Earlier tonight HTC announced, via AllThingsD, that it would be investing $300M in Beats Electronics, LLC, creators of the famous Beats by Dr. Dre brand. Beats is still a privately held company so there's no indication exactly how much of the company will be in HTC's control, although Beats mentioned it would continue to operate independently of HTC and alongside current partners including HP. 

It's unclear exactly how much Beats contributes to the audio path of products that carry its brand. HP's TouchPad with Beats Audio for example used a slightly more featured audio codec, limiting Beats' involvement to software alone. HTC likely hopes to gain audio street cred via the Beats brand rather than an unequaled technological advantage as competing companies should be able to implement similar DSPs/software should they desire to. That being said, we may also see some hardware changes in HTC phones. Perhaps a move away from Qualcomm's audio codecs and a move towards Wolfson?

The big news out of all of this is that all smartphone and tablet makers will be taking audio more seriously going forward. I wonder if $300M is enough to get HTC President Peter Chou (pictured above) an early copy of Detox?

Source: AllThingsD

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  • Operandi - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    I mean if they actually do something with hardware to come with better sound that’s all fine but I find this marketing with no actual “product” behind it annoying.

    Odds are this will be exactly the same as the optional up level stereo in your car being “designed” by Bose. When in reality Bose had nothing to do with; the stereo was still designed and built by the OEM, Bose just comes by evaluates it and if they like it enough they let the OEM slather the interior of their car with the “Bose” name.
    Reply
  • aegisofrime - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    Exactly.

    300 million seems too much for a company that most probably just attaches a brand name to something crappy and massively jacks up the price. (Read Monster, Bose)

    They would do better investing in the likes of AKG, Beyerdynamic, Audio Technica etc... Bet the audiophiles at Head-Fi are laughing at HTC now.
    Reply
  • Jodiuh - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    I can't even listen to the Thunderbolt without a frowny face...now this? Why?!?! Reply
  • RussianSensation - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    I think that's the point. Most consumers are brand driven, esp. the non-audiophile crowd who think Beats and Bose are actually good products. Didn't you know that Beats pawns all of those audiophile brands you mentioned? Come on now, the Monster beats sound like "nothing you've ever heard before". Marketing at its finest :) Reply
  • yourwhiteshadow - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    if you're not wearing beats, you're not cool. BEATS SOUND AWESOME cuz dre uses them. Reply
  • Conficio - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    Well, if HTC could get the volume on my shiny new HTC Sensation superphone to a level that is audible above the noise of a nice German car on US highways, that would be something. Reply
  • steven75 - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    LOL at "Major announcement" Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    "The big news out of all of this is that all smartphone and tablet makers will be taking audio more seriously going forward."

    I'll believe this when I see a tablet that has
    - four speakers (one in each corner) WHICH
    - spatializes the audio using those speakers AND
    - rotates the audio appropriately when the device is rotated.

    iPad 1 & 2 have one speaker, which seems dumb --- but the alternative in their competitors of two speakers, which then give a weird stereo experience when the device is rotated, is even worse.
    Reply
  • MGSsancho - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    unless HTC wants access to their patents ~ Reply
  • bbomb - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - link

    They want good audio so they go to a company that produces shit headphones that are massively overpriced. lol.

    My idea is to stop putting the fucking spekear that actually plays the audio from music and video on the BACK of the fucking phone AWAY from the listener and put it on the god damned front facing TOWARDS the listener. An even better idea is to put a second speaker on the bottom of the front of it so that you can get *GASP* stereo sound.
    Reply

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