Beats Audio – What’s All the Fuss About?

March 5, 2012

As you may know, in August 2011, HTC bought the majority ownership of Beats Electronics, the company that makes the favorite high-end headphones of Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, and a bunch of other celebrities. Beats Electronics’ business model is simple – create product, get rapper/basketball player/movie-star endorsement, sell like crazy. But when they paid $300 million for Beats, HTC probably wanted more than just a piece of the niche, albeit lucrative high-end audio equipment market. HTC wanted to take advantage of the valuable Beats brand image.

Erick Renko/Flickr

Fast forward to MWC 2012. In Barcelona, HTC launched its new generation of smartphones, the One series, including the One X, One S, and One V. The new One phones all sport prominently the red Beats logo on their back. HTC claims that the integration of Beats Audio technology into its new smartphones will give customers an “authentic sound” experience. But what exactly is Beats Audio?

Beats Audio – Is it For Real?

At the most basic level, Beats Audio is nothing but a fancy equalizer. As The Verge’s Chris Ziegler noted in a review of the HTC Rezound (another Beats-branded phone) , Beats Audio works great in combination with the red headphones the come with the Rezound, which HTC claims that are a $100 value. The Beats equalizer makes the music sound much “bigger”, with deeper basses and fuller sound.

The improved listening experience is made possible by a combination of software and hardware, because, as Ziegler notes, the headphones sound relatively dull when the equalizer is not running. Annoyingly, the Beats processing software doesn’t always kick in when using music streaming apps, such as Pandora or Spotify, but HTC promised to make the Beats API available to app developers for better compatibility.

Ziegler claims that the Beats experience is, in most cases, on par with the experience of using a high-end (like in $500+ high-end) pair of headphones. If that holds true for the One series, music lovers have a strong reason to buy HTC’s new Beats-branded smartphones.

Beats Audio is Just a Package Flashing Away

So, Beats Electronics hardware plus Beats Audio software makes for great music. How about Beats software on its own? You can find out yourself, without buying a new HTC One phone. All you need to do is install a custom package, courtesy of XDA Developers. XDA member RockoDev reversed engineered the Beats application and made it available as a flashable package that you can install on any ROM based on Android 2.3 or higher.

The prowess of the Android modding community never seizes to amaze us. But will this ripped Beats Audio app give you that “authentic sound” promised by HTC, without those expensive Beats headphones? That’s not guaranteed, but many users that tried it out reported an improved listening experience. Of course, that could be just placebo. If you decide to try it out, let us know your opinion in the comments.

To wrap it up, the One series’ Beats Audio integration will get you more than a cool Beats logo to boost your status, although we don’t have any information on the headphones on the upcoming One phones. We’ll check’em out as soon as they come out and get back to you with more juicy details.

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Irfan-Khadim/100000377993101 Irfan Khadim

    I do want to install the beats sw on my nexus s as I have the beats audio in-ear headphone with me from my previous XL

    • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

      Hey Irfan, Check out that XDA thread, I think Nexus is supported. Let us know how it works!

      • Payrickbrady23

        Do you have to root your phone to use this file?

        • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

          I think so.

  • Richard

    Installed on my Samsung Infuse, I’ve noticed a slight difference with the phone speaker, and great improvement using the Samsung headphones and audio out to my car radio.

  • Robert McCall

    Beats is a joke. The hardware end of things is overpriced as you can get headphones that sound just as good or better for the same or less money. As of ICS the ROMS contain Legacy Audio. Look it up, it basically makes Beats superfluous!

    That being said, Beats will still sell to the mindless music video and ghetto subcultures where the consumers just don’t seem to know any better or care to know any better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=680699474 Rashidi Barnett

      “ghetto subcultures”? really? I travel a lot for work, and most of the people that I see in the airport, with Beats headphones, do not fall in those two buckets. Honestly, I was surprised myself, but that seems to be the reality.

    • Noofyourbusiness

      I guess people always seem to sound smarter when they attempt to put down other cultures or in this reviewers case an apparent subculture? So allow me to sum up your review for you. I know nothing about other cultures, but I’m sure they don’t know anything about audio so I win…yay! So I guess that is my review of the software and hardware named beats audio. Let me help you….Beats audio is a combination of hardware and software that allows a broader frequency range that allows for the better distinction between highs lows and meds. While there are other combinations that would give you a better sound and no one disputes that point it does offer a decent quality sound that even subcultures would be able to differentiate.

      Sir you are a joke!!!!

      Don’t think I will waste my time in a forum that allows people like this to gain an audience.

  • tanivula

    Beats audio vs Voodoo sound on an original Galaxy i9000? I know which I’d pick!

  • Guest

    I notice a 1% improvement when I use a Beats device.
    Just not worth the time, money, and effort.
    My non-Beats device already produces excellent sound…. I just don’t need “a little better than excellent”.

  • Medicci

    I downloaded & flashed the beats file. How do I know if it worked? Does it have any controls ect. that would show on the phone if it’s installed?

  • Shubham Jambharunkar

    will the beats audio give me a better sound with skullcandy or sennheiser hardware……???pls reply asap guyzz

    • $moke

      dont think about dat..sennheiser is one of da best brand to consider..probably senn can give more audio experice for da same price tag as ma opinion..but i cant assure it with skull..;)

  • tup romanets

    tup romanets

  • dan

    ceases not seizes….

  • pocketdrummer

    Save your hard earned money for some REAL high-end headphones that produce better sound all on their own. The audio engineers work very hard to give you a sound-scape that is full and articulate. You don’t need some overblown bass driven piece of crap to ruin it. If you’re wearing those big over-the-ear style headphones, spring for some AKGs K240s or something better. If you want something in-the-ear, you’ll have to look up the actual flatness of other headphones and see how they fair, since ALL of them claim 20hz-20khz even if they are terrible at reproducing half of that range.

  • jsmes

    Product sucks big scam

  • Girish N

    I am using HTC Desire C which has beatsaudio.
    When Im playing music, if I enable the beatsaudio there will be a small distortion while enabling and the beatsaudio is turned on with “NO NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE” in the
    quality of the music. However, when I enable an app called “EQUALIZER” (downloaded from playstore) I get the better quality. Is this because I use HTC Headset or should use only beatsaudio headsets to experience the technology of beatsaudio. Pls suggest: girishn9@gmail.com

  • Girish N

    I am using HTC Desire C which has beatsaudio.
    When Im playing music, if I enable the beatsaudio there will be a small distortion while enabling and the beatsaudio is turned on with “NO NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE” in the
    quality of the music. However, when I enable an app called “EQUALIZER” (downloaded from playstore) I get the better quality. Is this because I use HTC Headset or should use only beatsaudio headsets to experience the technology of beatsaudio. Pls suggest: girishn9@gmail.com

  • robrisha b

    How do you change the fonts on the phone?

  • Jose Thomas Tagle

    hi, good day to everyone.. i have an android phone made in my country philippines.., brandname is my/phone A848i.. my mobile is overall perfect except d audio quality so poor & even at highest volume i almost couldn’t hear the music.. but as i search d net i found an beats audio app for rooted andoid.. download it & install in my phone.. it rebooted after d installation then to my surprise!!.., i insert my stock earphone provided by d phones packaging then beats audio logo apears on notification.. i played music on poweramp player then BOOOMMM!! my cheap earphone sounds KABOOMM!! so so deep bass so clear crisp highs & mind blowing skull breaking AMAZING SOUND!! i tell you my friends it is 100% unbelievably true & confirmed that it improves my audio experience to d highest level.. now i am 101% happy & crazy inlpve with my pinoy smartphone.. God bless BEATS AUDIO!!!…

    • Jose Thomas Tagle

      also at half volume its already kicking my eardrums.. i think it amplified my audio tripple times.. i close my eyes its like listening to a 5.1 surround speaker with big subwoofer but i am using a cheap earphone.., beats audio & poweramp they are perfect duo tandem for a superior audio experience..