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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Audio test

OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We put the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 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


Key audio specifications include:

  • Two speakers (Top left, bottom left)
  • No Jack audio output

Scoring

Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
133
audio
132
Playback
129

158

132

149

141

162

128

162

84

157

136
Recording
134

147

124

146

110

159

131

170

140

145

155

166

Playback

Pros

  • Nice tonal balance
  • Good dynamics performance, accurate envelope

Cons

  • Strong distortion and compression at maximum volume
  • Narrow sound scene for the dimensions of the device

Recording

Pros

  • Nice recording timbre, especially at high sound pressure levels
  • Good audio zoom feature
  • Mostly free of unwanted artifacts

Cons

  • Slightly round envelope attack
  • Prone to wind noise

In the DXOMARK Audio tests, Samsung’s latest folding flagship device Galaxy Fold5 delivered a great recording performance. An effective audio zoom feature and the impressive recording quality at loud events, such as concerts, were notable improvements over the predecessor Z Fold4. On the downside, the Samsung was quite prone to wind noise when recording in breezy conditions. Recording results were best when using the main camera apps. Quality somewhat dropped with the front camera and office apps.

In terms of playback the built-in speakers sounded nice and pleasant, but their placement on the device is not optimized for an immersive listening experience. Overall playback quality was best when listening to music and playing games, and slightly lower when watching movies.

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

132

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

163

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.

In the playback tests, the Z Fold5 delivered a good timbre performance. Tonal balance was identical to the predecessor Z Fold4, with a satisfying treble rendition, as well as solid midrange and bass. In terms of dynamics, the Samsung offered a satisfying attack, decent bass precision and very good punch. The built-in speakers produced a stereo scene with good wideness, but considering the Fold5’s large dimensions in its unfolded state, it could have been even wider. Speaker placement on the device also means that audio was perceived as monophonic when the unfolded device was held in portrait orientation. Localizability of individual sound sources was slightly poor, but both distance and depth rendition were  good.

Loudness at the maximum volume setting was good and perceptually louder than other Galaxy series phones. The minimum setting was loud enough to be intelligible but not too loud. On the downside, our experts found a number of unwanted audio artifacts when playing back audio on the Z Fold5. At maximum volume strong distortion was noticeable, especially in the high midrange, and compression had a negative impact on dynamics.

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

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
Honor Magic Vs
Recordings of the smartphones playing some of our music tracks at 60 LAeq in an anechoic environment by 2 microphones in A-B configuration, at 30 cm
Here is how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 performs in playback use cases compared to its competitors:
Playback use-cases scores

Timbre

129

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

158

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
A 1/12 octave frequency response graph, which measures the volume of each frequency emitted by the smartphone when playing a pure-sine wave in an anechoic environment.

Dynamics

132

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

149

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

141

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

162

Black Shark 5 Pro

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


Volume

128

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

162

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 Z Fold5 72.8 dBA 69.4 dBA
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 71.1 dBA 67.3 dBA
Honor Magic Vs 72.6 dBA 66.6 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
This line graph shows the relative loudness of playback relative to the user selected volume step, measured at different volume steps with a correlated pink noise in an anechoic box recorded in axis at 0.20 meter.

Artifacts

84

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

157

Asus ROG Phone 5

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.

Playback Total Harmonic Distortion (Maximum Volume)
This graph shows the Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise over the hearable frequency range.
It represents the distortion and noise of the device playing our test signal (0 dB Fs, Sweep Sine in an anechoic box at 40 cm) at the device's maximum volume.

Recording

136

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

157

Black Shark 5 Pro
How Audio Recording 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.

Recording performance was great overall and a noticeable improvement over the previous generation device. Tonal balance was good but lacked brilliance and air across all use cases. Treble rendition was slightly inconsistent, with a lack of clarity in lower treble. Midrange could be slightly resonant but was overall quite natural and balanced. Bass was nice and strong. In terms of Dynamics, the Samsung’s envelope was most accurate when recording with the main camera but lacked attack. Thanks to a good signal-to-noise ratio, speech was easy to understand but the background could have been further attenuated.

Main camera recordings offered a wide sound scene with accurate distance rendition. However, things looked different when recording in portrait orientation with the front camera where localizability was blurry and the sound scene was quite narrow. On the upside, the voices facing the device being slightly louder created a sense of directivity. Recordings were loud across all use cases and perceived maximum loudness was noticeably improved over the Z Fold4. Apart from some light distortion on shouting voices, Z Fold5 recordings were mostly free from unwanted artifacts, even when recording loud events such as concerts. Finger noises when holding the phone in portrait orientation while recording could be an issue, though. Background tonal balance was pleasant and natural, but could have done with more low-end extension and detail in the high-end extension.

Here is how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 performs in recording use cases compared to its competitors:

Recording use-cases scores

Timbre

134

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

147

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
A 1/12 octave frequency response graph, which measures the volume of each frequency captured by the smartphone when recording a pure-sine wave in an anechoic environment.

Dynamics

124

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

146

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 Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), for example how loud the main voice is compared to the background noise.


Spatial

110

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

159

Vivo X Fold

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

Recording directivity
Directivity graph of the smartphone when recording test signals using the camera app, with the main camera. It represents the acoustic energy (in dB) over the angle of incidence of the sound source. (Normalized to the angle 0°, in front of the device.)

Volume

131

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

170

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 Z Fold5 -25.8 LUFS -22.1 LUFS -21 LUFS -21.1 LUFS
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 -25.8 LUFS -21.6 LUFS -22.7 LUFS -21 LUFS
Honor Magic Vs -23.3 LUFS -19.2 LUFS -19.1 LUFS -19 LUFS

Artifacts

140

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

145

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.

In this audio comparison, you can listen to the way this smartphone handles wind noise relative to its competitors:

Recordings of a voice sample with light background noise, facing a turbulent wind of 5 m/s

Background

155

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

166

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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