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S7 Edge - Headphone output measurements (SD version)

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By Willyman, Senior Member on 14th March 2016, 05:18 AM
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Hi guys,

As I did with my Note 5, I performed some AudioPrecision measurements on the headphone output of the S7 Edge (Snapdragon version, SM-G9350).

UPDATE 1: I made an error in the max output level. It's -9 dBV/360mV into a 16 Ohm load, not -13 dBV. Still... it's low. Same as Mate 8/Z5/, lower than V10 (-6 dB), a LOT lower than iPhone (-1 dBV).

UPDATE 2:
  • Redid the Dynamic range measurement using the more convention AES617 standard. Shows 100 dB now.
  • THD is really quite poor... It raises as a function of frequency and output level. My colleague suspects some form of capacitive loading. I would say this is probably the worst metric of this device, the other elements are very acceptable/good.


Setup
  • Audio Precision APx525
  • Loaded (unless specified): 16 Ohm

Result summary
  • Supports high resolution playback up to 192 kHz.
    Flat frequency response: <0.08 dB delta upto 96 kHz
    Very good dynamic range (AES17): 100 dB
    LOW output level: -9dBV (360mV using a 0dBFS signal) into a 16 Ohm load (for reference, Asian iPhone 6 = -1 dBV)
    Output impedance: 5.6 Ohm
    Crosstalk: didn't have to means to this measurement, sorry
    THD+N: at nominal level = max 0.05%, at maximum level = max 0.7%

Some of these results are quite disappointing. Especially the very low output levels and high THD+N at max level. Some graphs below for illustration.

Subjective assessment
Been comparing the quality to my reference setup at work (PC to USB DAC Sony PHA-3 line-out to Talisman T-3H full Class-A amp). Used a number of sources (44/16 FLAC, 192/24 FLAC, Tidal HiFi).

I would say the sound quality is really quite good for a phone, but not exceptional. There's nothing really wrong with it. Good spatial quality, extended in the highs and the lows. It just doesn't sound that WOW and lacks somewhat in its dynamic delivery and instrument seperation. My guess is that the limited amplification power is letting it down somewhat in this regard. It's a pity I don't have my Note 5 anymore for direct comparison, but from memory I believe that was a better performer.

Now, to call it "incredibly disappointing" is a gross overstatement... (see some other threads on here).

Dynamic Range (AES17)


Noise floor measurement loaded (multi-tone signal)


Frequency response (loaded)


THD+N spectrum at maximum output level
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14th March 2016, 05:28 AM |#2  
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Do this for the eyxnos model if you can
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14th March 2016, 06:10 AM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ausboy 2011

Do this for the eyxnos model if you can

Sorry, I only have the SD version.
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14th March 2016, 06:55 AM |#4  
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That's ok thanks though
14th March 2016, 08:03 AM |#5  
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Updated the data, made an error in my output level measurement. Apologies...
14th March 2016, 08:34 AM |#6  
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"Audio output doesn't disappoint
The Samsung Galaxy S7 almost perfectly matched the output of its predecessor with an active external amplifier. This is to say the smartphone delivered flawlessly clean output with just above average volume levels for an excellent showing.

Stereo crosstalk did increase a bit more compared to what the Galaxy S6 had, but output remained very solid when headphones came into play. Volume didn't drop either, so it was all very good and worthy of a modern-day flagship.

Anyway, here go the results so you can do your comparisons.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy S7 +0.01, -0.04 -92.5 92.6 0.0027 0.0078 -92.7
Samsung Galaxy S7 (headphones) +0.05, -0.05 -91.9 92.1 0.0044 0.063 -73.4
Samsung Galaxy S6 +0.01, -0.04 -95.6 92.8 0.0024 0.0094 -94.5
Samsung Galaxy S6 (headphones) +0.02, -0.05 -92.6 91.9 0.0025 0.042 -83.4
Sony Xperia Z5 +0.01, -0.04 -95.5 89.5 0.0033 0.012 -94.8
Sony Xperia Z5 (headphones attached) +0.22, -0.24 -95.1 89.5 0.0057 0.212 -59.8
Apple iPhone 6s +0.03, -0.04 -93.5 93.5 0.0016 0.0075 -73.2
Apple iPhone 6s (headphones attached) +0.10, -0.06 -93.8 93.9 0.0030 0.101 -68.2
LG G4 +0.04, -0.07 -93.4 93.3 0.0021 0.050 -92.6
LG G4 (headphones) +0.93, -0.13 - 91.4 91.9 0.013 0.244 -50.4
Nokia Lumia 950 +0.01, -0.03 -91.3 91.2 0.0036 0.012 -91.6
Nokia Lumia 950 (headphones attached) +0.59, -0.03 -92.0 91.9 0.011 0.316 -63.9"

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_gala...iew-1408p7.php

seems like exynos is the way to go
14th March 2016, 09:42 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johanbiff

"Audio output doesn't disappoint
The Samsung Galaxy S7 almost perfectly matched the output of its predecessor with an active external amplifier. This is to say the smartphone delivered flawlessly clean output with just above average volume levels for an excellent showing.

Stereo crosstalk did increase a bit more compared to what the Galaxy S6 had, but output remained very solid when headphones came into play. Volume didn't drop either, so it was all very good and worthy of a modern-day flagship.

Anyway, here go the results so you can do your comparisons.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Samsung Galaxy S7 +0.01, -0.04 -92.5 92.6 0.0027 0.0078 -92.7
Samsung Galaxy S7 (headphones) +0.05, -0.05 -91.9 92.1 0.0044 0.063 -73.4
Samsung Galaxy S6 +0.01, -0.04 -95.6 92.8 0.0024 0.0094 -94.5
Samsung Galaxy S6 (headphones) +0.02, -0.05 -92.6 91.9 0.0025 0.042 -83.4
Sony Xperia Z5 +0.01, -0.04 -95.5 89.5 0.0033 0.012 -94.8
Sony Xperia Z5 (headphones attached) +0.22, -0.24 -95.1 89.5 0.0057 0.212 -59.8
Apple iPhone 6s +0.03, -0.04 -93.5 93.5 0.0016 0.0075 -73.2
Apple iPhone 6s (headphones attached) +0.10, -0.06 -93.8 93.9 0.0030 0.101 -68.2
LG G4 +0.04, -0.07 -93.4 93.3 0.0021 0.050 -92.6
LG G4 (headphones) +0.93, -0.13 - 91.4 91.9 0.013 0.244 -50.4
Nokia Lumia 950 +0.01, -0.03 -91.3 91.2 0.0036 0.012 -91.6
Nokia Lumia 950 (headphones attached) +0.59, -0.03 -92.0 91.9 0.011 0.316 -63.9"

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_gala...iew-1408p7.php

seems like exynos is the way to go

From my measurements, it's not so clear cut... The only relevant measurement is the one with headphones attached (i.e. loaded)
Dynamic Range: SD > Exynos
Freq response: SD > Exynos
THD: Exynos > SD
14th March 2016, 01:57 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willyman

Sorry, I only have the SD version.

Can you buy a exynos? I will buy you a beer.

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
14th March 2016, 02:17 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willyman

Hi guys,

As I did with my Note 5, I performed some AudioPrecision measurements on the headphone output of the S7 Edge (Snapdragon version, SM-G9350).

UPDATE 1: I made an error in the max output level. It's -9 dBV/360mV into a 16 Ohm load, not -13 dBV. Still... it's low. Same as Mate 8/Z5/, lower than V10 (-6 dB), a LOT lower than iPhone (-1 dBV).

UPDATE 2:

  • Redid the Dynamic range measurement using the more convention AES617 standard. Shows 100 dB now.
  • THD is really quite poor... It raises as a function of frequency and output level. My colleague suspects some form of capacitive loading. I would say this is probably the worst metric of this device, the other elements are very acceptable/good.


Setup
  • Audio Precision APx525
  • Loaded (unless specified): 16 Ohm

Result summary
  • Supports high resolution playback up to 192 kHz.
    Flat frequency response: <0.08 dB delta upto 96 kHz
    Very good dynamic range (AES17): 100 dB
    LOW output level: -9dBV (360mV using a 0dBFS signal) into a 16 Ohm load (for reference, Asian iPhone 6 = -1 dBV)
    Output impedance: 5.6 Ohm
    Crosstalk: didn't have to means to this measurement, sorry
    THD+N: at nominal level = max 0.05%, at maximum level = max 0.7%

Some of these results are quite disappointing. Especially the very low output levels and high THD+N at max level. Some graphs below for illustration.

Subjective assessment
Been comparing the quality to my reference setup at work (PC to USB DAC Sony PHA-3 line-out to Talisman T-3H full Class-A amp). Used a number of sources (44/16 FLAC, 192/24 FLAC, Tidal HiFi).

I would say the sound quality is really quite good for a phone, but not exceptional. There's nothing really wrong with it. Good spatial quality, extended in the highs and the lows. It just doesn't sound that WOW and lacks somewhat in its dynamic delivery and instrument seperation. My guess is that the limited amplification power is letting it down somewhat in this regard. It's a pity I don't have my Note 5 anymore for direct comparison, but from memory I believe that was a better performer.

Now, to call it "incredibly disappointing" is a gross overstatement... (see some other threads on here).

Dynamic Range (AES17)


Noise floor measurement loaded (multi-tone signal)


Frequency response (loaded)


THD+N spectrum at maximum output level

Great research! I have the Exynos version but lack the dedicated $20K analyzer. What I have is the xonar u7 external adc/dac , which spec sheet states the following:

Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) :
110 dB
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/96KHz input) :
10 Hz to 46 KHz

Can I contrive something to do a adequate measurement (with some 3rd party software, or even code my own) and what will the error be, in your professional opinion? Thanks.
14th March 2016, 02:56 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrokinetic

Great research! I have the Exynos version but lack the dedicated $20K analyzer. What I have is the xonar u7 external adc/dac , which spec sheet states the following:

Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) :
110 dB
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/96KHz input) :
10 Hz to 46 KHz

Can I contrive something to do a adequate measurement (with some 3rd party software, or even code my own) and what will the error be, in your professional opinion? Thanks.

Well, given that the SNR is only barely better than the S7 and the FR is actually worse, I don't think there is much you can do with that device
There's a reason why those AP's are so ridonculously expensive :'(
14th March 2016, 04:14 PM |#11  
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I understand only some of these words... Any chance you could dumb it down a bit for me? And is there a solution to get back the WOW factor without an update from Samsung or an external DAC?

Thanks for the research, I find this stuff fascinating!
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