Sound and Audio components on the FP4


New owner of an FP4, I am very surprised by the excellent sound quality when I listen to jazz songs on YouTube. Great job!

However, I could not find anywhere the characteristics of the audio components of the FP4.
Could someone please tell me about it?
I would like to know what are these components, their performances, the quality level they broadcast: 16, 24 bits? 44, 96 or 192 KHz?

I would also like to know if it is necessary, to listen to sound files in Hi-Res (24 bits or more and 192Khz or more) to add an external portable DAC, possibly amplified, to the FP4?

Thanks in advance,
PS : Could there be a part of the forum in French ?

Welcome to the community :slight_smile:

There isn’t a “French” forum sub-section or category, but you can find topics marked as being in French language here: Topics tagged 🇫🇷

If you are starting a topic like you just did, you can “tag” your topic with the French flag (it’s one of the most frequently used, so it should be high in the list of tags offered to you when you enter the space for tags) and you can add :fr: at the beginning of your topic title.


Hi. Here are audio tests, where you could find useful information: Fairphone 4 Audio test

That is only measuring the Fairphone speaker and microphone output. I think the OP was asking for the details of the Fairphones electronics. For example, the DAC specification.


I reproduce below an extract of the test made by DXOMARK.

I specify in advance that I know nothing about audio in general and smartphone audio in particular.
But my feeling does not correspond at all to the test: I found the pieces very clear, detailed, pleasant. I heard very fine details that I was not used to hearing and yet it was “only” on YouTube on Firefox.


  • either the test is not very good,
  • or a listening with a smartphone taking into account superior sound qualities and high quality Hi-Res files, (for example those of QOBUZ,) would seem to me comparatively extraordinary!

I was surprised to discover that the FP4 does not take into account the 24 bits !!!

As ib1 understood: “That is only measuring the Fairphone speaker and microphone output. I think the OP was asking for the details of the Fairphones electronics. For example, the DAC specification.”

So I would be very interested in more details about the FP4’s technical capabilities to receive and deliver high-quality streams and sound files and listening experiences from other owners of this smartphone.
For the moment I don’t know if I can limit myself to connect a headphone to listen to at least 96Khz 16 bits or if I have to buy a simple USB DAC or if I have to buy an audiophile DAP Walkman to enjoy QOBUZ at best.

Thank you very much in advance.
PS: Below are the excerpts from the DXOMARK test that I translated with DeepL :

The Fairphone 4, like previous models in this eco-friendly line, is modular and designed so users can easily replace the battery and other parts themselves. According to the company, parts and raw materials are sourced responsibly whenever possible. Running Android 11, the device is powered by the mid-range Snapdragon 750G chipset and is 5G ready. On the audio front, the device has two speakers, one top center and one bottom right.
Among its peers in this price range (around 650 euros), its overall score is among the lowest, scoring a 53, which matches the Vivo X51 5G score.
In playback, the Fairphone 4 is functional. The balance is good, and voices are generally intelligible. But the timbre is very midrange-centric - bass is hopelessly absent and high frequencies aren’t great either - and at maximum volume, artifacts become glaring.
As a recording device, the Fairphone 4 is functional with some flaws in most use cases. But the device’s memo app is deeply flawed in all use cases and attributes, bringing down the overall score. In some cases, recordings were simply unintelligible.
The main audio specifications are as follows:
Two speakers, one top center, one bottom right. No headphone jack, but a USB-C port.
Position in the world ranking : 106E
Position in the high-end ranking : 16TH

For :
Decent overall spatial performance
Soft, non-aggressive highs, making vocal content intelligible
Good balance in all use cases
Cons :
Lack of support for 24-bit audio
Timbre very midrange oriented, lacking extension in the low and high frequencies.
Occasional low-midrange resonance, depending on content.
Maximum volume-induced distortion and pumping, reducing the spectrum in the low end.

For :
Correct envelope in noisy scenarios (high SPL)
Correct balance when recording indoor video.
Against :
Very poor timbre when recording memos Poor noise cancellation handling

About DXOMARK Audio Testing: In scoring and analyzing our smartphone audio reviews, DXOMARK engineers conduct a variety of objective tests and undertake over 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled laboratory conditions.

The following section brings together the key elements of our comprehensive testing and analysis conducted in DXOMARK labs. Detailed performance evaluations in the form of reports are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

How the audio playback score is composed
DXOMARK engineers test playback through the smartphone’s speakers, whose performance is evaluated in our labs and in real-world conditions, using default applications and settings.
Learn more about how we test audio playback
As a playback device, the Fairphone 4 is at the lower end of its price range. In terms of timbre, the highs are a positive, even if they lack treble. It remains soft, clear, without aggressiveness. The midrange is sometimes boxy and resonates in the lower mids, which detracts from vocal clarity. Kick and bass information is not well rendered at all. The lack of bass extension is the most obvious flaw in this attribute. When playing and watching movements, the lack of extension in the low frequencies detracts from the punchy feel. Dynamics in general are sub-par. The attack is soft in most use cases. Bass accuracy is surprisingly adequate when playing, listening to music or watching a movie. As for the spatial attribute, the Fairphone 4 has limited width, barely exceeding the physical dimensions of the device, and localizability is not well defined. On a positive note, balance is well centered and distance perception is on target. Voices in movies and spoken content are at screen position. In games, spatial performance is average and localization does not interfere with gameplay. At maximum volume, the unit does not become “harsh,” but compression tends to amplify bass extension and accentuate the midrange-centered timbre. The first volume level is barely noticeable. The unit also did not score well in the artifact attribute. Distortion emerges at high volumes, accompanied by obvious pumping. On the technical side, aliasing and frequency resonance are recurring problems.


In other words: If my FP4 does not take into account the 24 bits and I connect a simple USB DAC, it should logically not receive it but only take into account what the smartphone sends it, i.e. 16 bits?
Hence my (perhaps erroneous) deduction: if I want to be able to listen to 24 or 32 bits, I have to get a standalone streamer (which I could also connect to my FP4 as an external USB DAC to improve the sound within the limit of the 16 bits it can handle).

Am I wrong?

Thanks in advance,

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