Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › HP ENVY Beats audio Gimmick or does it actually improve audio?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HP ENVY Beats audio Gimmick or does it actually improve audio?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

From HP:

 

Hear all the music.

Experience the studio-quality music the artist intended you to with Beats™

Audio. HP audio engineers collaborated with Interscope records to deliver the

best available audio experience through digital headphones or an external

speaker system. HP ENVY’s internal audio signal routing uses HP-patented

signal integrity techniques to eliminate low-level noise typically experienced

with PC audio.

 

 

 

So is it HP lying hype and it really does nothing or does it really give a cleaner signal then most laptops?

post #2 of 18

It's just marketing.  My Acer netbook made a big deal about Dolby Headphone support.  >_>

post #3 of 18

Well, with my Akg 272HD's the Envy sound a bit better than straight out of my integrated soundcard on my desktop computer, especially the lower end frequencies. The biggest different is the volume though, on my desktop I can crank it up to 100% and it's not unbearable, while on my Envy 14 It becomes quite unbearable at about 40%ish, in most cases I wont go over 25%, and with my UM3x's I can bearly stand 5% :p The noise is very apparent with the IEM's, not so much with the AKG's, but it's still noticable.

 

Just my 2 cents. I'm quite new at all this :)

post #4 of 18

It might sound a bit better than other laptops, the intergrated soundcard on my hp laptop sounds like mud with harsh highs, i wouldn't buy the envy based on that marketing rubbish, any old laptop and a cheap dac will sound miles better , the biggest reason i wouldn't buy an hp envy is they overheat all the time and burn out after a few months, google hp envy overheat.

post #5 of 18

I'm quite curious also as to what the HP audio engineers

did on the HP Envy 14 system board regarding the internal
audio components and headphone jack.
 
The PC World HP Envy 14 review mentions.....
 
"HP has taken special care in the design of the system to shield the audio codec 
from interference, while providing especially clean (and higher-power) audio output 
to the headphone jack". 
 
"The audio driver has been tuned to get better sound reproduction 
out of the audio jack, too". 
 
Can anyone provide a link to a website that has a much more
detailed description and analysis by the work done by HP audio engineers & Interscope Records? 
 
Is this just marketing hype or something was actually done to the hardware?
 
Using my M-Audio Studiophile Q40 headphones, there is a difference in sound quality
connected to the HP Envy 14 compared to other laptop brands/models
I've used.
 
I find myself now, just having the Q40 connected directly to the headphone jack,
comfortable and enjoying its sound quality.  Without the need for a USB DAC.
 
As for the overheating issues, that's prevalent in the 1st generation Envy series, 
the Envy 13 and Envy 15.
 
The HP Envy 14 is a 2nd generation Envy series laptop.
 
The HP Envy 14 has two internal fans.  Overheating issues are less common.
 
The HP Envy 14 has garnered numerous positive reviews.  None of those reviews
mentioned problematic overheating.

Edited by cykoakustik - 12/19/10 at 8:33am
post #6 of 18

Since it is a higher end laptop with a less restricted budget, I'm sure they took more care in properly shielding the line out from EMI. That alone would account for it sounding better than the typical line out on a cheap desktop/laptop mobo. They probably even used an upgraded headphone amp like the one you'd find in fioe7 /  udac/etc. This would improve the output from your average ipod / mp3 player. Still, even with those improvements, it doesn't warrant the increased price and they are no doubt making a large profit (just like on the extremely overpriced dre beat headphones). The marketing team can make whatever ridiculous and exaggerated claims they want to about these products if they think it will make more people buy them. That's especially true for audio products like the Drebeats. The typical target consumer for those headphones has no idea what constitutes better sounding equipment or what cheaper and better alternatives are available.

 

So, does the line out on your envy sound better than most other things you plug your heaphones into? yes

Are the marketing claims unfounded, exaggerated and gimmicky? yes

 

Every company is guilty of this. Creative, Bose, Skull Candy, Monster Cable, etc. are some especially bad examples in the audio world. It's probably best just to completely skip over the manufacturer's description of a product. Instead go right to the specs or read reputable and objective reviews. Audition it in person or ask other people who have already owned it a while. Chances are your experience with it will be similar to theirs.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybrys View Post

It's just marketing.  My Acer netbook made a big deal about Dolby Headphone support.  >_>



qft. though i'm sure it ought to sound at least better than stock audio out

post #8 of 18

Not exactly the best way to tell but i was watching the diggnation podcast and they have one of those and they put it up to the mic. with it off it kind of sounded like a tin can but when they turned it on it sounded noticibly better.

post #9 of 18

The outputs are really not that good shielded, when connecting i.e. an external HDD to the USB ports beside the jacks I can clearly hear slightly more interference with my akg272 and definitely with my UM3x's. It also has more noise in general than my old laptop (don't remember what soundcard, just some standard shit I guess) but it's not that bad.

 

The reason I bought this laptop was because of it's specs first of all, and because it is made out of more quality material than the other plastic crap. It also has a relatively large touchpad, and the keyboard is VERY comfortable to use. The screen (I don't have the radiance :/) is VERY bright, but the blacks are crap. After a month or so of research I was down to this or a Mac Book Pro 13", but I hate OSX, and the price difference for an equivalently specced Mac... well, we don't need to go there.. :)

 

All in all I think it's worth every penny (especially if you get the radiance display), especially if you want something not made entirely out of plastic! That being said, I'm not an audiophile :p I use it mainly for Photoshop and some gaming, and for that it's very good!

 

Edit: Also, no, it does not overheat. It easily runs i.e. Battlefield: BC2 / Vietnam on Medium-ish graphics very smooth for many hours at a time with no overheating issues. I would actually say that a MBP under heavy load gets equally warm.


Edited by josteinr - 12/20/10 at 6:55pm
post #10 of 18


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by josteinr View Post

The outputs are really not that good shielded, when connecting i.e. an external HDD to the USB ports beside the jacks I can clearly hear slightly more interference with my akg272 and definitely with my UM3x's. It also has more noise in general than my old laptop (don't remember what soundcard, just some standard shit I guess) but it's not that bad.

 

The reason I bought this laptop was because of it's specs first of all, and because it is made out of more quality material than the other plastic crap. It also has a relatively large touchpad, and the keyboard is VERY comfortable to use. The screen (I don't have the radiance :/) is VERY bright, but the blacks are crap. After a month or so of research I was down to this or a Mac Book Pro 13", but I hate OSX, and the price difference for an equivalently specced Mac... well, we don't need to go there.. :)

 

All in all I think it's worth every penny (especially if you get the radiance display), especially if you want something not made entirely out of plastic! That being said, I'm not an audiophile :p I use it mainly for Photoshop and some gaming, and for that it's very good!

 

Edit: Also, no, it does not overheat. It easily runs i.e. Battlefield: BC2 / Vietnam on Medium-ish graphics very smooth for many hours at a time with no overheating issues. I would actually say that a MBP under heavy load gets equally warm.

 


I've tried to replicate the problem you've described.
I connected an external HDD on the USB port (near the headphone jack) and also on the eSATA port.
I did file transfers of large and small sizes while listening to
musical passages from classical to alternative rock.
 
I listened to music also while burning a dvd in the internal optical drive,
then later the same procedure with an external optical drive connected to that specific USB port.
 
Using the M-Audio Q40 headphones, then later a Koss PortaPro, 
I did not hear any hiss/distortion/interference coming from the headphone jack during
these operations.
 
Back to that PCWorld review,
 
"Beats audio on the Envy is aimed at headphone use, and I can confirm that the audio output via headphones
is indeed a step above the usual. It's clean, loud when it needs to be, and balanced pretty well".
 
Laptopmag...
 
"audio was simply superb when we plugged in headphones".
 
Endgadget...
 
"HP's also teamed up with Beats Audio to provide a high end hardware and software-based audio-out experience. 
When we plugged our Sony MDR7506 headphones into the audio jack we could immediately hear the difference 
between listening to Eminem's "Not Afraid" on the Envy and our MacBook Pro. 
The fuller and more detailed sound was also obvious when we turned off the Beats option in the software 
controller". 
 
Computer Shopper...
 
"The Envy 14’s Beats audio system is similarly impressive and is one area where the Envy clearly outdoes 
the MacBook Pro.
 
HP isolated the audio components on the motherboard to avoid the interference that can result in static
on some PCs, and it also added an amplifier and DSP to boost and enhance the audio.
 
Plug the Envy 14 into external speakers or a good set of headphones, though, and you'll find the audio is 
nothing short of astounding. Even on inexpensive earbuds, the audio clarity and punch of our tunes was 
significantly better than we’d expect from a notebook".
 
 
 
I just thought these reviews, and many others, were overly positive.  Add to that 
the HP audio claims, I also thought as being marketing hype.  Especially in relating to audio, I was a bit skeptical.
 
But after testing/listening for myself, there is a positive audible difference.
 
 
Hehe!  Yes, I definitely agree wth you about the build quality, keyboard,
touchpad (no problems, highly configurable in Control Panel),
and overall hardware performance.
 
I agree also, it's worth every penny.  The quality, performance at this size/form factor is
an excellent, cheaper alternative to the MacBook Pro.  In hardware, the CPU (i5 / i7 options -> Core 2 Duo)
and GPU (ATI 5650 -> Nvidia 320M), the HP Envy 14 is much better.
 
Same here, I don't have the Radiance display. Unfortunately, HP doesn't offer it as an option
any longer.  The BrightView 1366x768 screen resolution is adequate on the 14.5" screen size.
 
On the positive side, tech/gaming websites concluded from gaming tests that the ATI 5650 GPU's
optimal performance is at 1366x768 resolution anyway.

Edited by cykoakustik - 12/22/10 at 9:11am
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

I ended up getting the hp envy 14 i5-560m, switchable 5650 gpu, 8GB hyper X ram, 750GB HDD, RADIANCE display. I was going to upgrade to the sandy bridge version of the envy 14 out now but they say the gpu is practically the same performance, cpu faster with better battery life but no radiance screen. Downgrade for me to replace it, such a shame. Once you are used to the brightness and crspness of colors of the radiance you can't go back.

post #12 of 18
Do us a favor and run RMAA on your laptop to and post the results.

Thanks.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have no clue what that means

post #14 of 18
RightMark Audio Analyser: it's a basic software to analyse the performance of a soundcard/amplifier.
You just need to set plug the headphone out of your laptop to the line in via a mini jack to mini jack cable and run the software.

http://audio.rightmark.org/products/rmaa.shtml

There are limitations to the software, but it still should give an idea of what's in the Beats edition.
By the way, are there any audio software included in the Envy?
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yea there is software too. I never use it. Maybe I'll run the test when im not feeling lazy.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › HP ENVY Beats audio Gimmick or does it actually improve audio?