Tech Advisor - - GROUP TEST: BEST-SOUNDING SMARTPHONES - In­ter­nal au­dio chip: Amp test: Loud­ness level: Lows: Mids: Highs: Sound­stage:

The HTC One M9 is a gen­uinely de­sir­able smart­phone, with the best de­sign and build avail­able in An­droid land, even with Sam­sung up­ping the ante. It’s good to see the pow­er­ful Snap­dragon 810 and more mem­ory, though some key hard­ware re­mains the same, mean­ing M8 users are un­likely to be tempted to upgrade – and the old model is now an at­trac­tive buy at around £350. The fact the Sam­sung Galaxy S6 (page 87) is the same price with more im­pres­sive specs is also not a good thing for HTC. Full re­view at

In­ter­nal sound qual­ity

The One M9 pro­vides a de­cent in­ter­nal au­dio sound re­pro­duc­tion, but is slightly let down by its av­er­age low-end per­for­mance and its sound­stage. Over­all, we feel the HTC is noth­ing to get too ex­cited about, but it of­fers a de­cent in­ter­nal out­put.

SoC Qual­comm MSM8994 Snap­dragon 810. We be­lieve that it uses the Qual­comm WCD9330 au­dio codec.

We recorded a very small amount of hiss­ing and in­ter­fer­ence when the HTC One M9 was used along­side an am­pli­fier. The hiss­ing and in­ter­fer­ence was hard to hear though, and we felt it was neg­li­gi­ble for most users.

We found the HTC One M9 to be suf­fi­cient in loud­ness for most peo­ple, how­ever if the phone were to be used with head­phones that re­quire more power, an ex­ter­nal am­pli­fier would be re­quired to fully drive them. Score: 75- to 80 per­cent

We found the sub-bass to rea­son­ably ex­tend well, but it cuts off in the lower sub-bass re­gions. De­spite the One M9 por­tray­ing a de­cent mid-bass slam, we feel it could have been im­proved with a lit­tle more con­trol.

Its mids are well pre­sented, but due to the slight hiss and dis­tor­tion there is a slightly odd re­pro­duc­tion that is con­veyed in the mid-range fre­quency.

The highs are very well pre­sented and ex­tend ex­tremely well. We found them to pro­vide a good amount of sparkle, which did lead them be­ing a lit­tle sibi­lant.

Its sound­stage is av­er­age and we found it to por­tray a duller, more bor­ing sound sig­na­ture. The HTC One M9 of­fers a de­cent de­cay, but due to a slight bit of dis­tor­tion has some odd blimps when play­ing high-tone fre­quen­cies. We feel its over­all sound­stage could have been a lit­tle wider and slightly deeper sound­ing to pro­vide a bet­ter over­all au­dio lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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