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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G Audio test

OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We put the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G through our rigorous DXOMARK Audio test suite to measure its performance both at recording sound using its built-in microphones, and at playing audio back through its speakers.
In this review, we will break down how it fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases.

Overview

The A53 5G, released in March of this year, is a midrange offering that from the outside shares a similar style and size to the S21 Ultra. At this lower price point, however, it lacks the top-end chipset and some other flagship extras. On the audio front, it has stereo speakers. No audio jack is on offer, but the standard USB Type-C port can serve double duty, charging and delivering sound to headphones.

With a global score of 73, the A53 5G surpassed last year’s A52 5G, which notched a 69. At this price point, the A53 is a very strong contender. The Samsung device delivered an all-around solid performance in our audio testing, with an especially pleasant sound in playback (the first time our engineers have noted decent bass rendition in a Galaxy series), and impressive performance at high volume. As a recording device, the A53 also delivered a strong all-around performance, although it wasn’t as adept in capturing high sound-pressure-level content.

Key audio specifications include:

  • Two speakers: top front-firing, bottom side-firing
  • USB Type-C

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
73
audio
72

89

74

81

69

88

68

85

89

113


75

91

68

81

58

78

71

99

68

97

40

60

Playback

Pros

  • Solid tonal balance in playback
  • Good dynamics rendition, except for punch
  • Very clean artifacts-wise, with speakers difficult to occlude

Cons

  • Improperly tuned first volume step
  • Limited bass
  • Slightly aggressive sound at high volume

Recording

Pros

  • Good, natural and pleasant tonal balance in Life Video and Selfie Video
  • Good wideness, even in Selfie Video
  • Very good signal to noise ratioCons
  • Tinny tonal balance in memo app
  • Unnatural distance rendition
  • Too easy to completely occlude microphone

Test summary

About DXOMARK Audio tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone audio reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled lab conditions.
(For more details about our Playback protocol, click here; for more details about our Recording protocol, click here.)

The following section gathers key elements of our exhaustive tests and analyses performed in DXOMARK laboratories. Detailed performance evaluations under the form of reports are available upon request. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Playback

75

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

86

Black Shark 5 Pro
How Audio Playback score is composed

DXOMARK engineers test playback through the smartphone speakers, whose performance is evaluated in our labs and in real-life conditions, using default apps and settings.

The Galaxy A53 5G  surpasses previous Galaxy phones with the best timbre performance in playback for this series to date. It delivers consistent midrange and satisfying bass. Midrange provides both warmth and clarity in a balanced way. Elements such as guitars and vocals sound full and rich. Trebles sound just brilliant enough, even though the lower treble part of the spectrum sometimes sounds slightly harsh or resonant. The Galaxy A53 5G does an excellent job of preserving tonal balance regardless of volume level.
In dynamics, the A53 5G also delivers consistently good performance across volume levels, with a slight loss of precision at soft and maximum volumes. Attack is accurate and snappy, even more than other Galaxy phones. With a realistic envelope in the low-end, bass precision is very satisfying, even at soft or high volume. Punch is impactful at any volume. In the spatial attribute, the A53 5G performs well overall. The stereo scene rendition is accurate in localizability and pretty wide for a device of this size. Unfortunately, the stereo image does not rotate when the phone is held in inverse landscape mode. Left/right balance seems well-centered.  As for volume, while maximum loudness is correct, it seems to be unstable depending on the content, probably because of a safety algorithm. The Galaxy A53 5G is mostly free from artifacts, providing a very clean and satisfying playback experience. Speakers are quite difficult to occlude. 

Listen to the tested smartphone’s playback performance in this comparison with some of its competitors:

Google Pixel 6
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Here is how the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G performs in playback use cases compared to its competitors:
Playback use-cases scores


Timbre

72

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

89

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Timbre score represents how well a phone reproduces sound across the audible tonal range and takes into account bass, midrange, treble, tonal balance, and volume dependency. It is the most important attribute for playback.

Music playback frequency response


Dynamics

74

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

81

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Dynamics score measures the accuracy of changes in the energy level of sound sources, for example how precisely a bass note is reproduced or the impact sound from drums.


Spatial

69

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

88

Black Shark 5 Pro

The sub-attributes for spatial tests include pinpointing a specific sound's location, its positional balance, distance, and wideness.


Volume

68

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

85

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Volume score represents the overall loudness of a smartphone and how smoothly volume increases and decreases based on user input.

Here are a few sound pressure levels (SPL) measured when playing our sample recordings of hip-hop and classical music at maximum volume:
Hip-Hop Classical
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G 74.3 dBA 69.3 dBA
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G 72 dBA 68.3 dBA
Google Pixel 6 74.8 dBA 69.7 dBA
The following graph shows the gradual changes in volume going from minimum to maximum. We expect these changes to be consistent across the range, so that all volume steps correspond to users’ expectations:
Music volume consistency


Artifacts

89

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

113

POCO F4 GT

The Artifacts score measures the extent to which the sound is affected by various types of distortion. The higher the score, the less the disturbances in the sound are noticeable. Distortion can occur because of sound processing in the device and because of the quality of the speakers.


Recording

67

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

86

Black Shark 5 Pro
How Audio Playback score is composed

DXOMARK engineers test recording by evaluating the recorded files on reference audio equipment. Those recordings are done in our labs and in real-life conditions, using default apps and settings.

As a recording device, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G also delivers a great timbre performance. When recording at high sound pressure levels (SPL), the A53 5G offers a good tonal balance, thanks to a pleasant warmth and low-end extension, but remains just slightly dark because of a lack of high-end extension.
When recording in regular environments using the selfie and life video apps, the performance is still very good.  When using the memo app, tonal balance is impaired by a lack of lower treble and sounds a bit tinny and unnatural.
In dynamics, the Galaxy A53 5G offers a very good SNR in all use cases tested; background is well-attenuated. Envelope rendition is pretty accurate, with a sharp attack and precise plosives, except in selfie video mode, where the envelope rendition is somewhat impaired by compression, resulting in a more rounded attack. At high SPL, dynamics performance is impaired by an inaccurate envelope rendition.
In the recording spatial attribute, the Samsung smartphone delivers good localizability. Wideness is good and allows a very realistic rendering of the stereo scene. The memo app records in mono. Volume performance is average. As for artifacts, the recorded signal may suffer from pumping and clipping on peaks.  In high-SPL scenarios, a slight compression is noticeable as well as distortion, especially on loud bass hits. Microphones are easily completely occluded, and sensitive to finger noises, which induce strong volume drops. The A53 5G does a nice job on background, rendering it well and realistically. 

Here is how the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G performs in recording use cases compared to its competitors:

Recording use-cases scores


Timbre

75

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

91

Honor Magic3 Pro+

The Timbre score represents how well a phone captures sounds across the audible tonal range and takes into account bass, midrange, treble, and tonal balance. It is the most important attribute for recording.

Life video frequency response


Dynamics

68

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

81

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Dynamics score measures the accuracy of changes in the energy level of sound sources, for example how precisely a voice's plosives (the p's, t's and k's, for example) are reproduced. The score also considers the Sound-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), for example how loud the main voice is compared to the background noise.


Spatial

58

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

78

Black Shark 4S Pro

The sub-attributes for spatial tests include pinpointing a specific sound's location, its positional balance, distance, and wideness on the recorded audio files.


Volume

71

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

99

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Volume score represents how loud audio is normalized on the recorded files and the how the device handles loud environments, such as electronic concerts, when recording.

Here are the sound levels recorded in the audio and video files, measured in LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale); as a reference, we expect loudness levels to be above -24 LUFS for recorded content:
Meeting Life Video Selfie Video Memo
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G -26.1 LUFS -22 LUFS -20.8 LUFS -21.4 LUFS
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G -26.1 LUFS -22.3 LUFS -20.8 LUFS -21.5 LUFS
Google Pixel 6 -27.8 LUFS -17.9 LUFS -16.3 LUFS -19.8 LUFS


Artifacts

68

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

97

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Artifacts score measures the extent to which the recorded sounds are affected by various types of distortions. The higher the score, the less the disturbances in the sound are noticeable. Distortions can occur because of sound processing in the device and the quality of the microphones, as well as user handling, such as how the phone is held.

Listen for artifacts in this extract, which has been recorded in a busy home environment:


Background

40

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

60

Black Shark 5 Pro

Background evaluates how natural the various sounds around a voice blend into the video recording file. For example, when recording a speech at an event, the background should not interfere with the main voice, yet it should provide some context of the surroundings.

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