New 2017 iMac 27" Speakers Sound Bad

Discussion in 'iMac' started by HyQuality, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. kblbn86 macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2016

    "the speakers sound fantastic once again. This is something they are really good at. I find no need to add my own speakers to this setup.....but i'm really impressed with the quality of the speakers and that's really unchanged with this generation as well"
  2. fokmik macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2016
    yep, the sound is the same,same speakers are used for the 5 years in a row
  3. TheInterwebs macrumors newbie


    Jun 25, 2017
    I rarely have much to say about the quality of speakers, but I agree with the complaints about the new iMac. My new iMac has this odd sound quality- almost like it's muffled. I kept thinking that it must sound that way because there was some sort of plastic wrap still on: there is not.
  4. Johanncerecke macrumors newbie


    Jun 19, 2017
    Got my first iMac, i7 580, and I love everything about it, except the sound from the speakers. The bass is muddy and bloated, almost like I'm listening to it through a blanket. I was editing some videos and I had to go and get some headphones and listen to the dialogue as I thought I had done something wrong while recording. But no, sounded fine in the headphones. Bit disappointing, now I'll have to find some desk monitors. Honestly, I preferred the audio out of my 2012 mbp.
  5. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    While this is my first iMac, so I don't have any comparison, I do find the sound quality more than ok. To be honest I find it surprisingly good considering this is an All in One.
    It can get very loud giving nice and clear sound, even the bass is fine. Of course it doesn't compare to my Bang and Olufsen HiFi, but that was expected.
  6. Azenha macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2017
    I received my new base model iMac 27" a few days ago and can confirm that the sound from the speakers is much worse than it was on my 2010 iMac 27"... It sounds muffled and the bass is too strong (in a bad sense).

    Do you think it might be a manufacturing defect on my (our) particular computer or are all slim iMacs this bad sounding?
  7. starwager19 macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2016
    I think it probably depends on context. If you're used to listening on built-in laptop speakers, the iMac speakers probably sound quite a bit better. If you're using to listening on quality external speakers, the iMac is likely a let down. For me, I'd say the iMac speakers are better than I had expected, but not as good as I want for my main computer. Even before I bought it, I was planning to hook up some Audioengine speakers, and I'm quite happy with that result.
  8. c613m macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2011
    The speakers are actually quite good on these. They are better than my 21.5" iMac 2011 for sure.

    Do they replaced my Home Theatre Speakers? No. But I can airplay my music to the HT and it is bliss in my basement!
  9. looking4anotebo macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2007
    I was just about to sell my 2015 and get a 2017 and this has me stuck now. The speakers on the 2015 are extremely good for what they are. If they botched the 2017s I'm not sure what I will do. I don't want to buy externals.
  10. madmin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    I don't use them often but I had a chance to compare the 2017 5K speakers with those in the Apple Thunderbolt Display and the sound was very noticeably better coming from the new iMac.

    Also, the sound from a pair of Seinnheiser HD-25 headphones plugged into the 2017 iMac was surprisingly good. I usually use them on an Allen & Heath mixer or a MOTU sound card and was surprised at how much clearer they sounded compared to what I'm used to. I'd love to know what others think of that.
  11. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    If you're interested, here are the specs:

    which looks to be unchanged from the imac starting in 2012.

    I find the rear placement to be annoying, and, depending on how accident prone you are, potentially catastrophic.
  12. DoctorDoctor Suspended

    Jul 14, 2016
    I just picked up my 2017 iMac yesterday. I'm not an audiophile but the speakers sound fine to me. Certainly not high end but good enough for now. I may pick up a HomePod when they become available and my whole attitude may change. :)
  13. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Some people mentioned the 2015 iMac speakers sounded worse than the 2013. Now some people are reporting the 2017 iMac speakers sound worse than the 2015.

    I did some quick googling and I couldn't find too much specifically on the iMac speakers. However the speakers (2 in each housing) look integrated to their housing (glued?). From images I was able to find the 2013 and 2015 speakers appear identical on both sides. I can't find an image of the other side of the 2017 but it appears the housing is SLIGHTLY different.

    2013 27" iMac right speaker


    2015 27" iMac right speaker


    2017 27" iMac right speaker.


    I don't think that subtle change (at the "L") would make too much of a difference. However it would be a different part and since the speakers are integrated maybe different speakers. Maybe someone can locate a picture of the other side of the 2017 speaker housing?

    BTW, excuse the image quality I had to pull the 2017 image from a teardown video.
  14. montanaco macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2016
    Speakers sounds pretty good to me. This thread had me really worried, but I don't think the sound is remotely terrible or anything like that.
  15. looking4anotebo macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2007
    I just went into a Best Buy and listened to the speakers a bit.... I have the late 2015 model and I think they are definitely superior. I think it might be the bass, but the 2015s just sound richer or more full. I will try them out one more time before concluding anything though.
  16. JasonMovieGuy macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    Ever since Steve Jobs took his last breath, the Apple products overall have taken a slight decline in quality.

    Some of the gals and me went over to a local Apple store the other day, and I took them right over to the iMac I planned on getting. The 27" model. As we browsed music files, one of the gals said "I would buy this- if the sound didn't sound like a tin can." As they laughed, it dawned on me - Steve Jobs would NEVER have allowed his products to sink this low. I was furious. Later that night, as I typed away on my 2010 Mid-model MacBook Pro which still runs okay despite the color wheel here and there- I asked my geek friend his opinion.

    "Well it's simple- the new iMacs are junk. They want you to buy the iMac Pro." He then also went into details about how if Jobs were still alive, Tim Cook would never had gotten away with half the things he did (including the horrid iphone C- for Cheap). "Say what you want of the man's personal reputation, he was a genius that took his time."

    At this point, I might have to just wait until the iMac Pro comes out in December and shell out the $5,000+ taxes. Apparently the iMacs now are noisier, have bad speakers, yellow tint problems, and upgrade able ram that no one can agree on.
  17. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
  18. MrFirework, Jul 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017

    MrFirework macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2006
    Denver, CO
    God I'm so glad I found this forum post. I'm having the exact same issue ("muffled" or like I forgot to remove some plastic from over the speakers or something)... it's driving me INSANE.

    Maybe some don't notice it, or maybe some are more noticeable than others but at this point it's a real issue for me. Not sure what the fix is, if there is one.

    Here's a question, of those who have noticed this issue, did you custom configure or go with one of the standard builds?
  19. Ylan macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016
    I guess I have never expected built in computer speakers to sound really good.

    And I use headphones most of the time.

    Humbly, Ylan
  20. MrFirework macrumors regular


    Oct 18, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Well that would all be well and good if every previous iMac I had didn't have great sound...
  21. Ylan macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2016

    Well this is my first.

    Sad to hear it!

    Humbly, Ylan
  22. PJivan macrumors regular


    Aug 19, 2015
    I've been pretty lucky see mine sounds like any slim iMac I ever heard (and I heard dozen of last gen iMac and surprising they all have same integrated speakers.) it's deadly silent and there is no yellow tint whatsoever, also bough first kit of crucial on amazon and works fine.

    I'm not sure what are you talking about but your imaginary friend is not a geek...just a clown who copy paste tired comment from Facebook. iMac I ever had were 2013 with 780m and this one, both post Steve Jobs era, while comments like yours are here since post powerpc era, 10 years ago' you would have said that since the iPhone Steve jobs don't care about Macs anymore...there is always a reason for crying out loud, so keep crying for nothing dude!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2017 ---
    The part is exactly the same...ask any authorised repair center...people just going silly for nothing...
  23. seyoon_c09 macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2017
    Chesterfield, MO
    I'm getting a completely different results then what's talked about here with my 2017 27inch iMac. I had a chance to use the outgoing late 2015 iMac as I placed my iMac order several days before Apple dropped a new 2017 model. I had a chance to take a listen to the speakers, which sounded incredible with great dynamic range and good base response. Thanks to the 14 day return and refund window, I was able to take my 2015 model back for an exchange for a 2017 iMac. Personally, the speakers on mine sound great, if not slightly better when the volume is cranked up to a higher level when it comes to base response. Previously with my outgoing iMac that I've used, using sound testing applications that I use professionally I was able to achieve a base response of 42Hz at a loudest volume, and with my 2017 model I was able to achieve down to about 38Hz base wise, which is a slight improvement. There was a customer that brought their iMacs back however for this very concerning speaker on there computers, so could possibly be a manufacturing defects. I would love to take a listen to these speakers that are being talked about here to better understand how the sound quality is like, and to test with some applications for speaker quality.
  24. met985 macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2017
    I received my 2017 27" iMac two weeks ago and I had the chance to listen some music through the integrated speakers. To me they don't sound so bad as many here are describing; the sound is acceptable of course not comparable (and can't be) to quality headphones / external speakers / monitors.
  25. EugW, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    EugW macrumors 68040


    Jun 18, 2017
    The speakers are mediocre at best. They seem worse than my 2010 iMac's. Perhaps more muffled.
    Maybe better than most desktops, but that's not saying much. However, I use headphones most of the time.

    Here are the speakers on the 2010:


    For the 2009/2010, they're located right at the bottom, and the bottom grill is much thicker. The 2009/2010 is something like 1" thick at the bottom, as compared to the 2017 which is maybe 5 mm.

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