Even so, today it is rare to find a phone that, operating at a not very high volume with mid-range headphones, is so bad as to not meet minimums.
The exception to this fact may be hiss , noise similar to the interference of old analog TVs, and high output impedance , which modifies the way the headphones sound. Both defects are common in many phones. With cheap headphones you don’t care, but if you use mid-high range in-ear headphones, that noise floor or hiss becomes quite annoying
The power is responsible for headphones sounding at a good volume with any recording without triggering distortion levels. Typically, the larger the headphones, the more power they need.
Here the differences are very exaggerated.
The best phones in terms of sound on the market, such as the new song download, can compete in power with low-end players from Shingling , such as the M0, which precisely shares an audio chip (ESS ES9218P) with the LG mobile. . But this level of power in mobiles is not usual, and that we are comparing them with the low range of players.
For example, the iPhone X European version “caped”, the American version draws almost double the power, or the Samsung S9 hardly exceeds 0.4V. Meanwhile, most of Sony, LG, Xiaomi, etc. They are around 0.3V.
This is 6-7 times less power than a player like the Shingling M3s which puts out more than 2V out of the standard headphone output. Not to mention the iBasso DX200 , which puts out 6V from its balanced output.
A good Android phone is enough to move many low and mid-range in-ear or portable headphones at a good volume , but with other types of headphones you will fall short.
If you don’t put your hand in the fire for the sound quality
of your phone, you can look for headphones with an impedance that is neither too low nor too high, between 16 and 60Ohm and a sensitivity >102dB or better >106dB .
Still, most in-ear headphones up to $200 are designed to work well with phones, and mid-range over-the-ear portable headphones , too.
A step above the Android we find the iPhone 5th and 6th generation with 3.5mm minijack or the iPhone 7/8/X with the dongle. These can already perfectly move almost all in-ear headphones at any price and a large part of laptops. iPhones, as far as their power goes, have very good sound quality.
In a last step there are models with a sound for headphones especially careful. HTC usually includes it in its top of the range, such as the HTC10 , Meizu with the Meizu PRO 6 or LG with the LG V30 . These have comparable quality and power in some cases to a low-end dedicated mp3 player. More than enough for all in-ear and portable headphones. Although they are not enough for high-end earmuffs such as the Sennheiser HD650 , Sennheiser HD800S or the Audeze LCD-2C .