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Best phone and mobile stack in 2018 for the audiophile?

want to build a setup around a phone for work travel and don't want to use a DAP just to reduce the amount of crap i'm trying to keep track of when out and about.
phone cost needs to be under $1500 and dac and amp can be whatever, i just want it to sound good on the go and i have most of the "major" headsets on massdrop so i have alot of choices in that regard, not really into the iem's just to make life difficult.
Thanks for the help MD!

Second the LG V series, I've used a V20 for two years and it replaced my FiiO X3ii + E12A stack. The only thing it doesn't handle well is very hard to drive low impedance headphones as there is built in logic to the power availability. <50 ohms only receives partial power, >50 ohms receives full power and it drives all but my planars pretty damn well. The planars are an issue due to low impedance and high power requirements.
Oct 29, 2018
To save some cash, just buy the older LG V20/V30. Unlocked, they can be had under $400 easy these days. Probably even more used. They include the nice quad DAC and can output about 2 Vrms, which is enough for most unless you're trying to drive some 300 ohm Senns. At that point, any portable amp that's powerful and clean should be all you need (Pico Power, Fiio A5, etc). If you need bluetooth and the power to drive full size headphones, the iFi xDSD is a high quality unit that has gobs of power to spare among other benefits. Everything I listed is well under your budget and still leaves plenty of cash to spare. If you absolutely had to have a new phone, LG has newer versions of the G7 and Vx0. They clock in under a grand and you would still have room for an amp as the DAC in these two LG models are quite good.
Nov 1, 2018
Cool, that's a neat idea! Which also means that it applies to headphones with detachable cables that can be interchanged :)
Nov 1, 2018
jaydunndidditthanks to all who replied in this string, you guys are really helping me out here. thanks a ton.
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