Modern smartphones do lots of stuff well. Looking at our own smartphone use, we’d say watching GIFs of cats, irritating our followers with selfies and helping us find the nearest restaurant are all nuts our phone has well and truly cracked.
When it comes to keeping our ears happy in the shape of high-fidelity audio, though, the average smartphone falls down a bit. Sure, the ability to stream the latest music straight to our eardrums makes us feel like we’re living in the future, but we crave quality, people.
Decent audio quality from a smartphone is like a footballer in a library – difficult to find. That’s because there are several factors that affect how the sound meets your ears, from the quality of the music recording in the first place, to the way it’s processed by your phone, to the earphones you wear to fire the audio into your ears.
The first bit, finding high-quality audio, is easy enough. If you rip your own CDs, using the highest-quality setting will make sure your music arrives at your phone sounding its best. And some streaming services give you the option of choosing even higher-quality material.
The next bit is tricky: once the raw data is in your phone, it needs to be processed in a way that preserves as much of that musical goodness as possible. Enter the ZTE Axon, whose AKM 4961 chipset is the last word in audio quality. It’s a 32-bit DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) that offers incredibly high-quality sound reproduction, giving you music with authentic-sounding depth, a wide soundstage and balanced harmonics.
The Axon’s top-quality sound isn’t one way, though: its magnificent-microchippery extends to incoming audio too. With 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded to an extra 128GB with a microSD card, it’s a great choice for musicians who want to make audio notes, and the AKM 4961 audio chip provides natural sound recording thanks to a 24-bit ADC (analog-to-digital converter). Even if you’re not spitting mad rhymes (although we definitely are), the Axon’s audio talents are dished out in the form of effective noise cancellation, making it a top choice for conference calls or hands-free calling.
Finally: a phone that does audio as well as it does everything else.