Do the 15" MacBook Pro speakers replace the need for real speakers?

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
4,158
1,476
USA
I recently bought a 2019 15" MacBook Pro base model.

And all I have to say is WOW, these speakers are PHENOMENAL. I have an external speaker that cost me around $129 from Amazon but IMO these sound BETTER.

Did Apple upgrade the speakers for 2019? or tweak them?

These are really an accomplishment by Apple to get this kind of sound. Truly in love with how amazing these sound.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
3,967
1,909
Horsens, Denmark
They were upgraded in 2016, but don't think they've been modified since.
But "the need" for external speakers, is wildly subjective

A singular speaker in the price range of $130 would very likely make my ears a little sad ;). For a laptop, the speakers in the MBP are phenomenal indeed. But it's no studio monitor. My speakers are $400 AudioEngine A5+. Now if I back then had a bigger budget I would've gone higher than that too, but the point I'm getting at isn't that anyway. It's just that people's need/want for audio varies.
The popularity of "smart" bluetooth mono-speakers with bass boosters and the like makes me a little sad I must admit. Though it serves a market that my vinyl player, amp and old, old Bose don't (don't get the newer Bose stuff, they've changed their market a lot...), or my aforementioned AudioEngine A5+ for that matter.

For the people to whom an accurate representation at all frequency levels is important, laptop speakers will never be enough. For the people who just want it to be a bit louder and not sound like a tinny mess, the MacBook Pro offers great audio. Which also benefits audiophiles who aren't by their speakers, but still want an on-the-go sharable audio experience.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,004
4,567
I also have a pair of A5 and those speakers are very impressive for what you pay. And they certainly blow the built-in speakers away.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,863
30,388
Boston
And all I have to say is WOW, these speakers are PHENOMENAL. I have an external speaker that cost me around $129 from Amazon but IMO these sound BETTER.
If you're happy with the sound/music coming from the laptop then why bother with external speakers. I'm not that discerning sound wise, and I've always been content with most computer speakers - that's just me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,307
881
New Hampshire
I mainly use my MacBook Pros with external monitors and external speakers just work better with external monitors as the sound is better situated. I like the external knob to change the volume too.
 
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casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
3,967
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Horsens, Denmark
They were upgraded again in 2018, with some pretty substantial improvements from the 2016-17 (which were huge upgrades from the 2015 and below).

Alrighty, wasn't aware. Thanks for the correction
[doublepost=1562101754][/doublepost]
I also have a pair of A5 and those speakers are very impressive for what you pay. And they certainly blow the built-in speakers away.

Oh yeah. Before I found them I tried out many, many speakers in that price range and none I tried got close.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,074
1,238
nyc upper east
i use the A2+ and i don't think the mbp speakers can replace these anytime soon, the unboard dac is something apple doesn't have.
 

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
1,279
408
UK
They are ok when I watch a movie in a hotel room. But aren't a patch on my studio monitors...Heck I don't even use them for a video call...But yes they are the best MacBook speakers yet :)
 

Eason85

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2017
232
282
Hong Kong
They were upgraded in 2016, but don't think they've been modified since.
But "the need" for external speakers, is wildly subjective

A singular speaker in the price range of $130 would very likely make my ears a little sad ;). For a laptop, the speakers in the MBP are phenomenal indeed. But it's no studio monitor. My speakers are $400 AudioEngine A5+. Now if I back then had a bigger budget I would've gone higher than that too, but the point I'm getting at isn't that anyway. It's just that people's need/want for audio varies.
The popularity of "smart" bluetooth mono-speakers with bass boosters and the like makes me a little sad I must admit. Though it serves a market that my vinyl player, amp and old, old Bose don't (don't get the newer Bose stuff, they've changed their market a lot...), or my aforementioned AudioEngine A5+ for that matter.

For the people to whom an accurate representation at all frequency levels is important, laptop speakers will never be enough. For the people who just want it to be a bit louder and not sound like a tinny mess, the MacBook Pro offers great audio. Which also benefits audiophiles who aren't by their speakers, but still want an on-the-go sharable audio experience.
DJ here co-signing. Basically, you will know it if you want "real" speakers. If you are in any kind of production, mixing, or just love music, laptop speakers will never be enough. If you have been using laptop speakers for years, then you'll find them more than enough.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,226
5,560
Question:
"Do the 15" MacBook Pro speakers replace the need for real speakers?"

Answer:
No.
At least not if you want good sound!
 
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ericwn

macrumors 68030
Apr 24, 2016
2,767
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If you think a 100 $ speaker should be your benchmark, then probably yes, this can be beaten.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,871
2,412
SF Bay Area
Depends what you are doing. For listening to music and movies they are fine. if you are mixing audio they have issues because their response is not flat as a studio monitor speaker.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,415
6,978
One of the few good things that came out of Apple's acquisition of Beats is that they now have the capability to engineer and produce some of the best laptop speakers on the market. They do sound better and louder than the 2015 and earlier model MacBook Pros.

That being said, they are still laptop speakers and not a replacement for a good dedicated desktop audio arrangement or headphones.