Poll: do you care about stereo speakers on a smartphone?


Up until this year, stereo speakers on a smartphone were kind of a niche feature. HTC used to offer it on the One series, but ditched it for the BoomSound Hi-Fi speaker setup on the HTC 10. Sony still has it on the Xperias, but it's not universally loved as the speakers continue to sound flat and tinny. Google used to have stereo speakers on the Nexus 6P, but phased them out with the Pixel and even Pixel XL. And, surprisingly, while others are abandoning the feature, Apple actually added stereo speakers on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

So, seeing how manufacturers seem to add and remove this feature at a whim, it's probably not deemed a must-have on a smartphone. But still, we thought we'd ask — what do you think about stereo speakers? Are they a main feature you look for, a nice bonus to have, or something you don't care for at all?

Do you care about stereo speakers on a smartphone?

Yes, I would pick a phone with stereo speakers over a regular one any day
48.68%
It's a nice plus, but not a feature that can sway my buying decision
42.6%
I don't really care for the speaker setup
8.72%

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39 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Option 2 for me. It's a nice plus, but not an ultimate deal-maker in my buying decision.

9. Beastmode1

Posts: 85; Member since: Feb 08, 2016

Yes for sure not going to make me want to buy one phone over another solely for the speakers but its a very nice plus i agree

20. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Agreed! If i can hear my phone ring loud enough so that i don't miss it, i don't care. I use my speakers and headphones if i want stereo sound.

38. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Same There is no phone that is going to sound as good as my headphones or my speakers.

18. torr310

Posts: 1633; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

If the stereo speaks took too much space on the phone, I would prefer a loud mono speaker with good quality sound. The loudness and clarity are more important to me than weak stereo speakers.

24. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I agree, but mostly because there are so few phones with stereo speakers that it's not an option to be a deal breaker. I can say that I'm tired of cupping my hand to hear the speaker when I'm watching video. It seems logical to put the speaker on the front to project sound to the user, not 90 degrees!

2. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I didn't think I cared until I got a phone with it. Huge difference.

3. tedkord

Posts: 17199; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

YES, YES, YES! Front facing, with an excellent DAC and good speaker quality with plenty of volume without distortion.

5. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Front facing on smartphone is BS. Sound like tweeters. LOL Why do you think they don't put the speakers on TVs front facing? Just for the design? No! Read about acoustic.

16. tedkord

Posts: 17199; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's not, but you're welcome to your opinion.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17199; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Oh, and many TVs do have speakers firing forward.

28. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Thank you. Someone who understands. I know back in the old days speakers on TV's were in the front, but they were inside a box so they have decent sound. Today's flat tv's don't front mount them, because the sound would also be flat as the cast they are in is very thin and sound can't really be what it should. The speakers are usually faced on the back to bounce off the wall or down to bounce off the table. Much like how some sub-woofers work. These people don't understand this because they are not true audiophiles. Even the cheap crappy headphones that are boxed with smartphones, sound better than using front-facing speakers on a phone.

40. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

"These people don't understand this because they are not true audiophiles. " What you don't understand is people have different use cases and different preferences, I am a semi-audiophile with high standards in audio, but listening with headphones is not always the best in all situations.

10. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

But you can get all of those things without stereo. I think stereo is pointless unless you can actually position the speakers on either side of your head. Even a shelf system isn't "in stereo" if the speakers are only a foot apart. I think HTC is really on to something with the mono tweeter/mono woofer setup on the 10. Quality over quantity.

13. Brydges81

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 02, 2016

The HTC has two speaker modes Theatre and Music Mode. THEATRE mode is Stereo whilst Music is the described woofer/tweeter setup.

34. vincelongman

Posts: 5654; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Dont forget an excellent amp too The Pixel and HTC 10 have the same excellent DAC But the Pixel does sound as good (especially with bigger headphones) since its amp isn't as good

4. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

As long as I can hear my ring tone and alarm nice and loud, I don't give a tiny rat's furry ass.

11. AndroidRulz

Posts: 19; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

'...tiny rat's furry ass.' That's nice one bro.

12. AndroidRulz

Posts: 19; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

'...tiny rat's furry ass.' That's a nice one bro.

6. Hoggington

Posts: 356; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

I had the iPhone 7+ for a few weeks. The stereo speakers were legit, even though the top one was just coming out of the earpiece. It did produce loud, stereo sound. I have the V20 now....and unfortunately, the one speaker is horrible. Love everything else about it...but I'm a little surprised that LG didn't pay more attention to the onboard speaker, when it promoted the V20 as an audio powerhouse. Make no mistake...it is with headphones on and the quad DAC enabled...but the speaker is by far the worst of any phone I've owned this year. And that's been the S7e, Note5, Note7, iP7+. Long story short... I do want stereo speakers on my next phone. It matters more than I thought.

7. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Nope. That's what headphones are for.

8. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I use headphones and have a large bluetooth speaker so it isn't really necessary for me but if you can fit it in without compromising on battery life then why not.

14. monoke

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Love stereo speakers particularly front placement, however the Mi Mix has got my calling card right now. Hopefully the camera is at least better than my z3.

15. Herro

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 19, 2016

Don't care about stereo speakers just want them to be front facing.

19. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

That is what a kept me away from Sony phones for so long

21. NoAllegiance unregistered

I like symmetrical design, so front facing stereo speakers is a plus. But in reality i could't care since i only use my speakers for my alarm. For everything else i use Bose Q35. For calls and notifications i use vibration or the display flashing on.

22. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3094; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

No stereo speakers = no buy.

27. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No! Because its stupid. But for real legit reasons. First, the speakers are to small. They only hit highs and a bit of the mids, and no lows. Space. When playing stereo sound, speakers work best when they have space between them. The farther speakers are apart, the better the sound and here is why. If you draw a triangle from the center of the speaker with one of the 3 points being the center of the speaker, the triangle spreads out and it gets farther from the source. If the triangles from both speakers cross each other, before getting to your ears, then it makes it harder to hear stereo sound. Phone speakers are to close, with rough 4"'s of gap vs lets say speakers in your home that will be at least 3 feet apart. Front facing speakers on a tablet, make more sense because the gap between the 2 would be good enough when viewing on a tablet and at least the sound wont touch each other, until its closer to your ears. This improves the separation of the true effects of the sounds. Apple did it the most stupidest way on the iPhone. Because one speaker faces you and one speaker faces away from you. That's just dumb. HTC's Boomsound was smarter, because at least both speakers were the same size and both faced you. Apple even did it stupid on the iPad, as you can't get the true stereo effects, in portrait mode only in landscape. Want the true sound? Use the headphones. Speakers take up space, make bezels bigger and makes the phone look ugly for something that sounds like garbage when its used.

30. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu..............

33. tedkord

Posts: 17199; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

As someone who has owned both, you're flat out wrong.

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