HTC BoomBass.

... and only to your HTC One

For as impressive as BoomSound is on the HTC One — nothing comes close to those front-facing speakers yet — the phone is still a bit lacking on the low end. Physics are funny like that, of course. And, so, we have the HTC BoomBass.

We've previously taken an early look at a pre-production BoomBass. Now, we've got a working product.

As the name implies, this little square speaker adds bass to your BoomSound experience in a simple and stylish package. But it's not a full-blown Bluetooth speaker. Rather, BoomBass adds some low-end — and only low end — to your HTC One experience, working in (ahem) concert with those front-facing speakers.

HTC BoomBass.

HTC BoomBass is a fun — but limited — speaker that brings some much-needed bass.

That's both a curse and a blessing, of course. It means that BoomBass is fun accessory if you have an HTC One — and it's next to worthless with anything else. You can connect it to any other Bluetooth device, but it sounds like you're listening to loud, bassy music in a car with the windows rolled up — while you're stuck standing outside.

The out-of-box experience is quick and easy. There's a single button on the back. Press and hold to turn the speaker on. Then tap your HTC One to the top of the speaker to initiate an NFC connection, which in turn pairs the phone to the speaker. And that's it. Launch your favorite music app (or anything that spits out sound, for that matter), and you're on your way.

There are a few catches here, though. First, of course, is that you need an HTC One. Second is that you need an HTC One with Sense. Google Play edition M7s won't work just yet. (And for what it's worth, we're using a newly updated AT&T HTC One with Android 4.3 and the updated Sense.)

HTC BoomBass.

Don't have an HTC One? Then don't bother with this speaker.

Another is that while the BoomBass is active as soon as it's paired, with some songs you don't really get good sound out of it until the phone's volume is turned up all the way. Not one step below all the way — but TURNED UP TO 11. Others kick it out of the box.

Style-wise, HTC's done its usual bang-up job with BoomBass. It's a decidedly HTC product, with the purposeful lines, impressive attention to detail, and excellent build quality. The slider mechanism — it creates a little shelf on which you rest your phone — is about perfect — and the rubberized footing keeps BoomBass in place things get jumping.

On the specs front, HTC's ticked all the expected boxes. Bluetooth 3.0+ EDR, apt-x and A2DP support are on board. It's powered by a 1,200 mAh battery — so you will have to charge it from time to time, but HTC says you should get 9 hours' playback.

It's tough to say yet whether we'd actually shell out for a BoomBass. That's not to say it's not a good product — it is. But it's a limited one. Don't have an HTC One? Don't bother. At about 2.5 inches with sharp corners, BoomBass is packable, but not necessarily comfortably so. 

And then there's the cost factor for a speaker that only really works with a small subset of phones. We're waiting to hear back on the official pricing and will update once we get it.


Reader comments

HTC BoomBass: Bringing some low-end to your HTC One


Hopefully, it'll work with more HTC devices.

And please, make the pricing reasonable.

$300 for a Galaxy Gear is just bad enough for a product that only works with one or two phones at launch.

Though a Samsung rep has said that they're planning to add more devices to be compatible with it, including non-Samsung devices.

"including non-Samsung devices"? Is that news? I thought the company line was Sammy-only.

If it only charged the phone as well that would be awesome. I would leave it plugged in and on the nightstand

I bet you it will come in at around $99.99 and will be $59.99 by next year's summer. At both prices, I'd still pass it up. It's too much money for just bass.

Surely more people would buy if they just made it a normal speaker with bass. Sometimes I really don't understand HTC's logic

Posted from the ONE

I don't understand why anyone would be trying to compete against those Jambox bluetooth speakers. I bought their big one, and it is now my default living room noisemaker.

How big is this market that HTC is trying to reach? I have never used my phone as a mass listening device. Front facing speakers in a phone? Okay, it a nice touch but are you going to take your phone to the beach and have a party with it as the music source? So now they add a bass cube. HTC is on the way out and this is one of the reasons why. They don't seem to understand the market. How many of these things will they sell. 10? 50? I use to love HTC phones. Somewhere along the line they got sidetracked and never made it back.

You don't have to take it to the beach. My wife uses her's around the house to listen to music. The front facing speakers are that good. If the price is right, I'd buy one.

Posted via Android Central App

A base that adds bass huh? Interesting. If the price is right it might not be such a bad investment since I use my One as a stereo at work.

Posted via Android Central App

Great demo Phil. One question: it didn't look like Beats Audio was active on your phone (I didn't see the red Beats icon in the notification area) - did you have it off, or does doing the NFC activation to the BoomBass turn off Beats? Or is there a new icon when you're paired to the BoomBass? Thanks!