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HP Monitors have Design Flaw regarding Speaker Volume

by HPnomo / July 16, 2010 7:32 AM PDT

I recently purchased an HP 2509m monitor. It's a beautiful monitor but, as I've found out, it has a design flaw. It's close to impossible to make the speakers audible and useable. First, I have extensive experience in both the computer and audio realms. I have used both HDMI and dedicated Audio Line In. I have used multiple sources (i.e. several computers, BluRay DVD player, CD player, Ipod). I have the monitor's volume set at 100%. I've set the audio output levels from the computers to 100% as well. Using HDMI from either a PC or separate player, audio is barely detectable. Switching to the dedicate Audio Line In is barely an improvement. In fact, the loudest I could get it was from the headphone out of an Ipod set to 100% and it's still not as loud as my HP laptop. Yes, everything is configured properly and all cables were tested.

Thinking I had a lemon, I went to the store and tested the display model. The same thing. No one at the store could get it loud enough to hear.

I then searched for mention of this on the web. I found many other complaints about this issue but clearly not enough. My guess is that most people are using external speakers and the rest are simply apethetic which is expected given the state of corporate customer service these days.

This is apparently not specific to my model but seems to be an issue with many or all of similar design. For example, check CNETs review of the HP w2207 LCD monitor and you'll see they state, "We found their output barely audible."

At first, I had given HP the benefit of the doubt and assumed this was an isolated issue. Now I'm convinced it's a design flaw. My guess is the input sensitivity is too high so with the standard output from a computer or other source, you can't drive the internal amplifier to full power. So while it may claim to be 2w/2w, that level is all but unattainable. I never expected great sound but a big reason I went with this monitor over a Samsung LED was that it had speakers so I didn't need external ones cluttering my desk. I should be able to hear computer sounds as well as that from DVDs while sitting in front of it. I was not expecting to use this as a TV from across a room. Again, I can make my cheap HP laptop significantly louder.

I have contacted HP and had the issue escalated. While I did get them to admit they've had similar complaints about this issue for this and other monitors, they said it did not rise to the appropriate level to warrant action. So because not enough people complain, they're as happy as BP would've been if there was no video coverage of the leak.

I'd love to hear if anyone who has one of these monitors is able to get adequate sound levels from it especially via HDMI.

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