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Review and Audio Measurement of LG G7 ThinQ Smartphone

Jimster480

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I had one and I did not regret the move to the iPod at all. I also had a RioVolt that could play MP3/WMA from CDs.


(I think this is the model, but they all looked rather similar.)



Before I had those, I had an Archos Jukebox, on which I was running "RockBox" firmware:



I had various others over the years, but those were the big ones I remember.

When the iPods first came out, I remember that they looked like something from 3 years in the future compared to everything else out there. It had an elegance both physically and in the UI that really struck me. It was the first Apple product I ever bought, having hated the company for the way that it dumbed down personal computing with the Apple II (I was a CP/M advocate).
It had a different design I tell you that, but the Rio's weren't much different looking before the iPod came out.
That Rio there is the CD one as you mentioned, it doesn't look much like the Rio 600

1537895603622.png


Which was quite small and had a very ergonomic layout.

The first iPod's despite having alot of space; didn't store much music due to having to use iTunes and their static bitrate at the time.
But by the time the iPod video came out, they had things pretty down pat in terms of music. But then it lacked on the Video side of things....
By that time I had various chinese PMP devices such as my Ainol v2000SE (I know funny name):

1537895762497.png

This thing had SD expansion and could playback every format known to man! It had a nice LTPS screen also and was great for watching shows and movies (something I did alot on the Go as a highschooler). And it also had about 60hr battery life!

I also had a Sony Minidisc walkman (which still works today) that had exceptional sound quality and the Minidisc's weren't too expensive either.

My brother had an iPod video, and I later got an iPod touch (which I still have today).

I had another really cool PMP that had a 1.8" screen and fit easily into any pocket... It had buttons on the side and a 25hr + battery life.... But it could also play videos (in reduced quality ofc on such a small screen) and I used that one for quite some time aswell.
I believe that one got stolen and that was why I got the v2000 SE above.
 

maxxevv

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If the amp system on the G7 is the same or similar to the G6, it will drive most moderate sensitivity headphones quite well.

It drives my HD6XX to levels louder than I'm comfortable with, without obvious clipping (if any). On the HE4XX which is pretty low sensitivity, it will drive it quite well in "External Device" mode.

So unless you are talking about really hard to drive stuff like some of the LCD's and maybe the HE560 and some of those planars out there, it can function quite well without an extra amp.
 
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Actually, I have the V30 (same chipset), and it drive well the Sennheiser HD660s. But I might be interested to switch to another headphone wich may be more difficult to drive (like some Beyerdynamics, Sennheiser HD800 or some planar magnetics models)...
So I would like to know what amp will be a real update for my LG, in order to be safe with such headphones ?
 

Jimster480

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Actually, I have the V30 (same chipset), and it drive well the Sennheiser HD660s. But I might be interested to switch to another headphone wich may be more difficult to drive (like some Beyerdynamics, Sennheiser HD800 or some planar magnetics models)...
So I would like to know what amp will be a real update for my LG, in order to be safe with such headphones ?
I drive planars with no problem with my HTC 10.
HD800 should be perfectly fine aswell, considering that the HD6XX has around the same impedance.
 

JJB70

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The Oppo planar magnetic headphones are also very easy to drive. My Sony smartphone drives my PM-2s to a perfectly good volume.
 
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I'm surprised because I read a lot of posts saying the V30 has not enough power for most of the planar magnetic headphones, and maybe just enough to produce decent sound with HD800 (but not to push the HD800 to a real good level).
 

pwjazz

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I'm surprised because I read a lot of posts saying the V30 has not enough power for most of the planar magnetic headphones, and maybe just enough to produce decent sound with HD800 (but not to push the HD800 to a real good level).
I've run the following from my LG V20:
  • Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
  • Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X
  • Audeze LCD2C
  • Revonext RN QT2
The QT2 doesn't require much power, so it's not worth discussing.

I no longer own the DT 1990 Pro, but I remember it working quite well. I was usually at below 50% volume.

The HD58X works reasonably well too. It's lower impedance than the DT 1990 but also lower efficiency, plus I tend to run it with some EQ settings that require negative pre-gain in addition to using ReplayGain, so in practice I'm often at or a little over 50% volume. If you do neither, you should have plenty of headroom. Subjectively I still prefer the HD58X out of a beefier amp like my Topping NX4, but I haven't done any blind tests to confirm that.

The LCD2C is... interesting. I also run this with EQ that requires a good amount of negative pre-gain, but even with that, volume wise I still end up at around 50%. On the LG V20 it sounds okay. However, even level matched, I strongly prefer the LCD2C amped out of my Magni 3 (sourced from the LG V20's headphone out). Subjectively, the LCD2C's bass sounds clearer and it overall sounds punchier. Beyond that, I have the option of cranking up the volume a bit when I want, to which it responds quite well. Again, I've not done any blind ABX nor do I have any solid working theory on what would account for the difference. Compared to most planar magnetics, the LCD2C is actually relatively efficient and relatively high impedance (which allows the LG V20 to run in full power mode).

Note - I always make sure to check that the LG V20 has correctly autodetected my headphones as high impedance before I collect impressions.
 

amirm

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I'm surprised because I read a lot of posts saying the V30 has not enough power for most of the planar magnetic headphones, and maybe just enough to produce decent sound with HD800 (but not to push the HD800 to a real good level).
Whether something plays loud enough is subjective but also depends on type of music. With full amplitude pop, you would have an easier time getting loudness than lower amplitude jazz, classical, etc. I run into this all the time when testing headphones.

The quality of loudness matters too. The amps can get good bit louder if you allow them to operate in clipping region. I avoid that region so less of the power is useable for me.
 

maxxevv

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I'm surprised because I read a lot of posts saying the V30 has not enough power for most of the planar magnetic headphones, and maybe just enough to produce decent sound with HD800 (but not to push the HD800 to a real good level).
It will drive most planars poorly if it doesn't invoke its "High Impedance" mode. Or alternatively, its "External Device" mode.

My G6 will not drive my HE4XX well in direct plug in, volume would be ridiculously low. But its actually quite suffice if I invoke its "External Device" mode. I have tried it with the Sundara too. Same results.

Most of the guys complain because they haven't done that.

The HD800 has a very high transient impedance value, the amp on phone can drive it at 300 Ohms, but those transient peaks will pose issues.
 
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I have the LG V30 and HE4XX. There are 3 modes: low impedance (aka normal), line out (external device), and high impedance (50-600 ohm). HE4XX is rated at 35 ohm according to Hifiman but measurements (innerfidelty) show that it is actually around 45ish. Sensitivity is also lower I believe than stated on the specs (can't remember exactly).

When I first got the headphones they almost always put the phone's amp into normal mode. After a couple of months using the headphones the phone now often puts the amp into high mode.

I also have the Topping A30/D30 stack (as you can see from my profile pic). High mode on the LG V30 still doesn't drive the HE4XX with enough authority for the music I like (Jazz, acoustic, classical). Echoing Amir's point.

Note there is an app - called Hifi Status (LG) that displays the current mode of the amp.
 

zachary80

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You can add different apps for EQ. UAPP have EQ options including parametric EQ.
The reason the stock one matters is because my primary listening is via Spotify Premium, and my understanding is that on Android the Spotify app uses the system EQ. Is there any app that can EQ Spotify (without root)?
 
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I have the LG V30 and HE4XX. There are 3 modes: low impedance (aka normal), line out (external device), and high impedance (50-600 ohm). HE4XX is rated at 35 ohm according to Hifiman but measurements (innerfidelty) show that it is actually around 45ish. Sensitivity is also lower I believe than stated on the specs (can't remember exactly).

When I first got the headphones they almost always put the phone's amp into normal mode. After a couple of months using the headphones the phone now often puts the amp into high mode.

I also have the Topping A30/D30 stack (as you can see from my profile pic). High mode on the LG V30 still doesn't drive the HE4XX with enough authority for the music I like (Jazz, acoustic, classical). Echoing Amir's point.

Note there is an app - called Hifi Status (LG) that displays the current mode of the amp.

Ishmeister, since you have the LG V30 can you state what bit depth and scan frequency the phone's 'Quad Dac' is capable of playing? I was looking at the V35 or new V40 to hold my 24bit/192Khz Flac music files and play into my AUX input in my car or drive my AKG K712Pros around the house.
I'm also waiting for Topping to create a 3 stack around my D50 dac. I could see a A50 and PA5 making a wonderful stack with the D50.

(Note: As of this time, an A50 and/or PA5 simply do not exist. sad.)

Thanks, Chuck
 
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Ishmeister, since you have the LG V30 can you state what bit depth and scan frequency the phone's 'Quad Dac' is capable of playing? I was looking at the V35 or new V40 to hold my 24bit/192Khz Flac music files and play into my AUX input in my car or drive my AKG K712Pros around the house.
I'm also waiting for Topping to create a 3 stack around my D50 dac. I could see a A50 and PA5 making a wonderful stack with the D50.

(Note: As of this time, an A50 and/or PA5 simply do not exist. sad.)

Thanks, Chuck
Format support is extensive. Have a look at the stereophile review: https://www.stereophile.com/content/lg-v30-hi-res-smartphone-mqa
The only caveat is that the EQ will not work with high resolution material.
 
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I know it can handle 24 bits at 44.1 and 48. Unfortunately my son left so I can't check higher sample rates. Will test when he comes back this coming weekend.
Good news amirm! New member ishmeister has the V30 and reports that it does play 24/192 and DSD64. I doubt they would change that in the V35, which is going for $699 at Project Fi (I have a 6p) plus a $150 service credit. ishmeister posted a link to a Stereophile review that I somehow missed.
Not sure if I would use the MQA decoding feature but might as well have it. Kills two birds with one. The Nexus 6P was at the end of its security update time and carrying a phone and say, the Astell&Kern KANN DAP would have been way too many things.
I thank you again for starting this thread!
 
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Hey @amirm, I just got an LG V30 myself. I was wondering: could you test some other music apps on the G7 (Google Play Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.) to see if they also bypass the Android audio stack the way the UAPP and the LG Music app are capable of?
 
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