iPad Bought iPad Air 2 to replace iPad 4 - concerned about the sound quality

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Captain America, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. Captain America macrumors 6502

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    Philly
    #1
    So as stated above, I just purchased an iPad Air 2. I love how it makes my 4 feel like this bulky monster, and the speed puts the old one to shame in a few noticeable ways. One area that I'm not at all happy about though is the speakers. Before buying it, I had read in a few places that people thought this was the best sounding one yet. I'm not seeing it.

    It can get loud as hell if you like it that way, but even at lower volumes, the sound quality is terrible next to my iPad 4 and even iPhone 6 Plus. The old iPad and curren iPhone both have fuller, richer sound, and better bass. This new iPad vibrates like a mofo and sounds hollow or tinny or something, and even feels weird to my ears.

    Are they all like this, or did I get a dud? Considering returning this if they were designed this way.
     
  2. Closingracer macrumors 68000

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  3. sanke1, Feb 28, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015

    sanke1 macrumors 65816

    sanke1

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #3
    IPad Air 2 definitely has poor sound quality through earphones. Upto Air 1, Apple used Cirrus Logic sound DACs and music sounded like Wow!!!

    But with Air 2 I quickly noticed the dynamic range of audio has considerably reduced as they switched to other DAC manufacturer. This has also resulted in random pops and crackles from speakers and earphones besides other sound problems. The whole Air 2 chassis vibrates on volumes above 50%.

    So yeah, the Air 2 has the most sh*****st sound quality ever of an Apple product.
     
  4. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    Sep 14, 2010
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    Australia
    #4
    Is it due to how thin it is?

    The iPad Air 2 is great but its truly an example of form over factor (although it is an amazingly beautiful, thin and light device). The battery life is not as good, due to the smaller battery, there is no mute button and apparently the sound isn't great through the external speakers.
     
  5. sanke1 macrumors 65816

    sanke1

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #5
    I am not bothered about speaker quality. I listen to music a lot through earphones and the current sound processor chip in Air 2 is the most terrible 0.002 cents chip Apple used to cut cost, thinking customers don't notice it.

    Damn it's no fun to listen to music on Air 2. I miss Cirrus Logic's sound quality. What is the use of this 128 gb space if you can't provide a decent SQ? Some entry level Android tablets have better dynamic range when listening to music. Many websites have mentioned the same issue.
     
  6. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #6
    I'm starting to dread eventually replacing my iPad 2 - I listen to a lot of music on it... I also love the mute switch!!
     
  7. Rodster macrumors 68040

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    May 15, 2007
    #7
    I can only judge the audio quality from iTunes Radio and YouTube video but they all sound the same to me with the Air 2 sounding slightly deeper while playing thru the speakers.

    I still own an iPad 2/3/Air. I returned the Air 2 because It was distracting listening to audio thru the speakers and the back cover vibrating.
     
  8. Matheew944 macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2015
    #8
    I bought an Ipad Air 2, listened to music and my Ipad doesnt vibrate it.. sound is awesome on this Ipad. Definetly an upgrade from the previous Ipad 4
     
  9. Captain America thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Philly
    #9
    I ended up going to the AT&T store to compare the way mine sounds with their display model. They're essentially the same, and both vibrate, which is disappointing. It would appear this was a (in my opinion) a lousy design choice/oversight. I personally find earbuds uncomfortable, and it's not necessarily convenient for when I use the speakers on the iPad, which isn't often per se, but often enough that it does matter to me.

    I suppose I'm going to hold onto the Air 2 for a bit and see if I can get used to it. I think it's great in pretty much every other way so far, though battery might be questionable.
     
  10. byke macrumors 6502a

    byke

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    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    LDN. UK
    #10
    I went from an iPad 2 to an Air 2 - and I too was shocked how lousy the speakers are.

    Actually given that after 4 generations of iPad since the ipad 2, it's hard to see what they improved exactly.

    Yes the camera is better, as to be expected with 4 generations.
    The same as processors etc .....

    But the battery life is a lot shorter and the sound is awful?
     
  11. Matheew944 macrumors regular

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    Feb 16, 2015
    #11
    My Ipad Air 2 battery life seems on par with my previous Ipad 4
     
  12. Closingracer macrumors 68000

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    Jul 13, 2010
    #12

    No?

    I use headphones 99% of the time and it never pops when using headphones ever in the history of owning it.



    As far as sound quality goes my only Apple products I have ever owned has been the iPod color , iPod nano (1st gen) , iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad Air , and iPad Air 2 and the air 2 sounds just as good as the air with the same headphones. V-moda M-100 . I have others but this is a pair I used with both iPads.

    ----------


    Speakers aren't crap ...and around the same as the iPad Air imo


    Also battery life isn't shorter then the iPad Air ...I find it better actually
     
  13. jonnyb098 macrumors 68020

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    #13
    Honestly I don't understand how anyone thinks the speakers are that inferior on the Air 2. I can set it on a table and literally hear bass notes that I never heard before on ANY other iPad. Also the speakers are louder and I've owned EVERY iPad except for the step-child (iPad 3). Overall bass is stronger, treble is slightly less (good thing) and the mids sound a little hollow. Which is the only part of thing that can be considered inferior in but in a slight way. Otherwise they are nowhere near the "garbage" people claim they are.

    To be honest these are the best sounding next to the original iPad that had a beast of a speaker at the time since the chassis was much larger.
     
  14. Simacca macrumors 6502a

    Simacca

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    #14
    I think the sound is the best so far, especially compared to my iPad 3. I don't even notice the vibrations anymore.
     
  15. scupking macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 14, 2010
    #15
    I agree that the sound is not that great on the air 2 compared to all the other iPads. I don't mind that it vibrates but it over exaggerates the bass and it distorts.
     
  16. Mivo macrumors regular

    Mivo

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    #16
    I'm not hearing this with my Air 2. I have no pops and crackles with the speakers or headphones, and I don't hear decreased sound quality (tried different cans, as well). I have no "other sound problems", either. If anything, the speakers do bass frequencies better than on my previous iPad (2).
     
  17. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    Upstate, NY
    #17
    Yes, form trumped function this time around and the Air 2s obnoxiously thin chassis is causing a lot of grief. I know, I know, not everyone is affected equally or at all but the reported issues are 100% real and quite a nuisance.

    I understand the desire to get these devices thinner but was anyone really complaining about the Air 1s weight or feel? No freeging way they were. That's what puzzled me about why Apple just had to shave off another mm and a few more ounces. That came at the expense of good sound and also causes vibrations, screen resonating problems, etc.

    Oh well. Hopefully the Air 3 or whatever they call it fixes some of this stuff.
     
  18. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

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    Apr 23, 2013
    #18
    Seems like a personal preference thing then. I dislike heavy bass, so your assessment that mid range and treble lose out to bass sounds like bad news for me.
     
  19. jonnyb098 macrumors 68020

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    Nov 16, 2010
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    Michigan
    #19
    Yes, however bass on tablet (in the sense I mentioned) really isnt much bass at all. Its not going to sound like you have an actual subwoofer, haha.
     
  20. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #20
    Nope. Not seeing it. We use both an iPad 4 and the Air 2 for Facetime and Skype video calls every day. The Air 2 sounds so much more natural that is makes it much easier to understand the other party with much less need to pay close attention.
     
  21. EnderTW macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #21
    I had air 1 I finally think the air 2 is a comfortable tablet. In fact it could be lighter.
     
  22. NauCayuti macrumors member

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    Oct 19, 2014
    #22
    According to iFixit, the iPad Air 2 still has a Cirrus Logic DAC, namely 338S1213.

    Are you confident about the source of your information?
     
  23. sanke1 macrumors 65816

    sanke1

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #23
    Good find. I remember reading that on Apple communities in iPad Air 2 pop noise thread. But maybe the commenter may have got the wrong info. But this Cirrus Logic in Air 2 definitely has poor dynamic sound quality.
     
  24. daydotz macrumors member

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    #24
  25. Markw51 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 16, 2016
    #25
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2016 ---
    I can't agree with the person who said Air 2 is s*******t iPad yet for sound. Having listened to Mozart's piano concerto no. 21 yesterday, using overear phones, with or without Bluetooth, the detail and sheer pleasure was far in excess of that through my android phone. It was just so much better, just my opinion.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2016 ---
    My iPad air 2 sounds superb with phones. Detail is much better than through android phone.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2016 ---
    Would agree, Air 2 has wonderful sound through headphones. Battery life is very good, if latest IOS 9 update installed.
     

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