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Review and Audio Measurement of LG G7 ThinQ Smartphone

Nartano

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Hi everyone, I just bought a G7 and looking to make the best of its audio section (bought in on purpose after my G5 + hifi B&O module killed the 6th battery in 3 years). I understand the G7 needs headphones >50 ohm to deliver the best quality.

Which closed end cans would you recommend to go with it?

Many thanks!
 
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Amir, I have an LG V35, which has the same quad DAC and headphone amp as the G7. If I plug the V35 output into my JDS Element headphone amp, the phone goes into "Line Output" mode, and outputs 1 Volt, RMS. If I load the left and right outputs of the V35 with 220 ohm resistors, the V35 goes into "High Impedance" headphone mode, and outputs 2 Volts, RMS.

Would it be worth my time to make an adapter or cable with those resistors, so the phone would always output 2 V RMS to my headphone amp? How would doing so affect the sound quality, if at all?
 

bigx5murf

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I recently upgraded to the LG v40 ThinQ from the the v30 recently. Saw a new option in the audio settings, "DTS:X 3D Surround". Any idea what it is exactly?
 

tential

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I recently upgraded to the LG v40 ThinQ from the the v30 recently. Saw a new option in the audio settings, "DTS:X 3D Surround". Any idea what it is exactly?
It's emulating surround sound. Similar to if you have a 2.0 source on a home theater receiver, you can use dts to emulate surround sound. Personally, I like it for home theater.
For phone? I only use it for watching tv/movies on the phone. I find it extremely immersive.
 

tential

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Amir, I have an LG V35, which has the same quad DAC and headphone amp as the G7. If I plug the V35 output into my JDS Element headphone amp, the phone goes into "Line Output" mode, and outputs 1 Volt, RMS. If I load the left and right outputs of the V35 with 220 ohm resistors, the V35 goes into "High Impedance" headphone mode, and outputs 2 Volts, RMS.

Would it be worth my time to make an adapter or cable with those resistors, so the phone would always output 2 V RMS to my headphone amp? How would doing so affect the sound quality, if at all?
While waiting on amir or someone more knowledgeable to reply, I'd say that in general, increasing output increases distortion. So if you try it, and there is no distortion to your ears between high imp, and standard, then you'd benefit by having more power available to you for driving hard to drive headphones.
I'd be certainly interested in a Pic of your setup when you're done!
 
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I went to the local HIFI store to compare my LG G5 (without the DAC module reviewed here) using FLC8d IEMs compared to Astel & Kern DAPs. Before I continue I must note that the LG music player app in LG G5 is tailored to the internal sound hardware, so you get a much better sound with it compared to 3rd party apps like Neutron, Tidal etc.
Comparing against A&Ks A&futura and activo ct10.
If I use the LG music player the LG G5 beats the A&Ks, but if I use 3rd party apps on the LG G5, A&Ks sounded better. Used Tidal app for testing music tracks on the A&Ks. LG G5 played flac files from SD card:

Test tracks, but used Tidal in the store:
My preferred sound signature: Neutral and U-shaped

LG G5 wins. I really did not expect this to happen at all. Goes to show how well tuned and tailored LG G5 and newer models are. I haven't tried newer models but I assume it's improving according to this review LG G7 review.

This is not a review, I am just sharing the outcome of my experience.

End-game headphone tests?

While I was in the store I also compared my FLC8d IEM to Focal Elegia & Stellia. The closed headphones sounded pretty thin on the portables so I asked to try them on a more powerful amp/dac, enter the https://www.focal.com/en/headphones-0/headphones/headphones-electronics/amplifier-dac/arche. It is specially made for those two closed headphones. Set to high gain, and you set which headphones you are using on it. I was expecting amazing things for these extremely high prices.
Amazingly again, my current gear sounds better. The FLC8d sounds so much better that you can't even compare.

I have new found respect for high class IEMs after this, and my closed headphone end-game journey continues with finding a way to test ZMF Atticus, Ether C Flow and or OLLO S4R. I really hope they can beat my FLC8d IEMs. I need good closed headphones, they are more convenient for long listening sessions.
 

bobbooo

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Thanks for this. Did you record a frequency response graph for the G7? I'd be very interested in seeing it.
 
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No matter what we tried, we could not get better numbers. Indeed none of the settings in the player made any difference! Hearing that the LG G7 supports MQA, on a whim, we tried that option in the player:
Hi all, I am newbie here so someone please explain why applying MQA on LG Thinq G7 makes SINAD better? Is it because of check on MQA will bypass Android audio stack or just because of MQA encoding?
Thank you.
 

bravomail

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Hi all, I am newbie here so someone please explain why applying MQA on LG Thinq G7 makes SINAD better? Is it because of check on MQA will bypass Android audio stack or just because of MQA encoding?
Thank you.
It is one of the way to improve Android sound handling in LG G7. MQA itself is rubbish.
 

David

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So, this may be a dumb question, but if I use a proper adapter to convert a 2.5mm to3.5mm jack, will the G7 support a balanced cable to enhance the sound?
 

Julf

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So, this may be a dumb question, but if I use a proper adapter to convert a 2.5mm to3.5mm jack, will the G7 support a balanced cable to enhance the sound?
In what way (and why) would you expect balanced to "enhance" the sound?
 

mkawa

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Hi all, I am newbie here so someone please explain why applying MQA on LG Thinq G7 makes SINAD better? Is it because of check on MQA will bypass Android audio stack or just because of MQA encoding?
Thank you.
can confirm that hardware mqa should bypass the android audio stack. the lg will have a packed in driver for the mqa decode device that is, natch, not the same as the generic UAC drivers (that we can think of as "the android audio stack").
 

David

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Thanks for your quick reply. Enhance isn't the right word. Sorry. My impression was that balanced cables had a "cleaner" sound. I actually should have been more specific--even though I am almost sure that I'll get the same answer. I meant to ask if the LG G7 could support a 3.5mm balanced-cable jack. My guess is that the LG is only fitted to take a normal 3.5mm jack, and not deal with the balanced cable, but one an always hope.
 

pozz

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Enhance isn't the right word. Sorry. My impression was that balanced cables had a "cleaner" sound. I actually should have been more specific--even though I am almost sure that I'll get the same answer. I meant to ask if the LG G7 could support a 3.5mm balanced-cable jack. My guess is that the LG is only fitted to take a normal 3.5mm jack, and not deal with the balanced cable, but one an always hope.
Don't worry about it. The main issue is in the name. "Balanced" headphone amps are a misnomer—the connection could more correctly be called bridged. It does not follow the circuit design of a balanced XLR connection between a DAC and a preamp, for example, which reduces noise and which is probably what you're thinking of.

Headphone amps with bridged outputs will offer greater power and with greater overall noise, the latter depending on the design. So there's no reason to use such "balanced" headphone cabling, particularly if the output, as with the LG G7, doesn't support it.
 
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I frequent listen to a phone in a car, however I connect it using BT. I am not sure if you can test a BT connection as well. I hope the phone has a Micro SD card support, because I do not stream and listen to music stored on a memory card.
 

David

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Thanks for your quick reply. Enhance isn't the right word. Sorry. My impression was that balanced cables had a "cleaner" sound. I actually should have been more specific--even though I am almost sure that I'll get the same answer. I meant to ask if the LG G7 could support a 3.5mm balanced-cable jack. My guess is that the LG is only fitted to take a normal 3.5mm jack, and not deal with the balanced cable, but one an always hope.
 

Jmudrick

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Bumping just to say how ecstatic I am to have discovered this DAP option, in my case a V30+ that I paid $140 for (in perfect shape). Now updated to Pie, using USB Audio Player Pro to stream Qobuz in high resolution to my HE4XX headphones (with extension to fool the DAC into 50 ohm impedance mode, I'm just blown away at how good the sound is, how much storage I can use, and just how darn useful this device is for a freakin pittance. I did evaluate getting one of the newer models but in the end decided to try the least expensive option to start and couldn't be happier. Screen is great, fast enough on Pie (or Oreo) and battery life is terrific.

Capture+_2019-11-23-20-47-59.png
 
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