Phone Comparisons

The Best Phones for Music and Audio in 2023

It’s often tough to find a phone that can play music and audio just as well as it can facilitate phone calls! After all, many phones aren’t rated very specifically based on their speaker quality or headphone jack availability. 

Further complicating the issue is that many modern smartphones don't come with headphone jacks. Because of this, you won't be able to listen to your favorite music or podcasts unless you have wireless earbuds or headphones that can connect to your handset via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi functionality.

Because of this, finding the best phone for music and audio can seem like an insurmountable task. After all, how can you know what a phone will sound like if you can’t test its speakers yourself without having the right earbuds?

That’s what this guide is for. Today, let’s break down the best smartphones for music and audio in 2023. By the end, you’ll know exactly what mobile device you should purchase based on your budget limitations, your music preferences, and the type of phones you like to use.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro Max Deals

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a stellar phone for music and audio fans. It has a 6.7-inch OLED screen with 2796 x 1290 P resolution. Everything runs on the iOS 16 operating system, so you can rest assured that the screen will be smooth and steady. It’s one of the best smartphones for music connectivity and high-end quality.

More importantly, the iPhone 14 Pro Max provides absolutely top-tier sound. Unfortunately, this phone doesn't have a headphone jack, so you'll need to use wireless earphones or a Lightning adapter. In any case, this is the first iPhone with a major audio upgrade that provides deep bass, mid, and treble sounds — so this may be the best iPhone for you.

You’ll also appreciate the up to 1 TB of storage space you can purchase with this phone, enabling you to store all of your favorite music and audiobooks with these. The battery life is good for 95 hours of audio playback: perfect for podcast fans or those who love listening to audiobooks while working and driving. 

Consider this if you need a very high-powered, versatile phone that does it all and provides good music and audio playback.

Sony Xperia 10 IV

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The Sony Xperia 10 IV is a relatively budget-friendly mobile device that nonetheless provides much better music and audio playback than you may think. It features a 6-inch screen with an OLED display and 128 GB of storage space out of the box. The Android 12 operating system is also noteworthy and good for smooth operation.

More importantly, this phone has a 3.5 mm headphone port: a big benefit for audiophiles. With this headphone port, you can plug in your favorite headphones or earbuds and enjoy your music worry-free — no need to be concerned about wireless playback cutting in and out. 

Dolby Atmos hardware makes this a flagship phone for those seeking the best music playback possible. Music lovers will highly appreciate the quality audio, particularly with wired headphones.

The plastic build isn’t exceptionally durable, but this budget handset still offers a lot to like, such as a decent display, good black depth, and several colors to choose from. Just be sure to always use the headphone jack. The external speakers are less than stellar and can compromise your favorite tunes' quality.

Apple iPhone 13

iPhone 13 Deals

Maybe you want a very powerful Apple device. In that case, the iPhone 13 could be just the ticket, offering a 6.1-inch OLED screen with 2532 x 1170 P resolution. Siri assistant comes with this phone, plus a set of 12-megapixel wide and ultra-wide cameras to complement its audio performance.

Battery life is pretty phenomenal for the price, as you’ll get 75 hours of audio playback or 19 hours of video playback. The iOS 15 operating system is nimble and user-friendly, promoting a very slick, speedy interface. 

There’s a lot to like in terms of musical sound, thanks to the A15 Bionic chip. It’s a fairly fast charging device, on top of that.

This iPhone makes any genre of music interesting to listen to, keeping your music exciting, dynamic, and deep. Like other iPhone devices, you’ll need to stick with wireless earbuds or headphones to enjoy your audio experiences. 

Furthermore, there’s no charger in the box, so while this is already an expensive choice, you’ll need to spend even more to recharge your device. That said, this could still be a good choice for Apple fans who want a handset that can do it all.

Sony Xperia 1 IV

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If price is no object and you really want to double down on overall phone audio quality, consider the Sony Xperia 1 IV. This Android 12-powered smartphone has a 6.5-inch OLED HDR 120 Hz display with 12 GB of RAM and a 4500 mAh battery. 

Make no mistake, this device is very powerful, offering crisp and detailed pictures on its display. The Snapdragon processor helps to guarantee amp quality and hi-res pictures, with a fast refresh rate.

However, this phone is also excellent because of its improved speaker quality and performance. You can listen to your media with headphones, wireless earbuds, or without any additional devices at all and enjoy music, movies, podcasts, and more. 

Therefore, this is a top choice for music enthusiasts who want the best AV and music listening results from a smartphone device. In terms of listening experience, the loudspeakers are good enough that they stand out from the competition.

Of course, this is a very expensive phone, and the device rarely goes on sale. That said, the very powerful internals and wide range of extra features, like proprietary apps, user-friendliness, and durability, make it a strong contender for the best phone for music and audio in 2023. If you can’t afford it outright, consider purchasing it with a payment plan to make the price much more manageable.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Deals

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra also deserves a place among the best phones for music and audio. Sure, it's a bit expensive, but it offers tons of value for its price, like a 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED screen with 1440 x 3088 P resolution. 

It's available in four colors and comes with the Android One UI 5.1: a favorite for its user-friendliness and intuitive operation. This operating system works very well with popular music-playing apps like Spotify.

12 GB of RAM ensures that the phone can handle any music playback app or other operation you have in mind, and you can order up to 1 TB of storage space with your purchase. The 120 Hz display is perfect for playing back media alongside stellar audio; imagine using this phone to watch your favorite streaming show or movie while using wireless charging.

The next-generation cameras are also excellent, but in terms of audio, there's a lot to like. Music is dynamic, expressive, and extremely high quality. 

Of course, this advanced phone doesn't have a headphone jack, so you'll need to either stick with wireless playback devices or use a USB-C adapter with a 3.5 mm socket. Even with that downside, this could be a phenomenal choice for fans of both music and movies who need a smartphone that can play both very well.

Sony Xperia 5 IV

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Lastly, consider the Sony Xperia 5 IV: the “middle child” of this particular line of phones. The 6.1-inch OLED display is decent enough, and there are three different colored finishes you can choose from. The phone has 8 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage space.

The big selling point for music and audiophiles is the set of upgraded stereo speakers. While they aren’t necessarily surround sound quality, they do allow you to listen to movies, music, and audiobooks without a set of headphones or wireless earbuds reasonably well. Thus, this might be a great smartphone if you need to play music for a group of people like you and your friend sitting next to each other on a road trip.

On top of that, this is a relatively speedy, smooth phone that offers good performance and functionality. It doesn’t come with a 4K screen, but the 1080 P resolution you’ll enjoy most of the time is perfectly good enough for many media fans.

Try Navi Today

All in all, any of the above handsets might be just what you’re looking for in terms of a media playback device. But if you’re still stuck on phone specs or prices, Navi’s Phone Navigator might be able to help.

Our comprehensive service can help you find the perfect phone for your needs based on budget, cell carrier network, and much more. Try it today!


An introduction to OLED displays |

The end of 3.5mm headphone jacks is near, even on budget smartphones | Android Authority

What is a 3.5mm Headphone Jack? (with pictures) | Easy Tech Junkie

Apple's A15 Bionic chip powers iPhone 13 with 15 billion transistors, new graphics and AI | CNET

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