HP to replace audio vendor Beats with Bang & Olufsen

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced high-end audio equipment maker Bang & Olufsen will be lending its expertise to upcoming products, a partnership forged after Apple last year declined to extend a longstanding Beats tie-up.


HP's Omen laptop currently comes with Beats Audio technology.


As part of the deal, HP will incorporate Bang & Olufsen technology and branding into computers, tablets, headphones and more, reports CNET. Bang & Olufsen's new mid-tier brand, B&O Play, is also expected to be included in the new partnership.

The Denmark-based audio firm replaces longtime HP partner Beats, which distanced itself from third-party projects after being acquired for $3 billion by Apple last year. Following the breakup, HP was allowed to use Beats technology through 2014 and extend branding through 2015.

"We've certainly spent a lot of time working on audio with Beats over the years. I think certainly a lot of learnings both ways in that relationship," said HP personal-computer and printing vice president Mike Nash. "The opportunity now is to take everything we already know and combine that with some new expertise ... as part of our partnership with Bang & Olufsen."

HP said all devices carrying the Bang & Olufsen or B&O PLAY mark will feature a "dedicated audio island" on the motherboard that isolates sensitive components from interfering signals. Further, the two companies plan to custom tune each device for "precise sound" and incorporate a set of custom audio presets to go along with manual equalizer control.

As of today, HP plans to bring the Bang & Olufsen brand to high-end devices like the Spectre, Omen and Envy lines, as well as select commercial PCs. Less expensive products like the Pavilion series, as well as HP tablets and audio accessories, will get B&O Play branding.

With PC sales faltering, large computer hardware companies like HP and Dell have partnered with well-known audio firms as a way to differentiate their devices, a tactic also used in the automobile industry. Bang & Olufsen is no stranger to the PC audio market having previously worked with Asus on various projects.

Pricing has not been announced, but HP expects the new products to ship in spring.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member

    With PC sales faltering, large computer hardware companies like HP and Dell have partnered with well-known audio firms as a way to differentiate their devices

     

     

    ?With no appreciable effect whatsoever.

  • Reply 2 of 49

    Why would B&O want to degrade their brand like that?

  • Reply 3 of 49
    B&O is a great old name that is mostly known to the Baby Boom set who have lost most of their hair and part of their hearing....
  • Reply 4 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Why would B&O want to degrade their brand like that?


     

     

    You could ask the same of Apple. 

     

    Why would they want to degrade their brand with Beats?

     

    Give me Bang & Olufsen over Beats any day.

  • Reply 5 of 49
    Why would B&O want to degrade their brand like that?

    There's a lot of money to be made in licensing... and HP moves a lot of volume.

    Perhaps B&O's $2,000 speakers aren't selling as much as they'd like.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member
    B&O was huge in the '90's, so maybe they're doing the same thing as Tag: desperation against all these devices from Apple that Microsoft was supposed to be better at providing. Sadly, none of them are replicating the core of what Apple's success is: selling things people actually want to use!

    Good luck B&O. (Ya - I don't care about HP at all.)
  • Reply 7 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Why would B&O want to degrade their brand like that?




    There's a lot of money to be made in licensing... and HP moves a lot of volume.



    Perhaps B&O's $2,000 speakers aren't selling as much as they'd like.

     

     

    Two pairs for the living room, one for the bedroom, one for the kitchen, one for the bathroom, one for the hallway and two for the garden. 

     

    With change left over for suitable alcoholic beverages whilst listening to aforesaid speakers.

  • Reply 8 of 49
    I'd prefer eight pairs of $2,000 B&O speakers over a $17,000 Apple Watch.

    There are many things I could buy for $17,000.... too many to list here (and not the topic anyway)
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Thier beoplay over ear headphones are extremely good. I must have listened to hundreds of brands and price points over the course of six months before I got mine. I have always wished Apple would have done something with them.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post





    There's a lot of money to be made in licensing... and HP moves a lot of volume.



    Perhaps B&O's $2,000 speakers aren't selling as much as they'd like.



    I'd blame Pioneer, personally.

     

    You can get that set for about $500 and have spectacular sound. I have the older version of the bookshelf units and they're amazing for the price. I know a lot of loaded audiophiles use them for second and third systems.

  • Reply 11 of 49
    I'd blame Pioneer, personally.

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="56978" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/56978/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px">

    You can get that set for about $500 and have spectacular sound. I have the older version of the bookshelf units and they're amazing for the price. I know a lot of loaded audiophiles use them for second and third systems.

    For sure.

    It's tough being a high-end speaker manufacturer when other companies sell "good enough" for cheaper.

    Hell... it's tough to be a speaker manufacturer period. The market is very crowded and mature.

    So like I said... B&O is probably making bank from the licensing on millions of HP laptops. It's good to have alternate revenue streams.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post





    For sure.



    It's tough being a high-end speaker manufacturer when other companies sell "good enough" for cheaper.



    Hell... it's tough to be a speaker manufacturer period. The market is very crowded and mature.



    So like I said... B&O is probably making bank from the licensing on millions of HP laptops. It's good to have alternate revenue streams.



    Well, I'd note that the same guy designing those Pioneers also makes the $80,000 TAD Reference One series. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 13 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,615member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Why would B&O want to degrade their brand like that?




    To the audiophiles B&O is no different than Beats. 

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

     

     

    You could ask the same of Apple. 

     

    Why would they want to degrade their brand with Beats?

     

    Give me Bang & Olufsen over Beats any day.




    To audiophiles B&O is no different from Beats. To say that B&O is better than Beats is cognitive dissonance pure and simple.

  • Reply 14 of 49
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 580member
    B&O were in a major slump during the naughts, but then they released the A9 which, I think, sounds excellent (indeed, much better than the more expensive A8). I don't know about their earphones. And they provide top sound consulting and car systems, both built-in and bespoke.

    Of course, not for audiophiles, but very good for amateur ears.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Why would B&O want to degrade their brand like that?




    To the audiophiles B&O is no different than Beats. 

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

     

     

    You could ask the same of Apple. 

     

    Why would they want to degrade their brand with Beats?

     

    Give me Bang & Olufsen over Beats any day.




    To audiophiles B&O is no different from Beats. To say that B&O is better than Beats is cognitive dissonance pure and simple.


     

     

    No; just the truth.

  • Reply 16 of 49
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,578member

    Just wait... Samsung to buy B&O. LOL!

  • Reply 17 of 49
    robertcrobertc Posts: 118member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    Just wait... Samsung to buy B&O. LOL!


    No, but they've worked together in the past on a number of products:

     

  • Reply 18 of 49
    rpetersrpeters Posts: 15member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    B&O is a great old name that is mostly known to the Baby Boom set who have lost most of their hair and part of their hearing....



    ... and who can actually afford quality audio equipment; we don't have to settle for rubbish like Beats.

  • Reply 19 of 49
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    You could ask the same of Apple. 

     

    Why would they want to degrade their brand with Beats?


     

    I agree, and I said the same thing when the Beats purchase was first announced. I didn't think that the two brands (Apple & Beats) mesh well together. The Apple brand by itself is stronger and better than anything else.

  • Reply 20 of 49
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     



    reported for trolling




    reported for scrolling

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