VLC, not quite audiophile

I’m reviewing the top model phones from three companies for audio performance. For assorted reasons, I decided to try out the VLC player on them. The main reason was that, as is well known, the Apple iPhone doesn’t support high resolution audio. But VLC was alleged to be a free player that would play such files, although there’d be downsampling by the time of the headphone socket. After measuring the iPhone I was startled, so I repeated multiple times, to the same effect. Then I repeated using my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone with VLC installed. Note: I made sure EQ was disabled on the iPhone. The test signal was 24 bit, 96kHz:

Frequency response using VLC

So, the Android phone can produce (using the default music player) pretty impressive high resolution output (blue trace). But when played via VLC, the output is chopped off a little above 20kHz. And with an iPhone 6S, VLC sends the frequency response all over the place. Weird.

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One Response to VLC, not quite audiophile

  1. Tim Wainwright says:

    Hi Stephen
    Haven’t tried VLC on my iPad/iPhone, but use instead “Equalizer” from Audioforge (http://equalizer.audioforge.org/)…. sounds good to my ears, but I can’t test it objectively. Apart from sounding very good, it has a powerful parametric EQ which I find very useful to slightly tweak the response curve from my Bose QC20 ‘phones that are used on my daily commutes.

    Foobar is my best sounding desktop app.

    Cheers
    Tim

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