Help Me, LAPTOP: Find the Perfect Laptop for a DJ

Dell XPS 15 and ASUS N43SL

In our quest to help readers find the perfect laptop for their needs, we often receive questions from readers looking for the fastest, lightest or most budget-friendly laptop on the market. Until now, however, we’d never received a question about the best audio.

Val from V-Moda writes: 

I’m not a fan of Beats Audio, but I am a DJ. I’m looking for a Windows machine that’s fully tricked out with top-of-the-line specs that will be good working as a DJ. What would you recommend?

Clearly, sound quality is a top consideration for Val, but a DJ needs more than just excellent speakers. Does any laptop offer the perfect combination of excellent audio and robust sound controls? We go sleuthing to find the ultimate DJ-friendly notebook.

Although Val already said up front that she’s no fan of Beats Audio, we feel obligated to at least mention the HP Envy series. We gave both the 15-inch HP Envy 15 and 17-inch Envy 17 4 stars and Editor’s Choice awards, citing – among other features – their excellent audio and dedicated volume button as reasons for the laptops’ high marks. The fluid motion of the volume control dial gave our reviewer the impression of being a “DJ for a party of one”, and the Beats Audio control panel allowed her to adjust the audio quality to her liking.

[The Best Laptops of 2011]

But Val isn’t interested in Beats Audio, so let’s take a look at other high-end laptops that are perfect for audiophiles! The Dell XPS 15, as we said in its review, boasts best-in-class audio. The notebook features JBL Speakers and a bottom-mounted subwoofer good enough to serve as a home stereo. Even at maximum volume (which blows other laptops away with its ability to fill a room), the XPS 15 delivers clear and true sound. Individual instruments on tracks such as “Thus Spake Zarathustra” can be easily discerned.

Moreover, the 15-inch XPS 15 features Wave MaxxAudio sound enhancement software, which allows you to make fine adjustments to each audio setting or set the audio presets for music, movies, gaming, or voice conferencing. Our reviewer’s favorite feature was the “leveler,” which automatically adjusts the speakers to deliver the highest fidelity sound at maximum volume.

[The Best & Worst Laptop Brands of 2012]

The 17-inch Dell XPS 17 sports the same high-quality JBL Speakers and subwoofer as its smaller cousin, as well as the excellent MaxxAudio control panel. The XPS 17 adds support for 5.1 surround sound via HDMI output to the mix as well, making it an ideal choice for a DJ looking to hook their laptop up to a full set of speakers. The XPS 17 also features SoundBlaster X-Fi software, which boosts the sound of effects and music in games.

If the XPS series isn’t to your liking, the ASUS N43SL Jay Chou Special Edition might scratch your audio itch. The N43SL, designed in collaboration with Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou, features a top-facing speaker – powered by Bang and Olufsen ICEpower and ASUS’s own SonicMaster technology – that easily filled our test room with sound. When we listened to Radiohead’s “Reckoner,” the sound quality was almost as good as if we were playing the track through a home stereo system.

If you have a question about fixing a technical problem or buying a new product, drop us a line at helpme@laptopmag.com and we’ll respond to the most interesting questions in this section.

LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Beth Liz Mockley Says:

    It is really hard to find the suitable laptop with a perfect audio. I heard from some that there are laptops that as time pass by, the quality in sounds decreases.

  2. Fredrik T Says:

    As a DJ he won’t use any onboard sound. This article should be deleted as the writer doesn’t know what he writes about.

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE