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

There are 98 comments

bigtank says:

now for a device pic

Like the HTC One M8, only more Harman Kardony.

mrrobotanger says:

Ha! Nice

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GrooveRite says:

Kardony.....lololol!! Nice! :)

l00natic71 says:

It's right on the video. Mostly Black with the speakers having a gold color. Did you watch the video?

Gekko says:

more gimmicks!

John Nemesh says:

Not a gimmick to have high quality DACs capable of decoding 24bit/192khz audio files! Music lovers should be excited!

ronnypoo says:

If its a software type thing then it wouldn't be an exclusive. Better speakers maybe?

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l00natic71 says:

You are getting the Harman-Kardon buds for $30 that alone seems like a good deal over the regular M8.

Closingracer says:

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

John Nemesh says:

No, it's not just software, they are putting better DACs in the unit.

Closingracer says:

Nothing i read Said anything about putting in a better DAC in it ..

cjbrigol says:

wtf is a hardon karmal?

manimsoblack says:


cjbrigol says:

Android Central will give us our +1 button one day buddy...one day...

ryanmtech says:


mrrobotanger says:


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takpro says:

Melts in your ear and not in your hand! :)

bumpandrun says:


ryanmtech says:

i love how your comment reflects your name haha

Closingracer says:

Audio company ... Makes headphones, Car audio systems , Speakers and so forth


sublimaze says:

Damn here we go again. I guess HTC learned nothing from the Beats deal. /smh

frettfreak says:

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

Habiib says:

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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Closingracer says:

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

GrooveRite says:


hmmm says:

More lipstick for the pig.

You misread the article, this is for the HTC One, not the S5.

LOL +1.

@hmmm, if you dont like it, dont buy it. Like a broken record, nothing but negative posts.

markbc says:

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.

mkashen says:

so let me get this straight, a caramel colored m8?

IceDree says:

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

Scroll up. Added in some more info.

DroidOn says:

Based upon this article, it looks like just software to me.

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bumpandrun says:

and the earbuds

smotrs says:

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?

Closingracer says:

Officially no it is exclusive to the Sprint sub variant of the HTC M8

Closingracer says:

Lol.. you really want to compare this to Beats?.....

Dperks17 says:


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frettfreak says:

Hesse must have HUGE hands. the M8 is a very LARGE device and looks small in that pic of him holding it! lol

He's a big dude. :p

Theot says:

Will these ear buds improve my service? :-P

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Madd54 says:

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.

smotrs says:

Has a remote built-in to it, does that count? :)

Quis89 says:

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.

bumpandrun says:


Impulses says:

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.

Impulses says:

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...

Gekko says:

if the CEO had any shame he would have performed seppuku long ago.

do you hear me Chou???????????????????


ScottJ says:

If your mother had the gift of foresight, she would have aborted you.

Warrenisit says:


smotrs says:


Gator352 says:

Funny. Your mother had total hind-sight cause she shit you out...and forgot to flush....

Nev says:

Now I need a Klipsch version for Verizon.

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And Bose for AT&T!

calvin35 says:

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.

zizu101 says:

Oh really?!

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ScottJ says:

Exaggerate much?

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....

Habiib says:

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

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bumpandrun says:

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.

TKL74 says:

Picture of the earbuds?

mirad77 says:

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.

A2theC says:

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.

Impulses says:

Doesn't make it any less of a gimmick, at least it's not Bose tho...

MasterElwood says:

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.

abbazaba says:

If this were an upgraded DAC implementation I would get excited. Any changes to the internals?

MazoMark says:

Yawn! Sounds like an HK branded graphic equalizer along with some crappy earbuds.

deeb215 says:

Those two punks in the front deserve a punch in the throat followed by a knee to the kisser.

Why was the regular HTC One M8 not a Harmon Kardon edition from the beginning? Should not have made it a carrier exclusive.

smotrs says:

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.

carraser891 says:

So is Sprint gunna fix their shitty network instead of announcing gimmicks or naw

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Phillycat says:

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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BrianBaker says:

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.

bumpandrun says:

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.

Deke218 says:

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!

brodieb says:

I was hoping this used Pied Piper's compression tools: http://www.piedpiper.com/#hello

jd914 says:

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!

ScottJ says:

In double blind tests 256 kb/s MP3 was indistinguishable from uncompressed CD audio.

edubs75 says:

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.

AlwaysLimey says:

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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sublimaze says:

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.

keith2k1 says:

This didn't work with Beats, its not going to work with Harmon/Kardon

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.

Impulses says:

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).

sectime says:

The looks on their faces are priceless. That deer in the headlights stare. Unemployment not far off.

Furt says:

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....

sublimaze says:

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

Brian2014 says:

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

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MarkSeven says:

I'd rather have Beats. I miss it.

Gator352 says:

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.....

glowhockey says:

Smartphones are a growing industry among mobile phone service providers. More people are interested in owning a mobile that can accomplish many of the same tasks that a PC does. And so, Sprint mobile are creating smartphone that is similar to the features and function of a PC. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.crittermap.airhockey

chazglenn3 says:

Damn...now I have to get my M8 sold so I can get this one. Mostly for the black & champagne color scheme...

3rdpig says:

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!