Samsung reveals super-thin and high-resolution Galaxy S tablets

Samsung used to have some pretty decent Wolfson DACs on their phones early on, but they were still using their own SoC back then… They moved away from that at one point, no clue if the same parts mate with the Qualcomm SoC everyone are using these days or what they’re using on the tablets though. I haven’t found anyone doing even an inkling of decent sound quality evaluation for these kinda products…

Anandtech has been doing some interesting tests, though limited to a handful of phones. Just having X DAC or whatever isn’t any kind of guarantee either , particularly if using headphones which will also rely on proper output stages and amplification. I’d dare say that part and the headphones themselves actually matter a whole lot more than the DAC…

Which is why half the time I just sidestep the whole chain and opt for Bluetooth output to a BT receiver that is a known quantity to me (decent DAC / amp), obviously Bluetooth represents it’s own set of compromises, but many of these devices these days use a decent enough encoding profile that the compression isn’t anywhere near as bad as BT on much older devices.

In a mobile setting the ambient noise or your own headphones are probably the weaker link anyway, unless you’re using $600+ custom IEM (as most hifi full size headphones in the range would need better amping to reach anywhere near their potential), and in a non mobile setting I’d rather bypass it all with a Chromecast, Sonos, etc. A decent mobile DAC isn’t hard to spec into a product tho, it’s just an easy corner to cut or ignore.

Something like a $30 SanDisk Clip Zip could already get you one of the cleanest outputs out there (and it came out years ago)… Obviously it’s of no help if the content is on a laptop / tablet but the point is good / clean audio can be had very cheap. Of course when you’re trying to race to the bottom with a fully integrated laptop / tablet design, that’s another story.

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