The Engineering Behind HTC BoomSound

We’ve all had that experience when someone tries to play you a song or video on their phone, but you have to strain to hear the distant, tinny sound. HTC changed mobile sound forever when we introduced HTC BoomSound on the award-winning HTC One family of smartphones.

Most cellphones treat audio as an afterthought, tucking a small speaker on the back or bottom of the phone. But when you pick up an HTC One or HTC One Mini, right away you’ll notice the centerpiece of the BoomSound experience: the micro-drilled grills at top and bottom that house the dual front-facing speakers.










Challenging Engineering

It’s one of those breakthroughs that seems obvious when you think about it: sound is directional, so of course it makes sense to place the speakers facing the listener. It’s even more noticeable when you hold the phone horizontally and get the sound coming at you from the left and right.

In fact, a recent survey of U.S. phone users found that 74 percent said they were “delighted” with the speaker quality of the HTC One, beating the nearest competitor, the iPhone 5, by 34 percentage points, according to market-research firm GFK.

It may seem simple, but the engineering posed a challenge. BoomSound combines tricky hardware design, quality components such as dedicated amplifiers and digital signal processors, and proprietary software developed by our audio engineers.

Deciding on dual speakers was just the start. Our designers and engineers calculated that bigger speaker chambers could use natural acoustics to boost the sound. But a key challenge was putting in a second speaker in the crowded real estate at the top of the phone, a place that is also home to a front-facing camera and other sensors.

The team also wanted to pump enough power to drive those big speakers. So they went the extra step and added a dedicated amplifier to create big sound with minimal distortion.

More Powerful Sound

The result of all this working together is that BoomSound on the HTC One gives you sound that is several times more powerful than what you get on competing phones. In independent testing, the HTC One hit 86.5 decibels, compared to 84.1 decibels for the iPhone 5. That may not seem like much more, but because decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, a 3-decibel increase from 84 to 87 would be twice as powerful.

But we knew we could make the experience even better.

It’s not enough just to be louder. Clarity is just as important. So whether you’re watching a video, talking on the phone, or listening to music, your HTC One can optimize the speaker performance based on those different scenarios. We wrote custom software that adjusts the sound so you always get the clearest, best audio no matter what you’re doing.

BoomSound has really helped the HTC One and HTC One Mini stand apart from the crowd and, judging from the competition lately, it’s clear that this is something that only HTC can deliver.

BoomSound is key to our mission to change the way people enjoy mobile audio, so we are excited to be bringing this premium audio experience to our affordable Desire portfolio, starting with the upcoming HTC Desire 601.

How has BoomSound worked for you? Tell us in the comments!

  • Moises J

    I love the sound from my HTC One Developer Edition.. I can watch Youtube videos in my bed and don’t feel the need to use headphones because the sound is clear and involving.

  • nickmgray

    Honestly, BoomSound is the easiest way for me to show off how great the HTC One is. Load up a movie trailer on YouTube and simply watch the smiles of those around you. A few friends have claim that their iPhones are louder, but they all agree that the stereo sound quality that comes from the HTC one is on a whole other level.

  • 808Bill

    I’ve always been disappointed with music played on a cell phone. I’m a sound guy, and I’m very picky. I’d find myself playing with EQ settings trying to find the perfect sound. I finally gave up, and bought an ipod. I concluded that a phone was like a swiss army knife, and it could do a lot of things, but some things it could not do well.
    That is until I got my HTC One. OMG. With Beats Audio, the sound is perfect. Every time. Every song. Thank you for concentrating on this feature. Sound quality is a feature that is important to some users, and neglected by most manufacturers.

  • Rafał Żółkiewicz

    I feel like I was deaf when I listen to music on phone without BoomSound.
    “I love HTC Boomsound”


    Hey HTC,
    I am delighted and most of all amazed to have such a beautiful sound experience with my HTC ONE, and I am planning to buy another HTC ONE as well. The technology of BOOM SOUND simply is amazing and I just have a small request from you, no matter what please don’t make BOOM SOUND available to your small end phones, because this feature is something that keeps your high end phone way far apart form any other manufacturer. And for any of your next flagship device just try a bit to somehow improve the camera if possible. Coz with HTC ONE we are just missing a small upgraded 8m.p. or 12m.p. camera with ultrapixel instead of the 4m.p.


  • Brenton

    HTC has brought some great innovation like no other cellphone but would be real bad if we got used to such advanced tech and the company goes boom.

  • http://disqus.com/JHancock8/ JHancock

    I’ve absolutely always been a diehard HTC Fan. The HTC One is the most stunning device i’ve ever had but also the most fragile. From one cement fall I have a ton of scuffs on the metal outer ring around the device. Sign me up for the 2014 HTC One! I hope it has a plastic ring like the One mini!

  • http://www.spboilerservices.co.uk/ Paffman

    This is the second HTC I have had (first was the Desire HD) and the sound from the HTC One is the best I have ever experienced – well done HTC.


      Same here pal..