ES9218P – a system-on-a-chip (SoC) from ESS Labs that executes D/A conversion and headphone drive, fitted by LG into their V series smartphones for some of the best smartphone sound quality in the world. The V30 can’t match the iPhone on dynamic punch but its way with tone and a filigreed top-end means that when it came time to upgrade earlier this year, I considered nothing but its successor: V40. The V40 uses the same SoC and sounds identical to the V30. Some credit here must go to MQA (the company) who worked closely with LG to ‘clean the pipe’ so that MQA streams could reach the ESS chip bit-perfectly and without the upsampling found in many other Android-based phones.
Making the generational leap through LG’s V series over the summer put the V40 in my pocket and the V30 on the subs bench. But if we reframe the V30 as a very decent sounding DAC with streaming front end, we might imagine it as a hi-res-capable network streamer in a home loudspeaker system. Per the video below, the V30 can handle Roon and Spotify Connect – with remote control and touchscreen control (plus cover art display) – to roundly spank the Sonos Connect for the same money down:
Camera: Olaf von Voss | Editor: John Darko
Further information: LG