Originally Posted by Forsh
I had a listen to a demo unit in phones4u today, can't say i'm impressed. I stopped using my SGS2 for audio because I couldn't stand the poor sound quality and the XZ is not a lot better. I know it's just a phone and a standalone player will always be better, but it would be nice to at least have a phone music player that is listenable!
I did a side by side comparison. The XZ was able to drive my AKG headphones a little better than the SGS2, the bass was a little warmer and mids were possibly a touch less mudded, and I can't comment on if the antenna radio buzz is still present because obviously it wasn't connected to the network. Really disappointed, was going to preorder my upgrade today, but not now. I'll wait for the HTC one and SGS4, then demo those before I decide on my upgrade.
Hi Forsh, as Ambroos said, the output is too weak to drive headphones well. The only solution would be to carry an external DAC/amp, or to go with IEM.
Also, SQ and volume are two different things.
Headphones usually have higher impedance than IEM, therefore they will get less power (lower volume) on a low-voltage audio source.
Sound quality depends on several factors, among which RF/EMI noise isolation and DAC quality.
We said earlier in the topic that the DAC was OK, refering on N4's SQ. We also said that the output was low, which would explain why the music you heard in your headphones was muffled.