Phone speakers aren’t particularly paid more attention to, if not at all, before any phone specification. Even manufacturers don’t highlight speaker specs. For one, not everyone seems to have an idea of what kind of phone speakers they need in their device. Hence, it’s not a feature that encourages people to buy.
There are handsets though that have better audio quality than others. Brands like Samsung and LG emphasize quad-DAC and install front-facing stereo speakers. They even take it up to another level imitating Dolby ATMOS Audio, and Crystal Sound OLED. As a result, you get dynamic vibrations that give off force feedback during a Netflix marathon or a full day of digital music streams.
In this article, we’re listing down the top 5 best phone speakers, features that indicate a good one, and we will also be answering common questions you might have with audio quality, damaged speakers, etc.
Phone Speakers: Features to Look For
While some of these are not necessities on a mobile phone, having one makes a difference in the quality of sound produced in your device. Also, seeing this feature as a bonus with your mobile phone is a good sign of a good quality phone speaker.
Quad-DAC works well with FLAC files and a good quality headphone. DAC stands for a Digital-to-Analog Converter which means they convert the digital audio files to analog signals. The catch though is if you are fine or can’t make out how FLAC files differ from a regular MP3, requiring a quad-DAC feature might just not be worth it.
Front-facing Stereo Speakers
Front-facing stereo speakers make audio louder and they can cover more frequencies. As opposed to speakers on the bottom, you won’t need to cup your hands just to hear the audio.
Dolby ATMOS Audio
In cinemas, Dolby ATMOS means speakers are across the ceiling for advanced spatial audio. In phones, it means having psychoacoustic processing to increase the sense of size and scale in audio. This feature will make watching movies on your phone feel as if you’re in the cinema.
Crystal Sound OLED
You will hear this feature mostly from Sony devices and also for LG flagship phones. What it does is it produces vibrations imitating a bassy sound as a boombox speaker, even when you’re not connecting to any external speaker.
Top 5 Mobile Phones Speakers
1. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Of the new Galaxy S10 range, the S10 Plus released last March 2019 is probably the most expensive. But it packs a punch in a massive 6.4-inch screen display, octa-core processor, and triple-lens camera.
Music lovers who like to play for hours on end will find its 4,100mAh battery capacity and up to 1TB storage more than sufficient. It comes with a Dolby ATMOS-certified output and a headphone jack that you can connect with some good quality headphones. Get the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus here.
2. Razer Phone 2
They released the Razer Phone 2 in October 2018 and had several upgrades from the old Razer phone including a new processor, camera sensors, 120Hz display, and 8GB RAM.
It has dual front-facing speakers and is Dolby ATMOS certified. It is a flat-out loud phone speaker available in the market if that’s what you’re looking for. Between the audio jack and Bluetooth, they designed the Razer Phone 2 without a headphone jack but it usually comes with a 3.5mm adapter in the box, and also incorporates a 24-bit DAC. Get the Razer Phone 2 here.
3. iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro, like most recently released iPhone devices, doesn’t have a headphone jack and instead requires you to use AirPods, a lightning headset, or a lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter.
The internal speakers have stereo drivers for a more immersive experience, improving the speaker’s performance through spatial audio with support for Dolby ATMOS. Get the iPhone 11 Pro here.
4. LG V50 ThinQ 5G
The LG V50 ThinQ was released last May 2019 with a Snapdragon 855 chipset in a 6GB RAM. It also has expandable storage of up to 2TB. The battery has 4,000mAh with a quick-charge feature of up to 80% in just an hour.
This device comes with a headphone jack and bottom-firing speakers but can be best listened to with wired headphones. The quad-DAC hardware analyzes the digital signals and eliminates errors for a more noise-reduced, clean sound. Get the LG v50 ThinQ 5G here.
5. Sony Xperia Z3
Lastly, Sony has been leading the sound enhancement trend for years and you can see it in the Sony Xperia Z3. The device has an xLOUD technology which, from the name itself, produces loud sounds as if you are listening through loudspeakers.
It also comes with a Sony 3D surround sound technology, which makes you think as if you are on a live show with music surrounding you. It’s attempting to supersede the long-standing MP3 music format. In a few years, the said technology is expected to succeed. Get the Sony Xperia Z3 here.
How to Prevent Damaging Your Phone Speakers
Can You Damage Speakers by Playing Them Too Loud?
You can damage speakers by playing them too loud. It happens to low-frequency speakers when you overpower or load the circuits by setting the volume at its highest level. In the safe zone, you should be fine with using a max of 70% on your speaker volume to prevent damaging it.
Why Is My Phone Audio Muffled?
Your phone’s audio could be muffled for two reasons. One is because of issues in the audio settings, which you can fix easily by adjusting your Playback Devices settings to the default format.
The other reason is hardware issues. The two common audio hardware issues that people encounter with their mobile devices are water damaging the speakers or gunk stuck in them.
How Do You Fix a Water-Damaged Phone Speaker?
A lot of mobile devices will have a water ejection feature. But if you can’t find one, you can look for the website Fix My Speakers which works by playing a specific tune that generates sound waves causing the water to get ejected.
Contrary to the popular practice of submerging the device in uncooked rice so it absorbs the water, doing so might damage it more by leaving some dust and starch residue inside.
How Do You Get the Dust Out of Your Phone Speakers?
To clean the gunk out of your speakers, get a soft bristle brush or Q-Tip and rub it on the outside of the speakers. You can also use a sticky tack or a keyboard cleaning gel so that any dust stuck will stick into the gel.
What Else to Look For?
Whether you’ll stream for long periods watching Netflix episodes or listen to music on an 8-hour flight, a good phone speaker will not be enough. You will also need a device with long battery life.
Unless you always have an Internet connection, you may also want to pay particular attention to external storage. Having at least 512GB or 1TB can let you save offline downloads from live-streaming apps that you can play anywhere.
You will also need a Bluetooth headset to get the most audio quality. Both Samsung and Apple created their Bluetooth earpieces to connect with their flagship devices.
- Galaxy Buds for Samsung Devices. Get this on Amazon.
- AirPods Pro for iPhone. Get this on Amazon.
Lightning to Audio Jack Adapter/USB-C Adapter
Apple was the first to remove the 3.5 mm audio jack to have the space for the form factor and internal components. Samsung was at first taunting Apple for the move but later adapted the same design. Subsequently, more and more devices followed suit. This situation created the notion of the fall of the audio jack, and even the audio jack or no audio jack debate, regardless of customers pleading to put it back.
The best way to play music or watch movies on your mobile devices without a headphone jack is by connecting it through Bluetooth or an adapter.
- Get both the Apple lightning to headphone jack adapter on Amazon.
- Get Google USB-C adapter for Pixel devices on Amazon.