MacBook Sound Quality from Headphone Jack

linux2001

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2008
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0
To all the owners of the 2016 MacBook, how do you find the sound quality of the new MacBook when using headphones? Is it able to drive large headphones? Also, do you hear any hiss or humming especially if you are using it with IEMs?

I went to the Apple Store today to check the highest supported sampling rate on the MacBook via the Audio Midi Setup app, and was disappointed to find that it supports only up the 48khz. The recent MacBook Pros all support up to 192khz audio. While the majority of my music collection is CD-quality (44khz), this means the MacBook is not future-proof as it is unable to support hi-res audio.
 

jgbr

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2007
661
523
I guess your query is related to using headphones? if you are editing/requring that why have you got an rMB instead of a MBP.
This seems common place of people moaning about a ultraportable and not considering the point of it!
 
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linux2001

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2008
8
0
I'm not a professional musician but I do enjoy music on my devices, and I'm particular about playback devices having hiss or electrical hum. I have a 2013 MBPr 13'' at work and I find that it is more powerful in driving my earphones and music sounds more "punchy" compared to my iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.

I know the Apple engineers have to sacrifice some features in order to fit everything onto a tiny motherboard, so I am just trying to find out how much compromise they have made in the audio department for the new MacBook. Portability is of importance to me, but so again is the audio quality. I was trying to weigh the importance between portability and screen size, and now sound quality, so any feedback from current MacBook owners would certainly be very helpful :)
 

8692574

Suspended
Mar 18, 2006
1,244
1,923
You can change some format setting from Audio / Midi...but did not know the rMB could only support 48 khz....
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2007
1,084
431
The cesspit of civilization
Then again, you do not need any High-Resolution Audio. It is a silly gimmick that people use to feel better and corporations use to extract more money from people.

Do not take my word for it, but please, if you can, spare 6 minutes to see this video:

The video total is 23 minutes, but after the first 6 minutes you will want to finish watching it.
 

linux2001

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2008
8
0
Thanks for the video link! I absolutely enjoyed watching it. Now I just wish the music producers should focus on not overly compressing the dynamic range of their music, but that's another story :D
 

LouisLoh

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2010
169
415
Unfortunately, the headphone out carries quite a bit of noise in its analogue signal. The hiss on my JH13s is very noticeable next to a high quality DAC/AMP. I'd suggest you get an external DAC/AMP if you're using sensitive IEMs. Or just stick with your smartphone.


 
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SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
1,053
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Interstellar
Still, it's disappointing that max is 48Khz. I was thinking of upgrading my base 2015 to M7 2016, but these small tidbits doesn't make it worth it.
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2007
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431
The cesspit of civilization
Still, it's disappointing that max is 48Khz. I was thinking of upgrading my base 2015 to M7 2016, but these small tidbits doesn't make it worth it.
Why would you want to have more than 48 Khz if your ears can not hear more than 20KHz? And depending on your age, maybe even less than that...

It is like complaining your new car can not go more than 300 miles per hour. Isn't it?
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
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Why would you want to have more than 48 Khz if your ears can not hear more than 20KHz? And depending on your age, maybe even less than that...

It is like complaining your new car can not go more than 300 miles per hour. Isn't it?
I can definitely hear the difference between the 48,000khz my rMB does and the 96,000khz my Hackintosh puts out, using a pair of normal headphones. Today I realised why.

It's the same with when I listen to music on my iPhone compared to my Mac.
 

LouisLoh

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2010
169
415
Why would you want to have more than 48 Khz if your ears can not hear more than 20KHz? And depending on your age, maybe even less than that...

It is like complaining your new car can not go more than 300 miles per hour. Isn't it?
You're talking about two entirely different matters.

48kHz refers to the sampling rate
20kHz refers to the pitch
[doublepost=1463151642][/doublepost]
In what way can you prove that's down to the sample rate?

The two OS X machines have completely different sound chips.
He can try downsampling the files to 48kHz, and then do a blinded ABX on his Hackintosh vs his 96kHz files..
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2007
1,084
431
The cesspit of civilization
I can definitely hear the difference between the 48,000khz my rMB does and the 96,000khz my Hackintosh puts out, using a pair of normal headphones. Today I realised why.

It's the same with when I listen to music on my iPhone compared to my Mac.
Do you realize that this is not possible? I mean, it can be placebo, or it might have to do with the different equalization or the power/warmth/sound quality of the systems, but it definitely has nothing to do with frecuencies higher than 22 KHz.

And I'm not talking about the merits of your equipment (Hackintosh or otherwise), but about the real, irrefutable evidence-based fact that your ears can not hear anything vibrating above 20,000 times per second (that is, above 20 KHz). Taking into account that to ensure a faithful/whole reproduction, the sampling/reproduction has to be at least twice the highest desirable frecuency, a 44.1 KHz ensures reproduction of the whole human-hearing spectrum.

Now, do not take this in the wrong way, you might "like" more the sound of your hackintosh over your mac, and these both over the sound of your iphone, but it has nothing to do with the capability of the equipment to reproduce frequencies higher than 22 KHz (44 when sampling). And this is because your human ears can not hear it, they just can't.

Now, if you were a vulcan... ;)
[doublepost=1463161148][/doublepost]
You're talking about two entirely different matters.

48kHz refers to the sampling rate
20kHz refers to the pitch...
No, I'm not. You're confusing 2 concepts related to the times per second any object vibrates, and the capacity of the human ear to hear frequencies that need to be sampled at double the frequency they actually are to be faithfully represented.

Please go document yourself about Nyquist and his theorem (her theorem?) about frequencies.
 
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jerwin

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2015
2,762
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Thanks for the video link! I absolutely enjoyed watching it. Now I just wish the music producers should focus on not overly compressing the dynamic range of their music, but that's another story :D
16 bits of dynamic range is plenty. You don't need 24 bits...
 
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