Would you rather have front-firing stereo speakers or super-slim bezels all around?

Would you rather have front-firing stereo speakers or super-slim bezels all around?
It is the age of the bezel-less smartphone! One by one, manufacturers are introducing “all-screen” flagships with a tiny frame all around and… only slight imperfections. There are still some challenges in the way — like where will the selfie camera sit, or where do we put the speaker and earpiece?

Google went full-on defiant with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and chose to have phones that feature a bit of a “chin” and “forehead” but gave its customers full-fledged, front-firing stereo speakers. Presumably, this makes for a better, more immersive viewing or gaming experience.

Manufacturers that choose to do away with their phones’ bottom bezel stick to a different scenario — the bottom-firing speaker is treated as a “woofer”, with pronounced bass and mids, while the earpiece is more of a tweeter, with the thinner details coming out. When holding such a phone, a slight imbalance in audio can be perceived.

In recent Sony Xperia XZ4 leaks, we can't spot a speaker grille on the super-thin bottom bezel. Which leads us to believe that Sony might be moving away from the front-firing stereo design it has used for years now and join the "woofer-tweeter" crowd. Which caused us to wonder...

In your day-to-day use, which of these do you feel is more important to you? Proper, balanced stereo, or all-around thin bezels for a more compact, futuristic-looking handset?

Would you rather have front-firing stereo speakers or sacrifice them for no "chin" and "forehead" on your phone?

I like my stereo speakers on the front, where they belong!
61.54%
Move the speakers, I want all-around thin bezels!
38.46%

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36 Comments

1. WingMan

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 28, 2008

Speakers

12. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

That's just it tiny speaker slots that take up very little bezel is okay in my books, I prefer it over a bite mark (notch) in my phone.

2. hjl2345

Posts: 68; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

As much as I miss the HTC one M7 M8 and M9 days, I kinda like the newer trend of less bezels on phones. For my use, I have my phone inside a thick case 24/7, so I really didn't have that much issues with gripping the device. And it's better for content consumption IMO. But when it is time to just kick back and relax while binge watching youtube or netflix, I kinda miss my old M8 :( that phone had some amazing front firing speakers.

3. cmdacos

Posts: 3764; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Rarely would I listen to my phone without headphones (wired or wireless). I'll take the screen real estate.

4. el33t626

Posts: 27; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Slim front Speakers and slim bezel.

5. 7thlvl

Posts: 33; Member since: Dec 09, 2018

Speakers Along with my Camera and NO notch.

6. master-mkk

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

Why not both ? The technology of under display speakers already exists

34. vincelongman

Posts: 5585; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Probably will happen in 2020 LG's OLED TV panels already have (used in other TVs like Sony, Panasonic) Samsung has teased it Google bought Redux who've demoed it, and made the speaker for the OG Xiamoi Mi Mix

7. cncrim

Posts: 1534; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

How about do both?

8. Shubham412302

Posts: 545; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

I want headphone jack

29. willywanta

Posts: 497; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

My man

9. Subpixel

Posts: 51; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

There is no need to reinvent the wheel once again. Best solution is slim bezels (for all the sensors and cameras) and loud front stereo speakers. And a headphone jack at the bottom.

19. sissy246

Posts: 6902; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

100% agree

10. middlehead

Posts: 420; Member since: May 12, 2014

Bezels serve a purpose, going too slim is a bad thing. I rarely use speakers and I'd still take them all day every day.

11. torr310

Posts: 1608; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

No vote for either option! I like the Mate 20 X which has stereo speaker on both top and bottom.

13. maherk

Posts: 6637; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The Mate 20X proved that you don't need front facing speakers to deliver excellent surround sound. It has one of the best, if not the best speakers on the market, and they both sit on the trim.

14. jellmoo

Posts: 2525; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

I'd rather they use the space for extra battery, to be honest.

15. Feanor

Posts: 1275; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

People here are hypocrites because they complain about the bezels on Sony phones but here they vote for front facing speakers over bezeless designs.

17. middlehead

Posts: 420; Member since: May 12, 2014

Poor assumption by you, thinking they're the same people. And you don't have to love small bezels to think that Sony's are *too* big. Sony's bezels never bothered me, but the logic doesn't automatically fail any tests.

20. sissy246

Posts: 6902; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Thats because Sonys bezels were huge. But at least they are getting thinner. I hate the fact of no bezels and would lot rather have thin bezels.

16. indlvarn

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 22, 2019

Small bezels and 3.5 mm jack are the best for me.

18. Damac71nina

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 06, 2012

I want both why should we have to choose in 2019 I know they play dumb when it comes to tech

21. Ellio74

Posts: 72; Member since: Mar 22, 2018

I prefer having front facing stereo speakers. Now that we're seeing leaks about sound on display with smartphones, I hope to see the top "real" speaker still here an on-display bottom one.

22. newbey123

Posts: 696; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

Speakers.

23. Vancetastic

Posts: 652; Member since: May 17, 2017

I voted speakers. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I hate anything in my ears. (Tinnitus sucks...)

24. monoke

Posts: 1114; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

If oems can put thin earpiece slits on top of some thin bezels, they should be able do the same for the bottom. It takes some internal reshuffling but some xperia devices have shown this already. So u could do both thin bezels and front firing speakers slit.

25. ceepyou

Posts: 65; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

I'm certainly not an engineer but you would think that slightly notching the glass to allow for a speaker grille without significantly impacting screen to body ratio would be possible. If not that, could OEM's put the speaker holes in those chamfered edges of the frame facing the user? The speaker doesn't have to move necessarily, just the exit point of the sound.

26. JamesDiman

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

I would want the slimmer bezels. I never use my phone on speaker phone or play music using the phone as the speaker. I have a Google Home, BT speaker to use, or my wireless headphones. My ringer has not even been turned on in a few years, it is always on vibrate.

27. Deadeye37

Posts: 276; Member since: Jan 25, 2011

I like holding the top & bottom of my phone while I play/watch. I hate that I now have to cup the bottom of my phone so that the sound isn't muffled. I miss the front speakers of my Moto X.

28. willywanta

Posts: 497; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

I prefer slim bezels. If i want to play music, i use headset or earphone. My iPhone 6s plus single speaker produces better sound than my galaxy note 9 with dual stereo speakers.

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