Disclaimer: I ditched an iPhone 6 for the SE, which feels so damn good. In doing away with a truly one-handed phone, what in the hell were Apple thinking? And why’s its basic design still around?
RMAA: Apple iPhone 6 24-bit
RMAA: Apple iPhone 7 24-bit
RMAA: Apple's Lightning to 3,5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter 24-bit
RMAA: Arcam MusicBOOST 24-bit
RMAA: 2012 27" iMac 24-bit
RMAA: iPod nano 7G various loads
So, the iPhone SE keeps test results within a decibel of both the iPhone 6 and the Apple Lightning to 3,5mm headphone adapter. It has a wonderfully low noise floor, shows reasonable stability under load, and at high volumes, presses into mid-tier audiophile DAP performance.
The iPhone 5 chassis isn’t my favourite, but this thing is way nicer in the pocket than the iPhone 6. The volume buttons are easier to press, and it is nearly impossible to simultaneously press them and the power button. And, if you need a bit more signal stability under load, you can plug the SE into the Lightning to 3,5mm Headphone Jack Adapter.
NL - no load
SM2 - Earsonics SM2
ES7 - Audio Technica ES7
DT880 - Beyerdynamic DT880/600
24-bit TARGETS and loads +0dB (volume matched to iPhone 6’s maximum)
24-bit TARGETS summary @+0dB (volume matched to iPhone 6’s maximum)
If you dislike large phones, and you like Apple, the iPhone SE is the only game in town. It sounds good, works well, and feels great in the hand. Bingo.