Macbook pro bad sound quality?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by beestigbeestje, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. beestigbeestje macrumors regular

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    May 17, 2007
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    Belgium
    #1
    I've just purchased a new sr macbook pro 2.4 ghz. when i plug the macbook pro to external speakers, the quality is really bad, no bass, just high tones. I allready checked the equalizer in Itunes and I turned the bass all the way up, but the sound was still horrible...

    When I connect my macbook pro to a tv (via dvi to video adaptor) The sound of the external speakers goes even worse. The adapter causes like a weird tone in the bass...

    does anyone know how to fix this?
     
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #2
    Odd - never had that problem.

    Make sure you aren't over amplifying the signal in the MBP - VLC player and iTunes have a built in amp to make the sound even louder. Check you aren't using that.

    Also, bring the volume output of the MBP down and leave the speakers to do the amplifying.
     
  3. ivasena macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    #3
    That's right. I have the same problem. Not that I suffer from this, but I thought the sound could have been better for that class of laptop.
    Nevertheless, the sound is quite good in the headphones. Any guesses:confused:
     
  4. devman macrumors 65816

    devman

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    Location:
    AU
    #4
    If it's good in the headphones but not in external speakers then some things to check are the external speakers themselves and their connection to the MBP. Can you try them on another machine using the same cable and plug connection.
     
  5. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    Florida
    #5
    i noticed the same problem, i connected my mbp to a 20,000 dollar sound system at church and the sound quality was really crackly and hissy
     
  6. /V\acpower macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #6
    For a 20 000$ sound system, the problem is probably the audio files themselves. A mp3 (or standard 128 kbps AAC) will sound good on relatively cheap sound system, but not for a high quality one.

    Have you tried it with optical output and "lossless" encoding ?
     
  7. beestigbeestje thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 17, 2007
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    Belgium
    #7
    I have not yet tried the optical output. What is "losless" encoding? I would like to use my macbook pro to mix music and so.. I expected a lot more audio quality form a €2500 laptop. I just can't believe the audio quality is that bad. it is just like the computer sends out music with the equalizer, used for the internal speakers. My brother's windows based laptop sounds better than that. Maybe I should call apple care?
    Even if I play audio from a cd in my macbook pro, it still sounds bad. I think there must be a problem with my soundcard, I don't know.

    Then there is also the dvi to video adapter wich causes a weard hizzeling noise when i plug it into my tv...
     
  8. Pim macrumors member

    Pim

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    #8
    The audio quality coming from the analog output isn't bad at all, it's just like you would expect coming from any audio device. Try starting GarageBand and play some tones with a complex Synthesizer. It'll sound great. If there's bad sound coming from external speakers, check the quality of te audio file, check the quality of the cables and try hooking up like an MP3-player to your amp, just to compare.
     
  9. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    Florida
    #9
    its not that, all of the files are MP3s ripped at 224kbbs

    my ipod sounds wonderful, but the output on this mbp is horrible

    its using the same 1/8" to RCA cable as i use for my ipod so i know its not the cable or connection, it has to be the notebook
     
  10. Pim macrumors member

    Pim

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    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    #10
    Wow, that's really wierd and shouldn't be happening...
     
  11. beestigbeestje thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 17, 2007
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    Belgium
    #11
    well, the sound from my €25 mp3 player sounds better The songs I'm playing are ripped from an original cd and imported into itunes. Garageband sounds a bit better, but those are just tones, not music, but they sound properly. Maybe it could be a software issue. Itunes sounds bad, so does frontrow. I allready reinstalled quiktime. Even if I play a cd through my macbook pro, it still does not sound like my philips cd player. There is nothing wrong with the speakers, it is a bowers&wilkins surround system with a Marantz amplefier.
     
  12. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #12
    Why is it that you have such high expectations of a US$2500 laptop when you can shell out $20,000 on dumb electronics that basically do much of nothing like amplifiers and various other amplifiers?

     
  13. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #13
    umm, what?
     
  14. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    Sherman Oaks
    #14
    The audio quality (if you have a good sound file) from the headphone outputs on the MacBook or an iPod are very nearly the same. Quality, or lack of it,
    is caused by the Digital to Analog converter (pre headphone jack). These are low quality analog outs made for headphones or bookshelf speakers. Optical outs are digital and thus have the exact quality of their parent master file. The conversion can then be done by a more expensive DA in your AV rack.
    Lossless files do not have the compression codecs used by MP3 and AAC files so they have the best quality but are much larger files (as much as 10x larger)
    Also the poster who said he had no bass and it hissed and had a tone when his dvi was hooked up....sounds like a phase issue, bad wiring in his cords or adapters, or pre the headphone jack in the MacBook.

    The poster who is upset with the quality of his Mac's sound and his worry that he can not use it professionally can cheer up. Nearly every music recording, movie and tv show you hear is at least partly if not entirely recorded, cut, and mixed on a Mac.
    If you are serious about a future in music or sound, may I suggest a firewire interface, and some serious study in your selected field.
     
  15. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #15
    i find the headphone output on the ipod to be very good actually, pretty much on par with rca outputs from most standalone dvd or cd players
     
  16. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #16
    most likely operator error
     
  17. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #17
    Exactly, good high quality analog outs. They should sound very good hooked to anything, as long as they are hooked up right.
     
  18. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #18
    yeah? how exactly?

    i have a plug i plug my ipod into, it sounds wonderful, i plug my mbp into it and play the same songs from itunes and it sounds horrible, no matter how i eq it, how is that my fault?
     
  19. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #19
    If that is truly the case then you have a defective unit, unless you are plugging the cord into the mac books mic input...they look very similar. How do your headphones sound?
    If you want good sound on a big system you should not use headphone jacks. If you bump the cord at high volumes you will damage your sound system. Use the optical outs or a firewire interface, or a usb interface. Headphone jacks are for headphones. And NEVER used unbalanced outs (headphone jack) as inputs to a 20,000 dollar sound system unless money is not a major concern in your life.
     
  20. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #20
    The MacBook Pro is a state of the art laptop, LED monitors, ambient light sensors controlling the keyboard and display backlighting, motion sensors that keep your hard drive safe and secure... in contrast what is in a $20,000 sound system?

    Why such unduly high expectations from the MAC?

    It is like saying "Geez, I expect a $200,000 luxury car to have at least 2 rooms in it, can easily get a studio apartment right smack in the city for that money"

    That you spent $2500 on your MacBook Pro is not an issue, Dell would gladly take a larger sum of money and give you a ******** "Lattitude", get over it, Apple is not making tons of money when you buy a MacBook Pro.

    What is next? I cannot wait to see posts with titles like "MacBook Pro and poor iSight optical quality" which say stuff like how "A $2500 laptop... does not come with a 5 megapixel webcam with Carl Zeiss lens" because you can get $200 Sonys with those specifications.
     
  21. megfilmworks macrumors 68020

    megfilmworks

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    #21
    I think posters on both sides are missing the big point. Computers have no sound quality, they are neutral. They only record, edit, manipulate and store these digital audio files. Sound quality is about converting digital to audio and playing it back.
    As far as the Mac not having the ability to compete with a $20,000 sound system; I appreciate the posters loyalty, but the Mac actually keeps company in much higher cirlcles than that. Walk on any mix stage in the world, surrounded by millions of dollars in audio/visual equipment and the heart of all these systems? Racks of Macs!! Recording, editing and processing all the sound you hear every day. Wake up people. If your Mac is not living up to expectations there are only two reasonable possibilities. 1) It is broken or
    2) you are never going to be a sound engineer.
     
  22. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    Florida
    #22
    percuisly, its a state of the art laptop, it should be extrordinary sound quality, people use these things for recording music for god sake
    you answered your own question in your opening statement, what kinda question is that?
    i didnt know luxury cars had room :confused: im assuming you ment house, or condo...
    apparently you've never prices dell lattitudes, im not sure you can GET the price OVER 2500, try 1500
    well, the lens is almost as small as the tip of a pen, and its a 1/3" thing, duh its going to have bad quality, the day people start asking that im leaving this forum.
     
  23. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #23
    Please, stop jumping to conclusions, and start troubleshooting methodically.

    First suspect has to be the cable... If the cable is bad, then you will get weak and distorted sound. If the cable is improperly shielded, you will get interference. So; get a known good cable and test. I'll lay 2:5 odds that the cable is the primary problem.

    Then, for both yourself and the poster with the sound system at church; the gain has to be staged properly on any source/preamp/amplifier system. Too little signal from the source means excess noise because the preamp has to be cranked up to bring the signal (and all the noise) up to the level that adequate amp output can be achieved. Conversely, too hot of a source signal will distort the inputs of the preamp/mixer channel. Also, the preamp, mixer or speakers has to be set for (and capable of handling) the level of input from the source. Often mixers have a mic./line setting, or a 10 dB pad, which is switchable. On a preamp, use the AUX or Tape In jacks, not the Phono jacks.

    Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to use the software EQ and compression in the Mac (iTunes or whatever else) to improve the sound of the reproduction system. It will only make it worse. Turn off all software EQ and effects.

    There remains a possibility that the Mac is defective, so if all other tests have been done, then take it and your speakers to your local authorized Apple service centre and test it with them. Don't be overly surprised if it turns out the machine works well with other speakers...

    And finally: You want to do professional level audio. You have spent €2500 on a machine. So spend €100 - €300 and get a professional level digital audio interface -- Firewire or USB. You will get better sound quality and much more flexibility. This is no different from buying a Mac and complaining that TextEdit doesn't do a professional job of page layout -- you need to buy the appropriate additional tools for the job you want to do.

    Yes: And they buy pro-quality digital audio interfaces to record with. The Mac doesn't come with a built-in pro quality recording interface because 90% - 95% of owners will never use it for that. Just like it doesn't come with Photoshop, or Maya or Cubase.
     
  24. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #24
    yeah i know..anyway, i should also add, right after i heard this problem i plugged my monitoring headphones into it and also noticed a bit of distortion...so im going with hardware issue, but im not going to return it i dont use it often enough to go through the trouble
     

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