The second module initially available for the LG G5 Magic Slot is the LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play. It's a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC and Amp designed to enhance your audio experience.
The audio module has a Sabre ES9028C2M DAC and a Sabre 9602c amp - a combo quite similar to LG V10's audio hardware. The software and the module's design are B&O work, and you can notice the piece is slightly larger than the original G5 cap.
Just like the LG Cam Plus, the Hi-Fi Plus needs your original battery in order to work with the LG G5 and it has an integrated mic, loudspeaker, and an embedded antenna. The Hi-Fi Plus module comes with its own 3.5mm audio Hi-Fi port, and an USB Type-C port to be used for charging the LG G5.
The B&O module is universal for all LG G5 paintjobs - it's made of matte black plastic, so it goes equally well with any G5 flavor (but doesn't exactly match any of them). There is a small brushed B&O logo at the center.
The Hi-Fi Plus can work as a standalone DAC and AMP, too. Just place the cap on the top, and you have a complete external audio device with a secondary USB Type-C port used for connection to other devices such as phones, slates, and PCs. LG has bundled a proper USB Type-C to microUSB OTG cable, so you are ready to use it right out of the box.
Finally, there is a small black leather B&O pouch, so you can carry the gadget safely. It's a nice touch and kudos to LG and B&O for walking the extra mile.
So, what this thing can do? No matter if you use it on another device or inserted in the LG G5, the Hi-Fi Plus module does two things - plays your 24/32-bit Hi-Fi content via its dedicated 3.5mm audio port (over speakers or headphones), or it can upscale and upsample lower quality audio so it can play close to its originally intended sound. It's a software enhancement though so don't expect great results - your low-quality tracks will still sound pretty badly.
And if you do have high-quality audio you will need some proper speakers or headphones to enjoy the excellent sound.
We tried the Hi-Fi Plus on the Galaxy S7 edge and the Huawei P9 and it worked hassle-free. Connecting it to PC is a fairly simple affair too even if it requires some extra time - Windows will automatically install the driver, or you'll have to get it manually from lg.com.
As expected the LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play delivers top marks for audio clarity no matter if you are plugging an active external amp or a pair of headphones. The stereo crosstalk is kept low, while the loudness is above the average.
If we are to compare it with the LG G5 output - the extension delivers louder sound, with deeper bass levels, and quite expectedly - wider dynamic range. It isn't the best DAC you can buy though, and considering the high price, you should opt for this only if you will be using it on the LG G5 and with a proper pair of headphones. For any other case, we suggest you shop around first.
By the way, using it on a PC requires for you to install a special driver (navigate to the fifth tab and scroll down). Then you will get a control panel for the upsampling options.
It does improve the quality over the LG G5 and most of the audiophiles will be able to tell it even with cheaper headphones, but we are not sure if its high price tag serves it right.