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12-02-2010 01:03 AM
I just purchased a DV7 with Beats audio, and audio quality was one of my motives for choosing this device.
Audio through the headphone jack is respectable. Very strong output.
Audio through the internal speakers and subwoofer? Absolutely disappointing.
The speakers themselves sound great for a laptop, but something (I am confident is software related) sounds like it is compressing all of my sound. When a "loud" treble sound is played (such as a cymbal), the volume is instantly drawn back as if to protect the speakers or something (which only a purpose built subwoofer would ever need such protection). At one point, I was listening to a song and it sounded like I was standing underneath a helicopter, it was that agressive with cutting sound. It literally hurt to listen to! Unacceptable.
Let's go through what I've tried already:
1) Trying a different audio source:
I thought it may have just been Windows Media Player (which has all "enhancements" disabled). I loaded up Grooveshark.com in Internet Explorer and it sounded the same.
2) Turn off any Windows sound "enhancements:"
This was the first thing I checked. I was certain that the "loudness correction" filter was enabled. But sure enough, it wasn't.
3) Windows Tone Control:
This was new. I've never seen this control before. Because Beats assumes everyone wants max bass and treble, they are default full boost. I reset them to zero hoping that it would solve the "choppiness," but it didn't. The sound quality did improve, though.
4) Update audio drivers:
I went to HP, downloaded and installed the audio driver recommended for my particular laptop, and this didn't help either.
5) Uninstall IDT audio controller:
I thought maybe IDT was responsible for doing it. Nope. Same hat.
6) Reinstall IDT (Beats) audio controller (same driver as #4):
Now I'm back to square one.
Here is something of particular interest:
This time around, I tried playing with the "Beats" IDT equalizer, and nothing I did changed the sound. I went full highs boost to full hughs cut, and it made no difference. That tells me something is either "masking" my sound trying to make it sound "right" (which is actually atrocious), or is completely bypassing the "Beats" IDT controller. The problem is, I have no idea what it could be.
For a laptop marketed towards the audio enthusiast, it completely misses the mark. Sound compression is one of the worst things you can do to sound quality!
Also, this Beats audio thing is a gimmick. Just a rebadged IDT audio controller, and fn+b only boosts or cuts the "bass" setting in Windows. I can't believe this is called a laptop specialized for audio. My old DV4 has much better sound as of right now. How can the Beats people call themselves audiophiles?
I apologize if some of this sounds harsh, but I am very frustratingly unimpressed with the audio aspect of this laptop, which I specifically chose because it promised exceptional audio.
I love the rest of the laptop (save for the touchpad which I'm still getting used to), but if I can't even listen to music on it like I had planned, I may as well return it.
All suggestions are greatly appreciated.
12-02-2010 07:47 PM
I knew I wasn't the only one! The sound is horrible playing through the internal speakers, but beautiful through headphones. I also played with the settings and still when loud treble or vocals come on it distorts. I like the laptop,but I have to send it back. "Beats" was what attracted me to it.
12-03-2010 12:31 PM
Thanks for replying. I'm glad to see my unit isn't defective or anything...though the situation is unfortunate.
I'm about on the same level as you. I am looking into trading the laptop in.
Apparently I'm one of the few people who listen to music with onboard speakers (I don't like wearing headphones very long). My 1st gen DV4 treated me well, but this is intolerable..
I would uninstall Windows to see if that helps, but I don't want to pay a minimum of $70 just to fix a problem that HP shouldn't have had in the first place.
I just hope that someone at HP reads this and can bring it to attention.
I guess the search for a different 17" laptop with a subwoofer continues. Thanks Beats, you ruined HP for me.
Unless someone can bring me hope yet...
12-21-2010 12:39 PM
This is something definitely software related. When I first bought the laptop I played around with the Windows volume controls and fiddled with the HP Beats Audio software and the on board speakers were actually pretty loud.
I got new headphones and played around with the settings some more to optimize headphone output and my on board speakers now have the muffled noise. I don't know what it is either. I've cleared all software settings with not much luck, the HP Beats Audio software combined with the Windows mixer settings leads to some confusion for those like me who're not well versed with equalizing and audio software.
I've only encountered this problem last night and will continue to play around with the software, if any success I'll let you guys know. This laptop is an absolute phenom and in comparison to the ENVY is a much better bargain. I hope you guys don't return your units, maybe a cal to HP support would help.
12-22-2010 09:59 PM
Hello all, this is not a problem you can fix this easily with some fiddling.
try this modification, originally intended for Envy with Beats, its still modifable to fit your brand and you should be getting similar effects with loud noise.
Say thanks by clicking the "Kudos! Star" which is on the left.
Make it easier for other people to find solutions, by marking my answer with "Accept as Solution" if it solves your issue.
10-15-2011 01:29 PM
I could not agree with your remarks more! Pavilion DV7 4087cl with Beats audio is a piece of junk! Have had sent my laptop into HP service twice now for the sound quality, once for the hard drive failure and once for the keyboard buzzing if there is too much bass... all within the first year of ownership! The only thing HP did was replace the hard drive. They said the keyboard buzzing was a design flaw and there was nothing they could do to fix that. The sound was never fixed even though HP told me they fixed the problem. I am more then then disappointed, I am angry and will never by another computer from HP.
10-18-2011 09:06 PM
dv7-4280us, windows 7
I want to add to the list of disappointed and pissed off. I have the same issues as stated by everybody else.
I searched this model several times and all I see advertised is how good this laptop/ beats audio is, never see this issue come up.
I plug my mp3 player into any other computer and it sounds pretty good (external speakers), then whenever I plug into mine,
I just get pssied off again.
I've had this thing for 9 months, I'm not sure if I can send it back, but I'm going to start checking on that deal.
I'll be hard pressed to buy HP in the future.
PS. besides the sound quality (external speakers), what's that "eeehhhhhhhh" sound or glitch that happens when I'm watching movies or playing music-**bleep**
10-18-2011 09:31 PM
I wish I knew what that "eeehhhhhhhh" sound or glitch is too because I get the same glitch coming from my laptop when playing music videos or mp3's. Apparently after having my pc for weeks, sending it back with still will the same problems, HP has no idea what they are doing because they said they fixed the problem. The whole design of this computer was flawed and should be recalled because the lousy Beats Audio. My last option is the extended warranty I purchased from Sam's Club which I am waiting on the shipping box now. So lets hope they can do something that HP couldn't figure out. Maybe they can stop that keyboard from vibrating during any bass played too.