Cinema Display Speaker Quality

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TSE, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    How is the quality of the speakers of the current generation cinema displays?
  2. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    I've only done some casual listening for about 10 mins in a Mac dealership (there are no official Apple stores around where I live), but they sound pretty alright, particularly as far as monitor speakers go. All of Apple's more recent stuff (as in the last 5ish years or so) couple tuned resonance chambers to each speaker driver, which make even smaller speakers sound pretty nice and loud. My 13" Macbook Pro has a tiny built-in speaker, and it's not a hi-fi device by any means, but thanks to the resonance chamber it's at least useable. :)

    The amp in the ACD is rated (by Apple, so not sure if it's RMS power or what the hell it might be) at 49W, so they are some decent sized cans. My last monitor with speakers, a BenQ 24" display, had tiny speakers that were pathetic and sounded absolutely terrible. Not in the same league as the ACD, or even same ballgame really.

    Not saying the ACD can replace a decent set of standalone speakers however; it probably can't simply because the sound coming from the monitor is unfortunately aimed downwards, at the desk. This simply for aesthetic Apple reasons, to not break up the smooth, shiny front bezel with "distracting" speaker grilles... :rolleyes: Also, the stereo separation is limited of course by the width of the monitor itself.

    However, if you feel you don't have room for external speakers, or you don't want the extra clutter, the speakers of the ACD will serve you pretty well. They certainly don't sound bad, that's for sure. :)
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I Think You

    Would be better off with a dedicated system, I checked out the Appleofferings a while back. They are okay, but just okay....It does depend on how fussy you are I guess, I'm a musician and am REAL fussy about sound.

    If you can't run to a 7.1 surround sound system you could opt for a pair of studio monitors.....These are small, but don't be fooled by their size. I have a pair of Genelex (Swiss) Pro's, they are really not that much bigger than a pair of bog standard computer speakers until you lift them up....They are rated at 150W have an inbuilt graphics EQ on the back.

    I have never connected them to my iMac, as it streams to the DTS anyway, but if you Google for them they would work out a lot cheaper than an entire system. Saves on space too.
  4. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    Depends on what you want them to do

    I wanted something a heck of lot better than the built-in speakers in my MBA, and that didn't involve an extra set of wires and a power cord. That's a low bar, so I'm happy with the speakers in the 24" ACD. They are quite clear at reasonable listening levels (they don't get very loud), which was my main concern, but probably would be unsatisfying for watching movies or listening to music if you care about high volume levels and bass. I wouldn't confuse them with a good set of separate speakers.
  5. Lagmonster macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    As far as built-in to the monitor speakers go, they are the best I have ever heard. Quite usable.
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    I can't hack the inbuilt ones in my iMac.....I guess it really does come down to being fussy:D
  7. Jezak macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I used the (27in ACD) integrated speakers for a few weeks, before I decided to purchase a dedicated pair. The integrated speakers perform mediocre at best and I am about as forgiving as they come with sound.

    Typical uses for me were podcasts, random music, tv show watching.

    Consider that they may be fine for your use case, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

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