Hands on: HTC BoomBass review

A speaker to help the speakers you already have

What is a hands on review?
HTC BoomBass review
If only Boom could fuse with Bas... OH MY GOD!

Early Verdict


  • +

    Slick design


  • -

    Questionable sound

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The HTC One can emit the best sound we've heard from a smartphone – but that doesn't mean we don't want to have something that makes it sound even better.

Enter the HTC BoomBass, a little device that measures 64mm³ but can supercharge the sound coming from your aluminium-shod phone.

It's a rubberised unit, with the bottom layer a natty orange/red colour, sitting underneath a grey section. The lower area actually slides out to provide a dock for your HTC One, finally giving a proper area to watch your visualisations and sing along with the lyrics if you're that way inclined.

HTC BoomBass review

If you've ever used the HTC Battery Bar, then you'll recognise the colour scheme on offer here. It's a recognisable combination, and it's good to see the company trying to draw attention to its accessories too.

The HTC One pairs with the apt-X and Bluetooth 3.0-enabled BoomBass (sadly not Bluetooth 4.0, although the need for it is relatively questionable) by a simple NFC-activated tap, which means you can be up and playing your tunes in a matter of seconds if you've turned on the prerequisite connections on both devices.

HTC BoomBass review

A small and flush button turns on the BoomBass, and although there's no easy visual indication that it's been turned on apart from a hidden light, a sound is emitted to help you know the status of the device.

However, there's a slight issue in the sound quality we heard: it's a little bit variable. Depending on the type of music you're listening to, the strength of the bass was actually a little weak to our ears.

HTC BoomBass review

HTC did caveat the unveiling of our test device by saying that it was still undergoing some software tweaks, but the sound coming from the HTC One's speakers (the process strips the mid-range and bass from the phone and channels it through the BoomBass) seemed to be more powerful than that from the new speaker cube.

HTC BoomBass review

However, this wasn't always the case depending on the model of phone and song used, so we're more than ready to assume this is an early bug – and we really want it to be, as if the BoomBass works then it will take an awesome feature and make it, well, many orders of magnitude more awesome when out and about.

Early verdict

We like the BoomBass a lot, and while there's no price as yet, the fact it works with the One (and possibly the One Mini, although this isn't confirmed) is a really cool idea, and makes your phone even more of a multimedia powerhouse.

The sound quality still needs some tweaking, and it's irritating there's no way to charge your phone from the speaker cube, which could lead to some annoying trips home from the park when you've been using this to liven up a picnic.

Still, this is a well-designed object from HTC, and one we can see many self-respecting One owners forking out for.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.