Harman/Kardon HTC One M8 on Sprint

Spotify discount sweetens the deal for those on a Sprint 'Framily' plan

Sprint and Harman/Kardon today in New York City announced an exclusive version of the HTC One M8. It's being positioned as an Android smartphone for music lovers who don't want any compromises — wherein you can listen to music the way the artists want.

This is basically the same M8 we've come to know and love — be sure to read our full review — but with some serious sound customization added in. The phone features Harman's Clari-Fi that "restores and 'rebuilds' music fidelity lost during audio compression." Sprint and Harman/Kardon are promising "richer, deeper and clearer sound quality for compressed digital music."

The phone will have an FM radio and feature "Sprint Sound Sessions," which sports more exclusive music. In addition, those who are on a Sprint Framily plan will get six months of Spotify for free, starting May 9. After that, it'll run $8 a month through 24 months.

The new edition of the M8 will be available in stores on May 9, and online starting May 2. It'll cost $28.32 a month on Sprint's 2year-plan with $0 down. You'll be able to get it directly from Sprint, of course, as well as Crutchfield.com and wwstereo.com.

It features 32GB of on-board storage and will take up to a 128GB microSD card. The phone comes with a $149 pair of Harman/Kardon earbuds.

And, yes, you can get it in black with champagne accenting.

More: Sprint press release

 

Reader comments

Sprint announces a Harman/Kardon version of the HTC One M8

98 Comments

Oh it is Software .... Built only for Sprint ( Yuck) What it is supposedly doing is taking the mp3 file one of the most commonly used for the average person which is a compressed music file ( Apple uses AAC also compressed) and I am guessing there doing something with that compressed file and restoring it

thats what i was thinking!! lol and then go and throw on an exclusive to the carrier losing the most subscribers... totally makes sense

I think this may be a little different from a certain perspective. The Beats branding is mostly associated with the headphones. In the case of HTC and HP they had used the branding for audio processing, which in my opinion didn't make sense (being that Beats is a hardware manufacturer).

Harmon Kardon on the other hand, has already had a presence in personal, home, computer, and automotive audio systems. Their hardware branding extends beyond just headphones and portable speakers. I think that if sound quality is the main focus, the HK inclusion would probably be more sensible since they have a longer history and larger product portfolio than Beats Audio.

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Yeah... it sucks it is only for Sprint because honestly i prefer Samsung phones but with this on T-mobile or AT&T i would of considered it

Beats Redux!
However stylish, they are phones that people don't buy, made by a (sinking) company that people don't want to work for. . . HTC innovates, but just not quite right.

Okay, what makes this particular One a Harman\Kardon special ? Harman\Kardon powered Boomsound speakers ? Headphones ? Or just "Software Algorithms" *cough*beats*cough* ?

I was thinking same thing, software and ear buds. So in other words, nothing new hardware wise? I'm assuming the sound quality only applies with the earbuds not the built-in "boom sound" speakers?

If it is just software or an application as it sounds, what's to stop someone on XDA yanking it and offering to all other M8 users? For that matter, would it become available for existing M8 owners minus the earbuds?

So I could Blu tack this to my coffee table. Cool. I'll ditch all my audio stuff - 6ft speakers, cd player, tube amp, pre-amp, turntable, monster cables, stands, vinyl and cd collection. Wow, so much more room. Does it come with a remote?

Via my Note 3 on AC.

I guess I don't get the word gimmick when used by you folks. This feature would appeal to anyone who listens to music heavily on their device I would assume. No more gimmicky than a cell phone with a camera on it. Or a television with web access. Or a car with Sirius radio and Bose speakers. It's call forward thinking. Taking technology places it wasn't 5 or 10 years ago. Not all features are gimmicks. Go back to a flip phone if you feel that way.

I listen to music in my car (stock radio, meh), in my home (mix of speakers, mostly bookshelf speakers from Infinity), at my desk (hi fi headphones from Beyerdynamics or Fostex), on and on the go (decent headphones from Etymotic & V-Moda)... I'd like to think I'm fairly critical of SQ but not a snobbish audiophile. At face value this HK deal reads pure gimmick, and in the past HK has been pretty free about licensing it's brand for a quick buck.

Btw, I've got no ill will towards H/K, it's just a name, I think the H/K brand now belongs to the same parent company as Infinity and JBL too...

It's really to bad that htc doesn't realize that having front facing speakers is actually costing them more sales than they're gaining. A few tech nerds love them but the other 99.5% think they make the screen too small, and the phone too tall and heavy.

I'm pretty sure he's right. When you stand in the store actually comparing it to the competition, you do not notice the sound. You do however notice that the phone is bigger while the screen is smaller. Apart from that, people generally use earphones or headphones when playing games or listening to music....

What.....the... Heck did I just read? Speakers costing mucho sales. Coño!!

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Wow, it must be different everywhere in the world than where I live. Everyone loves my speakers and several people have switched or will be switching to the current HTC One model going forward because of them. So much better sound when watching a video than rear speakers.

Sprint has a track record of killing anything they touch and given that HTC didn't play well with added audio( beats by dre) H-K should run away from these two. My ¢2.

Now this is the kind of marketing hype I can buy into, a reputable sound company offering quality sound reproduction and enhancement, rather than simply "It's got Beats (R) by Dre, dat's hot" kind of stupidity.

this is bad. HTC NOW makes practically no money. And now they make even less per device!

Boy are they in panic-mode. They must sell way less units then expected to do stupid stunts like this.

I bet they wont survive in this form for another year. I bet they will be bought by a Chinese company or LG before the M9 comes out.

Generally speaking, in business deals like this, the cost burden is not absorbed by only one company. Sprint, HTC and Harman/Kardon split the cost. I would suspect H/K is using this as a way into the mobile market which may suggest they are bearing a significant part of the cost. Having their name/logo/software on a popular device like the M8 is a big deal.

I don't agree to the carrier exclusive but I too was wondering about it not being offered initially. Best I could find was some sort of licensing thing was involved that dragged out which prevented it. But not sure how legitimate that is either.

You do know that the network side and marketing side are completely separate and one doesn't impede the progress of the other right?

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Well they do have a new commercial out..They talk about the New Sprint Network and how their service is so much better than in the past..After seeing that commercial i payed my ETF and moved onto AT&T...Im paying only about $20 more but I really don't care anymore..Only Sprint can make someone happy about spending more money.

What was so bad about the Beats audio? My HTC One sounds so much better than any of my friends high-end androids or iphones. And the earbuds that came with it are great.

George: I'll take Business and Industry for $400, please Alex.
Alex: Sprint and HTC.
George: What are two companies that won't be around in two years?
Alex: That is correct!

all that great technology for listening to washed out and flat sounding MP3 files....cool!

BTW Sprint just reported a half million subscriber loss VERY COOL!

to everyone hating on Sprints network please keep in mind they are ripping and replacing equipment on every tower from the ground up so I suspect most are in markets this is still going on. Id be interested to hear what opinions are when its completed in the months to come and now from those in markets that it is basically already completed like Chicago. Once done enabling any new voice/data technology or spectrum will be as easy as popping a card in a slot on the base station. No one else will be able to do that and will likely have to go through the same thing Sprint did the past couple years if they want to keep up with it.

I like the look of the black, but the finger prints all over the back didn't go unnoticed. So still need a case.

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1. Carrier exclusives in general are stupid IMO.
2. It is even more stupid for an OEM like HTC, who is already struggling to hold onto market share, to do carrier exclusive deals. It is basically giving customers on other networks the middle finger.
3. If HTC is hellbent on carrier exclusives, why did they choose the worst one? Buyers won't even get to enjoy enhanced tunes over Sprint's craptastic network.

I don't want to see HTC go under, but I am quickly losing faith in their ability to turn things around.

I don't know maybe the average people use the camera a lot on a smartphone, but for me i listen to music literally 10x more.

So seeing a deal like that from a respective company as harman-kardon, this makes me want to cry as HTC haven't even advertise its music output at all..... and there's no way for me to have a device like this.

I doubt you're missing much, listening to music on the go the SQ is established like 75% by your headphones, and maybe 12.5% by the source (phone/player) and source material (files but also the original track mastering which often does far more harm than any amount of MP3 compression). A $30 SanDisk Clip Zip sounds better than many phones tbh, usually not worth the bother unless you want a separate player for exercise or something. Get decent headphones (anything but Beats!) and be happy. Phillips isn't usually associated with high end audio but their Fidelio line has some very nice gems for the price (both IEM and on/around ears).

Ah... I remember when Creative released X-Fi Audio that did the same thing as ClariFi years ago. Sad day when other companies are not taking that idea since Creative is all but dead....

I never got over Creative Labs pushing Aureal Semiconductor into bankruptcy, so Creative can die in a fire for all I care.

Compressed mp3 is compressed mp3, no amount of trickery can put back what's been removed in the encoding process.

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To all the fucktards that bash Sprint because it might not be good for them in their area.....it fuckin works great in my area and I have no complaints! None. Nada. So get over it or go sit on the couch and try to lick your own balls without falling off.....

I think every niche should have a device to fill it, but sometimes it seems a bit silly.

Warning! Humor content follows, do NOT become offended!

Introducing the new HTC M8, the phone for the music lover who can't afford earbuds, likes to take low res photos at night, hi res selfies in the daytime, loves slippery, cold devices and who's self esteem is based on how pretty their phone is!

Warning, the above was humor and should NOT be taken seriously! So PLEASE don't get your panties in a wad!