With the HTC 10, HTC abandoned its iconic BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers in favor of BoomSound Hi-Fi edition speakers. What's the difference? There is a now a separate tweeter and woofer. The single front-facing speaker doubles as a tweeter and loudspeaker, while the bottom speaker serves as a woofer. When compared to the Google Nexus 6P or Alcatel Idol 4S, the HTC 10 speakers are nothing special.
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HTC set the bar pretty darn high when it unveiled the front-facing stereo BoomSound speakers with the HTC One M7 back in 2013. Every flagship smartphone there has to follow has incorporated high quality stereo speakers except for the HTC 10, which has put a little twist on the setup in an effort to create an even more extravagant listening experience (or so they say).
The HTC 10 features one front-facing speaker upfront that doubles as one of the loudspeakers. The other speaker is tucked away on the bottom of the phone. To put it simply, the front-facing stereo speakers are no more. They’re gone. Instead, what HTC has decided to do is make the top speaker a tweeter that can output higher frequency spectrum, crispier high notes. While the lower speaker is designed to output more of a low bass sound acting as a sub-woofer since bottom mounted speakers can be usually bigger and more bass heavy. What this means essentially is the old BoomSound speakers we’ve come to love over the years are dead. HTC calls the new system BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. But let me be clear, the HTC 10 does offer one of the best speaker systems of any smartphone in 2016. But the speakers aren’t quite as punchy as the stereo front-facing speakers found in its predecessors. In my opinion, the HTC One M9 speakers were louder and a bit more full on sound. The HTC 10 speakers, while not bad, just don’t deliver as good of a sound overall. And my suspicion is because HTC didn’t find the room to install both speakers on the front of the 10 as they got rid of that ugly HTC banner, installed a fingerprint scanner and capacitive touch navigation buttons.
But for the fun of it, I thought I’d compare the HTC 10 speakers to the recently released Alcatel Idol 4S and Nexus 6P smartphones, both of which have front-facing stereo speakers. When compared to the smartphones that really stood out to me just to how loud the Idol 4S and Nexus 6P speakers are. They are no question louder than the speakers of the HTC 10 when all phones have their audio volume maxed out. They really pierce your ears and give you a little bit of a tickle and/or ring in your ears (they’re that loud). The HTC 10, it doesn’t really do that for me. It’s loud but it’s not as ear-piercingly loud as these other two smartphones. As for the quality of the sound, the HTC 10 held its own in the bass department. It was certainly more well-rounded than the Nexus 6P, the Nexus 6P sounds a little more hollow and tinny than the HTC 10. The HTC 10 and Alcatel Idol 4S are a little more similar in the sound quality, both deliver noticeable bass. But I would say the mids and highs of the Idol 4S are much more apparent.
Overall, the Idol 4S delivers the best performance overall in my opinion. It’s extremely loud, the bass is noticeable even though the HTC 10 speakers tend to overshadow it a little bit. But the mids and highs are much more diverse than the other two devices. Here’s a little taste of the sound quality of each smartphone. Hopefully you guys could tell the difference. I think the Idol 4S sounds a lot louder.