Beats Music streaming service to launch next month
Beats Music, the streaming music site spun out from the maker of the popular premium headphones, will make its debut in January of next year, it was revealed on Wednesday. The site for the service has gone live, and users can now register a user name for when it goes live next year. The particulars of Beats' new music offering are as yet unknown, but the company will likely reveal them in the weeks leading up to its unveiling.
Larger version of Pill portable speaker gets tested at FCC
A new speaker from Beats has been spotted going through certification at the FCC, one that appears to be a more stationary model. The filing for the Beats Pill XL reveals a larger version of the company's portable speaker, suggesting that the company may be celebrating its break-up from HTC by preparing to sell an upscaled model in the near future.
Carlyle Group moves in as new investor
As expected, Beats Electronics has split from its partnership with HTC. The latter company has announced that it has sold back its 25 percent stake in Dr. Dre's audio brand, after dumping its controlling stake last year. The latest stock buyback is valued at $265 million.
Report claims Beats Electronics plans buyback of remaining shares from HTC
The producer of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line could be forcing out HTC as an investor and replacing it with another in the future, according to a report. Beats Electronics is said to be looking to buy back the remaining 25-percent ownership stake controlled by HTC, a move similar to one performed by the company last year after allegations of HTC failing to meet certain contractual obligations.
Beats gives its popular Studio line a complete redesign
Beats has unveiled a completely redesigned set of Studio headphones. In addition to giving the exterior a new look, Beats says it has also built in its Acoustic Engine digital signal processing to enhance the audio experience without the need for special hardware. The new headphones are also 13 percent lighter than the superseded model, while also making them more compact and portable.
UK retail leaks price and imminent release date
Sightings of a Beats-branded Bluetooth wireless speaker have been reported at both the FCC and a UK retailer. The Beats by Dr. Dre Pill has passed through the FCC, with mention of its Bluetooth capabilities, while the online store for HMV put up a listing for the speaker, before quickly removing it from existence.
Beats Solo or Harman Kardon headphones, which is best?
Music is one of the more popular forms of entertainment, and in recent times there has been a renewed emphasis on audio quality. A number of recording artists have been vocal in criticizing the compression of modern music with the advent of the iPod age in particular. Worse, the default headphones sold with many devices hardly makes matters any better and greater numbers of listeners are looking to get the best sound that they can afford. Beats by Dr Dre have become the dominant headphone brand on the market, while Harman Kardon have only just entered the lucrative headphone space. So which is the better choice?
HTC's own upheaval caused phone maker to miss commitments
Following yesterday's news of Beats Audio buying back shares from HTC, sources today claim that the buyback occurred due to HTC not fulfilling certain of its contractual obligations. Persons familiar with the matter tell CNet that HTC's own troubles kept the company from meeting its financial commitments to Beats, leading Beats to buy back half of the shares it had sold to the Taiwanese phone maker.
HTC still largest shareholder, but Beats to seek more flexibility
Beats Audio will buy back half of the shares Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC owns in the company. The buyback was announced yesterday in a press release from the audio accessory maker. It's been just under a year since HTC bought 50 percent of Beats, but the new development will see Beats striking out more on its own going forward.
Beats will take streaming service, leave blog
Beats recently-announced acquisition of music streaming service MOG cost the music peripheral company $14 million. The deal was announced yesterday, and it was apparently negotiated in part by phone maker HTC, which owns a portion of Beats. The deal will see parts of MOG coming under direct control of Beats, while other aspects of the company will remain relatively autonomous.
Beats agrees to terms to buyout MOG music
Beats Electronics has announced that it has completed its long rumored acquisition of MOG music, reports USA Today. Terms of the deal have not been made public, although negotiations were known to have started as far back as March. Beats, which is part owned by HTC and forms an integral part of their smartphone lineup, plans on making the MOG music experience part of its end-to-end music experience.
Financial terms unavailable
The long-rumored acquisition of digital music service MOG by Beats may have been finalized and could be announced in the near future. A source familiar with the workings of the deal has told CNet that the deal has indeed gone through. Despite the news, particulars in the acquisition have yet to be revealed.
ColorWare offers $1,000 versions of Beats by Dre
ColorWare has begun shipping the ColorWare Collection, which are three iridescent-colored Illusion Beats Studio by Dre headphones. The customized Monster phones will only be available for a limited time, though the company isn't saying how long exactly. The chameleon-like effect will shift colors depending on the angle from which they are viewed.
HP dm1 gets fashion designer treatment
HP has ended a lull in its love of fashion-inspired PCs with the quiet introduction of a special Pavilion dm1 by Alexandre Herchcovitch. The variant on HP's crossover 11.6-inch notebook is covered inside and out by a gold pattern from its namesake Brazilian fashion designer. A matching sleeve case should keep the notebook safe.
HTC says Beats will be software only
HTC in an interview Friday said it won't pack in Beats Audio's earbuds or other headphones with at least some of its smartphones from now on. Product executive Martin Fichter briefed CNET that, while the on-device Beats Audio processing would stay, ordinary headphones at most would come in the box with models like the Evo 4G LTE and One series. Customers weren't buying for the headphones and thus didn't justify the extra cost.
Beats said buying MOG on HTC's behalf
Beats Audio's increasingly corroborated acquisition of MOG is now thought by sources to have not only been completed but ultimately a shell operation. The anonymous insiders near MOG told GigaOM that MOG had sold for just under $12 million. Although Beats made the purchase itself, it was HTC funding the deal, according to claims.
Beats would take MOG as part of own strategy
Beats Audio's rumored acquisition of MOG could be less about HTC and more about its own brand. Leaks have it planning to open a full web music store, CNET had heard, but it would also sell headphones and "numerous other products." While the deal wouldn't be wrapped, MOG would serve as a quick route to getting a service up and running.
HTC and Beats may expand music strategy
Beats Audio's rumored takeover of MOG could be the foundation of a very different approach by HTC to reviving its cloud music aims. A rumor emerging Tuesday had unnamed Digitimes sources anticipating an HTC service launching in the second half of 2012, with partly-owned Beats handling the brunt of the service. Unlike the one-time HTC Listen service, it would be a "cross-platform, cross-device" option.
HTC One V may up ante for budget phones
The HTC One V may be coming to Virgin Mobile's US branch. Tips to PocketNow early this week had the aluminum unibody Android 4.0 phone coming to the carrier in late spring. It would cost under $200 off-contract on Virgin, making it not just Virgin's most advanced smartphone but also one of its more affordable models.
Beats may get MOG for own music streaming
Partly HTC-owned Beats Audio was rumored Monday to have bought MOG. A single source for Business Insider claimed a quiet deal had been struck last week with no mention of terms. While unverified, MOG was unusually non-committal on whether or not it had been acquired, saying only that it was open to deals.
AT&T To beging carrying Beats audio gear soon
AT&T on Monday revealed it will exclusively offer the Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox Portable on March 11. The wireless audio system connects to smartphones through Bluetooth or, with iPhones and iPods, directly through an Apple Dock Connector. A 3.5mm audio input handles older phones or other audio sources.
Beats Audio gets unofficial port
A new project has brought the Beats Audio app to non-HTC smartphones. The XDA-Developers port gives users a flashable ZIP file that lets users get the usually bass-heavy equalizer. It should work on any Android version and many devices, although a special version exists for Galaxy S II owners.
HTC Android 4.0 tablet to be just 9mm think
An upcoming tablet from HTC, now codenamed Vertex and previously known as Quattro, is in the news again, with a test photo taken from its built-in camera and shared online by Notebook Italia. While the photo does little in terms of new info, it is accompanied by an admittedly unconfirmed 9mm (0.35in) thickness.
HTC may have streaming music and Bluetooth boombox
HTC could get into its own proper music service and more if sources are accurate. Beats co-creator and Interscope-Geffen-A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine was said by GigaOM's contacts to be working with HTC on a streaming music service that would be built-in with each phone and tablet. Details of how it would behave weren't yet ready, but it was being crafted as an anti-Spotify service to avoid giving the incumbent too much of an "iTunes-like" edge.
Beats and Monster Cable disagree on credit
Beats and Monster Cable have ended their partnership together on headphones, the two sides revealed this week. The two are now focusing independently on their own headphones. A pair of sources for Bloomberg added that Monster purportedly wanted more credit for the designs than Beats was willing to give.
HTC Quattro identified as planned Tegra 3 tablet
HTC's plans for a quad-core tablet were made more real Thursday after a leak showed the device and some details. Now nicknamed the Quattro, the tablet PocketNow has seen in a press render should have the Tegra 3 that earns the Quattro its name. The 10-inch system would simultaneously be HTC's first Beats-equipped slate, getting the better sound and presumably better pack-in headphones.
HP overhauls Envy 15, 17, and 17 3D for audio
HP in one of its more surprising unveilings Wednesday night completely remade its Envy 15 and 17 notebooks. The new versions take more of their visual cues from the MacBook Pro, adopting its silver-colored metal, but put an even heavier emphasis on Beats audio processing than they did in the past. Each has six speakers and a subwoofer, even going so far as to have an oversized thumb dial for volume that both gives it finer volume control and a more iconic look.
HP Pavilion dm4 first notebook with HD 7470M video
HP's last round of notebook updates included a unique refresh to the Pavilion dm4. The 14-inch ultraportable runs on more recent Intel Core processors but is unique in being the first known notebook with Radeon HD 7000 video. Some trim levels can carry a dedicated Radeon HD 7470M, whose performance is a mystery but should raise the bar for entry-to-mid-level video.
HP unveils trio of 3D-aware devices and PCs
HP started off the week with a push into 3D in areas it doesn't normally touch. Its media hub, the Wireless TV Connect, now has a new model that has the still-rare ability to stream 3D video from a PC to a TV. It's now much smaller but can still take the footage directly from a PC's HDMI adapter, up to 1080p with 7.1-channel surround, over a WHDI stream with "virtually no latency" to its own wired HDMI connection.
HTC Rezound unveiled at event
As expected, HTC's New York City event saw the introduction of the Rezound. Verizon's Android 2.3 flagship is the first in the US with Beats Audio and carries both a special set of in-ear headphones as well as a unique audio profile that kicks in when the headphones are plugged in. It's also just the second phone after the Galaxy Nexus to have a 720p (720x1280) screen, and at 4.3 inches is sharper than its 4.65-inch Samsung rival.
HTC Rezound spoiled hours before intro
A last-minute catch has shown the official, complete look of the HTC Rezound. Due to show this afternoon, the Android 2.3 device shown by PocketNow very closely resembles the Vivid at AT&T but with signature HTC-at-Verizon red cues and a more rounded design. Its Beats Audio and 4G logos are clearly in sight, although the shots don't give away what's on screen.
HTC Rezound slipped out by Verizon itself
Verizon on Sunday spoiled HTC's November 3 event by posting ads for the Rezound. While they don't show more than a product shot, they do confirm the Beats Audio connection, including the signature red-corded headphones and red light-up navigation keys. The ads hint the phone might be ready to go soon after the event.
HTC event hints at Beats-ready phone
HTC on Tuesday sent out invitations for yet another special event, now on November 3. While saying little about the subject of the New York City gathering beyond promising a "latest innovation," the notice includes the Beats Audio logo, a strong sign that it's likely the Rezound. Phones like the Sensation XL and Sensation XE both have Beats but aren't so far expected to ever reach the US in official form.
Wants to encourage Beats by Dr. Dre audio apps
HTC is trying to encourage developers to write audio apps for its handsets. The phone manufacturer will provide API tools to developers so that they can write code that will bring Beats Audio into HTC mobile devices. HTC has already integrated Beats by Dr. Dre apps into its phones, including the new Sensation XL, which was rolled out earlier this month.
HTC goes for kids' apps, buys iOS-friendly company
HTC made another in a string of company buyouts Tuesday as it acquired Zoodles maker Inquisitive Minds for $13 million. The deal will get it the creator of a child-oriented front end for smartphones and tablets that both lets parents manage the enviroment, such as blocking ads or setting play times, as well as giving them a central place for books, drawing, games, and videos. HTC noted that there were about two million users, although it didn't say what would happen to Zoodles after the deal.
Verizon version of HTC Vigor to be called Rezound
The HTC Vigor smartphone has been spotted in Verizon's Device Management system with the Rezound name. Droid-Life sources allegedly confirm that the phone will be renamed as such, and the name was rumored when the handset first appeared in unofficial channels. The major specs are impressive and include a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.3-inch 720p touchscreen, and LTE-based 4G.
HTC aims to spend cash on more content deals
HTC chief executive Peter Chou believes the Taiwanese company needs to develop more content deals in order to become the best-known smartphone brand. Speaking with the FT [free reg. required], Chou said users need a "holistic experience of hardware, software and content" in order to be successful. HTC already made deals with Saffron for streaming video, OnLive for gaming and a 10 percent stake in KKBox, a Taiwanese online music service.
HTC Sensation XL brings Titan features to Android
HTC's special London event saw it roll out its largest-ever Android phone. The Sensation XL, previously nicknamed the Runnymede, has the same 4.7-inch, 480x800 LCD and 1.5GHz, single-core Snapdragon as its Windows Phone equivalent the Titan but has a much heavier focus on music. It takes on the Beats audio processing from the smaller but faster Sensation XE and comes with the same urBeats in-ear headphones, which kick in a special audio profile when plugged in.
HTC invites Beats-themed event in London
HTC UK has issued an opt-in event invite on Facebook to the launch of HTC with Beats Audio. It's happening at the Roundhouse in London on October 6 and will include performances from Fedde le Grand, Martin Solveig and an unknown headliner. It's expected HTC will use the opportunity to officially reveal the Sensation XL/Runnymede, the Vigor smartphones, or both.
Android-based Titan variant to launch October 7?
When HTC launches its new smartphone, code-named Runnymede, it will most likely not be called the Bass, as many had expected. Pocketnow now reports that the phone, which will be sold in packages offering Beats Audio accessories, will bear the name Sensation XL. The phone, which the company has still not officially announced, is most likely to have its formal debut at an upcoming HTC media event pegged for October 7.
HTC Runnymede shows in real life for first time
HTC's extra-large Runnymede, possibly called the Bass, has been spotted in real life for the first time through a video (below). True to form, it has a very large and probably 4.7-inch screen. Beats audio is in view, although it's notable the phone is using HTC's older Sense 3.0 and not the 3.5 seen in the Rhyme and possibly the Vigor.
Partnership extends beyond Android
HTC's collaboration with Beats by Dr. Dre appears to be extending beyond just Android handsets, as the smartphone maker has confirmed plans to bring Beats Audio to upcoming Windows Phone devices. The company has yet to provide further details surrounding specific Windows Phone handsets that will be outfitted with the enhanced audio features, however.
Retailer to offer phones as exclusives
HTC's Radar and
Sensation XE will be hitting UK shelves on October 1. Retailer Phones4u is boasting that it will be the first in Britain to be offering the smartphones. The Sensation XE is an update to HTC's popular Sensation smartphone, which the company hopes will compete effectively against Apple's forthcoming iPhone 5.
HTC Sensation XE ready for iPhone 5
HTC unveiled a rare early revamp of a core smartphone on Wednesday in anticipation of a heated battle with the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S II LTE. The Sensation XE upgrades in raw speed, from a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon to 1.5GHz, bit is also the first phone to take advantage of the HTC stake in Beats Audio. Its software has been tuned to improve the audio experience, and it ships with a pair of custom-designed Beats in-ear headphones and microphone remote that automatically switch to a unique audio profile when plugged in.
HTC Runnymede press image confirms close design
HTC's Runnymede was reinforced Monday with a discovery of a press shot. The phone is now near certain to be an Android conversion of the Windows Phone-based Titan and will share the 4.7-inch, 480x800 screen. Accordingly, what PocketNow saw would be an unusually mid-range device for the big screen, carrying a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon and either 16GB or 32GB of storage.
HP intros five home all-in-ones with new designs
HP on Wednesday remade its TouchSmart all-in-ones for the home with five new models. The 20-inch TouchSmart 320, 21.5-inch TouchSmart 420, and 23-inch TouchSmart 520 all have a completely new design with a weighted base that lets them freely tilt the computer and LCD while creating a sense of space. Beats Audio processing comes along with an optional Pulse Subwoofer for the 520 that can give it deeper bass without needing an entirely separate set of speakers.
THX expanding to mobile audio
THX senior VP Rick Dean in an interview Monday said his company was pursuing its certification process for smartphones and tablets. The audio team was "actively going down that path" of hoping to improve mobile audio, in part because mobile devices could now output to a TV. Size limited what THX could do, but Dean told Pocket-lint that compression or DSP tuning could improve what came out of the system.
HTC to have special Beats Sensation, US Eternity
HTC signaled plans for a pair of likely US-bound phones on Wednesday through escaped official documents. One Beats audio processing. CNET heard that, along with better output, it would come with a higher-end set of in-ear headphones with an in-line remote.
HTC 'Runnymede' said due in time for holidays
A new rumor suggests that HTC is developing a new smartphone codenamed 'Runnymede' that is expected to pack Beats Audio. HTC recently injected $300 million into Beats Electronic in order to deliver handsets with better audio quality. The new phone is also set to be bundled with Beats Audio headphones, not earphones.
HP TouchSmart 520 spoiled early
HP is planning a major, much slicker redesign of its TouchSmart all-in-ones. An escaped promo video shows the TouchSmart 520 having a considerably slimmer design more akin to the iMac but with its own design touches. The easel-like frame intercepted by Engadget would change to use "sweeping support arms" that would allow for easily pivoting the display.