Huawei Mate 9 Pro Review: Audio


Not long ago, a wealth young reader provided a Huawei Mate 9 for us to test. The audio performance of Huawei Mate 9 is just average. Then another handsome reader provided this Mate 9 Pro for us. Will this Pro vision have a Pro audio performance? We suppose the answer is NO, because Huawei does not mention anything special on audio.

  • Source: Reader
    Type: Mass produced
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This review will not bring anything different, because this Mate 9 Pro is also equipped with Kirin 960 Processor, the audio sub-system should be similar to Mate 9. The result of Mate 9 Pro will not change much.

The build-in music player is the same with Mate 9's, not a Pro one. The player UI is just a common one, also has online and local part. The online music player is a customized QQ Music, and the local part supports mainstream audio formats. DTS is on default, but we recommend you to switch it off to enhance audio performance.

By convention, we use professional sound card to record sounds, combined with common analysis, to provide quantitative results. The output level of Mate 9 Pro is -12dB, lower than that of Mate 9, also lower than iPhone series' -6 to -7 dB.

Testing Item 44.1kHz 48kHz P9 Mate 9
Noise Level, dB -95.9 -96.6 -95.5 -96.2
Dynamic Range, dB 96.3 96.2 96.6 96.3
Total Harmonic Distortion(THD), % 0.0018 0.0018 0.0055 0.0015
Intermodulation Distortion, % 0.0051 0.0045 0.0074 0.0052
Stereo Crosstalk, dB -93.8 -94.5 -92.2 -94.7

The results are slightly worse than that of Mate 9, and that can be regarded as a test error. The TDH is abnormal in curve, this also appeared in our Mate 9 and P9's testing, but never in others. Treble attenuation also happens in 44.1kHz, but not on 48kHz, and other results are also similar to Mate 9's. We cannot figure out whether there exists SRC problem, but this attenuation seems like a result of Android SRC. Mate 9 Pro do not pass the 96kHz testing, too. However, according to Huawei's official documents, Kirin 960 SoC supports Hi-Res audio stream, but Huawei Consumer did not take advantage of it. All results are tested without DTS to enhance audio performance.

Mate 9 Pro's sound performance is neutral, not warmth or cold. Mate 9 Pro has an average resolution, and weakness power. With a high sensitivity and low impedance headphone, Mate 9 Pro can power loud sound pressure, but the burr will be obvious at high volume, and the bass is easier to be chaos. Loudness does not equal to controlling. Mate 9 Pro's overall audio performance is still far away from iPhone series'. Huawei wants to challenge Apple, but they should provide fair sound performance first.

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