Anyway, the Nexus 4's audio was... forgettable. Samsung did a good job with the Note 3, unfortunately the volume levels are still poor. Much improved from the Nexus 4, but still nowhere near where I would like it to be.
For comparison, I mostly listen to my music on a FiiO X3, although I don't like that the X3 can't read HE-AAC v2 (fantastic compression, especially for audio books), and the X3 doesn't have Last.FM scrobbling features. I still use it since the Wolfson chip really delivers and it sounds beautiful.
Software-wise on the N9005, the N9005 built in player delivers the best playback options. WinAmp sounds okay, but PowerAMP actually performs worse. Enabling the effects in PowerAMP and the volume... goes down? Weird. So the built-in player and the DSP effects are really great, except for the volume levels.
The volume of the FiiO X3 goes from 0-60. The Note 3 goes from 0-15. The X3's volume at 30 (half) is almost the same as the Note 3 on MAX volume!
Now I'm not expecting the Note 3 to have the same power as the X3, but I feel like it could at least go a further 20% more.
Anyway, I'd appreciate any tips or recommendations will be most appreciated!