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Pixel 7, Samsung S22 & iPhone 13: Which one has the Best Sound Quality/Speakers

July 28, 2022

In the past 10 years, mobile phone manufacturers are seeing some serious competition, hence they try and create new and better phones every year. And as each year brings various innovations and improvements, mobile phones of today are extremely good.

One aspect that many music lovers will want from a phone is a good sound quality. This is more or less expected when paying big buck for high-end phones and so far, the big companies did not disappoint.

This text will aim to present the best qualities of flagship phones’ speakers and compare the three main models on the market – Samsung’s S22, Apple’s iPhone 13, and Google’s Pixel 7.

Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung offers stereo sound on its Galaxy S22. The main speaker is on the lower edge while the second is positioned just above the screen and also serves as an earphone for making calls. As you would expect on a high-end device, the rendering is clean and is more than enough to listen to videos, podcasts and others.

As the S22 does not have a 3.5 mm audio jack port, you will have to choose to go through the USB-C port or via the wireless connection. It is also compatible with Bluetooth 5.2 and supports the classic formats FLAC, WAV, MP3.

Although the sound is magnificent, several owners of the latest Samsung Galaxy S22 have reported a sound problem with the speakers which, when exposed to particular conditions such as extreme temperatures, begin to emit a strange noise, such as a creaking or crackling sounds, fast but quite loud.

The bug or malfunction of the speakers was reported by a German site following numerous user testimonials. And according to them, the noise emitted by the Galaxy S22 is very horrible and gives the impression that the smartphone is damaged. A video posted on YouTube by a user who had this problem very clearly shows the audio of a song being distorted and frankly very poor and unpleasant sound quality with crackling and squealing throughout the duration of the song.

The speaker problem on some Samsung Galaxy S22 would have been caused by pressure and extreme atmospheric variations (during an airplane flight for example) as well as extreme temperature variations (high heat or cold snap). These are only observations and suppositions for the moment, nothing confirms that these extreme conditions are the cause.

Apple iPhone 13

Apple found a way to improve call quality for iPhone users by working on a new layout of the upper speakers. Apple created a sounding board around the phones, thus, the sound will come out louder and clearer.

While the improvements in the field generally come down to the speakers broadcasting the sound of the phone, Apple here wants to improve the quality of calls for its users. To do this, the manufacturer created an acoustic coating as well as a new shape at the top of the iPhone. The idea is to create an empty space inside the smartphone in order to create a sounding board.

In a patent with the title "Coating for improving speaker sound quality", Apple explains that the traditional speaker is relatively small for convenience. Indeed, it must necessarily be positioned perpendicular to the phone in order to fit inside the hull. The sound is therefore not optimal. According to the patent, the manufacturer has found a solution to this problem.

Concretely, Apple leaves a vacant space behind the speaker, which acts as a sound box thanks to this famous coating. Everything is based on what the firm calls the "rear volume" and on the different parameters it involves.

When it comes to regular speakers, Apple retains the same good-old stereo quality that has provided magnificent results over the years.

Google Pixel 7

There's a lot more that goes into a Google Pixel phone other than just providing early access to the latest version of Android and an amazing camera system. Google tends to integrate useful new features that are buried in the settings menu, while also using Pixel phones to act as a testing ground for future feature releases. Adaptive Audio falls into this category, as the feature was first introduced with Pixel 5. Naturally, adaptive audio has made its way to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and will be present in the Pixel 7 series as well, maybe even improved.

As a refresher course, Adaptive Sound was first implemented in the Pixel 5, as the phone uses an under-display speaker as opposed to the traditional earpiece. Doing so means your screen vibrates to generate the sound, which means the sound itself may not be as loud as expected. Adaptive Sound compensates for this by using the built-in microphone to adjust audio levels to suit your surroundings.

Adaptive Sound is one of those features that you might not even know was available on your device. It's not widely advertised, and except for some news articles, it's possible the feature addition may have gone unnoticed. Additionally, Adaptive Sound is disabled by default on Pixel phones, leaving you to decide whether to enable the feature or not. If so, here's how to enable adaptive sound on Pixel phones.

  • Open the Settings app on your Pixel phone.

  • Scroll down and tap Sound and vibration.

  • Select Adaptive Sound.

  • Tap the button next to Adaptive Sound.

The new series will bring lots of innovations and new speakers might just be one of them. In combination with the Adaptive Sound system, the Pixel 7 series is expected to have some great sound quality.

Final words

Which one is the best? Unsurprisingly, Apple’s iPhone 13 has crystal clear sound that is impeccable. Although there are very slight differences in sound between the iPhone 13 and Galaxy S22, the former certainly comes on top. The S22 is, again, slightly better than the current Pixel 6, and if the new Pixel 7 series retains the same speaker as its predecessor, the S22 will take the second place.