In this article, the best smartphones for lovers of good sound are listed. These are notable mobile phones with better sound quality, for music, video games, videos and audio in general.
Most people listen to music primarily on their phone, not in a dedicated music player such as an iPod. The most important part of the music experience on a phone is the digital to analog converter (DAC). That little chip takes digital music and plays it through the speakers.
Of course, speaker types also matter a lot. If you listen directly from your phone, you will want stereo speakers. And finally, the quality of the music is also affected by the headphones or speakers you connect.
When looking for a phone that produces excellent sound quality, there are some things to keep in mind:
- The noise levels should be below -96.6dB for music with CD quality.
- The dynamic range should be equal to or greater than 96.6dB.
- The frequency response should not deviate from 0dB in any direction, but you will not hear it if it is less than 0.5dB.
- Smart phone speakers are usually pretty bad.
- Headphones are the only way to guarantee high quality audio.
Without further ado we will analyze the cell phones with better sound and an extra with tips to improve the sound of any smartphone or cell phone.
🏆 This is the list of the best 16+ Android and Iphone smartphones or cell phones with the best sound on the market.
🥇 Live X21
The Vivo X21 is another phone that pays attention due to music and audio playback.
The phone comes with a set of high fidelity AK4376A chips along with the Deepfield sound effect, which further amplifies the bass, treble and vocals to ensure an immersive audio experience.
The phone comes with good quality Vivo XE710 headphones. For those who love to enjoy both audio and video, the AMOLED screen of the X21 proves to be a true happiness. Under its hood, the X21 includes Snapdragon 660 along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM.
🥈 HTC U12 +
The HTC U12 + is ideal for people who want to buy a smartphone, use the headphones that come with it and use the speakers of the phone to play music sometimes.
Its front stereo speakers are louder than any other, perhaps except for the Razer phone. Fidelity is maintained even when you turn up the volume.
But as with any stereo speaker in phones, your music will sound better if you buy quality Bluetooth speakers. The HTC U12 + also comes with a set of custom USB-C headphones for the phone.
Connect them and the device uses software to turn them into active noise canceling headphones. As far as I know, no other phone does that at this time.
These small software settings really differentiate HTC U12 + from others. It will help you set up a sound profile that is pleasing to your ears. It will adjust the equalizer settings according to the music being played.
In general, if you care about your music but you don’t like to play with applications and settings, the U12 + is an experience that most users will like.
While the front speakers are excellent, the HTC U12 + has some features that many people find annoying. For example, “compression gestures” are not at all intuitive, especially for volume control. But you get used to them after a while.
🥉 ZTE Axon 7s
ZTE recently unveiled the successor of Axon 7 as Axon 7s. Like the predecessor, the device’s new key selling feature is its audio capability.
The Axon 7s has two Hi-Fi chips to provide better sound. The front speakers are adorning the device with Dolby ATMOS. Without a doubt, the final product is quite surprising in terms of audio capabilities.
The first Chip in Axon 7s for audio is AKM AK4961 DAC and according to AKM, its chip provides the best audio experience even for 32-bit audio, while the secondary chip is also from AKM and is AK4490 DAC. Both chips are powerful enough to provide the premium experience for listening to audio.
We can say that the DAC chips used by ZTE for Axon are the best available in its range of smartphones. In addition to all this, the company also places double front speakers with ATMOS surround sound technology, which is surely a great ZTE graduation.
It is not only an addition of a speaker, but the company also worked quite well to provide a superior global sound experience. ZTE’s hard work is paying off, as Axon 7s offers a nice and clean audio output.
To attract more buyers, the Axon 7 is quite less expensive compared to its high-end competitors. All these aspects make Axon 7s one of the best options to choose from if you are looking for an affordable smartphone with the best audio experience.
The Axon 7s includes a 5.5-inch screen with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The device screen is protected with Gorilla 4. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Soc powers the phone with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. On the back, the main camera is the dual module of 20MP + 12MP, while the front camera is 8MP. A 3,400mAh battery cell keeps the device lights on.
4. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Given the latest trend, not everyone is looking for a standard flagship, instead, a large number of buyers in the market are willing to take gigantic phablets.
If we refer to the phablets, how can we forget the latest Mate 20 Pro, which is widely considered one of the best in the market.
The Mate 20 Pro comes with dual speakers, but the company implemented this function quite intelligently. Normally, the dual stereo speakers are integrated into the bezels, but Huawei used the USB-C slot for the secondary speaker. Therefore, you will now have no problems with the blocking of the lower activation speakers, but you will get stereo audio from dual sensors.
The audio quality will be muted if you are listening to music while your device is connected to the charger. While the audio capabilities of the Mate 20 Pro are not as good as those of audio-centric phones on the market, they are certainly among the phablets with the best audio. So if you’re looking for a powerful new Android flagship with premium audio, the Mate 20 Pro is a pretty decent option.
5. New Nokia 3310
For some, high resolution audio is not necessary for a smartphone to offer excellent music playback.
For those who are perfectly happy with the sound of MP3 quality files, battery life is likely to be more important. At the height of its iconic billing, the new Nokia 3310 comes into play.
The 1,200 mAh battery of the phone may not be the largest, but within this phone with glorified functions, it is enough to offer 51 hours of continuous music playback before needing a trip to the charger.
No, you are unlikely to buy this just for your musical skills, but if you are looking for a spare phone that can make the songs sound as the battery of your main phone revolves around the drain, it is a solid option.
6. Onkyo Granbeat
Those who know the amplifier and headphones surely also know the name of Onkyo.
However, the company now entered the smartphone business and announced the first music-centric smartphone, Granbeat, with all its audio experience.
The best thing about the device is that it can play almost all types of music files, including AAC, DSD, MP3, DSD, AIFF, FLAC, IFF, WAV, ALAC and Ogg-Vorbis. According to the company, the device is intended to listen to the breath of the singer and musicians in a delicate way. The device has built-in DAC and its audio circuit is designed to reduce external noise.
Another positive point of the device is its e-Onkyo service support, which means you can download high resolution audio files directly. Thanks to its 128GB expandable native storage, the device can store high resolution music files of up to 3200. In terms of hardware, the device has a 5-inch screen with Full HD screen resolution.
As an operating system the device is preinstalled with Android Marshmallow. The Octa-core Snapdragon 650 chipset is feeding it with 3GB of RAM. Unfortunately, the device is currently available only to Japanese customers. It is still in the dark if it will be released for other regions or not.
7. Sony Xperia XZ2
Sony was one of the original pioneers of stereo speakers in phones.
Since then, it has been delayed a bit in terms of pure sound quality, but the Xperia XZ2 is still a good place for music.
The front speakers provide a good sound stage, and the speaker quality has improved since the XZ1. However, there is no headphone jack, so you will have to use an adapter if you do not have wireless headphones.
The Xperia XZ2 also has a pair of “special moves.” A dynamic vibration function triggers the vibration motor to the beat of the music. It is also compatible with LDAC, a high-resolution wireless standard that is seen in Sony’s Bluetooth headphones.
8. ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Decent music playback is not limited to high-end flagship phones, as the ZTE Axon 7 Mini, which fits the wallet, offers impressive and economical audio.
The compact phone includes the pseudo-3D stereo sound made possible by the dual speakers on both ends of the phone.
Enhanced by the integrated Dolby Atmos technology, the phone is capable of pumping music that features more powerful bass and much less distortion than in most rival devices of similar size and price.
An AKM 4962 chip combines the two separate audio processors to create beautiful round and surprisingly robust sounds. With this, your Bluetooth speaker will be resigned to life in the messy closet.
9. LG V40 ThinQ
The LG V40 is currently one of the best phones to listen with wired headphones, since the high-power output modes and the quad DAC can handle even the high-end headphones quite easily.
Its noise floor is somewhere around -100dB and its total measured harmonic distortion (THD) is extremely low below 0.001%. While many of these results are well beyond the limits of human perception, even tiny errors can come to light in certain conditions.
That is why it is always better to err next to better test results. Better yet, the phone can emit a much stronger signal than other phones in the market, even against some esoteric EU regulations on phone output.
While this is only a big problem for audiophiles with high impedance hearing aids, it is still good to know that your partner for the next two years can handle anything you throw at him.
Actually, the only way the LG falls short is that it is not compatible with Sony’s LDAC. But unless you own a set of high-end Sony wireless headphones, this is not a problem. Most of today’s premium wireless headphones are compatible with aptX and aptX HD — Compete higher fidelity codecs.
It is very unlikely that you will hear the iconic whistle of Bluetooth, and you will definitely not notice much degradation of audio quality, if you produce it. If you like to use your phone as a portable boombox, first: get a Bluetooth speaker. Second, the LG G7, LG V35 and LG V40 all have a decent one.
The speaker is not only decent, but also has a “boombox” mode, which allows you to place your phone in an element with an open cavity (think: acoustic guitar) and use it as a pseudo amplifier.
It’s pretty good if you don’t want to carry extra accessories with you, but it won’t replace a better speaker. Of the phones available here, the LG V40’s microphone is the best, with a complicated configuration with redundancies and the ability to record 24-bit / 192kHz audio files and a 24-bit, 48kHz output for video (taken from the LG V30) .
While that is definitely excessive, having so much additional data allows you to adjust the audio in post-production if you choose. However, in some modes you will end up recording only in mono, so keep that in mind.
10. Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
The Galaxy S9 introduced a dual speaker system, which provides stereo separation when watching video and also simply higher volumes.
And it came without an increase in frame size, a total gain. But Samsung added something else to the entire audio experience: Dolby Atmos sound, which is processed and supposed to provide an improved audio experience in all kinds of content.
If you have been observing that Dolby change in your configuration since you obtained your Galaxy S9, without being sure of what it really does, we have it covered.
The most important question is what exactly Dolby Atmos does. Apparently, this mode is designed for when playing any content that has been mixed specifically for Atmos, usually a long-duration movie.
With Atmos activated and watching a mixed movie for Atmos, you’ll get a much more immersive audio experience, especially if you use quality headphones.
But most of us are not watching full movies on our phones, and to be honest, most movies don’t have an Atmos audio profile (or they don’t make it available on phones). So, instead, we are all more likely to use Atmos with the “regular” audio that comes out of our phones every day.
Whether you’re using wired speakers or headphones (or Bluetooth), when you turn on Atmos, you’ll notice that everything gets stronger. In situations where you used to make the most of the Galaxy S9’s volume slider, you can back it up by approximately 25%. This is because Atmos is effectively passing the audio through an equalizer to give it a massage and provide what it thinks is a better overall sound, and the result is that you will hear more than you want to hear without increasing the volume. .
When you use headphones, you will also notice a more spatial sound, that is, you will hear a little echo and width that will make it appear that you are listening to speakers in a large room, instead of having headphones directly in your ears.
If you change the sound profile of Atmos to «Voice», you will notice a big difference that really focuses on the voices at the expense of everything else. Unless you’re listening to an audiobook or something like that, you probably don’t like this sound profile.
The “Movie” and “Music” profiles are a little closer to “Automatic”: they sound good and definitely higher, but it would be difficult to find the best results than to apply some minor adjustments to an equalizer in the equalizer.
11. Razer Phone 2
If you mind sharing videos with your close friends: the Razer Phone 2 is the mobile for you.
Although it does not have a headphone jack, the use of Android Pie on the Razer Phone 2 has given it all the Bluetooth functions of Google Pixel 2. Since it has much better speakers, and Dolby supports Atmos, this phone stands out above the Pixel 3 and It occupies a place in the best audio phones.
Razer may not be a familiar name when it comes to smartphones yet, but they go out of their way to make a good formula with the audio. Although it does not have a quick update program like the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL, the Razer phone has the latest and the best when it comes to wireless listening.
Only a new codec or transfer standard will change that, so updates after the Pixel 3 or the Razer phone probably won’t change much.
However, adding Atmos support allows a surround sound effect that was only offered on the Galaxy S9. Given the price difference between the two, the Razer option has a higher value if you agree with the dongle. Unlike the abandonment of the headphone jack by Apple, Razer at least offers a very good compensation for using dongle only for cable listening.
12. Asus ROG
Asus announced that its ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) phone will have DTS technology, a world leader in high definition audio solutions.
DTS: X Ultra technology offers a premium immersive audio experience for players through any pair of connected headphones.
DTS: XUltra technology offers players a competitive advantage by offering console-quality audio on a mobile phone through headphones and speakers.
By accurately representing sound sources in a 3D environment in relation to the listener, DTS: X Ultra technology helps consumers listen to and locate their opponents and other key environmental sounds. In addition, the technology is compatible with all immersive audio formats and, in addition, has been designed to provide optimized bass response, volume and audio clarity for ROG headphones and phone speakers.
13. HTC U11 Plus
Years ago, HTC had the best phone speakers, without exception.
Today it is not at the top, but the HTC U11 Plus is still a great phone for music. Your BoomSound speakers use a treble controller through the handset and a primary one at the bottom.
Its output is not 100% uniform, but they sound good and HTC uses the body as a cavity for the upper speaker in order to give it a little more strength.
There is no headphone jack, which may be a decisive factor for some of you. However, it comes with a very good adapter cable with a high quality DAC built into its case.
The adapters are annoying, but this gives you good sound quality with wired headphones. For wireless pairs, the HTC U11 Plus is compatible with aptX HD, which reduces the loss of wireless transmission quality.
14. iPhone X
Apple rarely cares a lot about the speakers on its phones.
However, the iPhone X is comfortably your phone with the best sound so far, with noisy and balanced double drivers. There is one on the bottom edge, and the earpiece speaker emits sound for better dispersion when you hold the phone in front of your face.
As you probably know, the iPhone X does not have a headphone jack, however. Here is the Lightning connection, and that means the DAC lives in your wireless / Lightning headphones.
Use a 3.5mm Lightning socket adapter and that little thing really has a DAC chip inside.
We believe that the iPhone X is an excellent audio device. However, if your music collection is still a mass of files in a folder, instead of being cloud-based, an iPhone is harder to handle than an Android for you. You need to use iTunes: it has always been that way, but it is worth considering if you have never used an iPhone before.
15. OnePlus 6
The OnePlus 6 features Dirac Research’s Power Sound and HD Sound technologies for sound correction.
Dirac also provides similar solutions for Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei phones, along with other major brands of car speakers and computer and entertainment manufacturers.
The OnePlus Bullets (V2) Dirac headphones have been working with OnePlus since the OnePlus 2 of 2015. The collaboration makes Dirac engineers help the company with the adjustment of the speakers and headphones, and then provide customized software filters for solve inevitable problems and adapt the sound to the taste of OnePlus.
The OnePlus 6 has a small micro speaker with less than 1 cm cubic volume, which needs some careful software settings to sound the best quality.
To improve the sound, Dirac uses tuned equalization curves to flatten the frequency response and impulse response to avoid speaker ringing and low frequency distortion.
The increase in volume and clarity perceived is achieved through the use of multiband compression, volume-dependent bass boost and fundamental harmonic generation. All Dirac algorithms run on the integrated DSP of the Snapdragon 845, which helps keep power consumption low enough to barely register compared to the consumption of the speaker amplifier.
In addition to tuning the speaker output, Dirac technology also offers carefully designed headphone profiles for selected models. Three sets of the OnePlus brand are supported, such as the latest wireless in-ear Bullet, as well as the JBL E1 + that was shipped with previous models.
When OnePlus announces headphones as “created for OnePlus,” that is exactly what they mean.
If you are using a different brand of headphones, you will not receive any of the custom sound benefits. However, there is still an integrated equalizer with which to play to modify the sound as you like.
16. LG G7 ThinQ
LG’s G7 ThinQ model continues with the company’s new approach to audio.
The claim of this phone to fame is the 32-bit Quad DAC Hi-Fi, which is never found in smartphones. No, you don’t need to know what that jargon means. However, the “32 Quad” bit is a small marketing trick.
In actual practice on a telephone, a 32-bit DAC does not sound so different from a 24-bit DAC (which most star phones use). What matters is the quality of the chipset, and that is where the LG G7 ThinQ shines. That DAC only comes into play when the headphones are connected with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
And when it does, the sound is better than that of any other phone with which you will synchronize those headphones. On the contrary, the 32-bit DAC makes no difference for Bluetooth wireless headphones, since the DAC is not activated in those.
However, wireless headphones sound great due to ThinQ compatibility with Bluetooth 5 and aptX HD. Unfortunately, the G7 ThinQ has no stereo speakers. Instead, the device has a single speaker at the bottom. The company tries to justify this by saying that it uses a unique boombox design to increase the sound. But the volume increases, not the sound quality.
Needless to say, the rest of the features of the G7 ThinQ are the best. It features the first-class Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, a magnificent IPS screen with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, one of the best cameras on the market, and it is also waterproof. The bottom line is that if you use wired headphones on your phone, then the LG G7 ThinQ is the best sound you will get.
How to improve sound quality and increase volume on Android
Not all smartphones have good quality speakers or volume levels that produce envy. These two problems, together with the bad location of the speakers, can hinder the enjoyment of the sound.
Here are some tips to help you improve sound quality and increase volume on Android. You can try a loudspeaker or volume booster application, but you can improve a lot with some audio knowledge.
– Check your settings
You can optimize your Android audio experience through the settings. However, not all Android UIs have this feature, so it won’t work for everyone. However, if your device has it, the procedure is easy. And once you’ve done it for the first time, you can quickly improve your audio settings in the future.
For Samsung devices, you must connect the audio device you want to use (if you are using one) and do the following:
- Enter Settings and touch Sounds and vibration.
- From there configure the sound quality and effects. You should have a number of options to improve your audio experience.
Xiaomi MIUI has a headphone enhancer. Just turn it on and choose the type you are using. You must choose between in-ear and normal headphones.
Xperia UI allows you to use ClearAudio settings and has an equalizer. You can access it through the settings.
With the HTC Sense user interface, you can activate BoomSound, but there is really no reason to disable it, since the audio is terrible without it activated. You cannot optimize your audio settings from Oxygen, LG UI or Android Stock.
– Download a new music application
You have the option of replacing the stock music application with one that includes more audio control. We recommend Poweramp or PlayerPro as our main music applications for Android. Both are packed with audio settings, presets, bass boost and more. Just make sure your music folders are marked in the application settings.
Poweramp offers a 10-band equalizer for serious tunings. You will have to pay a couple of dollars to access all the best features, but once you do, you will never look back.
Several of our readers have also recommended PlayerPro as an alternative music application. The software offers advanced audio configuration options, as well as many ways to customize the visual experience as well. PlayerPro costs one sdolares but there is also a free trial version available for the curious.
– Use a loudspeaker / volume booster application
Music player applications like the ones above are great, but, of course, they only work from the application. So what if you want to increase the sound of the speaker in general? This is a bit controversial because the fact is that although there are many applications in the Play Store that claim to do this, compatibility is doubtful, and using an application to force your speakers to exceed their maximum default value can damage your hardware. your phone.
Therefore, while you can find the right volume booster application for your device and operating system, you may have to do some research, and when you try this, do not start it immediately!
– Download an equalizer application
The default audio controls on most phones are not exactly complete. Some include a basic equalizer, but it often only works within the default music application and does not provide control over audio that is not played through the music player.
It is important to keep in mind that no application works miracles when the hardware does not work properly, but with a couple of simple adjustments, its sound quality can improve significantly. So visit the Play Store and get a decent equalizer. We can recommend Music Volume EQ and Bass Booster.
– Know the location of your speaker
It may seem silly, but the first thing you should know is where the sound comes from on your smartphone. Many phones have twin grills, but often only one of them produces any sound. If your speaker is locked, the sound quality will be low or non-existent.
Test where your sound comes from by playing some melodies and covering the various holes in your phone until you know exactly where the audio comes from. There shouldn’t be too many places for a speaker to hide and, once you’ve found them, you can start to find the problem.
Once you know if your speakers are front, mounted at the bottom or at the back, you can make smarter decisions on how to place your smartphone to give them the best chance to shine.
Do not block the speakers while holding your phone (a common mistake when playing with speakers mounted on the bottom) and point the speakers at you, not far from you.
– Check if your housing is blocking a speaker
If your phone has a protective case or cover, it will affect the quality of the sound you receive from the speakers. All these vibrations from inside your phone will be damped by the additional layer of plastic or rubber that the manufacturer will not have taken into account when designing your speaker system.
Not all carcass creators understand the subtleties of their device. Some cases block essential parts of the phone, such as the audio jack, microphone or speaker. Before buying a case, be sure to verify that it will not block anything.
– Wear headphones
The simple fact is that most smart phone speakers are simply not good enough to get decent sound quality, even with an elegant music application or EQ. This is where a pair of decent headphones can help (some audio settings on your phone will not even work without the headphones plugged in).
Not all headphones are the same and there are different types for different situations. Be sure to look and find the one that best suits you.
– Use a smart speaker
The headphones are great while traveling, but what happens at home? Today, many prefer to hang up the phone when they get home and use a voice assistant to manage their daily tasks and that includes entertainment such as music. Now accessing your favorite playlists is as simple as asking the air.
Original smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon, not only function as music speakers (at least the largest), but audio specialists such as JBL and Sonos are offering their own smart speakers with Alexa or Google Assistant for audiophiles You want to go with your favorite brand.
– Increase speaker volume
If it is rooted, there are many application options that can avoid the maximum volume of the Android system with a few simple adjustments. If you do not want to root your phone or you are simply not convinced of the distortions that most volume increase applications in the Play Store end up producing, then there are still some things you can do.
Learn a little about sound waves. If you place your phone in a corner and shoot the speaker output towards it, you will get a stronger and “lower” reverberation than if you were shooting into the open room. The same logic applies to any object: place your phone in a box, in a bowl or in a glass (empty, of course) and you will be surprised to hear how loud your speaker is suddenly.