how good is the speaker quality?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LeandrodaFL, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    My current set is a MacMini with external speakers. My 22" Samsung monitor does have really good built-in speakers, but I just dont think they are excellent quality like my set of creative speakers.

    How good are the speakers in the 22" iMac? Very good monitor quality or excellent speaker quality?
  2. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
  3. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    My 27" imac sounds surprisingly good for every day usage.
    My other speakers are studio monitors if that says anything.
  4. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    The simple answer to the rather laughable question is "Neither!"

    Speakers in computers are simply not designed to reproduce quality audio in any interpretation of the word. Firstly, the audio circuits in a computer are very basic and secondly, taking into account the small size of the drive units together with a lack of any enclosure, any chance of "high quality" sound is virtually impossible. This is why the simplest of external speakers usually sound better.

    However, subject to the limitations stated above, the the sound from the iMac's built in units is surprisingly good and adequate for general use.
  5. LeandrodaFL thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    Thanks for the anwers, so if I get an iMac, I will defenetly take a look at external speakers or headsets
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have owned a 21.5 and now a 27 iMac and the built in speakers are mediocre. They are okay for moderate volume audio like say a podcast, but if you really are into listening to your music from an iMac you will definitely want externals.
  7. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    If I have external speakers do I have to plug and unplug them for sound?

    Could I have my AVR hooked up to the Mac and choose within a option as to wether I want to use my Mac speakers or the AVR speakers?
  8. LeandrodaFL thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011

    Yes, you can choose under System Preferences - Sound and easily change between them.
  9. Kenjhee macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    Unlistenable someone posts? Don't understand the need for such sweeping hyperbolic posturing. ;)

    The internal drivers of the 27" iMac are perfectly respectable for monitor speakers. As someone mentioned they are above average for monitor, of course not equal to standalone hi-fi, and assuming you don't push the amps to clipping.

    I would say more analytically they deliver clean, flat response from the upper register on down through about lower midrange/upper bass, any lower which is physically impossible due to enclosure volume restriction. That said I do rock one of the new Tango soundbars for my iMac, which has the sonic effect of slipping in that missing lower midrange band and gives an extra punch especially to electric bass. Then I loop in a small 4" subwoofer to fill out the basement and am quite happy, not in the sense of "fixing" the oem speakers, but augmenting them. If all's I had was the stock drivers I would be just fine still, and certainly do not consider them unlistenable.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    that is about right.
  11. jackoatmon, Jan 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012

    jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011

    You literally cannot find a worse pair of speakers on the market. Any $15 pair of desktop comp speakers blow the imac speakers out of the water. Like literally anything on sale at Futureshop beats them in sound quality. They sound like a CRT TV integrated speaker from the 80s that your gramma left on all day at her house.

    Also, clean and flat? Those are the exact opposite words to describe the sound. It's a distorted, tinny whine that would, as a curve, look like a bell curve centered about 3/4 of the way up the register, with zero low end whatsoever. They're the least flat thing you could buy. And the "clean" you're hearing is the absence of 75% of the sound.

    Just think about what you're saying for a second. We're talking about something that is less than 2 inches in diameter, yet it's several feet away from your head, pointing downward against a table of effectively random material and thickness. My headphones have a bigger diaphragm and they're right up next to my ears.

    It is not physically possible for quality audio to be produced in these circumstances. It's plain ridiculous to claim it is. I guess you're comparing to other integrated monitor speakers, but that's sorta like comparing different flavours of cheeze whiz when Camembert is on sale for 75% off.
  12. Russinator macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Does anyone have these computer speakers: Bose Companion 5 speakers? If so, are you happy with them?
  13. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    In my opinion, the iMac speakers are OK for casual listening, and better than the cheapest sets of desktop computer speakers. But they are small and they point down at the desk. If you desire high-quality audio, you will want a seperate pair of speakers or a good set of headphones.
  14. Kenjhee macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2011
    My problem is just with the term "unlistenable". No, it's not high fidelity sound reproduction. But unlistenable is a bit harsh, don't you think? I never inferred it is high quality...I said it was acceptable medium quality for what it is, and specifically mentioned the limitations of enclosure size. And I did say that most standalone speakers are better. If you had said unlistenable from an audiophile's perspective, then I would agree with you. Perhaps that's what you meant.

    I do thank you for disagreeing with me without resorting to the usual ad hominem attacks. Perhaps we agree to disagree.
  15. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    Yes. Fair enough. Agreed.

    All that to say, a simple $15-$30 will improve your listening experience by orders of magnitude. After spending a couple grand on an iMac, I think your rig deserves better than bargain basement integrated garbage.
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Nobody claims them to be "quality audio". And they are integrated monitor speakers, what do you want to compare them to, a studio surround system? For integrated speakers, they are decent, and they perform on par with many of the "15$" speakers you talk about. Obviously any mid-range speaker system will be better, but nobody here claims the opposite.
  17. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    I think they're great, especially for built-in speakers, but I only use them while playing games or watching a video on the web. For music and movies or anything else of that nature I use headphones, so you'd probably want to get some better speakers.

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