While HTC’s standard-trim One M8 was one of the worst-kept secrets in smartphone history, its special-edition cousin managed to stay unseen almost right up until its unveiling last week. HTC and Sprint announced the device in a joint event held alongside Spotify executives in NYC, where our own Adam Lein got an informative if noisy hands-on. Shortly thereafter, HTC sent us a demo unit to try out for ourselves (alongside a Harman Karson Onyx Studio that we’ve yet to cover) and we’ve spent the last few days getting to know it.
That proved more difficult than expected. The Harman/Kardon edition of the One M8 is meant for one purpose alone: to deliver an exceptional acoustic experience. That means we needed to get its high-end AE-S earbuds into the ears of a professional, someone who could tell the difference between a Spotify track at “Extreme Quality” and a 44.1/16 FLAC file. And we needed time to figure out whether operational modes like “LiveStage” and “Clari-Fi” were actually useful, or just rehashes of Beats Audio from a company searching for a replacement headliner.
It took some doing, but we managed to answer those questions –with the help of a musically-inclined friend of the Pocketnow Weekly– in our HTC One Harman Kardon review video. Check it out in the first slot below – and if you’re not convinced to jump to Sprint just for the audio suite (or the spiffy black-and-gold paint job), check out the next video down for a step-by-step tutorial on how to convert a standard-edition HTC One M8 into a Harman Kardon special … using the magical power of software!