Man those guys in the head phone forums are rough

Mike Dee

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I went over to one of those forums for headphones and tried get headphone advice based on the V20 DAC and they think I'm talking about a standard smartphone DAC with a marketing gimmick or just a class D DAC as someone referred to it.
 

Aquila

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From the perspective they're coming at it, they're right. The V20 DAC, on the grand scheme of things, is closer to the weakest of smartphone audio outputs than to what you'd be experiencing with other types of products. But within phones, it's second best and so your questions regarding headphones are definitely relevant because of how much above the average phone the quality will be.
 

Laura Knotek

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As Aquila said, that is not unusual, since many of the members of that forum are probably using audio gear that costs $1K+. Audiophiles tend to be very choosy about their gear.
 

irvine752

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I went over to one of those forums for headphones and tried get headphone advice based on the V20 DAC and they think I'm talking about a standard smartphone DAC with a marketing gimmick or just a class D DAC as someone referred to it.

I think those guys might be misinformed. Please give us a link to the forum. I have the same audiophile grade equipment & the quad DAC is significantly better than most of the portable DAPs out on the market.
 

Jeremiah Bonds

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From the perspective they're coming at it, they're right. The V20 DAC, on the grand scheme of things, is closer to the weakest of smartphone audio outputs than to what you'd be experiencing with other types of products. But within phones, it's second best and so your questions regarding headphones are definitely relevant because of how much above the average phone the quality will be.
Second best to what?
 

irvine752

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The Axon 7 is not better than the V20. It can't drive any serious high impedance headphones but it does come with Digital Dolby Plus & Dolby Atmos. The dual speaker setup on the Axon 7 sounds better with Atmos turned on, but other than that there's not much you're getting with the Axon 7. The sound output on the V20 is cleaner with much less distortion & it can easily drive serious high impedance headphones.
 

Osahar 87

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I went over to one of those forums for headphones and tried get headphone advice based on the V20 DAC and they think I'm talking about a standard smartphone DAC with a marketing gimmick or just a class D DAC as someone referred to it.
Which fourm was you on?
 

LuvMusic

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One thing to keep in mind when reading responses on headphone forums (in fact many forums) is that English is a second language for many of the posters so you have to be careful in how you interpret the responses. Doesn't mean that there aren't butt-heads out there but sometimes our interpretations of a response can be filtered / altered by our own perspectives.
 

frope01

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One thing to keep in mind when reading responses on headphone forums (in fact many forums) is that English is a second language for many of the posters so you have to be careful in how you interpret the responses. Doesn't mean that there aren't butt-heads out there but sometimes our interpretations of a response can be filtered / altered by our own perspectives.
Very good point.
 

tadpoles

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I'm not buying that the Axon 7's DAC is superior to the V20's ESS Sabre 9218 at all. The differences between perceived quality between the two may be minimal but from what I've read the Axon 7's, while great, is the lesser between the two. ...especially in the ability to drive higher end cans and likely, S/N ratio as well.

ESS Sabres are generally regarded as some of the finest DAC chips made.
 

Jeremiah Bonds

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I'm not buying that the Axon 7's DAC is superior to the V20's ESS Sabre 9218 at all. The differences between perceived quality between the two may be minimal but from what I've read the Axon 7's, while great, is the lesser between the two. ...especially in the ability to drive higher end cans and likely, S/N ratio as well.

ESS Sabres are generally regarded as some of the finest DAC chips made.
That's why I'm wondering where he saw that the Axon 7 was better.
 

tadpoles

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The Axon 7's Dolby Atmos is a nice feature for those that want surround sound effects but that does not make the stereo audio capabilities objectively better, and may, in fact, hinder them. Audiophiles tend not to like smoke and mirrors when it comes to sound.
 

Jerry Hildenbrand

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Second best to what?

In benchmarks:


  1. LG V10
  2. HTC 10
  3. LG V20

To my ears using generated tones they all sound equal. For music, it's a toss-up between the HTC 10 and the V10 (depending on the style). Your ears will be different.

Toss the Axon 7 in there somewhere. I've never used one.
 

Aquila

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I'll have to look up the data again, I was looking at benchmarks and it seemed that the V10 and Axon 7 were better. I discounted the V10 to an extent because I didn't think it realistic that they went backwards. With Jerry's comment above apparently the V20 might be 4th?
 

irvine752

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Aquila

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Jerry, can you provide a link to these benchmarks?

Here's one that clearly has the V20 as the top dog (click on audio output):
LG V20 Benchmarks

It appears I'm mistaken on the benchmarks I was looking. Looking at the source data, the Axon 7 is only better when you are using the stock (ZTE) music player app and with Atmos turned on. For the majority of listening that I would do, the Axon 7 would fall behind.

The above link doesn't address audio quality at all.
 

irvine752

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It appears I'm mistaken on the benchmarks I was looking. Looking at the source data, the Axon 7 is only better when you are using the stock (ZTE) music player app and with Atmos turned on. For the majority of listening that I would do, the Axon 7 would fall behind.

The above link doesn't address audio quality at all.

You're correct the benchmark link doesn't address audio quality, that's just pure output power.

(Note, I have addressed this before in an older thread):

As for audio quality, it really comes down to gauging the purity of the signal by measuring THD (Total Harmonic Distortion). THD is the RMS amplitude ratio of higher harmonics (second harmonic noise/distortion is also included in the summation as well) to the fundamental (ie the original signal). For the V20 that ratio is extremely low (around 0.0019%) thanks to four DACs pipelined in the chipset. This is where the V20 truly shines & beats the competition. It's very hard to get such a pure signal even with a Balanced output with two DACs pipelined.

For graphical proof look at my post under "LG V20 - DAC Problem?" - post #120