... 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 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.)
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.