“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. Now that the new iPhones have stereo speakers, users can possibly experience a much richer and immersive audio experience through. But what if you’re not such a big fan of Apple’s ecosystem? Not to worry. The Android world is already abuzz with 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.
Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus (Rs 49,999 onwards)
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 (review) come with stereo speakers as a standard across the two models. The placement of the speakers is pretty similar to the newly-launched HTC U11, 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. Have a look at the top seven features of the new iPhones.
HTC U11 (Upcoming)
HTC has had a long history with stereo speakers, and it has continued the tale with the new HTC U11 (first impressions). The smartphone boasts HTC’s BoomSound speakers which has been upgraded with an acoustic chamber to deliver better and louder sound. And even though the sound output of the device is extremely good, the key highlight of the U11 remains its Edge Sense functionality that allows you to squeeze the sides of the phone and perform a variety of tasks. Being one of the latest flagships to be announced, the U11 packs all the latest hardware, including a Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4 / 6GB of RAM and a 3,000mAH battery. What it does miss out however is a headphone jack. So while you gain something in the audio department at one end, you also lose the option of charging and using any wired earphones simultaneously.
Expected price: ~ Rs 55,000
Lenovo VIBE K4 Note (Rs 10,999)
Yes, we know that the K6 Note (review) has already been released in India. But as surprising as it may sound, it 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.
Google Nexus 6P (Rs 39,999)
Stock Android is arguably the best Android experience you can ever get on a smartphone. Google’s last Nexus, the Nexus 6P (review) has been followed up by the Pixel devices. 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.
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, so here they are:
LG V20 (Rs 33,399)
LG’s second flagship of 2016, the V20 (review) 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 for audiophiles.
Moto Z / Moto Z Play (Rs 22,999 onwards)
The year 2016 witnessed companies like LG and Lenovo experimenting with modularity. While the Moto Z (review) 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 (review). 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.
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.