LG V20 with ESS 9218 quad dac

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Madaboutaudio, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    Just another update:

    LG V20 does exhibit processor activity RF noise on iems. It's only noticeable in a ultra quiet setting of the bedroom. It's very minuscule and most of your music played will always mask out this. LG V20 is totally hiss free on my iems.

    Also it has excellent ultra low volume knob performance, you can hear pretty legible audio even at the lowest setting of 1 out 75.(which other devices with digital only volume control exhibit grainy sounding bit truncation).

    The LG installed music app is capable of playing DSD 2.8MHz and PCM 192Khz content out of the box. You don't have to get the UAPP or other 3rd party App for that although UAPP is the only app that display it's 44.1Khz playback status.

    The LG V20 can playback Bluray Bitrate Videos(DTS) with MX Player(+3rd party codec) without any performance issues.

    Wifi performance is blistering fast with 5GHz AC router(>25-30MBytes/sec) but it's extended operating range @2.4Ghz isn't as good as Apple Iphone 6 Plus(about 5 feet shorter).

    The only question for those interested: do you like the house sound of sabre? It's certainly inside LG V20, although I have noticed better(minor) digitus refinements over ES9018S based devices and it's certainly better(digitus wise) than ES9018K2M by a big margin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
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  2. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Is it processor or radio noise? Can you try it in flight mode and see if it's still there? I find the V10 gets noisy with the radios on.
     
  3. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    It's gets more noticable with Wifi activity + browser image intensive loading + scrolling. Less noisy with 5GHz and more with 2.4GHz. It's is almost nearing noiseless with just processor or gpu activity alone.

    Sony ZX2 also has this processor/gpu electrical like noise when you do something like database refresh but its also very tiny.

    It sounds like z. z.. z... like some kind of really soft periodic buzzing.

    I didn't notice any real perceivable difference in actual sound quality with using airplane mode On vs Off when using the phone as standalone DAP mode.
     
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  4. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    some interesting stuff I found on gsmarena on the LG V20:

    Looks like the quad dac only activates based on certain conditions?(=>50ohms? )
    http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_v20-review-1498p7.php
     
  5. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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  6. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    This was the same on the V10. Thankfully my IEMs are over 50ohm so it was never an issue with me, but a lot of people had to find workarounds.
     
  7. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    It's kinda stupid if you can't utilise the quad dacs on <50ohm iems. Although I can confirm it still has the sabre house sound with low impedance iems.

    The onboard soc dac for V20 sounds pretty bad(very noticeable digitus grain), I think it's on par with Iphone's CS4398 derivative soc.

    Though I do think this V20 Sabre implementation is better than Onkyo DP-X1 and Fiio X7 that I have heard. It's almost on the same par as Ibasso's DX100 although less powerful.
     
  8. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    People have been using attenuator cables to trigger the high impedance mode on the V10. Assume it'll work for the V20 as well?
     
  9. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    I do have a 75ohm impedance adaptor lying around but I will need to search for it.

    Now I am evaluating the sonic difference between ZX2 and V20 in close detail, maybe will do a stream of thought impressions later on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  10. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    Song used: Cat Steven's Father & Son 24bit 192Khz. (I used this song as it's one of the common reference tracks that every audiophile dude can relate to)
    Music App used: Sony default Music & Lg default music.
    Headphone used: Audio Technica ATH-ESW990H(60ohms), so LG quad dac is switched on for sure. This headphone can be considered to be a warmer sounding headphone by itself.
    Both devices have 100% battery, V20 is new(less than a week), ZX2 is burnt in fully. Airplane mode ON for both.

    ZX2(with sound adjustment app disabled): A warmish rather laid back presentation with a hint of darkness in the low treble regions. Guitar seems to blend in as a soft background instrument. Cat Steven's singing seems more relaxed and slightly more distanced. Bass comes in more deeper and slower decay. There's a natural flow to the music and every element of the music takes turns to present itself to you. Hiss at the end of the song seems more subtle.

    V20: A bright and forward presentation with a V shape emphasis. Is it Sabre Glare? Yep. Every Guitar note strung wants your immediate attention. It seems like Cat Stevens is singing very loudly/close to you, Bass seems to come in quick transients without decays. Every music element is presented upfront in your face and in rapidfire succession, Hiss at the end of the song is audible for sure.

    This two device couldn't be more different in how they sound on this track.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
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  11. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    LG V20 does have enough amp power to power HD800 to very loud volumes. It's not deafening loud at 75/75 but 60/75 is pretty loud for good listening(around 85db or so).
     
  12. fierce_freak

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    Any more impressions on v20 from anyone? I think I might pick one up regardless of sound quality, but I'm still interested to hear what people think
     
  13. Warrior

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    I bought one 2 nights ago. Absolutely beautiful phone. Unfortunately I didn't try the headphones on it. I gave it to my girl, she needed a new phone. That piece of shit S6 I bought her is shot. Gave my Dad my S7 Edge. I'm back on the V10. I'm going to buy a V20 for myself. I had it for 1 day and loved it. I rarely use my phone for audio anymore, so the fancy dac matters little.
     
  14. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    I have worked in Supply Chain Management for Huawei in the past. I know many European colleagues who were more deeply involved with the hardware and software; they did in fact not use Huawei devices themselves. They all used iPhones and recommended me to do the same.
     
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  15. BlueElephant

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    Btw the v20 can power hd800s to listenable volumes
     
  16. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    Welp...my Xiao Mi 3 phone just died after years of usage. Got to admit it's been a very good run. I guess it's time to turn my attention to new phones and my DAP hunt will have to wait for my IEMs.

    I wonder if the LG V10 is just as good or should I save a bit more for the V20 instead...

    If there's any other phones that are great with IEMs I am very much open to any suggestions, thanks guys. :)
     
  17. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    I heard the ZTE Axon 7 is a great budget choice. Haven't tried it myself though.
    Personally, I would save up for the V20 because the phone's only weakness is lack of marketing.
     
  18. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    I just saw the price of the V20.

    Holy shit...I am afraid it's a bit out of my budget.

    The best I can afford is a phone that won't exceed 2000 MYR (about $455) and my best option seemed to be Vivo X5 Play.

    I didnt have any info on that phone other hand it having a dual ES9028 SABRE DAC.

    That, or I can try my luck with the cheaper LG V10 instead :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  19. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I've been trying to confirm that the V20 supports native 44.1kHz sampling rate. Have you personally played a redbook flac using UAPP and seen it display "Android 44100 Hz"?

    I found this post which says that everything gets resampled to 48kHz, and that it isn't fully utillizing the DAC feature set.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=69456891&postcount=74
     
  20. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Was able to check out the V20 and confirm that:
    1. It supports a native sampling rate of 44.1kHz
      [​IMG]
    2. I supports high resolution files
      [​IMG]
    I listened with my ER4Ps and compared with my Note 3 running UAPP which does the upsampling to the onboard DAC's 48kHz sample rate. Can't say that could hear a significant difference. The highs were perhaps smoother on the V20, slightly less digititus. Could just be confirmation bias from knowing that the file is going to the DAC bit perfect.

    I think it'll be between this and the S8+ when it comes out next year.
     

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