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).
- 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.
- Audio Precision APx525
- Loaded (unless specified): 16 Ohm
- 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.
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