Smartphones that have stereo speakers (2018)

Smartphones that have stereo speakers (2018)
This year, Samsung finally added stereo speakers to its flagship smartphones — the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ rock a duo of speakers, tuned by AKG specialists, to blast beats louder than before and also cover more frequencies — from the bass to the squeaking highs. It's not a bad attempt, not at all — we tested them, we liked them. Still, it's smartphone speakers, so we can't expect wonders, but the Galaxy S9 does sound decent.

Now, since Samsung has managed to put dual speakers back in the forefront of people's minds, you might be wondering — "Which contemporary phones have stereo speakers?". So, we did a little round-up for you — here are the current smartphones with dual speakers you can get!

Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+



The latest high-profile phone series to get the stereo speakers. Instead of utilizing two front-firing speakers, the Galaxies utilize the fairly new method (made popular by HTC 10) of pumping out most of the bass and middle frequencies from a bottom-mounted speaker and then use the earpiece as a tweeter that shoots out focused highs.

The sound is fat and meaty with lots of mids, but it can get a bit muddy depending on song and mastering.

Sony Xperia XZ2, Xperia XZ2 Compact, Xperia XZ2 Premium



Sony has had a front-firing stereo setup on its flagship Xperia phones for years now, so it's no surprise that the company's latest top-tier handsets are on this list. They are the loudest-sounding Xperia speakers to date, which is a welcome upgrade since previous iterations sounded a bit too quiet and tinny. Unfortunately, the XZ2 trio still lacks a good bass oomph, meaning they still retain a bit of a tinny character.

Asus ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5z



The new midrange and top-tier ZenFones were announced at MWC 2018, just a couple of days after the Samsung Galaxies. They rock the cool new all-screen front design, though, with a controversial notch of its own. Asus talked up the ZenFone 5 quite a lot for its cameras, power, and features, among which we have the dual speakers.

The setup here is also of the bottom speaker for bass / earpiece for treble variety. Unfortunately none of the phones have hit the market at the time of writing this, so we can't really tell you about the sound just yet.

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro



Huawei's latest phones are quite the technological marvel. Huge, almost-bezel-less screens, triple cameras (yes), and dual speakers. It was going to be Huawei's designated heavy-hitter for the US market, as the company almost closed a distribution deal with AT&T. And when we say "almost", we mean it — there are already P20 Pro units out there that support AT&T and T-Mo, VoLTE included, but something went sour. Just letting you know, that you can still pick up a perfectly functioning P20 from a 3rd party retailer.

About the speakers — they are of the bottom woofer + earpiece tweeter variety. We found them to be among the loudest smartphone speakers we've heard. And they sound pretty balanced, too, so kudos to Huawei!

Razer Phone



Razer's very first smartphone is unapologetic in a lot of different ways. It came out with a 16:9 display when everyone was racing for that elongated 18:9 ratio, it's large and boxy and stores a duo of front-firing speakers in its enormous top and bottom bezels.

As a result, we have a nicely separated, loud, and meaty stereo sound.

HTC U11 and U11+



HTC has been putting stereo speakers in its flagships since the first HTC One, back in 2013. In 2016, when it released the HTC 10, it switched from the front-firing drivers to BoomSound HiFi, which is basically the woofer + tweeter setup. Each speaker has its own amplifier. The bottom one pumps out a bassier sound, while the phone's earpiece hisses out the higher frequencies.

The HTC U11 and U11+ come with the same BoomSound HiFi system, though thankfully, they also have a volume boost. The U11+ in particular gets almost as loud as the Razer Phone. And the sound quality here is quite good as well — a nice deep bass, a mid-scoop that clears out some of the mud, but doesn't make the phone sound hollow. We were really happy with the improvement over the HTC 10.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL



Google also joined the stereo speaker crowd with its latest flagships. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL both rock front-firing speakers on their top and bottom bezels. They are on the loud side, but they are not the deepest-sounding ones out there. There's also a bit of mud in the mid range, but overall, it's nice to see a loud front-firing setup on a contemporary flagship.

Apple iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus



Apple has been rocking stereo speakers since the iPhone 7. On the 2017 generation of iPhones, we get a slight volume-boost, but a pretty similar sound. Thanks to a bottom-firing woofer and an earpiece used as a tweeter, the iPhones can have a deep and detailed bass (as much as the size permits, that is) and a strong presence up top.

A couple of put-offs — they sound a bit too scooped for a mid-lover's tastes and the earpiece speaker can break up easily at volumes above 80%.

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30 Comments

1. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

The sound out from speaker on my S9 is wonderful, especially when you turn on Dolby Atmos feature, also the expensive earbuds AKG that worth 100$ Samsung only company who putes high quality earbuds for free in the box.

8. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

lol they worth 20$ HTC puts the best earbuds in box Also LG puts to V series' box

15. haikallp

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I don't think they're worth $20. But i also don't think they're worth $100. Maybe around $60.

16. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I love it how you're always one of the 1st to bash anything related to Samsung, yet you claim to be one of their costumers. Btw, how's that Note 8 you bought when it was just released? You know, the one you had screen burn-in issues within the 1st 3 days of using it ;)

25. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

I am a thorn in the throat of some and from your comment it is clear that you are among them. I bought note8 ?!!! Note 8 doesn't burn, your heart who burns :(

26. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

My comment was a reply to Furkan, take a chill pill budd.

31. andrewc31394

Posts: 297; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

last i checked they were "tuned" by AKG and made by Samsung, so it's more like $20 unless they've changed since the days of the S6/S7 (i cant remember which flagship they started shipping these with)

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Can't wait for the HTC U12+.

7. mdolphins9998

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

I second that sentiment!!!

6. redmd

Posts: 1941; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

So what's the loudest and clearest speakers among the smartphones above?

9. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Best: XZ2 and U11 Loudest : s9

10. dazed1

Posts: 804; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Xz2? Hahahahahahhaah

13. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

S9 is on pair with htc and sony phones from 2015. That is the true.. Loudness is not quality.

12. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

lmao S9 is better than them but U11 is louder

17. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The delusional Sony fanboy strikes again. Ciro will back you up in a moment :D

11. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Razer phone probably

14. ARPAKTIKO

Posts: 63; Member since: Oct 11, 2016

I want to know that too.

18. maherk

Posts: 6922; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

CNet did a comparison between what they feel are the two best phones atm in terms of speakers quality, the S9 and Razr. S9 was louder, while both phones were clearer than the other depending on what kind of media the reviewer was consuming.

19. gd761

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

My Old HTC ONE MAX is Louder and Clearer than the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+. If Samsung could somehow have Dual Front Facing Speakers just like the HTC ONE series Phones, that Would be a Tremendous Sales Draw for the Customers who are Multimedia Fans. Having ALL of the Audio coming Directly at You as Always going to be the Best way to Listen through the speakers.

21. DurTeeDee

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

God I miss that phone!!

24. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

It can not be

20. Botnet64

Posts: 20; Member since: Apr 09, 2018

Thought the regular P20 has a mono.

22. ijuanp03

Posts: 612; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Huawei P20 does NOT have stereo speakers. I own one and can confirm. My earpiece works just fine through calls. Am I missing something here, PhoneArena?

23. ijuanp03

Posts: 612; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Exactly. Not sure where PhoneArena got their info. Smh

27. tedkord

Posts: 17387; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The only one I've heard is the iPhone (7, not 8), so it's not really pertinent to this per se, but the HTC One M7 and the Axon 7 both blew it away, so I'm betting they'd beat most, if not all, of these. But those were true front facing stereo speakers, not like this front/bottom hybrid thing they do now.

28. Metalspy8

Posts: 148; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

razer phone is a 2017 phone

29. hybridxclusiv

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 10, 2014

he also forgot sony xperia xz premium

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

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