plus they often run outdated android which makes me wonder how many years till there apps will not run. Not sure if the technology is truly there yet. Unless your utilising it in a hifi chain as a streamer or mini nas, in which case could be good vaule for money.
 

Leif

New member
May 11, 2014
26
1
0
By all accounts the Apple iPhone has the best onboard DAC but IMO it's not that great. And if you use the onboard DAC, there's no point having high res audio files. Even CD quality might be a waste. If the phone has a digital out, you can plug in a DAC, in which case why not just get a DAP instead? I have a Chord Mojo DAC and it's a beast compared to my iPhone even though it is portable. Alternatively plug in headphones with a built in DAC, they do exist. But that ties you to listening to one set of headphones, and you're stuck if you don't like the limited choice available.

I have the iPhone 7 and love it, but I guess you have good personal reasons to dislike Apple phones.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
854
399
5,270
FunkyMonkey said:
I had the LG6 in mind. I do not want a seperate box as I want it for work. Also I want it to be mobile. Stoarge is not an issue with modern phones. 
Not with some but that depends on the size of library. When you mention DSD you will fill up any size SD card fairly quickly.

Then there's battery life consideration. LG G6 you mention only has a 3,300 mAh battery while having a large hi res screen.

It all depends on your priorities. How much per day are you going to listen via what headphones and in what environment?

I always found Moto to have very capable dacs.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
854
399
5,270
Leif said:
By all accounts the Apple iPhone has the best onboard DAC but IMO it's not that great. And if you use the onboard DAC, there's no point having high res audio files. Even CD quality might be a waste. If the phone has a digital out, you can plug in a DAC, in which case why not just get a DAP instead? I have a Chord Mojo DAC and it's a beast compared to my iPhone even though it is portable. Alternatively plug in headphones with a built in DAC, they do exist. But that ties you to listening to one set of headphones, and you're stuck if you don't like the limited choice available.

I have the iPhone 7 and love it, but I guess you have good personal reasons to dislike Apple phones.
How does an iPhone 7 have a DAC if the only way to connect headphones is via digital USB? Or am I missing something?
 

Leif

New member
May 11, 2014
26
1
0
insider9 said:
Leif said:
By all accounts the Apple iPhone has the best onboard DAC but IMO it's not that great. And if you use the onboard DAC, there's no point having high res audio files. Even CD quality might be a waste. If the phone has a digital out, you can plug in a DAC, in which case why not just get a DAP instead? I have a Chord Mojo DAC and it's a beast compared to my iPhone even though it is portable. Alternatively plug in headphones with a built in DAC, they do exist. But that ties you to listening to one set of headphones, and you're stuck if you don't like the limited choice available.

I have the iPhone 7 and love it, but I guess you have good personal reasons to dislike Apple phones.
How does an iPhone 7 have a DAC if the only way to connect headphones is via digital USB? Or am I missing something?
The iPhone 7 has a lightning connector which supports a USB out (via a £37 adaptor) or a standard 3.5mm audio out (via a £7 adaptor). Some online reviews say it is only digital out which is incorrect. I assume it senses the type of connector plugged in, and then routes the digital signal through the DAC if required.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
854
399
5,270
Leif said:
insider9 said:
Leif said:
By all accounts the Apple iPhone has the best onboard DAC but IMO it's not that great. And if you use the onboard DAC, there's no point having high res audio files. Even CD quality might be a waste. If the phone has a digital out, you can plug in a DAC, in which case why not just get a DAP instead? I have a Chord Mojo DAC and it's a beast compared to my iPhone even though it is portable. Alternatively plug in headphones with a built in DAC, they do exist. But that ties you to listening to one set of headphones, and you're stuck if you don't like the limited choice available.

I have the iPhone 7 and love it, but I guess you have good personal reasons to dislike Apple phones.
How does an iPhone 7 have a DAC if the only way to connect headphones is via digital USB? Or am I missing something?
 

The iPhone 7 has a lightning connector which supports a USB out (via a £37 adaptor) or a standard 3.5mm audio out (via a £7 adaptor). Some online reviews say it is only digital out which is incorrect. I assume it senses the type of connector plugged in, and then routes the digital signal through the DAC if required.
Interesting didn't know that. Thanks for clarification.
 

nick8858

New member
Aug 8, 2011
29
0
0
I'm with Al Ears on this. Your are not going to get anything like Hi Fi in a phone. A phone is a miniaturised gadget that does loads of things and doesn't really specialise in anything. You will see high spec DAC's advertised etc but thats sales talk. Most of them have pathetically poor amplifiers so very low output volume (thanks to the EU!). Playing DSD files to me is pointless on a phone as none of them will rveal any of the (apparent) extra detail on offer. If you want Hi Fi you need a dedicated DAP and thats about it. And of course a decent pair of headphones. For what its worth the Fiio X3 is excellent, decent output, plenty storage (SD cards are cheap now anyway) and as said that is its sole purpose.
 

Al ears

Moderator
nick8858 said:
I'm with Al Ears on this. Your are not going to get anything like Hi Fi in a phone. A phone is a miniaturised gadget that does loads of things and doesn't really specialise in anything. You will see high spec DAC's advertised etc but thats sales talk. Most of them have pathetically poor amplifiers so very low output volume (thanks to the EU!). Playing DSD files to me is pointless on a phone as none of them will rveal any of the (apparent) extra detail on offer. If you want Hi Fi you need a dedicated DAP and thats about it. And of course a decent pair of headphones. For what its worth the Fiio X3 is excellent, decent output, plenty storage (SD cards are cheap now anyway) and as said that is its sole purpose.
+1 but the OP has said he doesn't want to carry another device around.... which leaves him between a rock and a hard place
 
Jul 17, 2016
2
2
4,525
Just bought the above from an online retailer. Has a Sabre dac, and sounds lovely with a variety of headphones. Includes a headphone amp that changes op according to impedance. Have sold my off board dac as not needed. Great phone, but battery is average so get a replacement (it can be changed). And 64gb so plenty of storage. A flagship phone that could be had for £280. But leagues better than my Samsung's, Huawei in the sound dept.
 
Jul 17, 2016
2
2
4,525
Simon Floyd said:
Just bought the above from an online retailer. Has a Sabre dac, and sounds lovely with a variety of headphones. Includes a headphone amp that changes op according to impedance. Have sold my off board dac as not needed. Great phone, but battery is average so get a replacement (it can be changed). And 64gb so plenty of storage. A flagship phone that could be had for £280. But leagues better than my Samsung's, Huawei in the sound dept.
Oh, and my Hd580s go loud for big cans. Surprising from a small package, and dac doesn't appear to use much battery.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Simon Floyd said:
Just bought the above from an online retailer. Has a Sabre dac, and sounds lovely with a variety of headphones. Includes a headphone amp that changes op according to impedance. Have sold my off board dac as not needed. Great phone, but battery is average so get a replacement (it can be changed). And 64gb so plenty of storage. A flagship phone that could be had for £280. But leagues better than my Samsung's, Huawei in the sound dept.
I can't see 64Gb being 'plenty of storage' if the OP is heading down the DSD route. My collection is currently spread across four 64Gb micro SD cards and one of those is full with the others being half to one quarter full already.
 

avole

New member
Jul 15, 2016
17
0
0
Al ears said:
insider9 said:
Have you considered a DAP? You could keep your existing mobile.
Best way. If you try playing Hi-Res files from a phone you're going to be very limited on storage capacity. Even something relatively cheap like the Fiio X3 is going to have better audio quality than a 'phone and more storage space. You cannot beat something that is designed to do one specific job..... ;-)
But untrue. A decent phone such as an Apple is the equal of most if not all audio devices. The attitudes in this and other posts are from a previous century - it's time to wake up and join the 21st !

I know it hurts, but those little multifunction smart phones have revolutionised the hifi industry, and put another nail in the coffin.
 

Leif

New member
May 11, 2014
26
1
0
avole said:
Al ears said:
insider9 said:
Have you considered a DAP? You could keep your existing mobile.
Best way. If you try playing Hi-Res files from a phone you're going to be very limited on storage capacity. Even something relatively cheap like the Fiio X3 is going to have better audio quality than a 'phone and more storage space. You cannot beat something that is designed to do one specific job..... ;-)
But untrue. A decent phone such as an Apple is the equal of most if not all audio devices. The attitudes in this and other posts are from a previous century - it's time to wake up and join the 21st !

I know it hurts, but those little multifunction smart phones have revolutionised the hifi industry, and put another nail in the coffin.
Only if you use an external DAC. My iPhone 7 will not drive my Sennheiser HD600 headphones, and the analogue outout is so so quality.

I have already used 128GB of the memory for CD quality ALAC music files.
 

Al ears

Moderator
avole said:
Al ears said:
insider9 said:
Have you considered a DAP? You could keep your existing mobile.
Best way. If you try playing Hi-Res files from a phone you're going to be very limited on storage capacity. Even something relatively cheap like the Fiio X3 is going to have better audio quality than a 'phone and more storage space. You cannot beat something that is designed to do one specific job..... ;-)
But untrue. A decent phone such as an Apple is the equal of most if not all audio devices. The attitudes in this and other posts are from a previous century - it's time to wake up and join the 21st !

I know it hurts, but those little multifunction smart phones have revolutionised the hifi industry, and put another nail in the coffin.
I am afraid that in this matter you are sorely misinformed. As an aside Apple devices cannot handle FLAC files let alone DSD.

Next you will be telling me it's camera is as good in low light as my cheap pocketable camera....
 

Leif

New member
May 11, 2014
26
1
0
Al ears said:
avole said:
Al ears said:
insider9 said:
Have you considered a DAP? You could keep your existing mobile.
Best way. If you try playing Hi-Res files from a phone you're going to be very limited on storage capacity. Even something relatively cheap like the Fiio X3 is going to have better audio quality than a 'phone and more storage space. You cannot beat something that is designed to do one specific job..... ;-)
But untrue. A decent phone such as an Apple is the equal of most if not all audio devices. The attitudes in this and other posts are from a previous century - it's time to wake up and join the 21st !

I know it hurts, but those little multifunction smart phones have revolutionised the hifi industry, and put another nail in the coffin.
I am afraid that in this matter you are sorely misinformed. As an aside Apple devices cannot handle FLAC files let alone DSD.

Next you will be telling me it's camera is as good in low light as my cheap pocketable camera....
You can play FLAC files on an iPhone, but not using the native music application. You have to get a third party app, and I came to the conclusion that it is too much pain to be worth it. ALAC is equivalent anyway, apart from being an Apple designed codec.
 
Jul 17, 2016
2
2
4,525
Al ears said:
Simon Floyd said:
Just bought the above from an online retailer. Has a Sabre dac, and sounds lovely with a variety of headphones. Includes a headphone amp that changes op according to impedance. Have sold my off board dac as not needed. Great phone, but battery is average so get a replacement (it can be changed). And 64gb so plenty of storage. A flagship phone that could be had for £280. But leagues better than my Samsung's, Huawei in the sound dept.
I can't see 64Gb being 'plenty of storage' if the OP is heading down the DSD route. My collection is currently spread across four 64Gb micro SD cards and one of those is full with the others being half to one quarter full already.
And can take micro sd cards. Dunno max size though.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Simon Floyd said:
Al ears said:
Simon Floyd said:
Just bought the above from an online retailer. Has a Sabre dac, and sounds lovely with a variety of headphones. Includes a headphone amp that changes op according to impedance. Have sold my off board dac as not needed. Great phone, but battery is average so get a replacement (it can be changed). And 64gb so plenty of storage. A flagship phone that could be had for £280. But leagues better than my Samsung's, Huawei in the sound dept.
I can't see 64Gb being 'plenty of storage' if the OP is heading down the DSD route. My collection is currently spread across four 64Gb micro SD cards and one of those is full with the others being half to one quarter full already.
And can take micro sd cards. Dunno max size though.
Its 2Tb which is ruddy good compared to most. It does not, however, support DSD format.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
I use a Samsung S7e mostly with Tidal HiFi.

Unlike some I am entirely happy with the sound after very lightly tweaking the (good) equalizer. Next will probably be the Note 8.

Even wired into the system sound is good though I usually stream.

Most H/F's benefit from some equalizing anyway. Grado and S'heiser user here.
 

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