Samsung Galaxy S6 vs LG G4 in-depth loudspeaker comparison


Well, folks, the LG G4 has finally arrived in all its leathery goodness. And it's definitely landing on tough terrain – the Apple's iPhone 6 hit the market with ferocity, and Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are definite head-turners. But the G4 isn't ready to give in. Packing a classy design of its own, a very impressive camera, and being one of the few remaining flagships to have a removable battery and expandable internal storage, LG's handset is sure to gain some traction of its own.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have been out for a while and, sure enough, Samsung's Project Zero has apparently turned out to be a successful endeavor. The new flagships sure cross a lot of grief points that customers had with Sammy's top-shelf smartphones – starting with design upgrades, which finally boosted them in looks and feel, moving through camera improvements, and taking care of some of bloat around the interface, allowing for a more slimmed down version of TouchWiz.

So, both LG's and Samsung's giants look, feel, and work different, that's for sure. But how do they sound?

We went ahead and pitted the LG G4 vs the Galaxy S6 in our studio. As usual, we used a song with plenty of acoustic instruments (drums, acoustic guitars, fretless bass, piano, et cetera) for this test and loaded it up on both phones. For each recording, we placed our microphone about 2” from the speaker grille, with the holes facing opposite the mic - this eliminated some of the harshness of capturing small speakers, and gave us a better representation of how the phone itself would sound if you set it on a table, for example. Without further ado, check out the recorded comparison below. The first clip switches back and forth between both phone's playback, the other two slides contain a full playthrough of each smartphone.



As you can hear, there is quite some difference to the two speakers. The LG G4 delivers much more middle frequencies, making it sound a bit "flatter", but sometimes "fuller", without muddying up like the HTC One M8. The Galaxy S6 delivers a lot more punch in the high frequencies and has its mids scooped, so it is perceived as "clearer" sounding. Samsung's phone also sounds just a bit louder, due to the hump in the highs, but we are a bit disappointed to hear so much compression going on - when the snare drum hits, its attack causes all other sounds to "duck". The LG G4, on the other hand, does better at playing all instruments through its speaker.

We also ran a pink noise test through both phones. Pink noise is supposed to show a steady line on the spectrum analyzer, going at an even downwards diagonal from left to right. Now, seeing as our microphone, room, and other recording conditions would, naturally, introduce their own coloring to the results, we are not saying that the images below are fully representative of the speakers' actual qualities. They can, however, be used as reference to show how the phones sound when compared to one another. So, here are the slides:


The verdict


Both phones sound good, but will not make you put a Bluetooth speaker off your wishlist for sure. They are about equal in volume, with the Galaxy S6 being a smidgen louder. When one is given the two handsets for a quick test, the Galaxy S6's perceived clarity creates the initial illusion for a better sound. However, further tests, and actual listening experiences, will cause the user's ears to feel fatigued, as the highs can get harsh and annoying pretty fast. Also, the overcompression does the speaker no favors, as one is often able to hear sound ducking and loss of instruments from the mix.

The LG G4 may sound a bit "muffled" when compared to its opponent. However, listen to it on its own and you will be treated to a pretty even reproduction of all instruments in the mix. The compression is much less noticeable, and no frequencies pop out to repeatedly hammer our eardrums. Sure, its sound is just a bit "flat" and its volume barely surpasses the threshold for pleasurable media consumption, however, for this comparison, we'd have to say that the winner is LG's G4.

Related phones

G4
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18.5h talk time)
Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

16 Comments

1. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

They barely knocked each other off of their pedestal, I still think the speakers are what these 2 manufacturers have to improve, like partnering with branded audio companies like JBL or Dolby..

10. waddup121 unregistered

Has to pack more BOOM BOOM

14. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

have to pack stereo speakers with dedicated hifi chips like vivo xplay 3S... chinese can do that but LG and samsung cant because of money hunger

2. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

LG G4

3. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2262; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

when will we see both with front speakers?,thats when it will be a challenge..

4. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I prefer headphones, so as long as the loudspeaker is decently loud I'm happy

12. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Exactly, even the best loadspeakers sound like crap. Audio quality for headphones is what counts. Speakers just need to be loud and clear for voices.

5. mostafawael.1998

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

HTC phones FTW Specially the One M9

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Sure you can fry an egg and listen to music on the M9.

9. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

oh come on, unless you are playing graphic intensive games, the phone hardly seems to overheat.

11. Norris

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

Hahahah!

15. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

hahaha, cracked me up xD

18. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

Those stereo boom speakers are a joke man. This is coming from a former user of the M8. They probably pack more bass but not louder.

8. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

G4 definitely sounds better to my ears.

13. Djz89

Posts: 441; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

g4 imo

17. trustory

Posts: 132; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

why don't you do a pink noise test with every flagship/review?

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