The best Dial-a-phone phone handset for listening to music needs a number of features, and the following are essential.
Firstly, the quality of the music output will be determined by the phone’s hardware, and while many phones just use the standard chipset, others are optimised for sound. For instance, Samsung has worked with the audio specialist Bang & Olufsen to create music-optimised phones such as the now very dated Serenata with a huge price tag and the 2011 concept phone the BoPhone M, which integrates Bang & Olufsen speakers with a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. Had it ever made it into production, in terms of audio quality, there would be nothing else on the market to compete with it.
Ideally the perfect music phone will recognise a number of music file formats in addition to the more popular MP3. AAC,
WMA, OGG and FLAC are all alternative ones that are associated with more efficient storage as well as better music uality. Unfortunately the otherwise excellent iPhone from an audio point of view is restricted to MP3, WAV and AAC and will not play WMA files. Files can always be converted into alternative formats, but this degrades quality.
The phone must have a 3.5mm headphone socket so that you can use quality headphones with it. Some phone manufacturers use a proprietary socket which restricts the types of headphones you can use, so always check it out.
Also, forget the headphones that come with the phone; they are almost certainly inferior. You might have to spend a reasonable amount of money for quality ones, but this is never something you should scrimp on. Also make sure that the phone will stream A2DP Bluetooth so that you can listen to your music wirelessly on Bluetooth stereo headphones.
The audio controls must be easy to use and versatile. You should also ensure that the phone has adequate storage and preferably a microSD memory card socket.
So which phone is it going to be? The Samsung Galaxy S3 of course.