MOBILE

The best-sounding smartphones of 2023

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As we approach the end of the year, we turned our attention to the devices that made the biggest impression in 2023. Frequent readers may be quick to point out which smartphones have the best cameras, the best display or the best battery life. But we’ve been thoroughly testing and recording an often underlooked aspect of smartphones – the speaker quality – and you may be surprised to see which phones had the best-sounding speakers in 2023.

This roundup is based on the exhaustive reviews of more than 110 phones which we’ve conducted throughout the year. We went through our notes, we listened to them all dozens of times more and we present you our shortlist of the best-sounding smartphones.

The size and cost of a device significantly influence the manufacturer’s choice of speaker drivers, so we have organized our shortlisted devices into several categories. These categories are detailed on the subsequent pages.

Table of Contents:

You won’t find all reviewed phones on these pages because we’ve already shortlisted the best ones. Choosing the absolute best ones is a bit subjective, so we’ve left a handful of shortlisted devices in each category rather than outright singling the top ones. This also adds some context, which is good to have when choosing your favorite.

An important note when listening to these recordings – do bring your best headphones and make sure you have them at max volume.

The top speakers among foldables

Seeing how we have two categories of foldables – one much larger than the other, it’s only fair that we judge them separately.

Among the larger, fold-style devices, the top spot is shared by the Oppo Find N3/OnePlus Open. Even though these are identical devices made by sister companies, we did like the Find N3’s output in the highs a bit better. The second spot in this foldable category goes to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5.

Some of us did enjoy the vivo X Fold 2 more than the rest, so we’ll add that as an honorable mention too.

As for the compact flip-style devices, the Galaxy Z Flip5 did trade blows with the Oppo Find N3 Flip, depending on which track you are listening to and depending on who you ask. Still, if we had to pick the best sound device of the two, that would be the Galaxy Z Flip5. Nonetheless, the Oppo Find N3 Flip still did quite well, overtaking the five other flip-style phones we reviewed in 2023.

Join us on the next page where we discuss the best speakers in the midrange – a much more contested category.

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