An updated version of the HTC One M8 has launched on US network Sprint with improved audio quality and upgraded earphones included.
The HTC One M8 is one of the truly great phones of this year, but a new Harman Kardon edition of the handset launching in the states promises even better audio quality, with 24-bit/192KHz FLAC support.
The big draw of the device, which goes on sale on May 2, is that it comes bundled with a pair of Harman Kardon earphones, worth about $140 (£84). Given the usual dreadful quality of bundled earphones, this is likely to be a great boost for anyone buying this upgraded phone.
A Tweet from HTC US senior manager Jeff Gordon explains that the audio on the standard HTC One M8 is already pretty amazing. FLAC is supported, as are rates of up to 24-bit/96KHz which are pretty impressive already. The HK edition takes the audio quality up to near-studio level though, and you’d need to buy studio master quality tracks from the likes of Qobuz to get the best out of the device.
There is a technology called Clari-Fi included though, which is supposed to restore the high and low-end sounds lost via MP3 encoding. How effective this is remains to be seen, but no matter what you’d be better off starting with the best quality music you can find.
As things stand, there’s no indication of the HK edition One M8 will come to the UK. If you’re after a phone that supports very high quality audio, you should check out the LG G2, which can also support bitrates up to 24-bit/192KHz. You’ll also need to make sure you get a nice high-capacity microSD card to go in the phone, as this sort of music can take p a lot of extra space.