Speaker Battle: iPhone 5s vs BlackBerry Z30 vs Galaxy Note 3

By Adam Zeis on 17 Mar 2014 01:14 pm EDT

Our BlackBerry hating friend J_Caloy is back with another video, only this time he isn't hating on BlackBerry — he's putting it up to a test of might against other devices. With three challenges already in the books for alarm clock, picture sharing and multi-tasking (check them out in the gallery above) he's moved onto a battle of speakers to see which device has the best overall sound.

When it comes to mobile devices, both the iPhone 5s and Note 3 sound good, but the BlackBerry Z30 is rocking with some great speakers and BlackBerry Natural Sound. J_Caloy notes that he didn't have the ability to use an HTC One in the challenge, but it's still a pretty good comparison. You can check out the video and judge for yourself as to which was the overall winner. Hit up the comments and let us know your pick, then head to the forums for more!

Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Speaker Battle: iPhone 5s vs BlackBerry Z30 vs Galaxy Note 3



Lol. Word. People sleep on the PlayBook still. Just because the specs may not be "current" don't mean it's not of quality.

Posted via CB10

Yep and for the record. The new series CRISIS on NBC was sporting a BlackBerry PlayBook. Clear as day on the show. Yay

Posted via CB10

I noticed that too last night! I was so proud LOL! I'm looking forward to the next iteration of the Playbook!

Posted via CB10

Saw that. I posted it in the PlayBook forums about 3 minutes after it 1st appeared.

Posted with my CB-Q10 using the power of " Q "

WTF was this? Seriously. What kind of sound test. They were going at the same time? You can objectively measure things like db, clarity, bass, range etc. You can even subjectively measure sound, but not when three devices are going at the same time. In the indomitable words of Teddy Westside, "C'MON!"

Also posting it on YouTube so that everyone can play it back on their respective variety of devices/speakers/ headphones, is a hilarious idea.

Almost as bad as advertising ultra HD TV's clarity and definition... through a "pedestrian" HD tv.

Posted via CB10

WTF were you listening to? Didn't you see the phone name highlighted for the phone you were hearing? The sound changed for each phone. That said, I agree that there are better ways to compare sound as you suggested.

I thought they were are playing at the same time too if it wasn't for polishpirate that pointed it out. You can barely see each phone highlighted. I had to watch it a second time.

Apparently we are not bright. You see, in a video review of smartphone speakers, video plays on multiple screens at the same time. You must carefully note the screen which is either brightest or in color to recognize that speaker is playing at that time. This is how it's always done. This is how it's always been done, and anyone who thinks otherwise or does not recognize it has an IQ under 140 (have to assume that everyone else viewing this on a Z10 or Q10 who recognized this immediately has a high IQ).

Because the alternative would be to think, it might be sort of confusing even to intelligent folks who were watching for the first time on a mobile device - and quite frankly that is unthinkable.

News flash to you! When has an iphone EVER had good sound? Maybe iphone 8...
Note 3 is right up there sounding like crap, Z30 wins hands down.

Playback the video clearly you're a little slow. The sounds is played ONE at a TIME. Notice each device the text is a DIFFERENT color when that device is playing. Sorry you're not as bright as others i guess.

Nope, guess not. Could not make that out at all on my device. Guess I'll have to rely on my other gifts. Makes you wonder how I got a doctorate before I was 25. Damn American educational system! Thank goodness that folks are swayed by attractiveness and lots of money - otherwise I might be forced to pay closer attention to these videos.

Honestly, that's not very impressive seeing as how I attended university in the States and Canada, and a third year algebra course in the U.S was actually something I did in grade 11 in Canada...just saying

Moved from Nigeria to the us my freshman year... smh the math alone... how anyone found geometry hard I'd never understand the level of competition for education is not even high. in my home country you are fighting against other smart people as well as corruption for a college acceptance.

Posted via CB10

What are you people talking about? I had math all through high school up to Calculus in my senior year, where I realized I was in over my head. I was hardly unique, and no where near the top of my class in math. There is certainly quality education to be had in the American educational system for those who take advantage of the opportunity. I find these comments odd coming from those who came to the US to be educated...

Posted via CB10

Ignore them. They're either lying or they came to the U.S. and lived in some sh*tty area with an even sh*ttier public school system. And of course that speaks for the entire country. All 300 million of us.

And yet they're soooo smart they came here for an education.

I've never spent a day in public school, but I can say that I took college preparatory physics in my junior year in H.S.

Ignore them. Haters gonna hate...

If Apple was purely focusing on Music, Movies, and games from what it's called "iPod" Revolution, they should focus on stuff like Stereo Speakers. Too bad they're too stupid to figure out what to focus on! Look at my new Apple HDTV, It's got ONE Speaker! :P

They were not going at the same time. The phones would go from color to black and white. It's clearly three synced video clips. The phones in black and white were silenced, and the phone in color is the one whose audio was being played.

Watch the video and look and listen closely, each time a different clip is played, a different phone is showcased in color.

Yep. Got that about 3 comments ago. I noticed the B&W color thing first listening, and thought it might be the case, but it just seemed so crazy to me that you would have the other 2 devices playing silent video while the third device was playing sound, without any indication or prior notice of same, that I dismissed it. It's true, I over estimated the production value. Having only seen a few sound comparison videos, I wrongly expected that either the person conducting the comparison would cue each device, or there would be a video overlay. It was of course my mistake. Clearly having taken note that the comparison was being done without aid of objective measurement and being conducted on a youtube video, recorded with by an unknown source to be listened to on mobile devices, I should have just understood what this was to begin with. Mea Culpa.

Watch it again. Lol they're not playing at the same time. When one is highlighted, it showcases it's sound. Then it will move to the next and show case it's sound and so on. You can hear the difference in clarity as it toggles from device to device.

BlackBerry 4Life

At the same time?? It was pretty obvious as to which phone was playing when. Even my 6 year old niece could tell me which phone was playing as it switched. SMH.

Posted via CB10

It's funny how everyone sees this, but has difficulty reading my comments immediately following my earliest post. So odd.

I can speak to the HTC One, the Z30 sounds better even with the BoomSound IMO. Though, the HTC One sounds better through headphones which honestly is how most people listen to music.

Do they sound better with Beats? I got a pair of Beats earphones and used them with me Z10 and the sound was amazing coming from it. Never heard music so loud coming from earphones.

Posted via CB10

I tried an iPhone 5 with my daughter's Beats headphones then compared the same content with an HTC One. The One produced noticeably better sound. Definitely more full.

But no Beats in the HTC One 2 though :(

Interesting. It seems that the Z30 (with some better software) could potentially get similar headphone performance since I believe that the Z30 and the One use the same Qualcomm audio DAC.

Posted via CB10

@B1aze You should try testing Z30 vs One a third party music player like Neutron to see if that closes the gap at all.

Posted via CB10

I can't wait for the Q20, hopefully it will be hands down an audiophiles dream phone.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I just replaced mine z10 with z30 just because speakers.
On YouTube someone did compare HTC one and z30. Z30 is a clear winner there.

Posted via CB10

added you to BBm and chatting with you about Z10-Z30 now but cant answer doing a os update at the moment

That's BlackBerry's innovative baby no one can beat it..Z30.. :)

yet to come some more babies from BlackBerry family :)

Posted via CB10

No offense ment J, but if you cut back on the unneeded monolouge, you would have time to test any phone you want...lol keep em coming.

How can the Z30 be compared to the Note 3? Are you guys kidding?! The premium Z30 is like 2010.. LOL
Blackberry needs to step up their game.

Posted via CB10

It's a sound test.

Not a specs comparison. We note the oh so cool Note 3 has a quadcore, right?

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Did you listen? It is clear the Z30 has better sound. Easy to pick out the differences when you throw on a set of headphones and hear the video.

C004682C1 .... shot from my z10

Z30 isn't easily available in the US without having to go to Verizon. Thanks for the test but wish the Z30 was as accessible as the other phones. Until this happens, this doesn't help much. Maybe BlackBerry could hire this guy as a creative director or something! I did skip to the actual phone test after a minute or so.. he was getting chatty haha!

True, but unfortunately the Z30 came out at the worst time in the company's history. Even in Canada, you could not find an ad or hype anywhere. Even worse, Canadians had to complain just to get Rogers (Canada's biggest carrier ) to stock it. I'm actually surprised how well the Z30 has done considering.
Hopefully as BlackBerry turns things around, we will see a complete overhaul on how the States receives devices and software updates.

Powered by BlackBerry

PS: if you're watching the test on your mobile, you'd probably only notice the Z30 superiority ... if you actually play the video on a ... Z30 ! Other devices will crunch treble and bass, the same way they were unable to playback them in the test !
Just sayin' ;)

Actually I have read in some reviews on tech sites that Z30 blows the HTC One out of the water when you are talking about sound.

I'm in week two of my Z30. I migrated from a Z10 specifically to get the better sound. I haven't looked back. Hands down, the best mobile speakerphone on the market.

I find it very interesting that people who buy an IPhone 5S are adamant that they are buying a premium high end phone, but sadly it's not true. The Z30 totally blows the Iphone Away. When you buy an apple phone your simply overpaying for a run of the mill phone. Seriously even some of those plastic Samsung phones perform better for a lot less. So the results of this challenge don't surprise me.

Cool test! Z30 Wins! The Z30 almost sounds like the future of sound. LOL Thanks JC. Keep em coming. Enjoying your videos.

The sound test is proper,...as in, if three owners of the tested devices were to meet and agree to a "sound test",...this is exactly how it would be done! Duh! Z30 ears down the winner.

If I didn't jump to get the Z10 so fast the Z30 would have been my device of choice.

Posted via my Z10

The clear phone that is the winner is whatever phone you are currently using. Same thing can be said about cars! All these phones are good with their own set of pros and cons.

At least he tried! BlackBerry always was quality and then got themselves into trouble. The Z30 rules... period!

Posted via CB10

I did the listening tests with my Boss wireless headset. It was clear the 5S was the worst sounding. The Note wasn't too bad but the z30 was the best sounding device. I would like to see the same same test using a rock and roll song we all know like, "We are the Champions" or something....

C004682C1 .... shot from my z10

I'd like to play songs... But I can't due to copyright

JC, from the Asian Guy that Hates BlackBerry on YouTube

Even though I have a z10, I expected iPhone to win. Surprisingly, it did not. I rank them:
Z30 – sounded the most balance & rich
iPhone 5s – not quite as tin-ey as the Note
Note 3 – a bit too tin-ey

I was just telling someone today how my Z30s sound is far and away better than their iPhone 5s. Score a win for BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

I was updating a PlayBook here in the philippines which by the way is difficult on pocket wifi. This is the first time I ever used a PlayBook and it's pretty slick and once I hooked up bridge and rocked my music (Down with Webster) as for the other devices. Well the HTC one speakers sound tinny. The Samsung is meh and iPhone 5 is ok to listen to because it's loud. Have yet to listen to a z30 in a non crowded mall or environment.

Posted Via my second Z10

Well I would like to listen to some advices... since I already had a BlackBerry phone... so I was looking for a tablet... but many said I already had a BlackBerry.. why not go for ipad air...

But in my heart I still tot of getting a playbook... so so far I didn't heard of any latest playbook yet... may I get some advices and also know when is the latest playbook version released?

 BB FANS via Q10 

"J_Caloy notes that he didn't have the ability to use an HTC One in the challenge"

Thats like saying I'm going to compare phones photo quality and not have the top rated phone with the best camera. So I have a Z30, Nexus 4, and Moto X. Both the Nexus 4 and Moto X have bad cameras. I'll "not have access" to an iPhone 5s or Lumia 1020 but it's still a pretty good comparison. Not really.

I watched the video using my headphones and the iToy's speakers is really awful, I give the second place to Crapdroid, and first place to BB z30

You should be comparing against an HTC One, the real music beast in Android, not a Samsung device. Still, no one listens music without headphones or pairing it to their car/stereo. And Apple owns both android and BB in apps, I really like my Z10 but it lacks tons of apps and real games.