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HTC One Max audio quality

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I think I should start a thread comparing some RMAA tests done by GSMarena vs others, hope the GSMarena readings aren't misleading lately...


Another phone with impressive readings, any thoughts on it? Any owner?


Beats is gone, audio output is still class-leading

The fact that HTC One Max lacks a Beats audio label got quite a few people worried that it might not be able to match the audio output of its One sibling. As it turns out there was nothing to worry about, though, as the phablet has some of the finest audio in business.

When connected to an active external amplifier, the One Max deliver flawless output with no weak points whatsoever. All the readings are perfect and the volume levels are great - a combo none of the One Max competitors can deliver.

More impressively, there's virtually no distortion when you plug in a pair of headphones. Except for the very minor bump in stereo crosstalk the output is unaffected. And even that is only detectable if you have lab equipment like we do. A stellar overall performance by the One Max.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
HTC One Max +0.14, -0.14 -93.8 93.8 0.0009 0.015 -94.1
HTC One Max (headphones attached) +0.26, -0.02 -93.6 93.6 0.026 0.080 -80.4
HTC One +0.11, -0.14 -92.4 91.2 0.0012 0.013 -92.4
HTC One (headphones attached) +0.16, -0.07 -92.1 90.9 0.014 0.055 -70.8
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 +0.02, -0.07 -96.5 92.8 0.0035 0.0099 -96.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (headphones attached) +0.01, -0.09 -96.2 92.7 0.017 0.017 -62.1
LG Optimus G Pro +0.48, -0.11 -81.7 82.0 0.010 0.028 -80.7
LG Optimus G Pro (headphones attached) +0.31, -0.27 -81.1 81.1 0.0097 0.052 -66.2
Sony Xperia Z Ultra +0.02, -0.08 -92.5 92.5 0.0058 0.011 -90.7
Sony Xperia Z Ultra (headphones attached) +0.48, -0.11 -87.8 87.0 0.047 0.168 -51.9


HTC One MAX : 

Chipset Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon 600


HTC One M7 :


Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600


That T needs explanation :P


Would really appreciate any feedback regarding this phone...



post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 6

there are already 33 pages of posts on this subject at the link below:




edit: oops, just noticed you said htc one MAX, not htc one M8.  do they have different dacs and headphone outputs? or is the MAX essentially like the m7 but without the "beats"?

Edited by jk47 - 6/22/14 at 2:58pm
post #4 of 6

Well, the M7 and M8 use different Qualcomm audio chips (9310 vs 9320), that's been shown to provide some qualitative (measurable) difference.


If the One Max runs Snapdragon 600 that's the same as the M7, so I would expect audio to be similar to the M7, i.e.

- loudest, and possibly the best in all 2013 devices with the same CPU (as measured by soomal)

- but if we do an absolute ranking in 2014, it will be a little further down the ranks, maybe top3-->top10, due to devices like the M8.


However that's when we go nitpicking and trust audio tests over everything else. As you know from the M8 thread, there are people who prefer the M7 sound to the M8, because it seems a little more airy, and seems to "congeal/come together" a little better overall. The M8's main win is in its sheer output power, but sound a bit "thick in the middle". I auditioned both and both are perfectly valid points.


I picked the M8 because I really wanted the power and that metal back, and because I've seen paint chip off the black M7s horrendously on what must've been a mere 6-month-old example.


GSMArena and PhoneArena may do some heavy lifting with the measurements, but their textual description can be very temperamental and unreliable. What they call "not too bad" is very much context-dependent, blow hot and cold depending on who the author is. Example, once I saw a stereo separation of -3xdB described as "can be expected for the class" -- NO IT'S NOT! That's not excusable no matter how cheap your device is cause we've got $49 ipod shuffles and sony mp3s we can go to that measure as well as the WCD9320 :tongue:


But I digress.

Edited by heatofamatch - 6/22/14 at 6:52pm
post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by jk47 View Post
do they have different dacs and headphone outputs? or is the MAX essentially like the m7 but without the "beats"?


See above, the M7 (including one max) and M8 might use different audio chips because their CPUs are different. We know that they measure differently in headphone out power, and subjectively sound different enough to discern.


HTC just replaced BeatsSound with BoomSound, so I would expect the Max to still have that feature. All they had to do was remove the Beats branding. It's an EQ preset anyway - if you know Panasonic's S-XBS from the early 90s, it's virtually the same concept.

Edited by heatofamatch - 6/22/14 at 6:51pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys!


I guess I might go with it, since it has SD support, or wait for M8 price to drop...


Checkout the Mini 2 (M8) thread, I guess gsmarena tests aren't accurate at all..

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