Asus Zenfone 5Z audio DAC performance?

Andrew Lin

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Jan 19, 2013
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Well it says that it supports Hi-Fi audio. But how Hi-Fi is it? What DAC is inside? In particular, I would like to know how the sound quality is from the 3.5mm audio jack compared to Hi-Fi mode of LG v30, my current phone. I simply cannot get a phone that downgrades my audio experience, you know?
 
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Beautyspin

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Apr 8, 2011
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www.techgadgettalk.com
Even I am interested in this. The specs talk about Hi-res audio. It has Dual 5-magnet speakers with dual NXP smart amplifiers and PMIC internal dual amplifier according to the specs. Does it really have a DAC or does it only have amplifiers. How is the sound quality. I would really like somebody to post their review.
 

gautam.malik

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Aug 29, 2010
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DAC Performance

I don't have technical details on the DAC inside, and I have don't have v30 to compare, but I can tell you that the sound quality combined with DTS is amazing.
I am quite an audiofile and I was impressed with the sound quality. I don't like the bundled earphones unfortunately. I used my BT headset.

I have a P20 as well, which is a much more expensive phone with a DAC, and 5Z's sound quality is comparable. I love P20's headphones though.

The most important and the best thing about 5Z is that DAC/DTS works for bluetooth headphones as well. I have not seen any phone having this feature (may be S9, but I don't know). With phones such as OP, I had to root and use Viper4Android to make by BT headphones sound better. Now, with 5Z, I can keep my phone unrooted and enjoy the great audio experience.

Unfortunately, I don't like the UI and animations of 5Z, and I would use a custom rom when available. I am sure such roms will come for 5Z because with such high-end specs and aggressive pricing, many developers would buy this phone

Cheers
 
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EMJI79

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Sep 7, 2014
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Well it says that it supports Hi-Fi audio. But how Hi-Fi is it? What DAC is inside? In particular, I would like to know how the sound quality is from the 3.5mm audio jack compared to Hi-Fi mode of LG v30, my current phone. I simply cannot get a phone that downgrades my audio experience, you know?
The sound is good but not on par with LG g6 for example. LG is way ahead in the sound part.

Sent from my ASUS_X00QD using XDA Labs
 
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adriansiv

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Dec 11, 2011
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5z doesn’t have any dedicated DAC as per few video reviews beebom or igyaan audio quality and amplification via headphone jack is not that great. I have a v20 with root and high impedance mode always on. I don’t think this phone compares to any of the recent LG flagships in terms of audio quality.The only place where 5z beats LG would be in the loudspeaker setup where 5z has stereo setup.
 
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Abhi Dahiya

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Apr 17, 2014
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I don't have technical details on the DAC inside, and I have don't have v30 to compare, but I can tell you that the sound quality combined with DTS is amazing.
I am quite an audiofile and I was impressed with the sound quality. I don't like the bundled earphones unfortunately. I used my BT headset.

I have a P20 as well, which is a much more expensive phone with a DAC, and 5Z's sound quality is comparable. I love P20's headphones though.

The most important and the best thing about 5Z is that DAC/DTS works for bluetooth headphones as well. I have not seen any phone having this feature (may be S9, but I don't know). With phones such as OP, I had to root and use Viper4Android to make by BT headphones sound better. Now, with 5Z, I can keep my phone unrooted and enjoy the great audio experience.

Unfortunately, I don't like the UI and animations of 5Z, and I would use a custom rom when available. I am sure such roms will come for 5Z because with such high-end specs and aggressive pricing, many developers would buy this phone

Cheers
I sincerely hope you weren't serious when you said you are an audiophile!

First of all, you can't rate any phone's DAC or AMP performance by using BT headset. Bluetooth headphones have their own inbuilt DAC that they use to process sound when they receive audio in the form of digital signal via Bluetooth from the phone. Then by using their internal inbuilt DAC they convert that Digital signal to Analog signal.

Second of all, are you even serious when you rate Huawei P20/P20 pro sound as great ? Huawei/Honor phones have one of the weakest audio performance out there. Puny amp, okayish DAC, nothing more. Similar is the case with P20/pro.

"P20 is a phone with a DAC !" Which phone isn't the one with DAC? Every phone has one. Some use inbuilt one inside their processors, some employ custom ones for better sound fidelity.

"DAC/DTS works for headphones too!" DAC doesn't work for Bluetooth headphones, it's just that 5z allows to change sound settings of Bluetooth headphones from phone's stock settings. It by no way means that phone's DAC is being involved in Bluetooth headphones. It's simply not possible.
And DAC and DTS aren't the same things either that they can be written interchangeably.

I hope it helps. I by no way mean that 5z has bad audio quality but just corrected some of the things that weren't correct.
 
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FYL21

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Mar 18, 2013
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The whole Hi-Res audio thing is mainly just marketing and playback support, less to do with the actual quality of the DAC and amp. Nowadays most smartphones can play 24-bit audio at high sample rates (eg. 192kHz). Sony marketed that for many years but their phones kept using on-board Qualcomm DACs with low output voltage (~0.35V from Z5 to XZ Premium). I have the Z5 and I think it's audio quality is good for IEMs but it can't drive some larger headphones very well.

ASUS says there's smart amplifiers but those seem to be for the speakers rather than the headphone. PhoneArena did a review recently and measured the output voltage of the headphone jack to be only 0.252V! That's even lower than the Sony Xperia XZ Premium (0.36V). Of course it's not the end-all, but a higher output voltage would be better at driving higher impedance headphones.

Some users talk about EQ modes sounding better but these things can't improve the quality of the hardware's output (eg. distortion and stereo crosstalk). All they can do is alter the tuning to your preference.
 

FYL21

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Mar 18, 2013
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Which ATH do you have? I had MSR7 and the Xperia Z5 (0.35V) was good enough to drive it for most songs. Does it hiss with low impedance IEMs? Do you hear any distortion or stereo crosstalk? Hopefully someone does measurements...

How does it perform compared to Xperia Z5 to XZ Premium?
 

wGRV

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Sep 5, 2011
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I am currently having Sound Magic e80c earphones which have impedance of 64 Ohms. Can one confirm whether it can work on 5z? Currently I am using it with Oneplus One and it works fine.
 

Rahul 2007

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Mar 6, 2014
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I am currently having Sound Magic e80c earphones which have impedance of 64 Ohms. Can one confirm whether it can work on 5z? Currently I am using it with Oneplus One and it works fine.
You will be disappointed. As the output voltage is quite low, this phone isn't capable of driving high impedance headphones.
It's a shame that Asus is making fool of people in the name of "DTS headphone". I have e10C and I have to take the volume all the way upto 100% for movies.
 
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vkk178

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Which ATH do you have? I had MSR7 and the Xperia Z5 (0.35V) was good enough to drive it for most songs. Does it hiss with low impedance IEMs? Do you hear any distortion or stereo crosstalk? Hopefully someone does measurements...

How does it perform compared to Xperia Z5 to XZ Premium?
M30x ..

Sent from my ASUS_Z01RD using Tapatalk

---------- Post added at 01:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:18 PM ----------

You will be disappointed. As the output voltage is quite low, this phone isn't capable of driving high impedance headphones.
It's a shame that Asus is making fool of people in the name of "DTS headphone". I have e10C and I have to take the volume all the way upto 100% for movies.
Yeah the DTS headphone X is a gimmick ..
 

parthabhatta

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Mar 29, 2008
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I think there is presently no phone in the market which will come near LG V20, G6, V30 and G7 headphone audio performance, particularly with respect to driving high impedance ear/head phones. Actually, I am searching for another brand other than LG which will give a similar high end audio performance. I have a V20 and partnering that with my Sony MDR 7506 headphones or Venture Electronics MonkPlus earbuds (both having impedance around 60 ohms), the sound quality is awesome which I never found in other smartphones.
 

fusioncoast

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Feb 27, 2007
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Well it says that it supports Hi-Fi audio. But how Hi-Fi is it? What DAC is inside? In particular, I would like to know how the sound quality is from the 3.5mm audio jack compared to Hi-Fi mode of LG v30, my current phone. I simply cannot get a phone that downgrades my audio experience, you know?
Just sold my LG v30+ due to screen ghosting issues and bought the 5z.
The DAC is good for headphones.
 
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XblackdemonX

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May 27, 2008
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I confirm my 5Z can drive my Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee(150 Ohms) when the volume is at 95%.
The sound is not as good as my LG V20's Quad-Dac though.
 
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Jul 16, 2017
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All these phones are nothing compared to a vibe p1 on resurrection remix

I have LG v20 and in the hopes of gettin listening to mind-blowing awesome sound, I bought FiiO music player and I couldn't get satisfied on anything. Poweramp on LG always destroys low end or certain frequencies (usually male voice) when pushed a little hard and when not pushed, there's no low end to talk about at all. FiiO has no low end frequency at all.

The only thing that came have a little satisfaction was my good old Lenovo Vibe p1 on resurrection remix. Seeing how you guys are rating LG v20 as great or the best, is there something I'm not doing to get the best out of it? I've tried it on earphones, Bluetooth etc but it just doesn't cut it.
 

vkk178

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Feb 6, 2012
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I confirm my 5Z can drive my Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee(150 Ohms) when the volume is at 95%.
The sound is not as good as my LG V20's Quad-Dac though.
May be it can drive .. but I find the audio fidelity not that great compared to even the A1 . Music just doesn't sound wholesome .

Sent from my ASUS_Z01RD using Tapatalk
 

uman01

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Mar 15, 2011
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i owned lg g6 and the 5z audio quality is not that bad by any means, it's quite OK by 2018 smartphone standard, with it's gimmicky features such as dtx, hi res audio support , etc.

the LG quad dac is the king in the smartphone audio for now, but again, the 5z audio quality is not bad, unless you are very picky about audio quality,
even lg g6 / v30 dac chip still can't compete with my iBasso dx150.

if you never use a true hi res audio player before, the 5z audio quality will be just fine for you.
even for me imho, it's good enough.