The HTC One M8 already struck us as a fine-looking smartphone – now it’s going to sound great, too. There’s now a special Harman Kardon edition of HTC’s 2014 flagship phone, and it’s coming exclusively to Sprint.
The HTC One M8 Harman Kardon edition keeps all the high-end specs of the One M8 – the 1080p 5” display, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and HTC’s Duo camera. Funny enough, though, the Harman Kardon part of the phone might not be what you expect. The speakers on the phone are still HTC’s own proprietary units, although the phone will come with a free pair of Harman Kardon AE-S headphones.
Instead, Harman Kardon is delivering on the software end, in two ways. The first is with Clari-Fi, an app that takes compressed music files and restores to them the quality of uncompressed files during playback, so you get a deeper, richer sound. If you’re planning on playing or streaming uncompressed files, that will be handled by a 24-bit/192kHz DAC, for sound quality that far exceeds what you get when you play the common mp3. This technology is similar to what we got a peek at earlier this year at CES. At the time, it was called Signal Doctor.
Of course, you’re going to want to put that audio software to good use. Sprint is introducing Sprint Sound Sessions, a bundle of entertainment services that includes Spotify, Sprint Music Plus, Music Live, and NextRadio. Sprint Music Plus is Sprint’s own music store, while Music Live provides music industry news and NextRadio streams local FM radio stations to your device.
A premium Spotify account won’t come completely free, but you won’t pay anything in the short-term – Sprint is offering six months of free premium Spotify to all new and existing contract customers. If you’re on one of their new Framily plans, you’ll be able to get a discounted monthly rate on your Spotify account after those six months are up. After two years, you’ll be reverted back to the regular, $10 monthly rate. Before then, Framily plans with five people or less will pay $8 per person, while Framily plans with six people or more will pay $5 per person.
In the end, it took four diverse companies to come together for one phone: Sprint, Harman Kardon, HTC, and Spotify. If we’re being honest, it’s all one big push to get you and yours on Sprint’s new Family plans. But, hey – you can’t deny that the deal is going to sound like music to the ears of many.