N97 Audio Quality: Nearly Perfect, Rivals iPod Touch

by Mike Macias on July 10, 2009

n97-musicNow I’m no expert in audio quality but I know good sound when I hear it. After all I did play in a metal band for about three years during high school. You really need to have good headphones to hear all the instruments and notes going on that end up messing into a perfect melody – at least we’d like to think. Having excellent audio quality is really important to me since I use my phone as my main mp3 device. I use it the car, at work, and sometimes at home when I’m too lazy to get up and turn on the stereo.  What a waste the 32gb storage would have been if the N97 has poor audio quality, right?

My pal Devin from The Nokia Guide came across a nifty little graph that shows the sound frequency of the Nokia N97 compared to the Apple iPod Touch. This should really help you come to a decision about the N97 if you don’t get a chance to hear or touch it before you decide to buy.  And since Devin gave the sound quality a big OK, we should take his word for it because out of most phone reviewers I’ve seen he is the most knowledgeable when it comes to sound.

Check out the graph below, courtesy of GSMArena.

N97 Audio Quality

As you can see the results are extremely close! Props to Nokia for nailing it on the head in the audio department. Click here to see a chart comparing the N97 to other popular media devices.

For those who already own the Nokia N97 – are you happy with the sound quality?

Related Articles:




  • Lesiki

    I'm very happy with the sound quality on the n97, but really hate the non-gapless playback. We all have that favourite album where one song just leads into the next perfectly, and don't want to hear a half-second gap between the two.

    Other than that, I think the n97 works beautifully for music. I use 'iTunes Agent' to sync it through iTunes, but from the look of the new Ovi suite, using the software provided may not be as cumbersome as it once was.

    Great site btw, keep the posts coming! I want to make the most of this great phone.

  • http://twitter.com/therioman therioman

    I am pretty happy with it, but only when I use my headphones of couse. The supplied ones are as usual total rubbish. Apart from a couple stupid bugs with my N97 (which seem to be known issues) I am very happy and have finally ditched everything else I own…

  • LessThanDoug

    Agreed. Audio quality is fantastic through the 3.5mm jack on decent headphones. They should've done the same with the stereo speakers.

  • simonthedrummer

    Just done an A/B test with my laptop ac97 soundcard(ibm t43). the n 97 is better. more detailed midrange and only a slight rolloff noticeable in the very high range. the rollof makes it sound better tho. less brittle. then i compared it to my edirol ua25 external sound card. the soundcard was obviously better but not by as much as i had thought. the test was done with arcade fires tunnels neighbourhood#1 in flac. the test with the edirol was obiously unfair bacause of the different interconnects needed.

  • abee230

    well i agree that the n97 loudspeakers are not the best when compared to other models but however the use of headsets is near perfection! its like other phone! good sound quality! but mine is having a problem ! the fm tranmitter is not available in the my phone! i think its due to the update i made!

  • n_kp_2000

    I dont agree here. I am having N97 and apple iphone both . And I can see iphone's music quality to be quite superior to N97.

  • theallseeingi

    Ah yes, for sure. We all “see” that the sound is superior when you use an iPhone. But we don't hear it. Because it doesn't sound that well.

    We all know that Apple's Audio Playback Devices are mediocre. They have a flat sound and can't deliver the details and transparency other devices can. They're missing the punch when needed, too. OK, if you just use the cheap in-ears that come with the devices you'll be happy to have a gadget to show off that about almost everyone else has meanwhile. Boring. But we talk about the sound quality here. Apple has no chance vs. the N97. Not the iPhone nor the iPod can keep up with the N97/5800XM. Take a pair of HD25-II or Pioneer HDJ-2000 and plug them into your device and you'll notice a big difference between the Nokia's superior sound quality over the Apples. Both headphones are used by professionals because they have a clear sound with great frequency separation with no glossing over. Still, no iPod or iPhone/N97/5800 can keep up with the reference PMPs currently available. But if you have to make a choice and only want one single device to carry with you to make phone calls and listen to music, you should get one of the Nokias. The built-in speakers speak for the 5800, many other (not sound related) things for the N97. Period. What's left for the Apples? Multitouch, maybe.

  • nase

    my n97 has rubbish sound output from the onbord speakers. I wish id never bought it. id rather have 1 decent speaker than stereo nonsence. the equalizer and bass boost do nothing. half the band mite aswell not be playing . no bass what so ever. i know there small speakers but geez . theres more frequency range from pissing in a tin can. total waste. there not loudspeakers they are over stressed earbuds.

  • nase

    my n97 has rubbish sound output from the onbord speakers. I wish id never bought it. id rather have 1 decent speaker than stereo nonsence. the equalizer and bass boost do nothing. half the band mite aswell not be playing . no bass what so ever. i know there small speakers but geez . theres more frequency range from pissing in a tin can. total waste. there not loudspeakers they are over stressed earbuds.

Previous post:

Next post: