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HTC Rezound’s Beats Audio Only Works With Stock Music and Video Apps

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Oh here’s a fly in the ointment. The HTC Rezound boasts the inclusion of Beats Audio, which enhances the sound quality on tracks above that of other smartphones and most MP3 players. At the launch event HTC and Verizon demoed this for us, showing how the Beats Audio software activated when one plugged in headphones.

Now that I have our review unit I figured the easiest way to get all of my music on it quickly was just to hook it up to my Google Music account. I did so, plugged in my headphones, and… no Beats Audio. Huh? What gives?

Turns out, Beats Audio only activates when you play tracks in the Music app that comes with the phone. I tried playing tracks with the DoubleTwist app, Slacker Radio, last.fm, and Pandora: no Beats activation.

HTC Rezound Beats Audio

On the left, music playing from the stock app. See the Beats Audio indicator? On the right, music playing from Google Music. Note the lack of Beats.

There’s nothing special about the pre-loaded music app.  HTC has added some flair to it, but otherwise it’s the basic app that comes with any Android phone. There’s not even any cool Beats branding in it or a fancy album art carousel.

On the plus side, the app can connect to Media Servers (haven’t tested this yet) and to Verizon’s VCAST music service, so there’s that. On the minus side, you’re confined to this meh music player that doesn’t even stream from existing, popular services.

With video I saw the same thing. Playing vids via the Gallery app also activates Beats Audio, but not playing them via YouTube or the Internet.

This is putting a damper on my enthusiasm for this phone. Shouldn’t Beats Audio be able to detect when music is playing in any app and activate, or even just be aware of the most popular music and video apps. Or even just the other ones that come on the phone, like Slacker?

For a smartphone that’s all about music, this doesn’t seem very smart or music-centric.

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

11 Comments

  1. Celticsthetruth34

    11/15/2011 at 8:59 am

    I’m listening to dr. dre on my sirius app and cant use beats audio

    • K. T. Bradford

      11/15/2011 at 9:42 am

      Irony….

    • ol1bit

      11/15/2011 at 9:50 am

      Argh… Why do all these phones have an Achilles heel for thier cool features.

      Thanks for the info! 

  2. VerizonSucks

    12/13/2011 at 9:39 pm

    If beats is so important to you just go buy a pair of real Beats headphones. The Beats technology is built into the headphones. On the Rezound the technology is built into the native music app. If you have the good head phone it won’t matter what player you use and you’ll get the full benefit of Beats for google music, netflix, etc.

    Just a thought.

    • re: just a thought

      02/20/2012 at 1:54 pm

      You’re wrong, the phone comes with beats headphones and the quality definitely changes when using stock app vs. any other, do you even have the phone you retard?

      • ho

        02/25/2012 at 10:11 am

        ya, only the xe and xl hv this function ^^

  3. Jeurihoss

    02/15/2012 at 9:43 am

    This probably my only huge complaint about this phone. I really really hope htc decides to fix it :/

  4. Silver Fang

    03/29/2012 at 2:38 pm

    Perhaps some smart hacker will find a way around that restriction.

    • pyro

      07/08/2012 at 12:56 pm

      And show us how to do it

  5. Dustin

    07/13/2012 at 1:32 pm

    the Media player “Poweramp” uses the beats audio plugin the Poweramp media player as itself without beats blows any other player away hands down the competition isn’t even close in sound quality and functionality.

    under the tone settings there is a option to turn beats & srs on and off. You can also mix in Stero X if you want to for a simulated surround sound.

  6. Dave Unvert

    05/22/2013 at 11:17 am

    The Jelly Bean version has beats on off, but the rezound doesn’t have this…stupid

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