Smartphone for the audiophile?

Android vs Iphone. Is the Iphone the obvious/only choice? I am thinking in terms of pc audio control apps, direct streaming, plug in portable hi fi, mobile ipod music, in vehicles, internet radio, output to DACs etc. I realise this question depends on many factors, but in general, which serves the audiophile better, and why?
I have owned both and the audio quality of the iphone was much better than the HTC Android. Photo and video are much better as well. Also, there are more apps for the iphone to control computer related audio programs.
i have an HTC Incredible 2 and i hate it. This has nothing to do with audio, i use an iPod for that. Just wanted to vent, sorry.
I had the iphone and am now on the second generation of the Droid.
The Apple device sounded better, but I have hooked up the Droid to my main rig via USB and am surprised at how acceptable it sounds playing mp3 files.
I don't know why anyone would use a phone in a high end system anyway, but if that is what you intend to do, I'd go Apple.
Richard, I have no intention of using a smart phone as a source in my main rig for any form of serious listening, but would possibly use an app to control other devices. Can you get digital output to work with your rig from your droid phone? I thought this can be a problem. What phone are you using?
I use my Android phone to control J River Media Center on my PC using the J River developed app Gizmo. It does not run on iPhones. There are iPhone apps for this, but not from J River. So, you may want to narrow down just what you want to control and see what apps are out there for the major ones.
I had an HTC Arrive which was basically a Windows phone + Zune. It bettered the iPod touch for fidelity but my son will never let his iPhone 4S out of his hand for me to compare :<). Note that processer power and battery power are the key limiters for both Apple and Msoft portable device's audio fidelity

As an update to this thread, I recently purchased an HTC One which shows promise so far and works much better than my last phone.

Beautiful fit and finish to the screen and the enclosure and two, front facing, stereo speakers vs the iPhones single rear facing speaker.

More importantly, some forums suggest that the micro USB port will export digital audio and/or video easily?

It seems the typical phone user does not care, but for audiophiles this could be a breakthrough vs Apple's proprietary interface?

Not easy to find a micro USB A to mini USB B cable without using adapters and more than one cable. And I am not sure on the exact spec if anyone might know? Would this be the same as a "charging" cable with micro on one side and mini on the other?

But otherwise it seems you could go from smartphone out to a portable, external DAC such as a FiiO E17?

Look forward to any thoughts or ideas.
If you are looking for fidelity, you cannot beat the Pure i20 digital docking station. You will need a phone with 30-pin connector or a new iphone to 30-pin adapter cable. i20 is $85 on

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

Thank you - that's interesting and good to know. But not my thing to dock a portable device at my desk and in fact have a brand new in the box, never even opened Wadia dock that I impulsively purchased when they first came out and were back ordered.

What I am trying to do is to extract digital data from my HTC One smartphone (a Droid) when traveling and commuting - so I need it to be portable.

Here you can see another thread I found, as well as my question to the Android forum:

So if you know how I might find a cable with the right spec' would be grateful.

Surprised more people haven't figured this out amidst the popularity of smartphones, 3rd party headphones etc.

To the extent any phone is cool, sleek, slim etc, I would expect the equal and opposite reaction of a mediocre DAC and wimpy amp, correct?

Thank you,
Both Google and Apple based devices are suitable. NEither are designed for "audiophiles" specifically, but there are sufficient options available for each to make either a useful device for an "audiophile".

In terms of inherent sound quality, Apple is more a fixed known quantity whereas Google will offer more choices. That alone may dictate which path is best.

In terms of getting good sound out of either, a good set of headphones or earbuds designed specifically for use with portable (as opposed to home devices with beefier amplifiers) will go a long way. SO many good ones to choose from. The hardest part is deciding which ones to try. Many are quite good and offer good sound quality, especially when compared to what was available even just a few short years ago.

I use multiple wireless devices to control my digital music setup at home. Iphone, Ipods, Android TAblet. I use Klipsch S4 earbuds to listen directly on each as well. These do not cost much and sound quite good top to bottom, if not quite the nth degree possible in terms of detail.

Right, but that sounds like something a normal person would say, not an "audiophile".

It seems to me that BOTH devices can climb way up the audiophile mountain by simply bypassing the internal DAC and amp?

With Apple, this seems to be more proprietary, subject to licenses, docking stations etc.

With Droid, this seems to be more open source and easy to achieve, albeit with the right cable which I still cant find.
I've heard about the LG G2 (the LG flagship model) it supports 24-bit/192kHz audio playback. Anyone here have experience with it?
the latest android phones work well because they have good processors, plenty of battery power and you can download a 192khz/24 bit player for high rez music. The gotcha with all is the 64gb sd card limit. Last I knew iPhone did not support 24 bit playback
Apple is probably too LCD (least common denominator) in its approach to ever have the best onboard sound potential. Not to say the latest and greatest Apple products are not perfectly adequate for most.

Goodle/Android is more of an open ecosystem of various products. More variety to choose from. Audiophiles tend to like choices, not LCD solutions.
@Davide, with android devices there's not much problem if you are running out of space. You can use something like the Meenova Mini MicroSD Card Reader to add adtitional space.
very cool. Its really annoying that many android phones put the sd card behind the battery, whereas this allows you to never open up the case. Thanks for the tip Singleended!
USB Recorder Pro for Android gives astonishingly good quality 24/192 digital output into a Class 2.0 compliant SPDIF converter or DAC. I would suggest that Android is currently an important step ahead of the iPhone at the moment.
I'm upgrading from Blackerry Curve to
Apple IPhone 5S or Samsung Galaxy S5. Each is excellent.
So which is better for music?
Android 4.0 or higher supports audio over usb. You just need a otg cable. I run note II to Apex amp/dac (via otg cable) to PSB headphones. Sounds spectacular.
Android 4.0 or higher supports audio over usb. You just need a otg cable. I run note II to Apex amp/dac (via otg cable) to PSB headphones. Sounds spectacular.

I did not have any luck finding a cable to test this theory with my HTC One and my Antelope Zodiac.

However, it turns out that FiiO is just getting in on the act with the new E18 device: an external DAC / headphone amp that plugs directly into the HTC One among other Droids, with its own supplied cable.

If UPS arrives today, will have more info soon, but imagine this will be a dramatic improvement and a must have for any self respecting audiophile with a Droid.
What is this?
I mean to say, what about Samsung Galaxy S3/S4?