Smartphones today are our go to music players. Either we stream from an application like Apple Music or we simply download the songs and play them locally on phones, fact remains that nobody really carries a dedicated music player or an iPod anymore. A lot of it is down to the fact that smartphone OEMs have paid a lot of attention to this utility and given us phones that actually sound good and make for an experience where music is enjoyable. With iPhone 7 set to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, we may well be setting ourselves up for a trend, where even more phones are inspired to make the move and have a DAC embedded in their headphones for a better sound experience.
But what if you do not like headphones, what if you just want the pure output fro the speakers on smartphones to be good enough for you to enjoy music, watch videos without having to cup your hands on the speakers to amplify the audio? We have a suggestion of five devices for you that you would want to consider if sound is an important consideration for you.
Motorola Moto X Style
While we await the Moto Z, the latest flagship of Motorola that can have an external speaker as a modular component to attach, the current flagship in India, the X Style is a pretty awesome phone when it comes to speakers. The device comes with a Dual Front Facing speaker set which is extremely loud and clear making the phone a great device if you want to use it as a speaker phone too. The speaker grills do not have a lot of space between themselves and the body, which ensures there is not a lot of accumulation of dust when you put the phone in your pocket for long hours. Despite being a last year flagship, the X Style has fairly impressive specifications, including a 2K display, Snapdragon 808, 21MP rear camera and 3GB of RAM.
If an OEM must be credited with, for leading the smartphone audio revolution, then HTC it should be. With the HTC M7, HTC introduced us to BoomSound, their dual speaker setup, which was present on devices like the HTC M8, M9 and several Desire smartphones too. However, with the HTC 10 this year, HTC got rid of the usual BoomSound setup of front facing stereo speakers in favour of an interesting new setup. The front firing speaker on the phone focusses on firing most of the mid-range and high range sound frequencies, while the bottom facing speaker is responsible for the low-end frequencies. Therefore the audio output depends a lot on the orientation of the phone. Ideally, you would want to hold the phone horizontally for the best surround experience. You can also pick between Sound mode or Theatre Mode to suit your needs, so overall, even though the HTC 10 may not produce output as loud as the HTC M8, it is still one of the best sounding phones out there.
Sony Xperia Z5
Sony has got the audio on the most recent flagships on the money and with the Xperia Z5 the story continues. If you are a media consumption overlord, you may actually want to consider picking the Xperia Z5 Premium as not only does it bundle the front facing stereo speakers of the Xperia Z5, but also gives you an incredible 4K display, the largest that we have seen on a commercially launched phone so far. The Xperia Z5 will be loud enough for most of your media requirements and the phone has particularly impressive performance when it comes to playing high frequencies. The lows are a little disappointing while the mids in general, do feel a little artificial, which is not all a bad thing at all. Overall, the Z5 thanks to the dual speaker, will make for a very capable phone for those who must have good speakers on their device.
The Nexus 6P is perhaps the loudest sounding smartphone in our list here. The pure Google experience lead smartphone is reportedly going to be the last in the long list of Nexus phones as Google plans to ditch the Nexus lineup for a new Pixel line of smartphones. The Nexus 6P sports a Dual Speaker setup on the front of the phone, which make for an incredible experience when listening to audio or watching videos. Low frequencies, mids and highs all sound very well on the Nexus 6P. Overall thanks to an unaltered Android experience and a beautiful metallic build quality, the Nexus 6P is a fantastic overall phone and its audio performance only enhances the recommendation folio of the device.
Lenovo Vibe K5/ K5 Plus
So far the phones that have been featured in the post are the ones that you could argue are flagship material. But what if you do not have the budgets for a flagship phone but still crave a good audio output? Lenovo’s Vibe K5 or the K5 Plus are two phones that must consider. The device comes with a dual speaker setup powered by Dolby Atmos on the rear of the phone. The speakers are sufficiently loud, though the only issue is with their placement. When the phone is kept facing upwards, on a soft surface, the volume can be a little muted and distorted, which leads you to wonder, if only Lenovo had put these speakers on the front. Use the phone on a solid surface or in your hands, and they sound better than pretty much all the smartphones in its price range.
With that we come to the end of our list of recommended phone that you should consider if you are looking or a phone that has a good speaker. Which one did you pick? Or was it one that is not listed here? Let us know in the section below.