Best Sounding Notebooks: Good Enough To Be Your Stereo?

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Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos--and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities. While we’ve listened to enough notebooks to know what’s good and what’s bad, we don’t have the practiced ear of an audio pro. That’s why we enlisted Jamie, a sound engineer with more than 10 years experience working for major labels, to come take a listen. He played a number of tracks on each of the machines, ranging from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to Guns n’ Roses “November Rain,” and then weighed in with his expert opinion.

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8 comments
  • Cole Hintermeister Says:

    I'm surprised the Lenovo Y series laptops aren't here. JBL speakers on the top back corners, top-facing. Plus a 2" (maybe 2.5") subwoofer on the bottom to really bring out the bass.

  • Victor Turcanu Says:

    I own this beautiful piece of art or I can call it even diamond, or sometimes Bentley ;) I'm very satisfied with it, the performance, design, sound, size, everything is great. Every time someone sees it on my desk, they are like "Wow, this is serious" yes it is indeed, I'm not even thinking to sell it soon, and it's 2015 here. You know that feeling when you leave the room and you have to look back for the last time? I'm not listening at all to other opinions, everybody has his own taste, If you want to feel and know what is like to have an NX90JQ, then you have to own it. Thank you Asus and Mr.David Lewis.

  • vishal Says:

    before you all give your comments,just check samsung np550

  • m Says:

    I wonder if he let the speakers break in.

  • Robi1 Says:

    Well listen ... I had the opportunity to compare the sound system of the two machines side by side, in live, and I fully back on my words (the adaptive nature of the ear is probably something !)

    The JBL system on the Dell XPS (17 "in my case L702X) is actually really impressive. The sound once equalized, is incredibly clear, aerial, and the bass is deep, clear too, and really present. Which also surprises this is the perfect separation of instruments, and voices centralized.

    MSI Dynaudio system is not bad, but is much less realistic compared to the JBL of Dell, which for its part, is much closer to the Hi-Fi. Even my old Toshiba Qosmio X300 which has a system harman / kardon 4.1 (same parent company as JBL), and which has an even greater power (2 additional speakers), can not claim such clarity and precision that has the Dell XPS, even after adjustments. This shows well the good performance of the latter...

  • GD Says:

    Though I didn't heard about XP15 ,somehow I agree with Robi and Ares
    I dont know about JBL,but Dynaudio seems put the most effort with MSI,even GT660R is worse, I dont think it will be 3.5 against 5

    And,You guys making a big mistake here...GT660 and 680R both got a subwoofer...
    If you guys didn't heard bass...then I dont know what to say

  • Ares Says:

    Well I must say that you are an utter fool,and you don't know anything about speakers.The Dynaudio speakers in GT680R are at least 5 times better than the JBL speakers in XPS 15.You must have got a faulty GT683R because anyone can tell that.

  • Robi1 Says:

    Humm, compared to the MSI GT680R, i do not agree... I have a MSI GX660 (same audio than GT680R), I am musician, and for me, the onboard Dynaudio sound is better than the JBL system on a Dell XPS 15...better medium, sound more deep, louder...and by contrast to what you say, the "THX" traitement denaturalizes completely sound and it is best to disable.

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