Let’s talk about audio.
How our phones handle music and media is often overlooked for more impressive visuals. Playing games or streaming films looks better on camera. Video game performance can be used to rank phone performance, as most apps really don’t tax our gadgets that severely. “Benchmarking” often means looking at artificial test designed to grade CPU and GPU power with scores relative only to how other devices complete the same artificial test scenario.
Audio is a bit different though.
From listening to music, playing games, or watching films, audio is a vital usage for many people using mobile devices. Yet, all too often, smartphone audio is relegated to a brief footnote in a review, shuffled off with a generic “it’s good”, or a vague “it’s not in the top five”. We can improve this discussion. Balancing our own anecdotal experiences, listening to the speakers and the headphone jacks with a variety of different headphones, against more scientific testing using analysis tools, we can provide a more nuanced discussion to our reviews.
Now, let’s have a little fun, for the current top tier phones being sold today, phones launched this year, and phones still being offered as top options from last year, which devices offer the best of the best overall audio experiences?
Here’s our top 5 audio smartphones of 2016 (so far)!