13" MBP sound quality compare against 15" and 17"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by WhySoSerious, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. WhySoSerious macrumors 65816

    WhySoSerious

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    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #1
    I currently have a 17" MBP and was considering purchasing a 13" MBP instead as my replacement to the 17".

    I would like to hear others thoughts/opinions on the sound quality of the 13" MBP. I love listening to music on the go and at home. I don't plan on purchasing external speakers, I just want to know straight up how others view the sound quality on the 13".

    How's the bass?
    How's the treble?
    How's the mid/low/highs?
    Any sound distortion (hissing, static, crackling, muffled, etc) when cranking it all the way up?
    Are YOU able to tell a difference in sound quality when comparing them to the 15" or 17"?

    I've been to Apple stores frequently, but it's always too noisy to formulate a quality comparison and I don't know anyone who already owns a 13" MBP and all the reviews/forum searches I've done haven't really drilled down into the detail of sound quality.

    Thanks
     
  2. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816

    GeekGirl*

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    Buffalo, NY
    #2
    the 15" is MUCH better with sound. then the 13".
     
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #3
    The 13" MBPs have speakers in the rear instead of on top, so the sound quality is much lower.

    Sound distortion only occurs when dealing with bad audio.
     
  4. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #4
    I own a new 13" MBP and listen to music on it. However I bought external speakers which I hook up to it when it is at home. On my 50 dollar! speakers the sound quality is very good. Using only the internal speakers... the highs and lows just don't sound the same. The internal speakers are fine for listening to the spoken word (talk radio) but leave a lot to desire if you want to play music.
     
  5. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    #5
    I haven't read anything saying one is better than the other so I would assume that they all have the same quality. If there is, the quality of the speakers themselves make it hard to tell the difference. The speakers aren't the best but are certainly better than other laptops out there. If you're just using them to listen to music while doing work or watch a movie, they work extremely well, nice and clear without a lot of static and generally won't have to max out the volume, half way is plenty loud.
     
  6. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #6
    I just switched from a 15" to 17" and find the sound noticeably better (5 versus 3 internal speakers). I like listening to music on this and don't always need speakers. Can't attest to the 13".
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #7
    ...which is sad, because sound quality sucks on the 15" models to begin with.

    If you want any semblance of audio quality, get a pair of decent headphones like the Sony MDR-V6s.
     
  8. andrew12090 macrumors member

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #8
    yea the 13mbp speakers are fine for youtube and podcasts but not too much else
     
  9. Brandon Heat macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2008
    #9
    i'm actually fairly impressed with the 13" sound... but then again... i really wasnt expecting anything at all... it sounds very clean to me
     
  10. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

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  11. midgetsanchez macrumors regular

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #11
    13" < 15" < 17".

    This applies to any given feature on the MBP series.

    Apple's only true Macbook "Pro" is the 17" model. Better screen, better speakers, better fans, better battery, etc. The other models are just miniaturized, slightly-watered down versions of the 17".

    Still great computers though.
     
  12. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #12
    Except for one feature: portability :p
     
  13. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a

    MWPULSE

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    Location:
    London
    #13
    Let's face It people the speakers in any laptop, not just macs (of any sort) are just not good enough for decent audio reproduction. Sure it's gonna sound nice
    enough for casual listening. But not real listening to music. The speakers in laptops are not able to produce any audio frequencies below 300 I would say. Thus if listening to techno or other bass heavy music you will not
    be able to hear those frequencies at all. I'd suggest getting a 2.1 creative,logitech or blue sky, altec lansing do some good ones as well.

    Hope that helps with your decisions.

    PTP
     
  14. applebook macrumors 6502a

    applebook

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    #14
    Indeed.

    Bass? There is none.

    Treble? Where's the tweeter?

    Mid-range? ???

    Even the iBuds make all laptop speakers sound like garbage.
     
  15. afters macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #15
    +1

    Seriously, every single word of the above post is true. I own a 13" MBP and have demoed a 15", and although the 15" is slightly better, I'd say they're both pretty rubbish for any serious listening. Most headphones and external speakers will blow them out of the water.

    BTW, why won't you buying external speakers? Is it cost or another reason?
     
  16. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #16
    I've got the 13'' and 17'' right here and could demonstrate it for you, but I don't think i've got a decent enough setup to record the sounds to make a diff. Let me give it a try and get back to you..
     
  17. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Camp Snoopy
    #17
    If you'll notice, the speaker grilles that the MB and the 12" PB have are not present on any of the unibodies; the MBA and 13" MBP actually have the speakers under the keyboard.
     
  18. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #18
    heres a really bad comparison i just recorded between the 17'' full blast and 13'' full blast of a hans zimmer piece. its using a logitech digital ak570 desktop microphone and windows sound recorder...

    the difference is that the 17'' has a stronger and fuller sound quality.

    http://rapidshare.com/files/263899694/Desktop.rar.html
    can only be dled 10 times =\, any1 kno of a place to host files?
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    Agreed.


    However, the differences are all relative, because no matter what, don't expect great bass from any of these models. You'll get highs and mids on any of these laptops. You won't really get deep bass, which makes listening to many genres of music really disappointing.


    Having said that, I don't really care about audio quality when I listen to my (white) MacBook speakers.
     
  20. WhySoSerious thread starter macrumors 65816

    WhySoSerious

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #20
    no need for external speakers, i already have that area covered by other means. however, i wouldn't mind investing in some really high quality headphones........or is that point moot as well if the 13" has a crappy soundcard??

    really, i just want some decent sound (nothing that blows my pants off) when i watch movies i've ripped to my hard drive. i want to make sure it gets loud enough w/out distortion of any kind. if i'm looking for pure quality, then i guess i pop in some headphones, correct?
     
  21. Davidkoh macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    #21
    I can look at movies with the built in speakers on my MBP 13", no problem, it's loud enough for me to hear without distortion, and I got reduced hearing on my right ear. I couldn't hear **** on my whitebook I had 2 years ago, but since the alu macbook came I haven't had a problem anymore.
     
  22. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2006
    #22

    Grado SR-60. Best can-style headphones under $100, easily.
     
  23. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a

    MWPULSE

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #23
    if your looking for decent headphones i would go with sennheisers, sony, or AKG, around about 20 quid, maybe 50 for the semi-pro ones, and going way up to 500 for the badboy ones.

    The new line of MBPs all have optical output/in and line out/in so i'd say the soundcards are pretty good, the quality is nothing to be complained about neither.

    :)

    PTP
     
  24. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

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    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #24
    I believe the sound quality on the 13" is much lower than on the 15" or 17" due to the 13" having no grills on the top.
     
  25. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #25
    Sound card isn't bad. Unless your ears are trained (and depending on the type of music you listen to) you probably won't be able to tell the difference. If you're looking for a pair of good headphones, I like the Sony MDR-V6s.
     

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