1. Herb Falcon's Avatar
    Going to get a second phone, budget- for travel, and am interested in audio quality as the phone will also be my player.

    What specs should I keep in mind? With non-speaker listening is audio quality more determined by the unit or the earbuds?

    Thanks everyone.
    06-23-2022 08:13 PM
  2. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    What's your budget for the phone? Are you buying headphones as well? What carrier do you have? Will you need an unlocked device?
    mustang7757 likes this.
    06-23-2022 08:46 PM
  3. tadpoles's Avatar
    From a phone perspective, you'll want to think about the phone’s DAC and the power it puts out to the headphone jack (headphone amp)...if you're using wired earphones. In a budget phone these will be just-average but would be fine for your average earbuds but you might not want to plug Sennheiser HD600s in as they'd be underpowered and you might even hear the lesser DAC.

    If you'll be using Bluetooth headphones/earbuds they'll offload the DAC/headphone amp requirement. I'm simplifying all this and there are other factors into how your setup will sound (wired earphones/headphone ohms, Bluetooth version etc) but these are the basics.

    TLDR: For cheap wired earbuds or bluetooth most budget phones will sound the same. YMMV.

    EDIT:. Wanna make ANY phone sounds its best for a wider variety of earbuds/headphones? Consider a small external USB DAC/headphone amp like the Dragonfly Black, Red, or Cobalt.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    06-24-2022 06:43 AM
  4. Herb Falcon's Avatar
    Thanks Tadpoles. I'm already on board with the headphone amp. Same as portable DAC, correct?

    My listening will be with wired earbuds, mid to upper range quality. I take it there is no great difference whether a flac file plays on a Samsung, Apple SE, Motorola etc sub $500 phone -- that the music experience is more impacted by the headphones & any external boosting.
    06-24-2022 12:47 PM
  5. tadpoles's Avatar
    Thanks Tadpoles. I'm already on board with the headphone amp. Same as portable DAC, correct?

    My listening will be with wired earbuds, mid to upper range quality. I take it there is no great difference whether a flac file plays on a Samsung, Apple SE, Motorola etc sub $500 phone -- that the music experience is more impacted by the headphones & any external boosting.
    Exactly. Most contemporary phones have enough horsepower to read your files without skipping.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    06-24-2022 02:15 PM

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