Subjective ratings of portable players


This page is obsolete and retained for archival purpose. Listening tests of portable players are no-longer performed, they are substituted by objective measurements which are available on the Portable Players page. The measurements of iPhone 6 can be found here →


Listening tests of portable players are conducted according to usual SE procedure, so the results are directly comparable with ratings of other devices/technologies. Some details of the testing procedure are below the ratings.

iPhone 6 by Apple
- Model: MG4F2RU/A
- iOS 8.3(12F70)

The ratings above are live. Each time a participant of SE listening test sends a grade - the corresponding rating updates immediately. You can participate as well, it's easy and looks like fun, no need for "golden ears" or special equipment. Just visit our Testing Room, download a random sample, listen it in headphones and send back your grade. Afterwards corresponding rating will get new value and become more accurate. As the testing is fully blind you'll get to know the device/technology you've tested after sending your grade only. Thanks.

Testing Room ►

You can add a codec/setting to SE listening tests for $50 donation. Please, make your request ►

How to read the ratings

Rating bar graph

The rating bar consists of the following elements:

#1 - Device or technology being tested.

#2 - Value of actual perceived audio quality (rating) which is also indicated
by the bar length #3. Anchor points could be interpreted as follows:

In most cases using this device/technology:

1.0 – you will hear heavily distorted sound
2.0 – you will hear unpleasant sound artifacts
3.0 – you will hear distinctly audible but tolerable sound artifacts
4.0 – you will hear faintly discernible sound artifacts
5.0 – you will not hear any sound artifacts
above 5.0 – all sound artifacts will be beyond threshold of human perception with corresponding perception margin

#4 and #5 - "low" and "high" of rating. As each device is tested with nine different sound samples, there are nine different local ratings for a device. In fact, the actual rating #2 is an average of those nine local ratings. The highest and the lowest ones are indicated. Big gap between them means that sound quality of device/technology is not consistent enough. It varies with type of sound material: music of different genres and complexity, voice with or without music, noisy/clear recordings etc. The lowest local rating is more important in this sense as it indicates worst case behavior of tested device.

#6 - Accuracy of rating. It is also indicated by the color of bar - more accurate ratings have darker bars and less percentage values. Accuracy depends on number of grades returned by participants. In most cases 5% or less is OK.

#7 - Ruler for convenient estimation of "highs" and "lows".

For devices with small impairments (not audible in ordinary listening tests) SoundExpert amplifies their sound artifacts to some predefined extent. Ratings of such devices are calculated analytically taking into account both the grades received and the amplification applied. They are above 5th grade on the scale showing certain quality headroom of such devices.

How portable players are tested at SoundExpert

Testing scheme for portable players

Test files for SE listening tests are prepared from hi-rez recordings according to usual SE practice. They are uploaded to common repository of test files ready for downloading.

You download a random test file of some device/technology (not necessarily of portable players!), listen it and send back your grade. Afterwards you see the device you've just tested. Ratings are computed live as you add grades.

Please, consider taking part in listening tests. It's easy and more like fun. No need for special equipment and extraordinary hearing - sound artifacts if too subtle are amplified. Visit our Testing Room ...

Common procedure of testing makes ratings of portable players directly comparable to all other SoundExpert ratings.