02-23-2016 12:05 PM
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  1. clatus's Avatar
    I'm excited about this phone with the announcement of the impressive audio specs. LG is not messing around with this one.

    32 bit Hi-Fi DAC by ESS Technology

    ESS Sabre 9018C2M digital to analog converter chip inside, as well as an ESS 9602C headphone amplifier.

    These are some serious audio specs for those that like to listen to music and other media on their phone. A great chip by a great company with their amp to boot. Let's hope that it's well implemented.
    10-08-2015 10:13 AM
  2. OMGLadyGaga's Avatar
    Yup, having used that DAC before it really is an outstanding audio experience. And it's pretty shocking to see it in a phone. The Quadbeat 3s that will come with the V10 are also very good IEMs, I'm really happy that LG is taking audio serious even if it is more of a niche market(audiophile community) so I pretty much have no choice but to show support with my wallet. The big lcd screen(hate amoled with a passion) and amazing camera are just icing on the cake. Oh and removable battery and expandable storage too? Sheesh I'm gonna line up outside the store like it's a damn iPhone
    int_architect and lrrowley like this.
    10-08-2015 11:26 PM
  3. Knightstalker's Avatar
    Would this benefit audio coming from spotify? I usually download my playlists to the device and use the phones included headphones... I'm really itching for this phone if the camera is as great as it seems.... trying to stay away from the Note5 which would be my only other choice (camera is priority for me)...
    comk4ver and lrrowley like this.
    10-09-2015 11:13 AM
  4. clatus's Avatar
    It would be a universal sound quality improvement with the ESS dac & amp if properly implemented. If not, the dev community would be able to fix that.
    Knightstalker and lrrowley like this.
    10-09-2015 02:23 PM
  5. cleankutazn's Avatar
    Would it also improve sound quality with flac files through Bluetooth?
    lrrowley likes this.
    10-11-2015 02:43 AM
  6. clatus's Avatar
    Would it also improve sound quality with flac files through Bluetooth?
    Yes. The DAC on the device is still doing the transcoding of the audio.
    cleankutazn, jas_pe and lrrowley like this.
    10-12-2015 10:02 AM
  7. Abakash Palai's Avatar
    That's not right, if used through Bluetooth then the onboard dac and amplifier gets bypassed as it sends digital signal to the Bluetooth receiver where the DAC and the amplifier processes the digital data so the ESS dac that comes with V10 has no use in wireless/wired digital streaming whatsoever.

    Source : I consider myself audiophile
    Vaga Liki likes this.
    10-18-2015 12:36 PM
  8. 20degrees's Avatar
    Source ^ 👍

    Ha-ha.
    jdhooghe likes this.
    10-18-2015 01:23 PM
  9. clatus's Avatar
    Would this benefit audio coming from spotify? I usually download my playlists to the device and use the phones included headphones... I'm really itching for this phone if the camera is as great as it seems.... trying to stay away from the Note5 which would be my only other choice (camera is priority for me)...
    I just wanted to let you know we recently found out that the DAC only works with the stock LG music app. Sorry.
    10-22-2015 12:32 PM
  10. LuvMusic's Avatar
    I just wanted to let you know we recently found out that the DAC only works with the stock LG music app. Sorry.
    I don't really understand how this restriction would work. For streaming it makes sense, the music is already converted (no DAC required) which is why streaming music quality is questioned. If you are using Bluetooth to listen to your streamed music through a car stereo or external speaker, same thing, it's streamed and already converted.

    If you are using local digital files on your phone, they have to be converted to analog, regardless of the player. Unless there are two DAC's on the V10 (which wouldn't make any sense), the V10 would have to use the ESS DACC.

    So, if I'm using my preferred music player (PowerAmp), listening to MP3/FLAC/digital file format of choice and using headphones, the V10 would have to use the ESS signal chain otherwise no music. I think the same would apply for using local digital media files with Bluetooth, has to be converted using the DAC.
    10-22-2015 06:53 PM
  11. Kevin Setiadi's Avatar
    I don't really understand how this restriction would work. For streaming it makes sense, the music is already converted (no DAC required) which is why streaming music quality is questioned. If you are using Bluetooth to listen to your streamed music through a car stereo or external speaker, same thing, it's streamed and already converted..
    Wait what? They still have to be converted because it's still digital signal. You seriously don't think that analog signal can be transmitted through the internet right?

    Downloading music through Spotify is just like downloading through HDtracks or any sites. The different is that the files are encrypted with DRM.
    10-23-2015 12:12 AM
  12. LuvMusic's Avatar
    Wait what? They still have to be converted because it's still digital signal. You seriously don't think that analog signal can be transmitted through the internet right?

    Downloading music through Spotify is just like downloading through HDtracks or any sites. The different is that the files are encrypted with DRM.
    You are absolutely right and it appears when I wrote that my head was in place it shouldn't have been!
    10-23-2015 08:25 AM
  13. Donkey Hodie's Avatar
    Wait what? They still have to be converted because it's still digital signal. You seriously don't think that analog signal can be transmitted through the internet right?

    Downloading music through Spotify is just like downloading through HDtracks or any sites. The different is that the files are encrypted with DRM.
    My head might be in the same place as LuvMusic's but I'm a bit confused. All music is digital regardless of source (HDtracks, Spotify, saved on the device, etc) and must be run through a DAC for playback. Does the statement that the V10 hi-rez DAC is only used for LG's music player application mean there is a second, low-rez DAC for decoding e.g., Spotify?
    10-23-2015 09:28 AM
  14. Knightstalker's Avatar
    I just wanted to let you know we recently found out that the DAC only works with the stock LG music app. Sorry.
    meh... still not a huge deal breaker... i just got the note5 to try out from samsung... so lg has 30 days to release the v10 before i decide lol...
    10-23-2015 10:12 AM
  15. clatus's Avatar
    My head might be in the same place as LuvMusic's but I'm a bit confused. All music is digital regardless of source (HDtracks, Spotify, saved on the device, etc) and must be run through a DAC for playback. Does the statement that the V10 hi-rez DAC is only used for LG's music player application mean there is a second, low-rez DAC for decoding e.g., Spotify?
    The Hi-Fi ESS DAC & AMP is only enabled with the stock LG music app. The Qualcomm Snapdragon DAC is used for everything else. It would be a waste of battery to use the Hi-Fi DAC/AMP for everything, but we're still trying to figure out why it doesn't work with other music apps and we reached out to LG in hopes for an answer or possible patch.
    10-23-2015 10:34 AM
  16. clatus's Avatar
    Here is a review of the ESS DAC/AMP also compared to the $1000 Sony ZX2 DAP:

    LG-V10 Hi-Fi audio quality review on serious audio performance
    10-23-2015 10:42 AM
  17. Donkey Hodie's Avatar
    The Hi-Fi ESS DAC & AMP is only enabled with the stock LG music app. The Qualcomm Snapdragon DAC is used for everything else.
    Thanks. It'd be nice if LG would make choice of DAC an option e.g., if the hi-rez setting in Spotify enabled the ESS DAC. Although in a lot of settings where I listen to Spotify audio quality doesn't matter so much, I'd like to be able to choose the hi-rez DAC when I'm in a place where I want to listen more critically.
    10-23-2015 01:12 PM
  18. tardus's Avatar
    I can't imagine relying only on the LG music app. PowerAmp user here.
    muse480 likes this.
    10-23-2015 04:04 PM
  19. Tony C1's Avatar
    if this is true, i see XDA forums to the recuse with getting the DAC to work with 3rd party music apps
    10-26-2015 11:19 AM
  20. clatus's Avatar
    You are absolutely right and it appears when I wrote that my head was in place it shouldn't have been!
    Thanks. It'd be nice if LG would make choice of DAC an option e.g., if the hi-rez setting in Spotify enabled the ESS DAC. Although in a lot of settings where I listen to Spotify audio quality doesn't matter so much, I'd like to be able to choose the hi-rez DAC when I'm in a place where I want to listen more critically.
    I can't imagine relying only on the LG music app. PowerAmp user here.
    if this is true, i see XDA forums to the recuse with getting the DAC to work with 3rd party music apps
    meh... still not a huge deal breaker... i just got the note5 to try out from samsung... so lg has 30 days to release the v10 before i decide lol...
    Good news. It looks like our original source was wrong. More and more people that now own the V10 are reporting that the ESS DAC is universal - that it works with 3rd party apps including streaming. Reports are that streaming sounds spectacular too.
    10-29-2015 10:12 PM
  21. LuvMusic's Avatar
    Good news. It looks like our original source was wrong. More and more people that now own the V10 are reporting that the ESS DAC is universal - that it works with 3rd party apps including streaming. Reports are that streaming sounds spectacular too.
    I'll be able to share my experience in a few hours, picking up a V10 later this morning. One of the first tests I will be performing after initial setup is PowerAmp versus the stock V10 player.
    GrooveRite, tardus and clatus like this.
    10-30-2015 07:32 AM
  22. clatus's Avatar
    I'll be able to share my experience in a few hours, picking up a V10 later this morning. One of the first tests I will be performing after initial setup is PowerAmp versus the stock V10 player.
    Awesome! You love music so I assume you have good headphones to test.
    10-30-2015 09:10 AM
  23. LuvMusic's Avatar
    Awesome! You love music so I assume you have good headphones to test.
    This is what I used for the test, Klipsch S4's....my favorite everyday drivers, medium - high quality MP3's and of course my sparkly, new V10. So nothing way overboard for this test, pretty common stuff. Listened to a wide range of rock music (traditional, funk, alternative, blues, etc.).

    Based on my initial experience, this is a good news and bad news story..........................

    First the good news, the ESS DAC is awesome! I compared the stock player and DAC to the stock player with the ESS DAC. There is a noticeable improvement in sound quality. The sound stage was better defined, the highs regained some sparkle, the mids were clearer and the bass was fuller. Basically this is what I would expect from a better quality DAC. So if you enjoy LISTENING to music versus using music as background noise, you will really enjoy the improvement.

    The bad news, the ESS DAC only works with the stock player, it had NO EFFECT when I used PowerAmp. How do I know (besides the lack of expected sound improvement). On the menu panel that turns the ESS DAC on/off there are also two controls to individually control the volume on the left and right headphone channels. With stock player using the ESS DAC, when I turned the left channel down, the sound from that side went "dead," as you would expect. When I used PowerAmp there was no change indicating to me that PowerAmp was not using the ESS DAC.

    What is confusing is that the Hi-Fi icon remained on in the notification bar when using PowerAmp (indicating that the ESS DAC was active) even though it clearly was having no effect. This is where I believe the false positives are coming from.

    Now for an observation........PowerAmp sounded almost as good by itself as the stock player using the ESS DAC. I can only imagine what PowerAmp would sound like if it could access the ESS DAC.

    I did not test streaming or Bluetooth, but I don't expect the ESS DAC to be active in these applications. I would expect that in the future somebody will find the application code that allows the stock player to use the ESS DAC and find a way to use it with other media players.

    Sorry for the bad part, seems like you have to use the stock player and the headphone jack to enable the ESS DAC. Another quick observation, if you are using over-ear cans that require big ohms to drive, you won't be giving up your outboard DAC and power amp. While the V10 puts out plenty of volume, you'll still need more power for those audiophile, big ohm cans.

    Final word, the stock player with the ESS DAC sounds awesome. Later when I can have some quality listening time, I'll pull out my B&W P7's and provide another report.
    10-30-2015 04:21 PM
  24. clatus's Avatar
    Thanks for the review!

    So far we have confirmed two other music apps that will work with the ESS DAC/Amp (make sure other music apps are closed):

    1. Google Music (cloud stored music + local files)
    2. Tidal Streaming

    Hopefully we can find more 3rd party apps that work with more testing. But it's a good sign that some work because that means it might be possible we can get apps like PowerAmp and others to work with the DAC with software patches.
    10-30-2015 04:34 PM
  25. LuvMusic's Avatar
    I'm sure this is true. The Sony Z3 I traded-in for my V10 had Sony's up-scaling capability that originally only worked with the Sony music player app. It didn't take long for skins to appear that provided access to the capability. The PowerAmp community and support is great.
    10-30-2015 07:01 PM
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