New iPad speaker quality - is it just me or...?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by cinca, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. cinca macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    I picked up my new iPad on launch day and have been loving it. This is my third iPad – I've owned the original iPad and the iPad 2 and loved both.

    One thing I noticed about the new iPad is what seems to be a noticeable improvement in loudness and clarity of the speaker. I'm not huge audiophile or anything and, to be honest, I'm kinda even surprise I noticed, but it seems that the clarity and strength of the sound coming out of the speaker on my "new" iPad is substantially better than my iPad 2.

    Unfortunately I no longer have my iPad 2 so I can't do a side-by-side comparison but I was curious if anybody else has noticed a similar improvement in clarity and loudness of the new iPad speaker over previous ones? Every time I watch a video or listen to Pandora I notice how much more rich and clear the sound is on this new iPad.

    I do remember some comments about the sound quality being improved with the iPad 2 (which I never noticed) but in that case the actual hardware exposure of the device was different so I can imagine bigger changes. In the case of the new iPad it seems so similar to the iPad 2 that I am surprised to hear such an apparent difference in sound quality. For me the difference is most apparent when the volume is turned up to the highest position. The overall loudness seems improved and the clarity and richness of sound when it is loudest seems like a huge improvement.

    Perhaps they put in better speaker? Or maybe having a slightly thicker case allowed them to better position the speaker?

    Anyone else hear an improvement themselves or read something about a hardware improvement or read anything in a review that the sound is improved?? Or maybe I am just crazy.
  2. DS3 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2011
    It sounds the same to me but I've seen multiple people say they thought the speakers were improved and don't have the 2 to compare either, so maybe...
  3. set8up macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2011
    Really keen to see if it has improved too, won't have a stereo for a while, so decent sound from the iPad would useful; not expecting substantial improvement, but louder speaker would definitely be nice.

    By the way, I remember my iPad 2's aluminum back acted as a huge speaker - is this still true for the new iPad? i.e. do you still feel the entire iPad vibrate, when you turn the volume up? :)
  4. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    My iPad 3 definitely sounds louder and the quality seems better.
  5. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
  6. Code.Red macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2010
    Yup, it still does this! The speaker is very clear and surprisingly doesn't distort at loudest volume! I don't know what the iPad 2 sounds like, but the iPad 3 sounds great.
  7. wrkactjob macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
    Yes definitely an improvement on sound clarity. Still would love to see a speaker on either side of the pad and not in the lower section where it's naturally held.
  8. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Yeah, I'm coming from iPad 1 and the sound is definitely louder and clearer. On that device, I sometimes couldn't hear Netflix movies at full volume if say the heater, air conditioner, washing machine, microwave, etc. were running.
  9. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
  10. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
  11. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    The day I got it I remember a part of a tablet review someone at The Verge had done, and how they used the iPad 2's speaker as the benchmark for all others. Now, I haven't used an iPad 2 recently as it was my brothers, so I haven't had much experience with it. But when I did try the iPad 3 out with some pop music, I was fairly impressed. To be honest it sounds far better, with better range, than my 2011 15" MBP speakers. It seems to be that it actually has good low end and middle range, something the MBP lacks in spades.
  12. chukronos macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2004
    Colleyville, TX
    I noticed the esker quality last night. I was surmised it sounded so good.
  13. Djentleman macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2012
    I think the it has a good clarity and reasonable amount of depth to it. I definitely think its okay to listen to things through it unlike some other portable devices.
  14. Q Bert macrumors regular

    Q Bert

    Mar 7, 2011
    Chicago Burbs
    This is NOT exclusive to the new iPad. Rather, IOS 5.1 is the culprit for the sound enhancement. I noticed this with my iPad 2 when the new update for IOS 5.1 went out, and this was prior to the launch of the new iPad.

    About iOS 5.1 Software Update
    This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

    Japanese language support for Siri (availability may be limited during initial rollout)
    Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
    Camera shortcut now always visible on Lock Screen for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
    Camera face detection now highlights all detected faces
    Redesigned Camera app for iPad
    Genius Mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
    Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  15. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    It's not just movies. It's music as well.
  16. Q Bert macrumors regular

    Q Bert

    Mar 7, 2011
    Chicago Burbs
  17. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    The audio definitely sounds clearer than on my iPad 2, even after iOS 5.1 was installed on the older device. So while iOS made improvements on the processing side, there does seem to be a difference in the actual speakers on the two devices.
  18. ArztMac macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2011
    I can DEFINATELY confirm that the new iPad sound is much clearer and less muffled than the iPad 2.

    Tested it with Jondo's "Little Closer" track. It's really a big difference, the iPad 2 sounds as if a plastic bag was put around it. Sounded just alright to me for over a year, lol.
  19. LaNex macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B179 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Agreed. I have an iPad 1st too and do a lot of sequencing and multitracking. I usually check I've uploaded the right files into the iPad multitrack app by giving them a quick blast through the inboard speaker. I noticed immediately that the iPad 3 had better clarity than the iPad 1. I don't think it's down to the iOS as my 1st gen is on the latest build too.
  20. iHeartsteve macrumors 65816


    Feb 12, 2012
    Yes I noticed it as soon as I played my first video on my. New iPad. I was shocked bc it wasn't talked about as one of the spec to be improved. But I'm not going to complain! :D
  21. homeboy macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2007
    The sound is definetly a bit cheaper, almost as if the champer of empty space inside the casing is larger.

    It sounds better than mine and most people's laptops now. Not to mention having a better screen too. :D

    The new iPad is some serious piece of kit.
  22. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Just read this and decided to put some music on while I'm working - and yep, it sounds pretty great for a tablet! The bass line is nice and clear and free from distortion, but mostly it's very well balanced. My macbook pro speakers sound nice and clear but VERY unbalanced - too much treble by far. The iPad sounds pretty respectable.

    I'll do a comparison with my iPad 2 at some point. I'm using 'easily embarrassed - tales of the coin spinner' as a test btw.
  23. Nevzorus macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2012
    The iPhone 4S has a really awesome sound just because of Siri, i think that Apple made the iPad 3's new iPad speaker quality BETTER just because it has voice dictation, but it can be just because of iOS 5 too. I was just guessing. :)
  24. cinca thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    After all these posts had me thinking I definitely wasn't crazy I had a chance to do a side-by-side comparison with the iPad 2. I can say without a doubt (to my untrained ear) there's a huge difference between the new iPad and iPad 2s speakers.

    My iPad 2 has been updated to 5.1 and there well may be an improvement to the sound of the iPad 2 but the iPad 3 is substantially better sounding.
  25. Dextor143 macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2008
    no wonder, I felt the samething but then it is my first iPad.

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