What’s in HP’s Beats Audio, marketing aside?

If you are like me you may be wondering what is actually in Beats Audio technology, which comes from HP in partnership with Beats by Dr Dre.

The technical information is not that easy to find; but a comment to this blog directed me to this video:



According to this, it comes down to four things:

1. Redesigned headphone jack with better insulation, hence less ground noise.


2. Discrete headphone amp to reduce crosstalk. This is also said to be “more powerful”, but since we do not know what it is more powerful than, I am not going to count that as technical information.

3. Isolated audio circuitry.

4. Software audio profiles which I think means some sort of equalizer.

These seem to me sensible features, though what I would really like to see is specifications showing the benefits versus other laptops of a comparable price.

There may be a bit more to Beats audio in certain models. For example, the Envy 14 laptop described here has a “triple bass reflex subwoofer”.


though this user was not greatly impressed:

I ran some audio tone test sites and found out the built in laptop speakers do not generate any sound below 200 Hz. In the IDT audio drivers speaker config there is only configuration for 2 speaker stereo system, no 2.1 speaker system (which includes subwoofer). I’m miffed, because on HP advertising copy claims “HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer amplifiers put out 12W total while supporting a full range of treble and bass frequencies.” Clearly I am not getting “full range” frequencies.

Still, what do you expect from a subwoofer built into a laptop?

57 thoughts on “What’s in HP’s Beats Audio, marketing aside?”

  1. i had an acer with tuba subwoofer then i got the hp dv6 with beats audio and it also has a subwoofer but compared to the acer it is very disappointing but i can live with that
    the thing is in most of songs the sound gos up and down by it self and that is the very very annoying part i tried every thing to avoid this problem but nothing worked

    1. Update the audio driver from the hp website. I was going nuts over this too! It’s a known driver issue and was patched months ago.

  2. Guys and gals. If you’re experiencing hiss /noise through the headphone jack then make sure you mute your mic/line in under audio settings because that’s where it’s coming from. I figured it out within my first 15minutes of using my laptop. I have great sound on my dv6 laptop. I agree about the rebranded eq but it’s functional and serves it’s purpose and doesn’t interfere with hdmi audio, and I think the speakers/sub are fantastic for gaming and video there’s a definite improvement in the bottom and mid ranges, music sounds great too- for a laptop. I’ve compared my sound to a current generation non-beats hp G6 laptop and also a Dell. The beats audio wins hands down.

  3. I agree and disagree; I purchased an HP Pavilion dv7-4171us w/ Beats Audio and the HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer back in 2010. Physical hardware aside, this audio system does produce much better sound than just you average run-of-the-mill stuff like that garbage that’s in my polycarbonate MacBook. It’s no where near perfect, barely even good, but it’s a working system that can somewhat deliver on bass, however, it’s way to high on the treble and sometimes on the mids with the standard speakers. That sort of thing usually drowns out any sort of bass. I think it would’ve actually been better had HP removed those tiny and tinny little speakers on the front, taken those “Subwoofers”, removed the numeric pad on the keyboard and mounted two of those subwoofers on each side of the keyboard. For reference, just look at the placement of the speakers on the 15″ or 17″ MacBook Pro.

    1. Does anyone know what sound card is used in the HP Envy series? HP seems to not think it’s important to provide any specs on the soundcards included in their Beats Audio branded laptops. My current DV7 has an IDT card that will support 24/192k for 7 channels (all 7 only usable via HDMI). The card seems to work quite well with Asynchrounous USB drivers to an external headphone amp. That’s what’s important to me rather than the speakers or internal headphone amp.

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