Beats Audio in the HP TouchPad - Does it matter? | webOS Nation
 
 

Beats Audio in the HP TouchPad - Does it matter? 15

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Mon, 04 Jul 2011 4:09 am EDT

Beats Audio Technology by Dr. Dre is an advancement that's built right into the new HP TouchPad, but how does it stack up in real-world use?

If you want another feature to list as one that sets the new HP TouchPad apart from the competition, it's got to be Beats Audio integration, which comes pretty standard on HP laptops these days, but is the first major audio enhancement technology that has been brought to the tablet market through this latest webOS device. From the way that the headphone jack is built, all the way down to the arrangement of major components inside the device itself, Beats Audio really does provide an amazing audio experience for TouchPad owners, something neither the iPad nor any of the Android competitors can even get close to.

By reducing the electronic noise that comes in all computing devices, changing the materials that make up the various audio components and enhancing the quality of the sound itself as it is produced within, HP can send a message to music enthusiasts who might be interested in buying a tablet sometime in the near future: when it comes to being engaged with the media you're listening to on a device, we do it better than anyone else (that's even more true with Flash 10.1 integrated). Beats Audio Technology was created by world-renowned musician and producer Dr. Dre (who brought up such celebrities as Eminem), and that birth-right shows very clearly each time the music app is launched on our TouchPad and the jam-session begins.

Obviously, enhanced features like improved audio quality are not things that you can rightly assume are true based on our optimistic words alone. That's why Riz Parvez wrote up an in-depth piece back in February about the audio technology, including a retro video from HP that explains the thought behind the technology and a number of other thoughts about it from around the web. But let it be clarified now once and for all, as music streams beautifully through headphones connected to this TouchPad, we'll not likely go back to listening to music on any other device if we can help it - Beats Audio is simply that good on the TouchPad (with headphones or external speakers, mind you, not necessarily the small, OK speakers built into the side of the device).

Riz put it very clearly at the end of his last piece, and we'll echo those sentiments here as well, with some edits to update for the times:

So ‘Beats Audio Technology’ actually does have some substance. Is it just one gigantic gimmick on the TouchPad? No way: we'll never go back to another setup. Will Beats be the end-all-be-all in home audio for tablet consumers? Probably not. Still, it is reassuring to know that Beats Audio has been more than just clever branding, because it means that audio performance on the TouchPad is more than just an afterthought. If nothing else, the hype engine surrounding Beats Audio Technology alone is something our friends at Palm will certainly use when trying to get a foothold in the increasingly competitive tablet market.

Luckily for us, that foothold is getting a little stronger every day, and it will only continue to do so (at least that's what we hope). The only thing left that we really need to make our music experience on the TouchPad near-perfect, would be a way to create new music ourselves right on the screen. But for that, we'll need some app developers to step up and dive in. Any takers?

15 Comments

Nice song playing in the background.. Dirty Laundry by Bitter:Sweet.. If i'm not mistaken... Also, the Touchpad seems alright. Although i'm a WebOS fan.. the thought of using it on something BIG like that.. seems too weird for me.. I LOVE my pixi, when it's overclocked.. so i guess i'm just used to being able to hold and do everything with one hand.. and not have to hold it in one hand and have to swipe my whole hand to close an app. I probably sound lazy but i mean it'll get irritating after so long. Maybe i'm just not a tablet person. On the other note.. I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE PRE 3... only thing that sucks is i'm going on vacation in a few days for a few weeks.. and i hope that i'll be back before the big launch day.. PLEASE... S P R I N T!!!! Anyway, Nice article. :)

Doesn't take your whole hand swiping to close an app. Honestly, almost the same up-swipe you use on pixi would work on the touchpad, as long as it's a quick flick.

Yeah, I read the article, and all I saw was, blah, blah, blah.

Can someone do an OBJECTIVE analysis of the TouchPad's audio quality? Use RightMark Audio Analyzer or something else - http://audio.rightmark.org/ - run it on the TouchPad's headphone jack, then do the same on iPad, Xoom, etc. etc.

And we'll REALLY see if there's anything to be proud of.

I presume listening on Bluetooth headphones would undo all the goodness?

I tested out the audio on the TP on Saturday, in Baldwin, NY, while pushing the TP display model to see if I coudl "break" it.

I have a post in the forums about it, so no need to get into that, but, regarding the sound quality:

I only heard it through the TP external speakers, but, it is, most defintely, a much clearer and well defined sound than any other tablet, including the iPad, hands down.

I was actually surprised to hear that quality sound coming from any tablet.. the speakers were way too small to have that much depth and clarity, I thought.

As for objective, trust me, if it didnt make a difference, I'd say it.

And, I sing and play guitar in my own cover band, so, you could say that I'm somewhat of an afficionado, at the very least!

Great to hear that LCGuy!

From the article:

"(with headphones or external speakers, mind you, not necessarily the small, OK speakers built into the side of the device)"

Not saying that you're making anything up. I believe that YOU believe that the speakers are special. The author who made the initial comparison clearly does not. Someone who uses bluetooth headphones or a bluetooth head unit in the car may get a different experience altogether.

Even on the audiophile forums in the original article, opinions were mixed. Some will definitely hear "something"...some will not. Some say it's no different than getting a better sound card included on your laptop (like the laptops that boast Harman Kardon audio or whatever) or desktop. Nature of the beast. iPad has the SRS WOW add-on that claims to do the same. Newer HTC handsets are shipping with that built in too. I don't think it's a difference maker for most people yet.

I have to agree with LCGuy AND the reviewer. The sound from the onboard speakers is MUCH clearer than anything I've heard out of the iPad, but they are still "small, OK speakers". I don't see that as saying the speakers aren't special, just that the author wouldn't replace his entire sound system with them.

And beats audio is EXACTLY like getting a better sound card included on your laptop...how is that a negative? When was the last time you tried to install a dedicated anything on a tablet?

Of everything else, I'd say TouchPad audio is a definite win.

...man... I am struggling how to say it politely... But if you were "testing" audio on these build-in speakers... I think we have a great difference of opinions what "sound quality" means, and also how you could "test" it...

sigh...

I have one question. I have a pair of Powerbeats with controltalk, but the mic will not work on the og pre I wonder with the newer WebOS phones will the mic work.

I have heard a lot of people say the sound is not loud enough (at full volume) inspite of being clear and nice

was in Best Buy earlier and there were apps that were so quiet that I could barely hear over the store noise. I went into the music player and played some stuff loaded there and it was pretty loud. Actually got a ladies attention to come over from the Galaxy Tab she was looking at.

From the reviews I've seen it sounds like a bigger problem is the stuttering audio when multiple applications are running. You'd think that would be the thing they want to get right then layer on better audio quality once they've mastered the ability to deliver uninterruptable audio.

What I have noticed since using the Touchpad for the past few days, is that the volume is too low. When I play music, from the music app, at full max, the volume is just not enough. And I know its not the speakers, because when I play Angry Birds, my ears hurt, from how loud it reaches. I even plugged my Touchpad to an external Sub-Woofer Speaker set up, and I couldn’t get the volume up what so ever. Has anyone else experience this?

"Beats Audio in the HP TouchPad - Does it matter?"

No, it doesn't matter at all. Who the f..k is buying a 10" tablet, to lug it around, and listen to the music using it? It is just an add-on functionality, and not a core one, not in a year's time.

I tell you where it COULD possibly matter: Pre 3. It COULD. But it probably would not sell Pre 3s. And it will certainly not sell TPs. Unlike tablets, people do carry their phones all the time with them, at hand. That is, where listening to music belongs, not some big sucker.

the number of replies in this thread, are actually confirming this. Even fans don't give two sh..ts about it.