Headphone amps are an afterthought on many phones, and entirely missing from others. LG changed this with the original V10 and continued to refine it with the V20 and V30. The exact same great headphone amp from the V30 is in the G7.
Everything I wrote about the V30’s excellent headphone amplifier here applies to the G7. The G7 is just a smaller phone, even though it has a huge screen. I was kind of surprised how grainy and distorted the sound was out of the headphone jack of a competitor’s flagship phone that came out this year. The body’s natural response to distortion is to be irritated and to reject it, even if at a subconscious level. For instance, when listening to music with bad headphones, or with a bad amp, you just simply lose your appetite and put the headphones down and find something else to do. It’s kind of like a bland meal, you just don’t feel like finishing it because it isn’t appetizing. This was never the case with LG’s G7. There is nothing remarkable about the sound; nothing sparkly or extra bassy, instead, it just sounds natural and just right. It’s comfortable, and you can listen for hours without fatigue.
While it’s true that the top-quality amp is part of the reason for this, some of the credit must go to the really great digital to analog converter in this phone. You can even choose one of three ways that the analog wave forms are shaped. The differences are subtle, and sometimes, not even discernible, but they can make a difference with the right material.
One minor complaint is LG’s equalizer. It’s just a series of odd presets named after various genres of music, as if all the jazz in the world was recorded wrong and that specific EQ setting will correct it, and all the classical recordings in the world were also recorded wrong, but wrong in a different way, and that is the correct EQ to compensate for that. Silly if you think about it that way. While I would like to have manual EQ controls, to be honest, you really don’t need it when you have sound so clean and pure with no EQ and a decent pair of headphones. If you have anemic amp, you’ll get weak bass and distorted midrange and treble. You can try to compensate for weak bass with an EQ, but this is 100% unnecessary when the amp is perfectly reproducing everything and sending enough amps to your headphones.
I’ve been listening to a variety of headphones and earbuds, and it’s all good. The only time I really use the EQ is when I plug in a pair of earbuds while mowing the lawn. I then wear external hearing protection over the earbuds so that not only is the lawn mower engine noise blocked out, but I don’t need to turn the volume up on my phone. Having that extra bass boost does help though when mowing.
LG also offers DTS:X 3D surround, but this feature can only be turned on when headphones are connected. Once turned on, you can choose from three options to simulate a surround field: Wide, Front, or Side to Side. Just play with them and see if you even like it. I found ‘Wide’ and ‘Side to Side’ OK for some types of music, distracting with others, while ‘Front’ was really cool with movies. LG has a guide on how to access it at this link: https://www.lg.com/us/support/product-help/CT10000027-20150728516976-audio-sounds. A competitor uses a similar 3D algorithm from Dolby, but that incarnation works best with the external speakers and sounded terrible with headphones. DTS:X 3D only works with headphones and can make watching movies on your phone more fun.
I’ve long said that if you are a photographer, then you should only seriously be considering LG phones. Nobody has cameras as good as they do, but I have to add to this; if you like music, the only phones out there you should consider are the V30 or the G7; not only do you get a really headphone jack, but a top of the line DAC and amp. Either is an excellent choice, and there is really nothing out there that even sound close to this level of quality.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee