I’ll be the first to admit, I’m definitely no audiophile; but I do like my audio to sound good. HTC decided, this year, they would put a different configuration of BoomSound speakers on the HTC 10. If you remember, since the creation of the M7, they have included stereo speakers; one on the top and bottom, and both front-facing. Everyone has fallen in love with the sound quality they have put into the M7, M8, M9, and a few other non-flagship phones (the ‘M’ series being the most notable ones for the quality). They sounded clear, crisp, and they only got better as each successor model rolled out. In the past, those were arguably the best speakers on a smartphone you could get.
This year, 2016, all of that has changed. There are no longer two front-facing speakers on the HTC 10. There is now one top front-facing speaker, and a smaller one on the bottom of the phone. This is an odd setup, definitely. Why, you ask? To make room for… a fingerprint sensor! They are an essential part of any smartphone that has come out in the past year or so. It’s the easiest and fastest way to unlock your phone, in most cases, while still providing optimal security. With the HTC 10, you can simply rest your finger on the sensor and it will wake your phone and unlock it. It is potentially the best and fastest on the market today. Though, the real estate these things take up is substantial if you want it on the front. This location is what HTC has opted to go for, so they simply tried to reposition the speaker setup; but did it work? I’m not so sure it did.
Trying to explain how the speakers sound on the HTC 10 is nearly impossible. You have to hear it in person to really understand the strangeness of the audio quality. In a way, it wants to be stereo, but the frequencies are somewhat off. Like I said, I’m no audiophile, but I can tell they don’t sound like they should. First of all, there are two different modes when playing sound through the speakers; both of these have Dolby Audio included with BoomSound to make it sound better.
The modes are “theater” and “music”. I still haven’t figured out which actually sounds better for music. “Music” mode sounds fuller, while “theater” mode can sound too heavy on the stop front-facing speaker. “Theater” mode can also sound tinny, so I prefer to keep it in “music” mode. Although, “theater” mode does seem to be slightly louder. I don’t think “theater” mode works better for watching youtube videos in landscape, as the name suggests; but it also varies depending on the actual audio quality and mixing of the content. I would suggest you try both options each time you listen to a different type of audio. That will get annoying, but it’s really the only way to tell if you’re getting a good sound or not. “Music” mode does work better for most music I’ve played from Spotify at the “Extreme” quality setting. I know everyone has different likes and dislikes for sound, though.
So, what is my final thought on the BoomSound speakers on the HTC 10? I think they are not what they could be. I’m really hoping they can fix this issue with a software update. If not, I guess we will all just have to get used to the sound it produces.
Comment below and let us know how you feel about this new speaker setup, and what your experience has been with them so far.