HP partners up with Bang & Olufsen for better-sounding PCs

The partnership will see Denmark's Bang & Olufsen custom tuning select HP devices for optimal audio quality. Those HP devices will include desktop and notebook computers, tablets, and even HP audio accessories.

That custom tuning will be applied to both built-in speakers and headphone jacks, and includes user-selectable equalization presets and manual sound tuning. The circuit board-side of the equation will carry on the audio quality obsession:

"In all HP devices that carry the Bang & Olufsen or B&O PLAY brand, a dedicated audio island isolates the sensitive audio circuits from other signals on the motherboard. The headphone jack limits the amount of metal parts to reduce ground noise to help further perfect the audio experience on HP devices."

Years ago, HP had partnered with Beats Audio, putting Dr. Dre's bass-heavy audio enhancements into HP laptops, desktops, and their webOS tablets (but not smartphones, which were reserved for HTC). Since Beats has since been acquired by Apple, HP needed a new partner — thus, Bang & Olufsen, with their crisper and more balanced sound.

The Bang & Olufsen brand will appear first on HP's Spectre, Omen, and Envy Pcs, while the B&O Play brand (Bang & Olufsen's more affordable line of audio products) will show up on HP's Pavilion PCs and tablets (HP's more affordable line of computers) and HP audio accessories.

Source: HP (pdf)

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • Well, that's better than Beats. :)
  • Totally agree
  • Anything is better than beats. Them and the fruity computers are a perfect match for each other.
  • Beats is just a sound profile. Think EQ setting. That's pretty much it. They don't make components as fast as I know.
  • Yes pretty much just an EQ setting which you can definitely do with many other software out there. "Beats" branding is just an advertising material, we'll see if this partnership aren't just an ad material.
  • I believe this is the same thing. They are talking about small changes to reduce noise, but it seems this is primarily a sound profile.
  • +1020
  • All I read was that there will be discrete circuitry with the B&O label. All that means is that there will be a separate audio component of some sort. Doesn't really tell me much.
  • Not even that, just isolated on the board
  • Anything is better then monster
  • Monster has nothing to do with Beats anymore
  • that's exactly what I was going to say
  • This is going to be sick!
  • ASUS N-series notebooks also have B&O, e.g. http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/N76VZ/
  • And they are awesome
  • Yup, I have an N550JV. Great laptop but the sound quality is underwhelming.
  • The makers behind skull candy should get in on this
  • Dell does.
  • They do?
  • +1520
  • B and O is far superior to some dumb audio designed by a Rap Star.... Just saying.
  • Rap star? You do know Dr. Dre is mainly a hip-hop producer? He is actually regarded as one of the best, if not the best, of all time. Next time, be more careful before you show your ignorance to the be world, just sayin...
  • Sådan! B&O er det bedste!
  • Microsoft should do the same! For Surface and Lumia!
  • Definitely,
  • They should buy it. :D
  • Or perhaps they should spend the money on better components instead of licensing a name to put on marketing materials.
  • "Custom tuning" = B&O sticker on the device and instead of spending $0.20 for the speaker they spend $0.45
  • I think this was certainly the case with the beats partnership. Hope it's not the case for B&O partnership.
  • Why not team up with Dolby Lab.?