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The LG G6 will feature an upgraded 32-bit Quad DAC

We already know a lot about the upcoming LG G6 thanks to numerous leaks and teasers, and today the company has confirmed that the phone will feature an upgraded 32-bit Quad DAC. LG rolled out a Quad DAC in the V20 last year, and this year's flagship will similarly offer audiophile-grade sound thanks to the South Korean company's continuining partnership with ESS Technologies.

LG says that the DAC on the G6 will be able to control the left and right audio channels separately for a balanced sound. The DAC also reduces static noise, and increased integration with the internal circuitry allows for a distortion level of just 0.0002%. It's not clear if we'll see the same DAC (ES9218) as that on the LG V20 with added refinements, or whether it will be a brand-new package.

The LG G6 will be unveiled on February 26 at MWC, with the phone expected to become available in its home market starting March 9.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

27 Comments
  • That's great news, I'm glad they're committed to great wired audio even while other companies are abandoning it entirely
  • Great idea and very welcome. But leaving out Dolby Atmos means it's the second best audio experience. Let's not forget the ZTE AXON 7. And at about two to three hundred bucks less that the G6 is going to be, I'll stick with my A7. Besides, I tried the v10 when it came out. I was almost as disappointed in that device as I was with my pixel for different reasons. First, the screen was not great. Colors were very washed out. Even though the battery was replaceable, I had to carry a spare or I wouldn't make it through a day. Then the sheer bulk of the device was just to cumbersome to carry.
  • Agreed. Went through something similar.
  • Nobody cares about the ZTE Axon 7.
  • Actually, it's selling extremely well. I currently own a galaxy S7 edge and axon7 mini. I had the galaxy s6 edge, lg v10, and pixel within 14 months. None of them are as fast and do everything right like the A7. Even antutu benchmarks did a speed test and rated the top 10. ZTE WAS IN THE TOP and even beat out pixel.
  • Seriously? If you knew anything about audio, you'd know Dolby Atmos is pure garbage. All it does is process your music and add an equalizer over it. Makes your music sound like **** and doesn't improve quality, it actually makes it worse. The V20 and it's Quad DACs has much higher audio quality than the Axon 7 and that is fact.
  • The Dolby Atmos enhancements can be disabled on the Axon 7. With that, the DAC is better than most other devices but it's not as good as the V20.
  • Dolby Atmos absolute garbage for accurate music reproduction
  • But it has its own name. It must be cool.
  • Snake oil. Almost all music is recorded at essentially 16 bit resolution. A DAC that can support more than that isn't providing anything extra to the music being played. Having a single DAC per channel is just an attention grabber. A solution looking for a problem. Nobody has ever heard a difference between 16 bit (44.1kHz) vs 24 bit (48KHz) in a blind test. That includes musicians and composers who created the music as well. Higher resolution DAC is akin to higher resolution pictures of the same object... Except making all the extra pixels from the more capable camera black. It adds nothing. Zero. Zilch. Audiophoolery. If you don't believe me then go setup your own blind test. Actual blind test.
  • The current DAC in the V20 is an improvement over the standard DAC found in the common cell phone and you can hear the difference if you have quality headphones. The improvements cited for the G6 however don't offer anything that the human ear can hear so I agree that it is snake oil.
  • But who doesnt love snake oil???
  • Actually I've done exactly that with the V20, not just with me listening, but also my daughter and wife and the result unanimously was that sound from the V20 directly wired to either a high quality headset, of to the aux if my car sound system is far superior to the same connection from a Samsung S7 Edge, Google Pixel XL, and OnePlus 3t. It's not snake oil.
  • Was overall response the same? Volume the same? Did you BLIND test? In controlled testing it's never been proven. Actually... In blind testing the nobody has ever distinguished the two. But, in blind testing the louder one has always won by a landslide. So there's that evidence. The V20 has a higher output than the standard snapdragon DAC. Oh, and if you aren't using the LG music app, it defaults to the standard DAC in the snapdragon chip set. So yes... It is snake oil/audiophoolery.
  • That's because the Dac on all the phones you compared the v20 are garbage. Sure the V20 has a great dac, that's not the issue. The snake oil is in where the dac LG is claiming to be even better than it really is or then we can really hear.
  • It's not snake oil, it is for people like you who are clueless, and no, you will not hear a difference with cheap $5 ear buds, use a quality IEM if you want to hear the difference, also high resolution quality recorded music also helps, not crap recordings in crap low mp3 format.
  • I'm clueless but I provided a basis for my argument while you didn't.... I'll agree that lower noise floor similar stats are fun to throw around. But claiming superiority based on higher resolution is baseless. CDs are 16 bit resolution btw unless you get into SACD and other random formats that don't catch on. Getting into higher bit depth just provides more registers for audio information that isn't there. If it is... Great... You can choose 96khz sampling to play back 44KHz sound waves that aren't present in the recording and you can't hear anyways. Good luck guys.
  • I agree that hi-res is snake-oil, but there are other benefits of a high quality DAC that are audible, like lower distortion and noise, flatter frequency response, better channel separation, etc., so it does make a real difference in sound
  • That's good input. Lower distortion and noise floor are great but similarly distortion is interpreted as "loud" by our brain. If you keep low distortion throughout playback and to our ears our brain won't realize that we're listening at 105 decibels. Some people argue that distortion is good so that you turn the knob back down from that 105 decibels to something more polite. I would argue that once you get past 100 decibel noise floor the issue is moot since it can't be heard past the music. I think that's what matters most. This kind of discussion is much more fruitful than somebody bragging about their quad DAC without a clue as to what or how it functions
  • exactly! people are focusing on the wrong thing.
  • All DACs have flatter FR and lower distortion and noise than any transducer out there, so no they won't make any appreciable difference. Now the headphone amp is different story and people who compare the "HIFI DAC on the V20 with the Qualcom one they really comparing the amps not the DACs. LG is really advertising the DAC but in reality all the difference will be with the amp which is integrated in this case with the DAC both from ESS.
  • All DACs are not the same. Also, your DAC internal processing should exceed the bit rate of the audio for headroom.
  • What headroom?
  • Sound minded G huh
  • Meaningless to 99% of consumers. It's more marketing
  • Says you.
  • It is meaningless especially how Android on the V20 actually down sample to 48khz before the headphone output, unless the native amp used, or if the app has it's own driver to bypass the Android kernel. Same stupid stuff as with Windows.