Audio quality of portable players

As perceived audio quality of portable players depends mostly on performance of their digital and analog hardware circuits, objective audio measurements are important. At SoundExpert such measurements are performed in accordance with the innovative, music-based audio metric, which:

• correlates well to perceived sound quality

• is understandable to people without technical background; more ►

• uses open source measurement software; more ►

• has simple and mature measurement procedure thanks to two years of beta testing with 30+ players; more ►



How audio quality is measured

How Audio Quality of Portable Players Is Measured at Soundexpert



Df-slides with measurement results

The audio measurements of portable players are shown in df-slides. One player - one slide. The most meaningful value on df-slide is histogram median, which is assumed to correlate well to perceived sound quality (the research is still in progress). The less the value, the higher playback fidelity. The opening map summerises such medians for all tested players.

<------------ Higher Fidelity

Df Scale


-26.3 iPad mini 2


-16.1 Desire C



Df-slides below are sorted by histogram median. Top df-slides represent portable players with higher playback fidelity.

Results of Apple iPad mini 2 audio measurements back to map


Results of htc Desire C audio measurementsback to map




We can perform such revealing audio measurements for any portable player you wish. Suggest a player for testing and share some of your computing power in our cashless crowdfunding campaign, so we can buy it and test. Tested players will be sold for the purpose of buying more accurate recorder which will allow testing of receivers, amplifiers, D/A converters ...

Mining pit ►





How To Read Df-slides

The new audio metric has only one measurable parameter - the Difference Level (Df, dB) which measures degradation of an input signal waveform in a device under test. Input (reference) signals can be of any kind - sine, white noise, music, voice, etc. Df-slide shows such Df measurements with some basic technical signals and real-life audio material.

A set of resulting Df values is in fact an objective representation of so called sound signature or, to be more correct, artifact signature of a device.

How To Read Df-slides

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