“Why settle for one when you can have two high quality speakers in your smartphone?”
Let’s be honest: not all of us expected Apple to put a stereo speaker setup in their new iPhones. Well… maybe in the iPhone 7 Plus, but making it a standard in both, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, that was unexpected. Nevertheless, all’s well that ends well. Now that the new smartphones have stereo speakers, users can possibly experience a much richer and immersive audio experience through their iPhones. But what if you’re not such a big fan of Apple’s ecosystem? Not to worry. The Android world is already abuzz with a handful of powerful devices that featured stereo speakers even before Apple made the new iPhones official. So, for all the audio enthusiasts out there, we bring you some of the most enticing smartphones that flaunt stereo speakers for a powerful boom (And no, this isn’t a pun aimed at the Samsung Galaxy Note7).
The 2016 flagship from HTC dropped the “One” moniker and is simply called the HTC 10 (review). With the new device, HTC brought in a flurry of changes, right from the design to the hardware and the software. One of the hallmarks of the One series were its front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers that were a class above the competition. In the HTC 10, the company refined the setup and called it “BoomSound Hi-Fi speakers” instead. One full range speaker is placed right where the earpiece is. But the other is now bottom firing, and is designed for low-frequency output… more like a subwoofer. Although the new setup isn’t as loud as the one seen in the One M9 Plus, the overall experience is still pretty pleasing to the ears. The HTC 10 scores well on other hardware too, packing a Snapdragon 820 SoC and 4GB of RAM beneath its 2K display.
Current selling price: Rs 43,200
Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus (Upcoming)
After months of leaks and rumours surrounding Apple’s next-gen iPhones, the brand finally made them official on September 7th. Apart from featuring a refined design and upgraded hardware, both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with stereo speakers as a standard across the two models. The placement of the speakers is pretty similar to the HTC 10, with one being at the bottom right, and the other near the earpiece. Apple claims that the new setup should result in twice as loud sound output, while also offering a higher dynamic range. We’ll put these claims to test when we get our hands on the units. Meanwhile, you can have a look at the top seven features of the new iPhones.
Expected price: Rs 60,000 onwards
Lenovo VIBE K4 Note
Yes, we know that the VIBE K5 Note (first impressions) has already been released in India. But as surprising as it may sound, the new device skips the stereo speakers found in the VIBE K4 Note (review) in lieu of a single rear speaker. The K4 Note, on the other hand, features two front facing speakers, one above and one below the 5.5-inch full-HD canvas. The speakers are powered by Dolby Atmos sound and promise a rich audio experience to the user. Under the hood, the VIBE K4 Note draws power from a MediaTek MT6753 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM.
Current selling price: Rs 10,999
Google Nexus 6P
Stock Android is arguably the best Android experience you can ever get on a smartphone. Google’s latest Nexus, the Nexus 6P (review) is expected to receive a successor pretty soon. But that doesn’t take away the fact that it is one of the best devices money can buy, as of now. Interestingly, the Huawei-made Nexus 6P also boasts off a stereo speaker system. The speakers on the device are placed at the top and bottom of the display, and give out one of the loudest sound output we’ve heard on a smartphone in years. Add to that a Snapdragon 810 SoC, 3GB of RAM, a brilliant 5.7-inch 2K display, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly capable smartphone in your hands.
Current selling price: Rs 36,990
While stereo speakers offer some interesting audio enhancements to the user experience, the number of speakers don’t actually convey the whole story. In fact, there are smartphones which have a single speaker and yet give out some of the most exhilarating audio you’ll hear on a phone. Devices like these deserve a special mention from us, so here they are:
LG V20 (Upcoming)
The latest and greatest from LG, the V20 smartphone, features a mono-speaker. It is also the first smartphone in the world to utilize a 32-bit Quad DAC, adding that extra oomph to the audio. Interestingly, the phone uses the DAC for both, the speaker and the 3.5mm headphone jack, meaning you can get better audio without even plugging in your headset. Moreover, features like dual screen, dual rear cameras, and enhanced audio recording capabilities make the V20 a great choice.
Expected price: ~Rs 60,000
Moto Z / Moto Z Play (Upcoming)
The year 2016 has witnessed companies like LG and Lenovo experimenting with modularity. While the Moto Z is not completely modular, the company is offering a variety of “Moto Mods” for the device, which can add more functionality to your Moto Z or its affordable variant, the Moto Z Play. One of these is the JBL SoundBoost speaker module. Using this Moto Mod, users can listen to their favourite music at a higher volume than a traditional smartphone speaker. As a bonus addition, the module also gets its very own kickstand and an extra battery capable of providing up to 10 hours of continuous music playback.
Expected price: ~Rs 35,000
Those are all the smartphones that grabbed our attention because of their audio quality. Do you think we missed your favourite device? Feel free to tell us in the comments section below.