Sprint unveils HTC One (M8) with exclusive audio perks

Sprint worked with quality sound maker Harman and HTC to offer device bundle that is $230 with two-year contract

Sprint doubled down on high quality smartphone sound on Tuesday by introducing an exclusive version of the HTC One (M8) featuring HD Audio sound.

The HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition is available from Sprint for $230 and a two-year contract. (Photo: Sprint)

The HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition will take advantage of the M8's front-facing stereo speakers and custom amplifiers for speakers and headphones.

It also relies on audio product maker Harman's Clari-Fi application that hasn't been used in a mobile device until now. Clari-Fi promises richer, deeper and clearer sound quality for compressed music that's delivered over services like Spotify or through MP3 downloads.

The smartphone also offers lossless HD Audio music reproduction operating over a 24 bit and 192 KHz DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that Sprint says will deliver about six times as many bits of information as compared to what's on a compact disc, and 60 times the bits of an MP3 or a high-resolution streaming music source.

While many smartphone makers, including Samsung and Nokia, have focused heavily on high quality cameras in their devices, Sprint and HTC obviously believe there's a market for high-end audio within a smartphone.

Sprint is charging $230 for the exclusive device with a two-year service agreement -- $0 down and 24 payments of $28.34 under an Easy Pay plan. which comes to $680.16. Bundled in the price is a set of Harman Kardon AE-S headphones with extended bass response, valued at $149.

The exclusive M8 has 160 GB of total data storage capacity with a microSD card slot to support up to 128 GB atop the built-in 32 GB.

The Sprint exclusive device will be available on Friday on Sprint's website, or by calling 1-800-Sprint1, and will appear in Sprint stores May 9.

Like other M8 devices, the exclusive phone has a 5-in. HD screen and runs a Snapdragon 801 processor with a 2.3 GHz quad-core.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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