Mobile Audio Quality Index

Introducing the Mobile Quality Index from JUCE

The MAQ Index is a groundbreaking analysis of audio quality on mobile devices. It provides developers with insights about the devices best positioned to run audio apps, and it offers consumers granular information about the audio performance of their devices. The index is based entirely on performance analysis of JUCE-based apps across the iOS and Android platforms. JUCE is ROLI’s C++ framework for high-performance audio.

Methodology

Each device is analyzed rigorously according to the following parameters:

Sessions

  • The minimum number of sessions is 30
  • Sessions that last between 3 minutes and 3 hours are considered

Criteria

  • Glitchiness: The glitchiness value is an average of underruns per second, normalized on a scale of 0 to 1
  • Latency: Latency is calculated as the average of (buffer size * number of buffers) / (sample rate) for all sessions on the device
  • User ratings: User ratings are grouped in three categories: High, Medium, and Low. A machine-learning algorithm considers these categories alongside statistical results of glitchiness and latency on each device in order to help define the quality of user experience

Data presentation

Regularly tested and updated, the Mobile Audio Quality index results are presented in a data table and a Visualizer. Both formats plot performance scores according to the primary criteria of latency and glitchiness.

Scope of the data and limitations

  • The MAQ is a statistical analysis of user generated data. It is not a standalone test run on devices in laboratory conditions
  • Real-world conditions — such as the receipt of emails or multiple applications running in the background — can affect audio performance on devices during individual test sessions. The data presents a composite view of audio performance on a device in real-world conditions
  • Glitchiness can be affected by user behavior
  • Tablets, i.e. the mobile devices with the largest screens, may have glitches independent of CPU capabilities
  • Latency analysis focuses on the average latency of the application based on the parameters set within the application (buffer size, number of buffers, and sample rate). It does not include input latency (touch or MIDI inputs) or output latency (Bluetooth). The actual latency of each device will be higher than the data indicates

Rating System

While the MAQ Index shares granular performance scores of over 100 devices, the minute differences between devices with similar ratings usually do not affect the quality of user experience. For this reason the Index categorizes performance according to a three star system that highlights major differences in audio quality.

***

A three-star rating indicates that latency and glitchiness are negligible or virtually nonexistent. These devices are suitable for powering professional live music performances. This is the highest rating.

**

A two-star rating indicates that the device is reliable for casual live music performances. Some glitches may occur, and latency may be noticeable.

*

A one-star rating indicates that the device is not optimal for live music performances. Glitchiness and latency may be pronounced. However, these devices can likely be used for recording and other music-making activities that don’t require high-quality audio performance in real time.

Visualizer

The following Visualizer plots the performance of key mobile devices based on the key criteria of normalized glitchiness and latency.

Mobile Audio Quality Index Tables

The following tables rank iOS devices and Android devices.

iOS devices (alphabetical order)

ManufacturerModelDeviceMinimum latency (ms)GlitchinessMAQ
AppleiPad AirA14746.370.04***
AppleiPad AirA14756.330.04***
AppleiPad mini 2A14896.380.05***
AppleiPad mini 2A14906.420.08***
AppleiPad mini 4A15386.570.05***
AppleiPad Air 2A15666.670.01***
AppleiPad Air 2A15678.120.01***
AppleiPad (5th generation)A18226.580.01***
AppleiPad Pro (9.7-inch)A16736.850.01***
AppleiPad Pro (9.7-inch)A1674
A1675
6.820.01***
AppleiPad ProA15846.460.01***
AppleiPad Pro (12.9-inch)A16527.130.01***
AppleiPad Pro (12.9-inch, 2nd generation)A16707.280.01***
AppleiPad Pro (12.9-inch, 2nd generation)A18216.70.01***
AppleiPad Pro (10.5-inch)A17017.670.01***
AppleiPad Pro (10.5-inch)A17098.630.01***
AppleiPhone 8 PlusA1864, A1898, A18996.880.01***
AppleiPhone 8 PlusA18975.840.01***
AppleiPhone 5sA1453, A15337.570.05***
AppleiPhone 5sA1457, A1518, A1528, A15306.890.03***
AppleiPhone 6 PlusA1522, A1524, A15936.970.01***
AppleiPhone 6A1549, A1586, A15896.830.02***
AppleiPhone 6sA1633, A1688, A1691, A17006.70.01***
AppleiPhone 6s PlusA1634, A1687, A1690, A16996.450.01***
AppleiPhone SEA1662, A1723, A17246.520.01***
AppleiPhone 7A1660, A1779, A17806.150.01***
AppleiPhone 7 PlusA1661, A1785, A17866.120.01***
AppleiPhone 7A17786.290.01***
AppleiPhone 7 PlusA17846.050.01***
AppleiPod touch (6th generation)A15748.020.01***

Android devices (ordered by MAQ)

ManufacturerDeviceModelMinimum latency (ms)GlitchinessMAQ
GooglePixel 2walleye7.610.08***
GooglePixelsailfish160.09***
GooglePixel XLmarlin16.040.1***
HTCNexus 9flounder10.670.14***
LeecoLe Max2Le X820320.19**
LeecoLe Max2Le X821320.16**
LGEV20LG-H91831.80.28**
LGEV20LG-H91031.850.26**
LGELG G5LG-F700L320.27**
LGELG G5LG-H820320.28**
LGELG G5LG-H831320.24**
LGELG G5LG-H860320.21**
LGELG G6LG-H870320.29**
LGEV20LG-H990320.28**
LGELG G6LG-LS993320.24**
LGELG G5LGLS992320.22**
LGELG G5VS987320.26**
LGELG G5LG-H85067.570.23**
MotorolaMoto ZXT165071.020.2**
MotorolaMoto Z (2) ForceMoto Z (2)400.09**
OnePlusA3003ONEPLUS A300318.920.17**
OnePlusA3010ONEPLUS A301031.410.23**
OnePlusA3003ONEPLUS A300331.910.2**
OnePlus3ONEPLUS A3000320.2**
SamsungGalaxy S8+SM-G955F31.740.12**
SamsungGalaxy S7 ActiveSAMSUNG-SM-G891A320.25**
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930U320.28**
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G9350320.22**
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935P320.2**
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935R4320.13**
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935T320.15**
SamsungGalaxy S8SM-G950N320.1**
SamsungGalaxy Tab S3SM-T820320.07**
SamsungGalaxy S8+SM-G955N320.15**
SamsungGalaxy Note8SM-N950F320.03**
SamsungGalaxy S8SM-G950F32.90.1**
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930T32.930.21**
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930P33.360.27**
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935V34.010.2**
SamsungGalaxy S7SAMSUNG-SM-G930A35.680.23**
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSAMSUNG-SM-G935A36.970.18**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920C39.510.09**
SamsungGalaxy S6 ActiveSAMSUNG-SM-G890A400.1**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SAMSUNG-SM-N920A400.17**
SamsungGalaxy A8(2016)SM-A810S400.07**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920K400.13**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920R7400.24**
SamsungGalaxy S6 EdgeSM-G925W8400.14**
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge+SM-G928C400.1**
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge+SM-G928T400.21**
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge+SM-G928V400.12**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N9208400.11**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920I400.17**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920K400.09**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920P400.19**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920S400.11**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920T400.23**
SamsungGalaxy Note5SM-N920V400.09**
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930V40.10.16**
SamsungGalaxy S6 Edge+SM-G928F40.790.13**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920T42.010.14**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920P42.70.2**
SamsungGalaxy S6 EdgeSM-G925T44.140.11**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920F45.630.14**
SamsungGalaxy S6 EdgeSAMSUNG-SM-G925A45.970.04**
SamsungGalaxy S6 EdgeSM-G925F46.70.11**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920W846.90.17**
SamsungGalaxy S6 EdgeSM-G925V47.590.18**
SamsungGalaxy S6 EdgeSM-G925I48.70.2**
SamsungGalaxy S6SAMSUNG-SM-G920A49.660.12**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920V50.730.1**
SamsungGalaxy S6SM-G920I52.790.15**
SonyXperia XZsG8232160.24**
XiaomiMi 5MI 530.080.25**
XiaomiMi 5sMI 5s31.520.18**
XiaomiMI 5s PlusMI 5s Plus320.2**
XiaomiMi Note2Mi Note 2320.14**
ZTEA2017UZTE A2017U46.320.14**
ZukZ2 PlusZ2 Plus160.25**
ZukZ2ZUK Z213131.470.13**
#N/A#N/AZE552KL320.15**
#N/A#N/AZUK Z2 Pro320.04**
AsusZenFone 3 Max (ZC520TL)ASUS_X008D23.010.73*
AsusZenFone 3 (ZE552KL)ASUS_Z012D320.61*
AsusZenFone 3 (ZE552KL)ASUS_Z012DA320.33*
AsusZenFone 3 (ZE520KL)ASUS_Z017D320.67*
AsusZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL)ASUS_Z00LD146.060.76*
AsusZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL)ASUS_Z00ED157.640.6*
AsusZenfone MAXASUS_Z010D1600.84*
BlackBerryPRIV by BlackBerrySTV100-4320.74*
bqAquaris XAquaris X320.63*
CoolpadC103C103320.78*
Coolpad3600iCoolpad 3600I320.76*
HTCU11HTC U11320.77*
HTCDesire 626HTC Desire 626800.66*
HTCM9HTC One M9800.46*
HTC10HTC 10309.790.01*
HuaweiNexus 6PNexus 6P160.77*
HuaweinovaHUAWEI CAN-L11320.65*
HuaweiMate 9MHA-L29159.480.05*
HuaweiP9EVA-L09159.480.11*
HuaweiHonor 8FRD-L09159.590.14*
HuaweiHonor 8 ProDUK-L091600.24*
HuaweiP9EVA-L191600.18*
HuaweiFRD-L02FRD-L021600.23*
HuaweiHonor 8FRD-L041600.09*
HuaweiMate 8HUAWEI NXT-L291600.16*
HuaweiMate 9 ProLON-L291600.06*
HuaweiMate 9MHA-L091600.09*
HuaweiHonor 9STF-L091600.12*
HuaweiP9 PlusVIE-L091600.24*
HuaweiP9 PlusVIE-L291600.11*
HuaweiP10 PlusVKY-L091600.17*
HuaweiP10 PlusVKY-L291600.12*
HuaweiP10VTR-L091600.13*
HuaweiP10VTR-L291600.1*
Lavairis atomA121.330.89*
LeecoLe Max2Le X829320.43*
LenovoLenovo K8 NoteLenovo K8 Note23.150.82*
LenovoVIBE K6 NoteLenovo K53a48320.74*
LenovoP2Lenovo P2a42320.57*
LenovoVIBE X3 LiteLenovo A7010a48170.670.58*
LenovoK5 NoteLenovo A7020a48170.670.59*
LenovoS1Lenovo S1a40184.340.38*
LenovoK3 NoteLenovo K50a40184.680.69*
LeTVLe 2Le X526320.77*
LGENexus 5XNexus 5X160.8*
LGELG G5LG-H830320.31*
LGELG G6LG-H870DS320.31*
LGELG G6LG-H872320.38*
LGELG G6LG-H873320.4*
LGEV10LG-H960320.74*
LGEV20LG-LS997320.3*
LGELG G6VS988320.32*
LGEV10VS990320.74*
LGEV20VS995320.35*
LGELG G4LG-H81539.840.61*
LGELG G4LG-H811400.47*
LGELG G4LG-H812400.7*
LGELG G4LG-H818400.66*
LGELG G4LGLS991400.72*
LGELG G4VS986400.61*
MotorolaMoto X StyleXT157238.880.7*
MotorolaMoto X Pure EditionXT157539.710.48*
MotorolaDROID Turbo 2XT1585400.75*
NextbitRobinRobin300.66*
NokiaNokia 6TA-1021320.81*
NokiaNokia 5TA-1053320.82*
NokiaNokia 3TA-103246.310.78*
OnePlusOnePlusONE A200522.590.81*
OnePlus2ONE A200329.650.85*
OnePlusOnePlus5ONEPLUS A500031.930.8*
OppoR9sCPH1607320.85*
OppoCPH1701CPH1701320.88*
SamsungGalaxy Note8SM-N950U160.61*
SamsungGalaxy C9 ProSM-C900F320.77*
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935U320.41*
SamsungGalaxy S8SM-G950U1320.55*
SamsungGalaxy S8SM-G950W320.66*
SamsungGalaxy S8+SM-G955U1320.68*
SamsungGalaxy S8+SM-G955W320.68*
SamsungGalaxy J7 PopSM-J727V320.63*
SamsungGalaxy S8SM-G950U320.65*
SamsungGalaxy S8+SM-G955U320.64*
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930R433.750.31*
SamsungGalaxy A5(2017)SM-A520F39.980.69*
SamsungGalaxy A5(2017)SM-A520W400.54*
SamsungGalaxy A7(2017)SM-A720F400.81*
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930W841.520.77*
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935W842.790.65*
SamsungGalaxy S7SM-G930F45.650.61*
SamsungGalaxy S7 EdgeSM-G935F49.490.66*
SonyXperia X CompactF5321160.39*
SonyXperia X PerformanceF8131160.32*
SonyXperia XZF8332160.37*
SonyXperia XZ PremiumG8141160.73*
SonyXperia XZ PremiumG8142160.7*
SonyXperia XZsG8231160.39*
SonyXperia XF5121160.6*
SonyXperia Z5 PremiumE685316.250.84*
SonyXperia Z5E665316.320.76*
SonyXperia Z5 CompactE582316.40.85*
SonyXperia XZF833117.340.31*
SonyXperia XA UltraF321121.330.63*
SonyXperia XA UltraF321321.330.63*
SonyXperia XA1G312121.680.68*
SonyXperia XA1 UltraG322321.830.55*
SonyXperia L1G331121.840.75*
SonyXperia XAF311622.170.61*
SonyXperia XAF311122.40.58*
TCT (Alcatel)5049W5049W22.920.71*
UlefoneMIXMIX28.990.39*
XiaomiRedmi Note 3Redmi Note 316.020.49*
XiaomiRedmi Note 4Redmi Note 419.80.71*
XiaomiMI6MI 630.440.76*
XiaomiRedmi 3SRedmi 3S31.690.82*
XiaomiRedmi Note 3Redmi Note 331.970.38*
XiaomiMI MAXMI MAX320.55*
XiaomiMI MAX 2MI MAX 2320.76*
XiaomiRedmi 4Redmi 4320.79*
XiaomiRedmi 4Redmi 4320.79*
XiaomiRedmi 4ARedmi 4A320.84*
XiaomiRedmi 4XRedmi 4X320.83*
XiaomiMi A1Mi A1320.58*
XiaomiRedmi Note 4Redmi Note 433.130.59*
ZTEZTE BLade ZmaxZ982320.71*
ZTEA2017GZTE A2017G86.180.33*
ZTEB2017GZTE B2017G950.74*
ZTEZ981Z9813200.65*
ZukLenovo Z2 PlusZUK Z2132320.35*

Definitions

Audio Latency

Audio latency is calculated as the minimum latency of the audio playback, based on the recommendations of each device manufacturer. It does not consider the hardware latency of the digital analog converter, or of any other software layer of a device that may be adding latency. The latency is calculated from the number of buffers used, the hardware buffer size and the sample rate. The actual device latency will always be higher than the value we calculate as the hardware also has an associated latency, which will vary from device to device.

Audio Glitchiness

Audio glitchiness, or crackling in the audio output, is a function of the number of underruns that occur in a certain time unit during audio processing. An underrun occurs if the time it takes to process a block of audio is longer than the time it takes for the audio hardware to play back the same block. Mobile devices use techniques such as double, triple or quadruple buffering to avoid a “glitch”. Multiple buffering increases the audio reliability but it also increases latency. If the audio processor never detects an underrun, then the performance score prior to latency calculation will be 100. If the audio processor is constantly underrunning then the performance score is zero.

Session

A unique engagement with a JUCE app on Android or iOS.

User ratings

A user rating is a qualitative comment left by users on the Play Store of Apple Store. We use User Ratings to validate the statistical data.