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  1.    #1  
    The reviewers generally agree that this thing has the best sound of any tablet.

    Rubenstein (I think thats his name) said that when connected to Beats headphones it will sound even better.

    My question is... Is this a marketing thing? Or if I use other (but nicer sounding headphones) will I still recognize the Beats audio performance?

    Said another way, is there something internal that detects Beats headphones and sounds better? Or will any nice set of phones work equally well?
  2. #2  
    Its a marketing ploy. While the actual tablet speakers may be great using beats headphone work well(i have a pair and like them) but for true audio quality anyother high end brand that costs as much as beats may outpreform them. (try sony or dennon.)
  3. #3  
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  4. samab's Avatar
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    #4  
    Go to the teardowns, and you will find that the TouchPad and the Playbook use different audio chipsets from the SAME company (wolfson micro).

    TouchPad has the more expensive audio chipset. TouchPad's audio chip has 2 advantages over Playbook's audio chip.

    (1) TouchPad's audio chip has a 2W per channel amplifier. Playbook's audio chip has a 1W per channel amplifier.

    (2) TouchPad's audio chip has "multiband compressor" and the Playbook's audio chip don't --- but I don't know what it means.

    HOWEVER, the Playbook's speakers are front facing --- which some reviewers actually preferred over TouchPad's bottom edge facing speakers.
  5. #5  
    Sometimes "matched" components that are made to work together sound better. Not sure if that matters in headphones or not. They have gotten some nice reviews, I've been thinking about getting some. Noise cancellation would be real nice at work!
  6. #6  
    "beats audio" has to be one of the best marketing ploys I have seen in a while.. HP has balls to make people think that Dr Dre has some special program that energizes a audio chip into a super audio chip with beats!!! I love the review of teh TP that said if he turns it on or off he doesn't notice a difference. Beats audio has zero % influence in my buying decision... Lame... IMO and it might actually have a negative impact considering they think Im stupid to believe them...
  7. #7  
    Beats as a brand is purely marketing yes but the technology it employs is real and quality. Is it necessarily worth the high premium being charged, and what people are paying, for it? I don't know but that doesn't mean the audio advantages it provides aren't real.
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  8. #8  
    Eh... I could be wrong, I often am, but as far as I know, you can't just turn on and off the Beats Audio. There may be some software involved, by as far as I know the hardware is what the Beats Audio is about.
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  9. samab's Avatar
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    #9  
    As I said it earlier, the TouchPad uses a more expensive "sound card" than the Playbook.

    TouchPad uses this audio chip:

    Audio Hubs | WM8958 | Wolfson Microelectronics

    Playbook uses this audio chip:

    Audio Hubs | WM8994 | Wolfson Microelectronics

    Compare the two chips and there are 2 differences:

    (1) TouchPad has a 2x2W amplifier vs. Playbook has a 2x1W amplifier
    (2) TouchPad has "multiband compressor" (see wiki on dynamic range compression)

    Dynamic range compression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You can have your PC running winamp with software-only plug-in that does the same thing. All Beats Audio does is having the software drivers to run the hardware "multiband compressor" inside the audio chip.

    Wired.com review of the TouchPad stated that they actually preferred the Playbook speakers --- because the Playbook speakers are front-facing.

    HP’s WebOS Tablet Plays Solid Hand Against a Stacked Deck | Product Reviews | Wired.com
  10. #10  
    Look, there are going to be a lot of people who doubt the performance of their sound card. However, the fact is that it sounds better. Yes, it is for marketing, but it also works. The issue is that people are cheap. I hate the word cheap. People will go out and buy $20 earphones thinking that they will hear every detail of the music with them. I own a pair of Monster Turbines and a pair of Bose Headphones (one for rock one for Jazz). When I plug into a beats machine I can hear the difference in the music because I have the headphones to process the information.

    The touchpad's music sounds great. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't. It sounds a bit better than iPad's music in the same format. However, I have to try the same exact song and the same bitrate between the two to truly test the theory.
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    #11  
    yeah guys, its not exactly about the TP speakers... the TP has 24-bit audio processing. most other only use 16-bit.
    of course u are only as strong as ure weakest link. by that i mean, even though most musicians produce music in 24-bit format, they degrade it to 16-bit for cds.... so until u start seeing HP offer songs with 24-bit encoding, we will never see beats audio come to its full potential
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  12. samab's Avatar
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    #12  
    The fact is that your mp3 files have a little bit better sound than the average FM radio --- that's all --- which any old ac97 sound card can manage.
  13. samab's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by ijip View Post
    yeah guys, its not exactly about the TP speakers... the TP has 24-bit audio processing. most other only use 16-bit.
    Don't kid yourself, many many many many mobile devices have the same wolfson chipset as the Playbook (which is also 24 bit).

    http://www.trendygadget.com/2010/06/...-and-galaxy-s/
  14. #14  
    Considering there is a setting to disable Beats audio tells me it's nothing more than some EQ magic going on.
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  15. samab's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by barkerja View Post
    Considering there is a setting to disable Beats audio tells me it's nothing more than some EQ magic going on.
    As I said it, nothing more than a software driver to turn on the hardware "multiband compressor".
  16. #16  
    I posted above. The software is separate than the hardware. Beats audio software is not the important part. Read my post in the other thread, do your research.

    You don't have to believe me, I will definitely enjoy the added benefits that come from hardware implementation of Beats Audio.

    You can't turn it off. >.>
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  17. #17  
    HP's Beats Audio explained in retro video | The #1 HP / Palm webOS Community | PreCentral.net

    I believe this is about the beats audio technology in laptops:
    ..."The big theme here is trying to preserve the audio signal from interference as it moves it’s way down the chain to your ears. This includes attempts to isolate the audio hardware on the motherboard, having a discrete headphone amplifier, separated right, left, and ground audio wires, and even a headphone jack with “no metal parts” to reduce grounding noise. There’s also a Beats Audio-specific sound profile that can be enabled to take advantage of the particular hardware that Beats Audio provides." ...
  18. samab's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by fxspec06 View Post
    I posted above. The software is separate than the hardware. Beats audio software is not the important part. Read my post in the other thread, do your research.

    You don't have to believe me, I will definitely enjoy the added benefits that come from hardware implementation of Beats Audio.

    You can't turn it off. >.>
    Quote Originally Posted by LocoTreoGurl View Post
    ..."The big theme here is trying to preserve the audio signal from interference as it moves it’s way down the chain to your ears. This includes attempts to isolate the audio hardware on the motherboard, having a discrete headphone amplifier, separated right, left, and ground audio wires, and even a headphone jack with “no metal parts” to reduce grounding noise. There’s also a Beats Audio-specific sound profile that can be enabled to take advantage of the particular hardware that Beats Audio provides." ...
    You watched too much of that imfamous HP vintage style video.

    Yes, you can have issues with signal isolation. But the TouchPad and the Playbook (and various Galaxy smartphones) uses the same family of Wolfson audio chips --- they all have the same pinout layouts. The Wolfson spec book will tell OEM/ODM manufacturers that you cannot put this chip next to so and so power source, or you cannot put this signal wire next to so and so wire because of signal interference.... If HP/RIM/Samsung engineers can read the Wolfson spec book correctly, then they will all have the same signal isolation effect.

    Most laptops uses whatever audio component that is in the motherboard chipset. You are going to have some cheap realtek AC97 chip inside say a SIS motherboard chipset. Of course, you can have buzzes here and buzzes there. That is very different than the tablets and smartphones --- where most tablets and smartphones will have its own dedicated sound chip.

    So you end up with TouchPad having a 2x2W amplifier vs. Playbook with 2x1W amplifier. And you have TouchPad with hardware multiband compression --- which is where the Beats Audio sound profile goes.
    Last edited by samab; 06/30/2011 at 06:36 PM.
  19. #19  
    Trust me, I learned about beats loooong before P|C posted that video. Thanks for assuming though.

    It goes for beats audio everywhere.

    It's called beats for a reason, and its definitely not because it has a 2W amp. >.>
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  20. Xadion's Avatar
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    #20  
    the branding means you get a few importand things.

    isolated audio processing chip
    'properly' made headphone jack

    among others, those two are what nake the gimmick, a great gimmick to have.
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