I am very displeased with the speaker quality of the 2012 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kmad86, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Received my 2012 iMac 27" yesterday. My old 2009 iMac would carry rich sound throughout the room. This new 27" has awful speakers. They're very muffled. Talk show radio is terrrriiiibbbllleee on it. Music is bad, but not as bad.

    I hate that now I am having to clutter my desk with big speakers to get the same sound out of what I previously had in 2009. I really hate to complain, it's a quick computer and I like the anti glare display but I wish Apple didn't continuously chip away at small things to put a little extra money in their pocket.

    (Did notice that I am picking up quite a few more wireless networks on the new model compared to my older one)
  2. macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2012
    There's a chance you got a bad one. Several people have commented that the speakers are no worse than previous iMacs, except the bass is noticeably weaker.
  3. macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    This is my first iMac. From reviews I was expecting to need to pick up some desktop speakers, however I am surprised by the quality of the speakers. Loud enough and deep enough for me.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    How do I really test that to confirm they're bad?
  5. macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Does anybody have any iTunes EQ custom adjustments they care to share? I'm sure that alone can make it sound a lot better...
  6. macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    In my experience, all iTunes sound tweaking add-ons are best left turned well off. They all introduce less desirable side effects to some degree.
    If you absolutely must use one, then maybe give the sound enhancer a go when using built in speakers. The rest I avoid.

    The best sounding iMacs (and i've probably owned, or at least heard most of them) was the G3 slot loading iMacs that had the little, almost golf ball size Harmon Kardons in them. Pretty damned impressive for something so small. It all went downhill after those..
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    The speakers can't be any worse than what I'm using at the moment, my macbook pro.

  8. macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2010
    I thought the speakers were terrible so I went out and bought some desktop speakers.
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    I sold my 27" iMac two months ago and used my 17" MBP until this new one came in. The 17" MBP sounded fine, these are clear with a muffled sound in them. Hard to explain. I don't see how it could be a defect. They would be great speakers if you listened to Muppet Soundracks often.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    The sound suffers because of design. Flat screen TV's keep getting thinner and thinner at what suffers....the sound. The speakers are decent, they lack bass but what do you expect when you take the form factor into consideration?
    For everyday computing the speakers are fine but when I really want to enjoy music, a game, or a movie...I plug in my desktop speakers.

    My speakers are Logitech Z5500's which are THX certified and have optical input which the new imacs can take advantage of.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2012
    I watched the season finale of Dexter on my 27" iMac last night and I had no issues with the sound. In fact at one point I checked to see how loud I had the volume and was shocked that I barely had it up because it sounded full and clear. Granted, I'm no audiofile, but they worked perfectly for me and I definitely won't be adding on desktop ones.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    I've got a 13" MBP from 2 or 3 years ago, it'll be better than that surely?

    I think some people are bit critical when it comes to sound and you pay hundreds of pounds for maybe a 5% difference, not worth it in my eyes/ears.
  13. macrumors member


    Dec 5, 2012
    record somehting in Garage band and post see if anyone notices a difference
  14. macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2012
    It's the opposite for me! :eek:
    I have my old late-2009 maxed out iMac next to my new maxed out 27" and the sound is way better on my new iMac!
    The new 27" iMac sounds clearer, less "metallic" and the bass is about the same.
  15. macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2012
    Bass is as weak as you would it expect it from a thin machine, no surprises here. Otherwise the sound is absolutely fine and as clear as you can get on such a thing.
  16. macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Those were my favorite speakers as well. If Apple didn't make them with that stupid proprietary mini-jack, I would have hooked them up to my new Mac! :D
  17. macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2012
    imo they might be "good enough" but when you once had good external speakers you will never go back.

    this epic computer deserves epic speakers.
    use the toslink capabilities!
  18. macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    I've got a 7.1 surround system with a big dirty amp downstairs that I warrant kicks out better sound than any desktop external speakers, so its not like I've not got anything to compare it to. However I'm not sat where my TV goes so that sound set up would be strange. Anyway - I'm not saying they will be good enough for everyone, but for me the included speakers were a pleasant surprise as both loud and deep enough for me to not even remotely consider the extra cables and wall wart that external speakers cause.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    Just got my 27" an hour ago, and I agree that the speakers are indeed... well... horrible for anything other than warning-beeps. Luckily I personally had no intention of using the built-in ones, instead using my external ones.
  20. macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2012
    PERTH, Australia
    Use externals!

    Doesn't matter what we pay for these systems I wouldn't expect great sound from them and of course the less space inside you can't expect to much sound to come out of there.

    nothing beats a good set of externals anyway.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2010
    I have been using various MacBooks for the past few years, and the speakers on the 2012 iMac blew me away. I guess the quality is completely subjective depending on what computer you were using previously. I must admit that I am not an audiophile but the bass seems to be pretty impressive for such a thin chassis.
  22. macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2012
    In my room the sound quality is quite good, but the bass is lacking significantly. When comparing to my rMBP's speakers, the iMac seems a bit horrible in overall fidelity, although it does boast higher dynamics, which can be good or bad on certain types of music.

    Nonetheless, I use headphones 99% of the time so I won't expect too much but still hope Apple will improve these speakers next year.
  23. macrumors regular

    May 22, 2010
    I see them as emergency speakers, always have used external speakers on windows and mac so it make no difference.

    Besides, have a surround sound set up in the same room so might as well...lack of bass? No problem, have a BK XLS400.
  24. macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I feel the opposite. Compared to my 2011 27" iMac, the speakers definitely have more bass, and a clearer high end. However the midrange suffers a bit. It's like the speakers ran through Bose.

    Still, overall an improvement.
  25. macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2008
    I was thinking the same thing. The sound is actually quite clear and crisp. Just weak in bass response. No biggy.

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