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Editor's note: this review has been updated to take into account the included subwoofer accessory.
The Asus N series is reserved for audio — in this case, a Bang & Olufsen collaboration called ICEPower.
Unlike previous efforts, the N55 is aimed at the mid-range market, as evidenced by its non-island-style keyboard and mostly plastic construction. The speakers included in the laptop aren't that great, relying on software to try to fill the gap rather than implementing better hardware. Annoyingly, the volume attenuates whenever dynamics get too much for the speakers, which is frequently. No amount of tweaking with Asus' software panel would fix this. We find that this ruins the music-listening experience, with elements of expressive music entirely suppressed.
Thankfully, the included subwoofer accessory goes some way to rectifying this. When plugged into the laptop, tone improves significantly, although the bass is muddy at best and volume still attenuates through the tweeters — it's just less obvious. Still, it's a welcome addition, and a cut above usual laptop sound.