Sprint, HTC Partner With Harman, Spotify to Push for a Win

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2014-04-30 Print this article Print

Soon after the launch of the HTC One (M8)—a smartphone that several reviewers called the best Android phone on the market—Sprint and HTC, along with Harman Kardon, introduced a special-edition of the phone with a matte black and champagne exterior and advanced audio capabilities. The HTC One (M8)-Harman Kardon Edition features Harman's Clari-Fi technology that rebuilds the fidelity that's lost when music is compressed, and offers richer, clearer sound. The technology offers about six times the information that's relayed by a compact disc and 60 times the information of an MP3 or streaming music source, execs from the companies said. "It uses pure, scientific algorithms to put back the most music notes," said Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal at a New York press event April 29. While a bragging point of the HTC One is that its speakers face forward to offer better sound experience over most phones, the Harman Edition also features redesigned earbuds (that separately would sell for $149) for the "fullest experience," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. The phone comes with access to Spotify's 30 million songs, HD Voice technology and Spark, the ultra-fast 4G technology Sprint is rolling out. Take a look at key features of the special-edition phone.

  • Sprint, HTC Partner With Harman, Spotify to Push for a Win

    by Michelle Maisto
    1 - Sprint, HTC Partner With Harman, Spotify to Push for a Win
  • HTC One (M8)-Harman Kardon Edition

    Hours after announcing a quarterly loss of $151 million, Sprint introduced an improved version of the HTC One (M8)—a smartphone that's already been called the best Android phone available. The phone can take advantage of Sprint's new 4G technology, Spark, and its HD Voice capabilities, while taking its already celebrated audio capabilities to a new level.
    2 - HTC One (M8)-Harman Kardon Edition
  • What Sprint Spark Can Do

    Sprint announced April 29 that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is now in 41 more cities and Sprint Spark, which can deliver speeds up to 60M bps, is now in six cities and is expected to cover 100 million people by year's end. Spark is designed for bandwidth-intensive applications. The new Harman Edition HTC One will be the 16th Spark-enabled phone on the Sprint network. (The iPhone isn't one of them.)
    3 - What Sprint Spark Can Do
  • Sprint's New Partners

    Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (left) was joined on stage by Harman Kardon CEO Dinesh Paliwal, who said he tells his kids that their generation is missing out on hearing music the way that artists created it to sound. When music is compressed and shared digitally, via services like Spotify, it usually loses much of its fidelity. "We were able to correct that," said Paliwal.
    4 - Sprint's New Partners
  • HTC Keeps Swinging

    Next on the stage was HTC CEO Peter Chou (right), who has the unenviable job of getting consumers to consider phones not made by Samsung. "The HTC One M8 hardware with Harman Kardon has software that puts us even farther ahead in the industry," he said. "I've also been using the headset every day, and I can tell you, it is incredible."
    5 - HTC Keeps Swinging
  • Spotify CEO Ek Takes to the Stage

    The final surprise of the morning was Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (left), who announced that Sprint customers were about to get the "best deal" Spotify has ever made. In addition to access to 30 million songs—including the full Led Zeppelin canon, which it's alone in offering—Sprint customers can enjoy a free trial; those on Framily plans will them be able to sign up at deeply discounted rates for 18 months.
    6 - Spotify CEO Ek Takes to the Stage
  • Harman Kardon Shows Off Its Chops

    The presentation portion of the event—which included videos of Pharrell and Quincy Jones promoting the technology, and a new ad featuring the rodent star of Sprint's Framily commercials—concluded with a quick performance by the violinist Miri Ben-Ari and, by extension, a show of Harman Kardon's speaker and digital audio prowess.
    7 - Harman Kardon Shows Off Its Chops
  • Headphones, Earbuds and Speakers

    On the left are the new Harman Kardon earbuds, developed for the HTC One (M8)-Harman Kardon edition. On the right are Harman's SoHo earphones, which retail for $200. Harman is also offering its Onyx Studio speaker, normally $400, for $100, when purchased with the new HTC One (M8).
    8 - Headphones, Earbuds and Speakers
  • Earbuds

    A closer look at the new Harman earbuds designed for Harman Edition HTC One (M8).
    9 - Earbuds
  • Offering Users Sound Options

    The new M8 includes a setting option not present in the original HTC One.
    10 - Offering Users Sound Options
  • Harman Clari-Fi Technology

    Harman Edition HTC One ships with Clari-Fi technology turned on, though users have the option to turn it off—really just to make clear how much better things sound when it's on.
    11 - Harman Clari-Fi Technology
  • Testing the Difference

    During the event, demonstrations were offered, during which the press could listen to songs moving in and out of Clari-Fi. When the solid line moved into the squiggles on the bottom, the song was in a Clari-Fi zone. Up top, the red line represents the base, and the blue line represents what Clari-Fi is accomplishing around it. Unless it's a battery-killer (which Harman says it's not), there's no reason to ever turn off Clari-Fi.
    12 - Testing the Difference
  • BMW 5 Series

    The HTC One now has its audio prowess in common with another impressive machine: the BMW 5 Series. Sealed inside the car's leather-scented interior, journalists could listen, on even larger Harman speakers, to the difference between Clari-Fi and non-Clari-Fi audio.
    13 - BMW 5 Series
  • A New Look for HTC

    The premise of a matte-black HTC One sounded potentially rather sexy, especially when pitched alongside a BMW (cars and matte black go together like Pharrell and mountain ranger hats). However, some phone buyers may find they prefer the stand-out silver of the classic HTC One (M8).
    14 - A New Look for HTC

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