We have been hearing a lot of people saying that they don’t believe in DACS or that they don’t make a difference. With the smartphone having firmly replaced the iPod as the portable music player of choice, audio playback is an increasingly important factor in today’s high end mobile. With increasingly bold claims of HiFi and even studio quality playback being touted on some smartphones.

FYI: High fidelity—or hi-fi or hifi—reproduction is a term used by home stereo listeners, audiophiles and home audio enthusiasts to refer to high-quality reproduction of sound.

Vivo is considered to be pioneer of HiFi audio oriented smartphones. Vivo has put a lot of effort to make a revolutionary mark in the audio department, the often neglected part of a smartphone. Looking at the recently released V3 & V3Max that are HiFi oriented smartphones. These devices don’t deliver exceptional overall performance, gaming performance or camera performance. These devices are a pair of Android running smartphones at an extraordinary price point. The only thing these devices should excel is the audio department as these devices are equipped with AK4375 Hi-Fi audio chip. To test this we’ve thrown the Vivo V3 for Listening Test, to see how its “HiFi quality” DAC performs in a smartphone environment and how it stands up to the competition. No audio test would be complete without actually having a listen to the phones in the real world. So I stuck a couple of my favourite EDM tracks on board and had a good listen through some Sennheiser CX 180 Earphones, Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro and Skullcandy Ando Headphones. And for comparison we tested these earphones simultaneously on OnePlus One, Vivo V3, OnePlus 2, Coolpad Note 3 and HTC One X9 as we had these devices available with us at that time.

  • Bass: OnePlus One > HTC X9 > Vivo V3 > Coolpad Note 3 > OnePlus 2
  • Treble: HTC X9 > Oneplus One > Vivo V3 > Coolpad Note 3 > OnePlus 2
  • Audio Clearity: Vivo V3 > HTC X9 > OnePlus One > Coolpad Note 3 > OnePlus 2
  • Loudness: Vivo V3 > OnePlus One > HTC X9 > OnePlus 2 > Coolpad Note 3

Taking the whole picture into account, Vivo which is known for its audio DACS do well in the upper price segment and they have tried to do the same with their mid-level offering as well. Vivo is using the most affordable HiFi audio alternative available aka AKM AK4375 with the lowest performance compared to Cirrus Logic or ESS which in-fact would shoot up price of the handset. It kind of qualifies for HiFi 1.0 architecture but overall if we talk about the audio chipset itself it is not that efficient. Overall Vivo’s AK4375 Hi-Fi audio chip ensures that audio output is loud as well as clear. So you can certainly do better if you’re looking for a top-notch audio experience of-course with more money but this is the one of the best we can get under 15k price range.