dladz, 21 Apr 2016No, reason being , 3.5mm is such a general norm now it would be an idiotic move to avoid it.
... moreCongratulations to LeEco for producing such a wonderful trio of smartphones. In Indian context LeEco Le 2 will kill the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 straight away along with many other Chinese branded phones from Vivo, Oppo and Gionee which retails at twice its price!!! Also Le 2 Pro and Le Max 2 with prices so low, it's like someone is trying to disrupt the market. The pricing kills everything. While heaping all the praise to the recent LeEco devices with stellar hardware and built quality, I for one will be the first to stay away from this trio. The main reason is the absence of the iconic 3.5 mm headphone audio jack and second being the lack of a memory expansion slot.
With this trio of recent LeEco devices following digital audio transmission over USB Type-C ports incorporating CDLA tech, the lowest priced model Le 2 will have equivalent audio quality to the highest priced model Le Max 2 over the same headphone. This is a good for us end consumers but the problem lies thereafter. No matter how much LeEco touts about lossless digital audio through USB Type-C ports, the headphone speakers are analog in nature so there is a definite need to convert this digitally transmitted signal to analog audio signal for us to hear.
Audiophile oriented smartphones like Vivo X5Max with its HiFi 2.0 audio architecture uses superlative in-built audio hardware to produce stellar sound quality through headphones. I own one of them. At first it bypasses the inbuilt crappy audio codec (digital to analog conversion) that comes default with every Snapdragon or MediaTek chipsets. Then the lossless digital audio from CPU goes straight through its sublime EES SABRE ES9018 discrete DAC for digital to analog conversion. Next in the audio path comes the exclusive use of ESS SABRE ES9601 operational amplifier to convert the analog current output from DAC to analog voltage output on which headphone speakers operate. And finally a high quality Texas Instruments OPA1612 headphone amplifier is used to pump up the volume, so as to simply plug in any audiophile grade in-ear headphones or ear buds and drive it to the maximum. But to drive audiophile headphones to maximum and then X5-Max's in-built audio hardware a lot power (watts) is required. It comes from the in-built battery of the phone through independent audio power supplies. Thus the output through 3.5mm female headphone jack of X5Max is analog in nature and you can plug in any headphones from Sennheiser, AKG, Audio-Technica, Shure, Grado, Sony, Koss with a 3.5m male audio jack. You do not have to worry about all the digital to analog conversion stuff as it is taken care inside the phone.
For the new LeEco smartphones, they have opted to perform the digital to analog conversion and subsequent audio amplification outside their smartphones, which increases complications as adequate amounts of power needs to be channeled to the headphone along with the digital audio signal through USB Type-C port. Now the DAC and headphone amplifier needs to reside inside a special type of headphone. The additional hardware inside the headphones will gulp all the power in order to operate and then it will start converting the digital audio signal to analog audio on which headphone speakers operate and produce sound. And we have not yet touched topics like independent audio power supply of X5Max which will filter and distill the power from batteries and feed the hungry DACs and op-amps with stable, unadulterated and ripple free power to operate at maximum.
Pick anyone of the LeEco devices and they will sound drastically different as the inbuilt DACs and operational amplifiers of each headphone brand will vary in quality and output. Which denotes the sound signature and tonality will also vary per headphone brand and type. On one hand you will get crappy sound with a compatible cheap headphone with Le Max 2 and then amazing sound quality if ever any audiophile headphone manufacturer in their wildest dreams thinks about making a LeEco compatible unit. In the end we are all drastically limited with the amount of headphones in offer from LeEco ecosystem and their availability. You can kiss goodbye to all your existing audiophile headphones. So as music lover current Le Eco devices are a no go for me.
Next comes the topic of memory availability inside the phone. With tons of lossless audio FLAC files which are very big in size I need a minimum of 128 gigs to store my favorite songs. And the Le Max 2 only comes with 64 gigs internal (maybe around 55 gigs available) with no option from memory expansion. In the end even though I have my own share of regrets about the recent LeEco devices, I wish all the rest 90% of the smartphone buyers will be very happy with their products which have become icons for providing stellar quality smartphones at very aggressive prices in India. Cheers!!!
Spartanlord, 20 Apr 2016isn't it possible to place 2 USB-C ports on a phone? I mean, they could be on opposite sides, ... moreNo, reason being , 3.5mm is such a general norm now it would be an idiotic move to avoid it.
USB C is by far and away the least used connectivity option available.
Why would anyone do this?
isn't it possible to place 2 USB-C ports on a phone? I mean, they could be on opposite sides, so, you could charge from either side and even ditch the 3.5 Jack? Totally unnecessary, but theoretically, shouldn't this setup consume less space than the standard 1 micro USB and 3.5 jack? Just open thoughts.
This beast gonna hit the indian highend mobile devices to waste, kudos LeEco. Give it an aggressive pricin too.