Any iMac users satisfied with the built-in speakers?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SteelBlueTJ, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    I have a new 2013 27" iMac. I have it hooked up to a set of Bose Companion 2 speakers and my headphones plugged into the speakers. I rarely ever use the Bose speakers. I use my headphones 99% of the time for my audio needs. I am seriously thinking about eliminating the speakers and plugging the headphones directly into the iMac. Then I would just use the built-in speaker on the iMac in the rare occasion I want external audio. It would eliminate clutter on my desk and free up another electrical plug. I guess I am looking to see how many of you actually use the built-in speaker on your iMac? I am pretty sure I'm probably in the minority on this one.
  2. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    I think the built in speakers are great! Love them. They are easily load enough, the quality of the sound is great. I found no reason to add external ones.
  3. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    Yep! They are much deeper and better than the ones in my 2011 iMac.
  4. Fatboy71 macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2010
    Sound is subjective and you will get people saying that the sound quality is poor on the current iMac's. But for such a thin bodied machine, I find the sound quality to be surprisingly good.

    Before I received my iMac, I’d considered purchasing some Bose speakers too for my Late 2012 iMac.

    But apart from the bass level, I find the iMac’s speakers to be really good quality and go up to a surprisingly loud level.

    Yes, if you like thumping bass then you would probably be disappointed. I’ve heard it mentioned that from the Late 2012 onwards iMac’s, the sound quality is better than on the earlier models.

    I thought that, why purchase external speakers, the expense, lose desk space, and add clutter, just to get more bass in my sound. For me it would be pointless.

    I use my iMac’s speakers pretty much 95 percent of the time and the other 5 percent I use my earphones/headphones.
  5. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    The built-in speakers work very well for me: gaming, occasional music while I'm working at the computer, etc. I guess it depends on what you do with it. If its your media center, I would imagine the built-in are insufficient, but I would personally consider satellite speakers insufficient for that as well. If just for general computing needs, they do just fine.
  6. kelub macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    I'd have to say that they're pretty great. I'd take the iMac speakers over any of my TV speakers. I do have a 2011 iMac and I've heard the 2012+ are even better. I use headphones for longer sessions, but I've never been dissatisfied with the sound from the built-in speakers. I eliminated external speakers for the same reason: one less thing to plug in, increase desk space. If you're using headphones for longer sessions anyway then yeah, there's little reason to keep another set of speakers around IMO.
  7. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    I've been using a pair of AudioEngine2 speakers with my (now sold) 24" iMac and now with my new 27" iMac. I don't remember how the 24" speakers sounded, but the brief period of time that I used the speakers in the 27", they sounded surprisingly decent for such a thin enclosure.
  8. AlexJaye macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    I have a late 2012 iMac and I like the built in speakers. They get pretty loud. Bass is lacking, but I have a stereo set for base if I want that. I love watching movies/TV on the iMac because the screen is gorgeous and the speakers are pretty decent.
  9. Seramir macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2006
    I think the speakers in the 27" sounds very good in relation to its size. It's very crisp and clear, and there is even some slight amount of bass to it.

    The reason I ultimately decided to go external was because of a weird issue I'm experiencing with it.

    I'm finding speaker volume tends to fluctuate randomly if I adjust volume level in apps individually (such as iTunes' volume slider) instead of using the system's universal volume adjuster. When app volumes are near max or maxed, volume never fluctuates regardless of system volume. When app volumes are adjusted midway and below, it starts to fluctuate (again, regardless of system volume). It's such a strange issue that I thought something was wrong with my iMac hardware. A visit to an Apple Store and Best Buy reassured me it's likely a software bug, as all the iMacs on display and even the MacBooks had the same problem. But again, most people would likely never notice this as I'm quite sensitive to noise.

    Also, speakers sounds terrible under Windows. They sound like they are muffled and covered up. However, there is zero volume fluctuation regardless of system or app volume. That tells me the speakers are greatly enhanced under OS X with software running in the background.

    I went with the Swans M10. Beautiful looking speakers and great sounding. I waited almost a year for them to be back in stock, but you can finally buy them right now on Audio Insider! I also have the Klipsch 2.1 ProMedias and they sound just as good as the Swans (although they are somewhat ugly).

    Oh yeah, I tried playing the speakers on the 21" iMacs on display and they sounded bad compared to the 27". The volume on it just didn't get very loud at all.
  10. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Apart from the bass, it's pretty good.

    That said, nothing beats playing Mahler's symphonies on my Bose system :)
  11. MacLabTech macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2014
    North Carolina
    I love the speakers on my Late 2012 iMac. I have some pictures of a breakdown I did recently. You can see how much room and space Apple gave the speakers to let them resonate. In the pictures the speakers are the two large black modules on each side of the iMac. I would say the 27" iMac has the best build in speakers, Apple should know how to build speakers since they build my favorite iPod Hi-Fi.

    I have some pictures of the four internal speakers themselves if your interested.
  12. jordanm86 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2011
    Depends what you want them for, but for general use, I think they're pretty awesome. They stay clear/no distortion at the volume I need and are more than adequate for everyday life.

    You will however get the audiophiles who say "they're rubbish... they're not as good as my XYZ (insert generic brand name) speakers" but don't completely ignore the fact that their standalone speakers require an external power source and are huge in comparison.

    This would be like saying a Mini is a rubbish car because it struggles on muddy, rugged terrain (standard mini, not a rally version :D)
  13. username: macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2013
    I was very happy with the sound quality of my 2013 27" iMac. Blows any other PC away. I have a sony sound system and the iMac speakers are clearer at low volume, but can't match for bass, high volume or range.

    My macbook air 2013 also has decent speakers, compared to two other laptops I have used (toshiba and acer). So in my experience, it seems Apple do not skimp on important things like speakers.
  14. miked37945 macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2006
    For on-board speakers they are "decent". For the cost of the iMac they could be better. If they sound awesome then you may have never heard awesome speakers! :D
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Like the OP I use my headphones most of the time, but find the speakers good enough for my needs.

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