How the mobile phone destroyed the MP3 player


In any case, the end result of what LG has achieved is hi-fi quality audio. There are still limitations, as right now the sound quality only reaches these levels when using LG's stock player to listen to lossless files and only then when listening through something plugged into the line out on the phone.

Using any other player or using the LG G2's speakers or any USB or Bluetooth device will cause the audio to become down-sampled.

With that in mind there's still work to be done, but the LG G2 brings smartphone audio quality up to previously unknown levels, making it more viable than ever for audiophiles to use a phone as a portable music player.

Along with the recently launched HTC One it also demonstrates a concerted effort from smartphone makers to make the audio experience on their phones as good as possible.

Music to our ears

With the increasing storage capacity of phones along with the move to cloud storage and music streaming it's now perfectly possible to have thousands or even millions of songs at your fingertips and Berson is confident that the storage problem is soon going to be a distant memory, saying that "space is becoming cheaper and more efficient, and bandwidth higher and ubiquitous. Though enabling people to have secure and smooth access on the smart device is our job, I think the overall storage problem is solving itself."

LG G2 in hand

When you consider that music download stores and streaming services are now built right into phones it's no wonder that so many people have ditched their MP3 players. Especially given the phenomenal popularity of digital music, with 239,000,000 songs downloaded legally in the UK between January and June of 2012 according to BPI.

Factor in the wealth of apps available to smartphones, giving users additional player choices and extra features such as equalisers and it becomes even clearer that mobiles really are a force to be reckoned with in the world of portable music.

Actually picking the phone with the best audio capabilities can be easier said than done, as everything from audio chip, to amplifier, drivers, enclosures, digital-to-analogue converter and more can play a part and it's not always obvious how one thing will affect another, plus like music itself, what one person likes another might not.

Burson perhaps summed it up more adequately: "No spec sheet can really depict how an instrument and the sounds it emits will make you feel - you have to hold it and experience it."

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.