DxOMark, known for its camera tests, has announced another test protocol: DxOMark Audio. The company will test the audio recording and playback quality of smartphones with its new testing standards.
DxOMark already tests the video quality of all smartphones but that test does not put much emphasis on audio recording and playback quality. To clarify, the audio quality of videos recorded from the phones is tested and for playback, DxOMark will test the speaker performance.
To test the audio quality of smartphones properly, DxOMark has a state-of-the-art Audio lab comprising of an anechoic box and a listening room. All smartphones are tested for up to a week before the results are finalized.
For the initial ranking, DxOMark tested seven smartphones from five different brands. This includes the iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Note 10+, Sony Xperia 1, Honor 20 Pro, and the Huawei Mate 20 X.
The Mate 20 X topped the rankings with 75 points and was followed by the iPhone XS Max with 74 points. Surprisingly, the iPhone 11 Pro Max came in third with 71 points. The Galaxy Note 10+ and S10+ came in fourth and fifth respectively and scored 66 and 65 points, respectively.
DxOMark is known to post controversial results as a part of its testing from time to time. This time as well, the company has posted some strange results. As per the results, the iPhone 11 Pro Max speaker has less precision and punch in the way it reproduces bass. It also noted that the stereo channels are backward on the iPhone 11 Pro Max when it is in landscape mode, though this is something that Apple could fix this with a future iOS update. In terms of pure volume, the iPhone 11 Pro Max scored the highest and even beat out the iPhone XS Max.
It is a bit strange to see a newer iPhone perform worse than its predecessor in terms of speaker performance. However, it is common for OEMs to tweak the speaker playback performance on their smartphones with every new release. Despite the iPhone 11 Pro Max scoring lower than the iPhone XS Max in DxOMark’s testing, I doubt most users would be able to tell the difference, especially since the iPhone 11 Pro Max has higher loudness.
What are your thoughts on the audio recording and playback quality of the iPhone 11 Pro?