iPhone 7 vs HTC 10: speaker comparison


It's time for some sonic wars! HTC's flagships have long been known for their BoomSound speakers. On the One series, BoomSound meant stereo speakers nested on the phone's front, on the top and bottom bezels. With the HTC 10, the company reworked the concept, calling it BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. What's different?

Well, the phone still has dual speakers, but they are not just used for a typical left-right stereo signal. The lower speaker was moved to the bottom frame of the device and is used as both the right channel and a sort of a “mini woofer”, mainly playing mid and low frequencies. On the top, the earpiece of the phone doubles as the second speaker. It takes care of the left channel and the high frequencies. Theoretically, when you have speakers dedicated to a specific frequency spectrum, you should end up having a better sound than what a single phone speaker would produce.

When Apple announced the iPhone 7 it too surprised us with a dual speaker setup. In part, it functions very similarly to the HTC 10's Hi-Fi BoomSound, with the bottom speaker having less bite and the top speaker compensating for that. But Apple's solution is also stereo, meaning we get true left and right audio from each respective speaker.

Seeing as these two are kind of similar in the way they function, and how HTC's BoomSound has been a staple for mobile speakers for a while now, we decided we'd pit them against each other for a quick test. First the audio, then our thoughts on the matter:

The sounds






As you probably heard from these clips, the iPhone 7 is much, much louder than the HTC 10. And while, yes, the iPhone is quite loud, this is also because the HTC 10 is very, very quiet. We've spent a lot of time with the latter, trying to listen to its speakers in our daily lives. While they sound really good for mobile phone speakers, we just couldn't squeeze enough volume out of them unless we were in a relatively quiet environment. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, can get quite loud.

Then, there is the matter of sound quality. From the clips, you can hear that the iPhone 7 sounds very full, maybe overbearing at moments. Playing the HTC 10 right after may leave you with a sense that it may be missing something. However, give your ears some time to adapt to the way the HTC 10 plays songs, you may find that it actually sounds very pleasant.

Conclusion


In terms of sound quality, we can't pick a real winner, as both the iPhone 7 and the HTC 10 have a good sound coming out of them, especially considering that they are just small smartphones. However, the HTC 10's quiet speakers are a huge minus and kind of a let-down, considering their BoomSound branding. So, we have to say, if phone loudspeakers matter to you, the iPhone 7 wins this one just because it's much louder and easy to listen to.

Related phones

iPhone 7
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1960 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
10
  • Display 5.2" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(27h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

31 Comments

1. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

HTC takes it. Iphone it to tennie sounding.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7447; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I have never seen such a BS article. This is clearly here to pump up Apples stereo speakers. OThe iPhone 7 has one speaker that is facing forward, and one speaker is pointing to the side of the phone. Whereas the HTC has both speakers pointing face forward. Paul when you said you have to give it to the iPhone 7 for being louder. Maybe you should correct that, and say we have to give it to the iPhone because Apple paid us to say that. The iPhone 7 has no HiFi DAC, but the HTC does.

5. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Any article which praises Apple here is a "BS article" according to you - perhaps you're the one with the problem since you keep coming back here to read them... What exactly is a "Hi-Fi DAC"? Is it different to a regular DAC?

16. maherk

Posts: 6955; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I ve seen enough tests to come up with my own conclusion that the iPhone 7's speakers are better than that in the HTC 10, and based my conclusion on the result of those tests plus my hands on experience of both devices. Not everything is an Apple conspiracy ffs

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

We also tested in house.. IPhone 7 is louder but the quality and clarity is worst than htc 10. its also pretty unbalanced ( so basically its not really stereo as there is like no separation ) So if you need powerful sound iPhone 7 is pretty good. otherwise htc 10 is better.

20. kiko007

Posts: 7503; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Dude you work at a cell phone store. What kinda "scientific analysis" did you do? Where is your data? How did you come to such a conclusion? I already know the answer to these questions, but watching you convolute information to better your position never gets old. I own both BTW, and the 7+ Plus has a richer tone.

18. Awalker

Posts: 1982; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

They both have a bottom firing speaker and a top front speaker. I have the HTC 10. Although the sound is top notch it doesn't get very loud. My Nexus 6P and Nexus 6 are much louder.

22. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Please go test it before comment, the iPhone 7 dual loud speaker is extremely awesome, the best I ever test and own.

2. Captain_Doug

Posts: 1037; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Should compare the Axon 7. Stereo front facing speakers with a 32 bit DAC and Dolby Atmos.

4. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Look up what Dolby Atmos is and you'll realise it's just bulls**t marketing in a stereo speaker 5.5" phone. They paid for a licence to use the name is all.

7. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

You can as well look up in other tech sites and see what Apple's audio output perfrmance is. Nothig different from what you call the Dolby Atmos in the Axon 7.

8. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

My wife has an iPhone 7 and it's very loud and clear, much more so than any other phone I've heard recently, I've not tried the HTC 10 though so can't comment - unlike many people here who just slag off Apple products for the sake of it... Dolby Atmos in a phone IS bulls**t, it's a system of using multiple speakers, including ceiling speakers for a better cinema experience... You won't get that from a phone regardless of marketing.

17. maherk

Posts: 6955; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

True that, even in a busy day at BestBuy, I was able to hear the loud and clean sounds coming out of the Axon 7's stereo speakers. Nothing comes close to it in this department.

6. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Another joke article once again.

9. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Since when did PhoneArena get interest in speaker test? So after Apple was bragging about its stereo speakers on iPhone 7, suddenly PhoneArena takes that thing seriously. Gotcha, you Apple's puppet a.k.a iPhonearena. I'm done with this site, I've totally lost complete faith in this unprofessional site.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

안녕 brosephine.

23. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Bye. You won't be missed.

10. drflint4u

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

The iPhone is louder

13. Brydges81

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 02, 2016

I have the HTC 10 has two speaker settings.... Music & Theatre. It is not stereo in Music Mode, but as described (Top = High's Bottom = Mid's & Low's) in THEATRE MODE the phone is Stereo, Go look up on HTC's official website for information on what you are testing before you review the phone.

33. paul.k

Posts: 296; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

You are correct, sir. Just tested in both Music Mode and Theatre - the top speaker acts as Left, the bottom speaker acts as Right

15. Vagabondjonez

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

IPhones are also Dolby certified devices as well.

28. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What good is that. when both speakers don't even face you?

21. Gadgetex

Posts: 199; Member since: Nov 10, 2013

Motorola Z Force beats them both with JBL mods. Much better sounding

26. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree the iPhone is louder, but louder isn't better. They both sound terrible. Listening to terrible speakers louder, just makes them louder terrible speakers. Here is what makes the iPhoen 7 suck the most. One speakers faces you, one doesn't. Do the sound is off balance. Here is a comparison even though its a table. On the Galaxy Note/Tab S tablets, even thought he speakers grills are on the side, the speakers face forward and throw the sound in your directly at a slight angle, so the sound doesn't cross each other before its gets to your ears. Compare that to the ipad pro, where all 4 speakers fire to the side, away from yoru ears, so that makes it sound bad too. But the iPhone 7's are worse, because one speaker faces you and once doesn't. So one speaker appears louder because it faces you, but because its unbalanced, your other ear wont pick up the volume at the same level. Louder is not better! But to me in fairness, they both sound terrible. Any speaker that makes any bass sound like a pop, is garbage.

29. kiko007

Posts: 7503; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

FFS....you could've just said they both suck and stfu! Why the entire essay to just say that?! Please mods, ban this idiot already!

31. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

He's a lost cause.

27. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Why not test how the phones sound with headphones as well? Because that is how I actually listen to my phone, in the car, on the go, etc. Does the i7 have 24 bit DAC hi res also like the HTC 10?

30. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Just shows you all these phones excel at different things but most flagships and mid range do good overall. Pixel has the camera. Samsungs has the screen. Speakers are good enough for phones calls. If you need more get some good headsets or Bluetooth speaker. No big deal.

32. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah... louder is always better /s

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