The Best Smartphones for Music in 2017

Believe it or not, Music is a painkiller. 
It's scientifically proven that Music has the ability to change people's minds, reduce stress and even improve concentration. 

With a growth in technology, the old Walkmans and music systems have been replaced by smartphones for listening to music. Having said that though, not every phone is a great music phone. Manufacturers these days concentrate more on specs and build, rather than the audio side of things. However, if you are a Music lover, or an Audiophile, or you're a Basshead who likes the Oomph factor; we've got you covered. These are the best smartphones for music, that are equally good at everything else too, that you can buy right now:

1. LG V20

Picture Courtesy: DetroitBORG | YouTube
This cell phone being a successor to the LG V10 stood up-to the expectations. The handset highlights the most recent ESS Sabre ES9218 DAC, including a quad DAC setup to enhance music experience. This chip outputs a maximum of 130SNR, 124 dB DNR and - 112 dB THD+N, which in layman's terms, means detailed, loud and crisp music.The V20 can also play lossless codecs like FLAC, DSD and even Apple's proprietary ones- AIFF and ALAC. What doesn't hurt is the fact that the phone ships with fine-tuned B&O earphones!
Want more? There's even more! The V20 can also record 24-bit audio at 48Hz sampling rate and it's 3-mic setup offers higher Aucostic Overload Point (AOP) which means even the loudest of sound (like concerts) can be recorded without distortions. All in all, if you're in the market to buy the best phone for music, nothing beats the V20.

🖒 PROs-
  • Latest Specs- Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
  • Second Display for quick shortcuts and notifications
  • 16MP f/1.8 & 8MP f/2.4 Wide Angle Dual cameras with advanced manual modes for both still photos and videos
  • Dual Speakers
  • ESS Sabre ES9218 Quad DAC
  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • Removable Battery
🖓 CONs-
  • Average Battery Life
  • LG's software skin (better than before, still not our favourite)
  • No Water/Dust resistance
AMAZON (Starting at Rs. 36,999)

2. HTC 10

Picture Courtesy: Android Central

Remember how back in 2013 with the original HTC One (M7), HTC changed the way phones sound? Since then, HTC have been at the forefront of smartphone audio technology with their proprietary BoomSound speakers and choice of high quality drivers. The newest of their 'One' lineup- the HTC 10, is a pretty rounded-off smartphone that gets almost everything right. In terms of audio experience, the phone features a dual stereo speaker setup (one being the earpiece and the other at the bottom). There is a dedicated amplifier for both the speakers. Though these speakers don't sound as loud as the previous models, sound is still loud enough and rich. If you don't want to wake up with a sudden loud bang of music, do keep the alarm volume low!
The experience is massively improved when you use a headphone. The 10 can play 24-bit lossless audio and can even up-scale lower-res sound files to make them sound better. Volume is loud and clear, thanks to the dedicated Amp. The bonus is that you also get nice earphones within the package which are Hi-Res capable. They are comfortable to start with, and they sound really really good.
Simply put, The HTC 10 is a great smartphone for audio and is almost similar to the V20 in performance. It's only because of the Dual-camera and Removable battery that we tend to favor the V20 a bit more.

🖒 PROs-
  • Excellent Build & Design
  • 12 UltraPixel Camera w/OIS and Laser auto-focus + 8MP Wide-angle Selfie camera with OIS
  • Excellent Battery life
  • Industry-leading audio
  • Dedicated tweeter and sub-woofer in the phone
  • AirPlay Support
  • HTC Sense UI - our favorite Android skin after Stock Android
🖓 CONs-
  • No Water-resistance
  • No wireless charging

3. iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

iPhones have always been good at music playback, specially through earphones. The iPhone 5S was our favorite when it came to music via the 3.5mm jack. Well, now that Apple have done away with the 3.5mm jack, they've added dual stereo speakers onto their new smartphones. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus now sound much better from the phone speakers, thanks to the stereo speaker implementation. Audio through headphones (using either a Lightning connector or wireless headphones; read: AirPods) sound loud and crisp as usual. Apple use high quality audio DACs in their iPhones and these two are no exceptions.
Both the phones play lossless audio and the quality of audio is very rich and full. What we love about the iPhones is their Volume Slider, which is so fine tuned that you always get the level of volume you need; neither a bit more, nor a bit less. To conclude, if you're a music lover and you've been using android for a long time, or you prefer iOS over Android, you MUST get the 7 or the 7 Plus.
If you're running low on budget, you can always pick an iPhone 6S; which is equally great at music playback via the earphones, plus the 3.5mm jack ;)

🖒 PROs-
  • Stereo Loudspeakers
  • A10 Fusion Chip- the fastest smartphone processor on the planet right now
  • Force-touch Home button
  • Much improved Cameras (7 Plus has Dual cameras)
  • Water Resistance
🖓 CONs-
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack is gone
  • No improvements on the display
  • Camera Bump
  • No Warranty on Water Damage

4. Lenovo Vibe X3 (Best Budget Music Phone)

Okay, we know this is a two-year old device, but that doesn't take anything away from the fact that this is one hell of an entertainment powerhouse. Dual front-firing speaker setup powered by Dolby Atmos is already a lot for us to recommend this phone to you even today. This phone was advertised as a 'Phone for Music Lovers', and going down by what's inside, it's not hard to guess why. The phone packs a 32-bit ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC (same as that on the LG V10) with 3x TI OPA1612, just for the music playback. A CirrusLogic Wolfson WM8281 handles the phone call duty. Such a combination of an audiophile-grade DAC and Amp combination gives the phone some serious audio prowess.
The speakers are great, to begin with. The sound comes out full and detailed, without distorting even at high volumes. Plug a good pair of headphones, and you're greeted with some industry leading sound hitting your eardrums. For the purists, there's this Turbo Hi-Fi mode, which makes the sound more richer and natural. The Dolby Equalizer can be tweaked as per liking and this phone can even power high impedance headphones without breaking a sweat. Lenovo has also added additional volume steps to fine-tune the volume.
Though this phone is probably discontinued; if you want a decent performing smartphone that has great audio quality, we would recommend you to pick one of these up from eBay or any other site that sells refurbished/unboxed phones. You can grab this phone at eBay for around Rs. 15,000 (with 6 months of manufacturers warranty); and at that price, it's a steal.

🖒 PROs-
  • Dual Front Facing Speakers powered by Dolby Atmos
  • Dedicated  DAC and AMP
  • Excellent 5.5" LCD display (1500:1 Contrast ratio, covers 100% of the Color Gamut)
  • Dual SIM (Hybrid)
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • IR Blaster
🖓 CONs-
  • Aged Processor: Snapdragon 808 (Still Capable of Regular Use)
  • Average Camera
  • Plastic Build
  • No VoLTE yet

 5. Nexus 6P

Picture Courtesy: PCAdvisor
Another old device you say, another fantastic audio phone we say! Nexus is dead now and is replaced by Pixel, but the last frontier of the Nexus family- the Nexus 6P made by Huawei is a great phone when it comes to music quality. The phone is equipped with dual front facing speakers that are loud and clear. The sound doesn't distort even at high volumes and like with all front facing speaker setups, you can hear the sound moving from one end of the phone to the other while playing games or watching movies.
When it comes to headphones though, the 6P is just above average. It delivers rich sound but lacks the volume. If you can install 3rd party Audio FX Engines like Viper4Android, the 6P will definitely provide you much better sound through headphones. If you're a Stock-Android fan and want the best audio and music quality with Stock Android, you can never go wrong with the 6P!

🖒 PROs-
  • Excellent Build and Design
  • Excellent Dual Front Stereo Speakers
  • Very Good Camera with Laser Auto-focus and OIS
  • Stock Android, guaranteed timely updates till 2018
  • Very Good Display (2K)
  • No heating issues as with other devices with Snapdragn 810

🖓 CONs-
  • Average Battery Life
  • No VoLTE yet
  • Snapdragon 810 

These are the 5 best phones for Music in 2017 in India. 
We'll keep updating the post as soon as we have new favorites. 
Meanwhile, be sure to share the article with your friends and drop your thoughts in the comments below.
Peace Out! 

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