Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Beats Audio Works

Author's Note

I have to admit to being amused by audio consumers' obsession with hearing a song that sounds exactly as the artist intended it. When I was a high school sophomore in the early 1970s, my introduction to rock was listening to a vinyl copy of the Rolling Stones' 1969 live record "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!" that one of my classmates surreptitiously played on the cheap turntable-in-a-suitcase unit in the audiovisual lab, instead of the French vocabulary records we were supposed to be studying. The sound that came through my headphones was mono, not stereo, and the pops and hisses from the badly worn phonograph needle probably made the Stones' live version of "Live With Me" sound even raunchier than if I had been in the front row of their concert. It sounded terrible, and I absolutely was enthralled by it. If some manufacturer can come up with a gadget that could bring back the feeling of that moment again, I'd pay just about any price for it.

Related Articles


  • "About Beats By Dr. Dre." (May 11, 2012)
  • "HTC and Beats By Dr. Dre set to introduce new era in mobile audio." Aug. 11, 2011. (May 11, 2012)
  • Brazil, Eddie. "Sound Equalization Tips and Tricks." PC Publishing. 2009.
  • Buskin, Richard. "The Kinks' 'You Really Got Me.'" September 2009. (May 11, 2012)
  • CNET. "Monster Beats by Dr. Dre." Aug. 28, 2008. (May 11, 2012)
  • Edwards, Cliff. "Beats Electronics Is Breaking Up with Monster." Bloomberg News. Jan. 12, 2012. (May 11, 2012)
  • Google Patents. "Beats Electronics LLC." (May 11, 2012),or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=7069bf7d44086ae4&biw=1473&bih=836
  • Jones, Steve. "Dr. Dre's headphones put heat in the beat." USA Today. July 23, 2008. (May 11, 2012)
  • LeLoup, Jean and Ponterio, Bob. "Digital Sound Recording." 2011. (May 11, 2012)
  • "What is Beats Audio?" Jan. 27, 2012. (May 11, 2012)
  • Sakr, Sharif. "HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio review." Endgadget. Oct. 13, 2011. (May 11, 2012)
  • Self, Douglas. "Audio Engineering Explained: Professional Audio Recording." Focal Press. 2010. (May 11, 2012)
  • Signeo USA, etal. vs. Beats Electronics LLC etal. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. "Defendant Beats Electronics' Answer and Counterclaim." July 7, 2008. (May 11, 2012)
  • "HP ENVY 14-2160se Beats Edition Notebook PC." (May 11, 2012)
  • "What Exactly is Beats Audio, Anyway?" Aug. 16, 2011. (May 11, 2012)
  • "What Exactly is Beats Audio? Update: An Answer." Jan. 9, 2012. (May 11, 2012)
  • Whitehead, Gordon. "A Brief Journey Through the Ear." (May 11, 2012)