Testing reveals that iPhone 6 doesn't support high-res audio, and it might be by choice

Despite the rumors that Apple is building a high-res audio tracks catalog for iTunes, working it out with the music labels (which apparently hasn't come to fruition yet), the new iPhones don't include high-res audio support in their list of features. This has been empirically proven by an audio testing expert by playing purposefully generated sampling quality tones in .wav format through the iPhone 6's headphone jack, and then detecting them with a high-res audio recorder, running at the required 96kHz sampling rate, 24 bits per sample...
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75 Comments

56. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Exactly. This Holman guy obviously needs to go. He's probably why Apple audio performance has stalled for years.

48. gtrxman

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

You certainly can't hear it with those awful apple ear buds

50. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

How about that hi-def stereo audio recording in video like Nokia has? What's taking them so long there?

52. KonaStang4.6

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Ok, can the Galaxy Note 3 play Mini Discs ?

54. wilsong17 unregistered

It can play anything

60. oister85 unregistered

I didn't know the note 3 was high -res audio?

63. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Yep. The Note 4 even now supports USB audio so external DACs will work, like the Dragonfly. Sucks battery pretty fast, but offers superb sound quality. In addition to the Note 4, I believe the S5 also supports USB audio.

70. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Yet doesn't even fully support its next update. Or ART. Gimmicks over substance.

53. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Apple excuse sounds to me like "nobody is going to buy a big phone". Maybe in one year from now Apple is going to be heavily advertising the "amazing" iClearSound "new technology" (24-bit audio) on the iPhone 6S.

64. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

They will probably make a high quality 4" phone again as well. iPhones are basically fashion, so they will alternate styles every few years so it seems "fresh".

68. umar456

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 07, 2014

Wtf iPhone got cd quality sound

69. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

It looks like the iPhone 6 took a step backwards in audio quality: The Apple iPhone 6 comes from a long line of excellent audio performers and naturally our expectations about it in this test were pretty high. As it turns out the latest flagship does a tad worse than its predecessor, and comes a bit closer to the iPhone 5. When plugged into an active external amplifier, the Apple iPhone 6 posted excellent scores with the rather mediocre stereo crosstalk reading being the solitary exception. We guess the less than perfect stereo has something to do with bringing the waistline down, but it shouldn't be too big an issue in most scenarios. Rather impressively, there's virtually no degradation when you plug in a pair of headphones. The spike in stereo crosstalk is so limited that in comparison the iPhone 6 fares way better here in the first test. Granted, there are phones out there that do even better, but that will only matter to the most extreme audiophiles. In both cases, Volume levels were pretty high - not quite HTC One (M8) or One mini 2 high, but just on par with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S5. That adds up to an excellent overall performance - Apple may not be the leader in terms of audio quality anymore, but it's not far from the top either. The Apple iPhone 6 comes from a long line of excellent audio performers and naturally our expectations about it in this test were pretty high. As it turns out the latest flagship does a tad worse than its predecessor, and comes a bit closer to the iPhone 5. http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_iphone_6-review-1141p8.php

71. Deicide

Posts: 82; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

One cannot hear the benefit of 24-bit audio, it's just not possible. You're not going to notice the difference of a 24-bit compared to 16-bit or less. It's just like Holman said "It's just marketing." Unless you're in a complete vacuum with no external noise then you won't hear the difference that 24-bit audio brings. There's just too much background noise. Only a small number of people are able to tell the difference between a 128 kb/s MP3 file and a 300 kb/s one.

73. Jaeel

Posts: 27; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

What nonsense. Good quality D/A conversion and analog filtering/amplifier chips (not uselessly high sampling rates/bit depths) is what makes for good sound in practice. The whole point of high res audio is to sell the same old mediocre stuff with higher price.

74. DaMaster

Posts: 33; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Flac files in High quality 24bit 96khz are widely available now. If you put Adels Cd in the cd player and then play her high res 2ch track from blu ray wich is 96khz you can hear a big difference in sound reality , This can only be noticed in good speakers though probably not headphones and not little computer speakers , Galaxy s5 has a flat frequency response and plays all types of HD files except for DSD which phones will probably play soon. for Sound test go to anandtech. Add Neutron Player to your phone and you got a HD sound player for your car , AND then add the JL audio CL-RLC and increase the output of your phone to Aux input , only use 3/4 volume or youll distort the signal from the jl audio, you can increase the volume to full on the S5 without distortion ,if you EQ with Neutron eq down not up.
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