DxOMark: the iPhone 12 mini has a great sound in a small package

Apple iPhone 12 mini

DxOMark has tested the audio recording and playback capabilities of the compact iPhone 12 mini, which went on sale last fall.

The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini has similar sound features to the iPhone 12. The smartphones have two speakers and two microphones for noise cancellation, and support for Dolby Atmos technology.

As a result, the smartphone received 73 points, including the same marks for the quality of sound recording and playback. The iPhone 12 received exactly the same amount. This allowed the iPhone 12 mini to get to eighth place in the corresponding ranking of the best DxOMark audio smartphones, which is topped by Asus ROG Phone 5 (79), Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (76) and Huawei Mate 20 X (75).

Apple has managed to squeeze high performance into a small package with the iPhone 12 mini. Following in the steps of the iPhone 12, it has advanced on previous iPhones as both a playback and recording device, and because it’s significantly smaller than the iPhone 12, that accomplishment is even more impressive. As a playback device, the iPhone 12 mini produces good timbre, and its spatial performance is solid, making its audio a valuable aspect of the video-watching experience. As for drawbacks, there’s the fact that the audio scene doesn’t rotate with the position of the phone. A lack of low-end extension and reduced loudness impairs punch, and the lack of bass and low-mids impairs tonal balance.

The disadvantages include not very high volume and lack of low frequencies.

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  • Good timbre, spatial, and dynamics performances
  • Attack and bass precision are good despite lack of low-end extension
  • Hard to occlude speakers when playing games


  • Punch is impaired by the lack of low-end extension
  • Tonal balance is hindered by lack of bass and low-mids



  • Great timbre performance
  • Very good dynamics thanks to sharp attack and good punch
  • Good spatial attributes make watching videos and listening to music quite pleasant.


  • Microphones easily occluded
  • Heavy compression and limiting create pumping effects when recording high SPL content.

Apple iPhone 12 mini specifications

  • 5.4-inch (2340×1080 pixels) OLED 476ppi Super Retina XDR display, up to 1200 nits brightness, Ceramic Shield protection
  • Six-Core A14 Bionic 5nm chip with 64-bit architecture, quad-core graphics
  • 64GB, 128GB,256GB storage options
  • iOS 14
  • Water and dust resistant (IP68)
  • Dual SIM (nano + eSIM)
  • 12MP wide-angle (f/1.6) camera, 7P lens, optical image stabilization, True Tone flash, 4K video recording at 60 fps, Slo‑mo 1080p at 240fps, 12MP 120° Ultra Wide (f/2.4) secondary camera, 5P lens
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera with f/2.2 aperture, Retina Flash, 4K video recording at 60 fps, Slo‑mo 1080p at 120fps
  • TrueDepth camera for FaceID facial recognition, Stereo speakers
  • Dimensions: 131.5×64.2×7.4mm; Weight: 133grams
  • 5G (sub‑6 GHz), Gigabit-class LTE, 802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6 with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with reader mode, GPS with GLONASS
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery with MagSafe wireless charging, fast charging, up to 15 hours of video playback
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