Any Speaker difference between 21" and 27" models

Discussion in 'iMac' started by atteligibility, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    Based on the website reviews(21 and 27") and user reviews (for the 21"), I see a wide range of opinions on the speakers.

    Although audio is often a personal preference, I find it bizarre that some websites would mention that the speakers deliver "vibrant sound and surprisingly rich bass" (PCMag review of 27"), when many users(21") here say that the speakers don't deliver any bass at all.

    Is there any known difference in the sound system between the 21" and the 27", or ... what's the deal?
  2. macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    We must've just read the same post, as I was wondering about the same thing a second before I saw your thread.
  3. macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Good question
  4. macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    Since the guts of the 21.5" and the 27" should be quite similar, the 27" should have more real estate available to it. So maybe better speakers.
  5. macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2008
    which articles did you guys read? Links?
  6. macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    For sure, new iMac audio bass is weak, but voice clarity is very good. I use Skype to make phone call on new iMac, sound quality is much better than my telephone.

    PC speakers are not hi-fi stereo speakers. I run Airplay to Apple-TV which hdmi drives my AV reciever. My loud speakers weighs 70 pounds each, 30Hz to 20kHz frequency reponse, it beats many subwoofers. iMac speakers are for news radio, Skype, and etc. iMac lack of bass does not bother me.
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
  8. macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    "Zero bass", his comment is too harsh to Apple. There is some bass for sure.

    I compare 2010 and new 2012 model, 2012 model has wider stereo sound image, I don't know if Apple adds "MSG" (audio DSP chip) to enhance stereo sound stage, or it is a side effect due to lack of bass.

    2012 new iMac 21.5" base model sound quality is acceptable.
  9. macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I set up a brand new 21.5" yesterday...I'd say the speakers are as good as the ones in my 2011 27"...The "Angle" of sound seesm to have changed, bringing out the bass tone a little better. Imac's have always had good speakers and the newbie is no exception....Don't use them myself as I have everything hooked up to my Onkyo Av system, but for those with limited space the built in speakers are very good.
  10. macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2012
    PERTH, Australia
    Do people actually just use the internal speakers lol ??

    I would think the 27 would be slightly better but only due to the larger enclosure..

    but regardless I would be looking at some external speakers.
  11. macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    I'll use them, but will also hook it up to my Onkyo 7.1 system when need be
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    Please don't dismiss the question.

    Listening to some of you guys, we should not care that our $2k+ "all in one" doesn't include an optical drive, a decent pair of speakers, etc...

    Isn't fair to measure the pertinence of an 'all in one' based on what it includes inside the box? If I wanted to plug a set of speakers, an external optical drive, etc.... I would not look in this product to begin with
  13. macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2012
    PERTH, Australia
    You wouldn't buy a 2.5 ~3k TV to watch movies on and listen to it from the tv speakers would you ?

    I see it the same way , sure they might sound ok, but if you really are a music person they are just not the same as having a good quality speaker sitting on the desk.

    but you are right they should sound good for the price we are paying.

    everyones expectation of good is also different too.
  14. macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I agree with you.

    2012 model is lack of bass, 2013 model will be zero bass for sure if users keep quiet about it. This is the way Apple doing business, I think.

    Indeed, when I heard about there will be no optical drive in the new 2012 model, I wanted to buy a 2011 base model 21.5" because of the optical drive. The workers at Apple store told me that old base model was sold out. That's why I bought the new 2012 model.
  15. macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I was actually surprised of how good the speakers in my 21.5" are doing.

    Given that it is a ultra thin desktop they are performing very good. It's only when I crank up the volume to near max (3-4 ticks away) the treble starts sounding bad.

    And saying that there is zero bass is a lie. Try taking a laptop and compare - THAT's zero bass. There is quite a lot of base in my speaker imho.

    Overall, I'm really glad for my internal speakers, and i occasionally use them instead of my Logitech surround sound when listening to music.
  16. macrumors member

    May 14, 2012
    I think those quotes have to be read in context. The Verge compares the speakers with those on the previous generation of iMac, which the reviewer thought were really good. For the first time in a while, he says, he would recommend external speakers to go with the iMac because the new speakers aren't as good. But he didn't say that the new speakers aren't good for anything. So zero bass response is just a hyperbole.

    PC Mag compares the iMac not to previous generations of iMac but to competitors. And competitors still aren't as good as the iMac and that is why it's surprisingly good. Especially since the iMac is now thinner than its competitors.

    So it just matters what you chose your reference point to be.
  17. macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Good to know, ya don't always want to fire up the big boys....early morning for example
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    So now that some of you guys have received the 27", could you comment on the speakers?
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2010
    There's a bit in my 21er but I find myself turning up all the time to try and get more bass, it is lacking and the sound does overall sound a bit tinny, notice it especially when standing away from the machine. The speakers are loud however and perfectly adequate for casual listening, youtube and good for phone calls etc.

    Just get real decent speakers if you want to work with audio or listen to sounds with all the bells and whistles (not literally treble and highs are pretty good on these speakers ;) )
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2007
    You know that and your still looking? Why? My new 21.5, after setting the equalizer, sounds pretty good. Bass is not like a sub but I'm listening to some Method Man and the bass vibrates my desk. Good enough for me. I knew what was included, and what was not, BEFORE I purchased. Maybe you should wait to see one in the store.
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    Mine is coming in tomorrow.

    You're lucky to have known before whether good or bad speakers were included, I don't know how you knew since reports go from 'poor speakers with no bass' to 'surprisingly good speakers with rich bass'

    I think it's fair to ask whether or not there is a difference between models, maybe defective units, or maybe different manufacturers for those speakers??

    My question has nothing to do with a purchase decision, my unit is delivered tomorrow, and I will have purchased it even with no speakers. I just want to know what's supposed to be delivered so I can test my unit.

    For god sake, some of you guys really need to stop being on the defensive like that every time we ask a question that suggests one of the component might be sub par...
  22. macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I hope I'm not in your radar screen, I think my comments in my previous posts are very neutral.

    All religions have die-hard fundamentalists, Apple cult has no exception. Apple has a very successful PR department (department of propaganda). The infamouse slogan " It's just works ! ". First time I heard of it, I thought to myself, either it is a lie or it is a make-believe.
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    haha no, your answers were the only helpful ones...

    My question was also pretty neutral, wondering the reasons behind such a wide range of opinions on the speakers.

    It's kind of annoying, when asking a neutral question, to get answers such as 'Do people actually just use the internal speakers lol ??'
    or 'I knew what was included, and what was not, BEFORE I purchased.'

    Anyway, comments from people more interested in defending their purchase rather than trying to answer the actual question.
  24. macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Thanks for your kind words.
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012

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