Disable all audio post processing (Dirac)
The zenfone now seems like the phone to buy if you care about audio quality.
✅ 3.5 mm headphone jack
✅ High quality, loud stereo speakers
✅ Supports all the Bluetooth streaming protocols and has a strong transmitter
But none of the reviews warned me that there's an always-on program constantly altering my audio.
Listening to music via LDAC on a Samsung, Sony, and HTC device all sounds the same, but with the zenfone sending audio, it is suddenly more compressed losing both clarity and dynamic range.
I will never understand why companies go to so much effort just to shoot themselves in the foot. Who wants a headphone jack in 2021 AND some chintzy audio enhancer messing with their audio?!
I can live with a lot of the quirks of this phone, but without the ability to completely disable the "audio wizard" I will be forced to return the phone.