The iPhone 8 has unlawfully great stereo speakers, way ahead of the competition

The iPhone 8 has unlawfully great stereo speakers, way ahead of the competition
One of the new iPhone 8 features Apple likes to talk up are its redesigned stereo speakers. The iPhone 7 already had industry-leading loudspeakers, but Apple claims it's managed to squeeze up to 25% more loudness out of the new pair, and with deeper bass at that. After some deliberate testing, involving both new iPhone 8 models, as well as the iPhone 7, Galaxy Note 8, and a pre-production LG V30 unit, we came to the conclusion that yes, Apple has managed to do just that.

That above was the restrained, toned down version. The more authentic reaction of the author, who also has some background in audio engineering, would read like this: the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have spectacular speakers that should not be technologically possible, yet they are. The sound they deliver is outstanding and way ahead of the competition.

Now, these continue to be phone speakers, make no mistake, so they will not rock the house. But for phone speakers, they sure do take things to a whole new level.

As we mentioned, we compared them against some of the biggest rivals out there, and really nothing comes close. To illustrate the difference, let's rate the speakers of all phones that we tested. Below you'll find scores for both quality (clarity, depth, overall composure) and loudness. The ones on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will be the reference.

Speaker loudness and quality comparison


ModelQualityLoudness
iPhone 8, 8 Plus1010
iPhone 798
V30 (preview)6.57
Galaxy Note 867


Apple iPhone 8 / 8 Plus


So what is it that makes the iPhone 8's speakers so great? It's a number of things: first off, they don't sound broken like many other phone speakers. They have good overall balance, with no irritating, peaking frequencies to make them sound like an old radio. Their sound is very clear, with a nice brilliance in the highs, yet they don't come across as irritatingly sharp. And the depth, oh boy that base!

The iPhone 8 has unlawfully great stereo speakers, way ahead of the competition
Don't imagine subwoofer-class rumbling or anything of the sort, but for phone speakers, these give us low frequencies we've never heard before. And comparing them to the iPhone 7, the ones on the iPhone 8 do seem to sound just a tad better, and easily about 20% louder, without losing any of the glorious sound characteristics.

LG V30


As we mentioned, we're using a pre-production V30 unit, meaning it isn't exactly the final thing you'll find in stores, but it's close enough to give us a good idea of what to expect. There's actually some pretty decent audio coming from the V30's bottom-mounted speaker, with very good clarity; it just misses the depth and sheer volume the iPhone 8's speakers deliver. However, it's a step above...

Samsung Galaxy Note 8


The single speaker of the Galaxy Note 8 is not bad, but with its overall narrower, limited frequency profile sounds unimpressive in comparison with the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus (or iPhone 7). It's very similar to the LG V30, but has slightly less brilliance in the highs than LG's product. In terms of loudness, LG's and Samsung's speakers are pretty decent; however, with this new radical boost in volume, Apple has managed to widen the gap significantly.

Naturally, even the iPhone 8's brand new stereo speakers aren't good enough to truly enjoy music as it's meant to be. For that, you'll at least need to connect the wonderful EarPods earphones that come with the iPhone, or route the audio through a capable wired or wireless speaker system. But, for general audio needs, and the occasional YouTube experience, these new speaker take us closer to the real thing than we've ever been.

No headphone jack, but damn, those speakers are good!

No headphone jack, but damn, those speakers are good!


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103 Comments

1. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

How much does iPhoneX Arena gets paid to shamelessly applaud apple for made-up facts?

3. Madmax

Posts: 110; Member since: Aug 19, 2016

Free Iphone X's probably? lol

6. androiduser

Posts: 504; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

This article is bs.. They fail to mention the htc u11 which beats the iPhone in terms of speaker quality and loudness. Or at least is equal. Is the htc u11 not considered competition for the iPhone 8 plus?

13. Hyperreal

Posts: 361; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

No mention of Axon 7 either. Iphone 7 was not industry leading in terms of speakers but some PA writers are still delusional fanboys.

20. nh1402

Posts: 137; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

No mention of the Xperia XZ1 either

29. terhesg

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 09, 2016

Noone buys bloody Sony or HTC either. They compared the iPhone with the competition, why are you guys moaning? They could have put a windows mobile device against the iPhone 8, probably still sells better than the HTC :D :D

55. iushnt

Posts: 3060; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

This article is not about sales though..

69. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

You can't expect logic from them, can you?

21. hemedans

Posts: 746; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

Nokia 6 and Axon 7 use same Technology Dolby Atmos.

49. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Why is iphonearena so biased about apple products in general and iphone in particular

76. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 714; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Can everyone in the world get the ZTE Axon 7?

84. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Does it matter?

103. KingSam

Posts: 1370; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Industry leading but fail to compare against the stereo phones? Alcatel Idols, HTC phones, Axon 7 to name a few. Of course it will crush those mono speakers.

51. mikedemoda

Posts: 126; Member since: Mar 19, 2010

definitely NOT, HTC (How To Crumble) is no competition for the iPhone nor most Android OEMs

71. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

But this article isn't about sales, but about speaker quality in smartphones. The likes of ZTE Axon 7 and HTC U11 obliterate the iPhone 8 ia speaker clarity and loudness.

82. mikehunta727 unregistered

They don't actually. Hear them in person and I think you'd say otherwise

74. palmguy

Posts: 962; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Now why would this site add a mobile phone manufacturer that challenges or best it's golden goose. Wouldn't get a winning story. Wouldn't continue to get invites to Apple's events or Apple's devices.

117. DonFares83

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 04, 2017

Can't agree more! They compared it to phones that never excelled in the speakers department. I believe if the phone speakers should be compared to anything it has to be the U11, a premium phone that actually goes head to head with all of the above mentioned phones, but apple fanboys will always avoid such a comparison!

123. M.O.A.B

Posts: 317; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

how dare you ?? if they mentioned the HTC U11 then this whole article is pointless and shall be scraped, they won't be able to say that the iphone is the best among the "handpicked" competitors, that completely contradicts with their vision and message.

4. Bankz

Posts: 2491; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Wow, even better than the htc U11 speakers? that's strange tbh. Anyway, good news for us apple faithfuls then.. Although I think the Pixel XL with its true stereo FRONT FACING speakers will eat up the competition though, because theirs are front facing and not this new front and bottom set-up that has become a fad of recent. Not shabby Google, not shabby at all.. Anyway, congrats apple.

32. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

HTC is dead.

35. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

But I’m return, you end up with chin and forehead which is a no no in 2017. I know this is about the 8/8 plus with their huge forehead and chin, but the elephant in the room on all of these articles is the iPhone X.

7. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

How much do you get paid for hating Apple and PhoneArena for no reason?

41. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

There lots of butthurt android fanboys in this website who degrades the quality of it and must be banned immediately. They lack the courage to respect someone else's idea or opinion and they do just bash all of the others without any reasoning and think they are the only right people in the world....lol Just like SJWs in this era.

62. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Pot calling the kettle black.

89. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Really? First off, IMO people who actually enjoy listening to music, would never use phone speakers to begin with. They use headphones or they mate their phone with a BOSE speaker (or similar) or their home audio. Loud is not equal to quality. Phone speakers are OK for "some" types of music, but mostly for voice. But when it comes to music with 100's of sounds playing at the same time, only an idiot would consider phone speakers to be great for that. Any phone with the loudspeaker which is so small and was designed basically for ringtones, is garbage for music audio. Even Apple's crappy cheap-tastic $6 headphones that come with the phone, sound better than a loudspeaker. What exactly are we to be butthurt about. Android phones with loudspeakers being used for audio is just as dumb for real reasons. 1st - the space between them is too small to hear great stereo audio reproduction. 2nd - the speaker is too small to hear many of the sounds played in music 3rd - cavity for bass isn't deep enough to give a true bass sound, which really doesn't matter with MP3's or Apple AAC format. 4th - They are not high quality speakers. That goes for any phone. Not just iPhone. I've listen to audio on HTC Boomsound and my iPhone 7. Yes they both sound better than a single speaker found on most phones. But louder isn't better if it still sounds like crap.

90. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

You never respect anyone opinions, unless they agree with yours. Sooooo! You shouldn't talk about others when you are 1000% as guilty.

131. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

PhoneArena where's your moderator.

102. SmartPhoneMobiles

Posts: 176; Member since: Oct 16, 2016

a x-lot

121. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

@ comment #1. PA's comment system is really finicky. How do you know they are made up facts? Do you have proof of this? Or are you just upset because an Apple product was rated better than another OEM? My bet is the latter. Get over it.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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