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HP teams up with Bang & Olufsen as Apple takes back Beats

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Bang & Olufsen's BeoPlayH6 headphones

HP has announced a new partnership to bring technology from high-end audio purveyor Bang & Olufsen to its range of PCs and tablets, replacing its existing accord with Apple-owned Beats

From this spring, new HP devices like the Spectre and Envy computers and Pavilion tablets will be fitted with B&O Play branded audio tech. HP’s range of PC accessories, including headphones, will also feature the B&O logo.

B&O will custom tune HP’s devices, while it’ll also help to deliver clearer sounds by isolating audio circuitry. It’s not clear yet whether B&O will produce high quality amplifiers for HP gadgets, but the computing firm is planning on creating an audio control panel to help users manually tinker with the audio experience.

The deal with the Danish audio giant replaces HP’s existing accord with Beats, which is now owned by Apple, one of the company’s chief rivals in the computing space.

According to a CNET report, it was Apple that decided to halt the partnership, although Cupertino is yet to make an official comment.

Read more: B&O BeoPlay H6 headphones review

Regardless of who initiated the split, it comes as HP struggles to arrest the slide of desktop PCs and laptops, while Apple’s Mac and MacBook ranges continue to see year-on-year sales increases.

"We've certainly spent a lot of time working on audio with Beats over the years. I think certainly a lot of learnings both ways in that relationship," Mike Nash, a HP VP told reporters on Tuesday.

"The opportunity now is to take everything we already know and combine that with some new expertise ... as part of our partnership with Bang & Olufsen."

Beats Audio tech will still appear within HP products for the rest of the year, but it’ll be all B&O thereafter.

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