Sound on the MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Renko31, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Renko31, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    Renko31 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2004
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Hi All.
    I've had my MacBook for three weeks now and thought I'd share some impressions.
    I had been checking in at Apple stores on my travels and finally found what I wanted at the Reading store - Space Grey 1.2 512GB. So I got it!

    The size, weight and screen are great. I'm finding I'm actually more accurate on the keyboard than my other machines even though I would normally prefer more cushioned keys.

    I don't have a problem with speed - it handles having Safari, Mail, iTunes, Messages and VMWare running OS X open at once fine for me. The only thing have found is OX X freezing in VMWare since upgrading to 10.10.4. I have a feeling that may be VMWare.

    Battery is good, if not up to iPad standards. It still drains a few percentage even when asleep with nothing open and without powernap enabled. Hoping 10.11 will help there.

    The only thing I'd really like is to be able to have portrait orientation in iBooks.

    But what I really love about it is the sound. It has revitalised my music collection.
    The separation and depth is can achieve is brilliant. In iTunes I have the equaliser turned off, the Sound Enhancer set between half and three quarters, volume full in iTunes and volume about half way on the MacBook, sit it on my lap and enjoy! It has been a long time since I enjoyed my music this much. I love being able to hear the different instruments, along with clear vocals.
    Could the Beats acquisition have had an influence on the sound on this machine?
    It has even dramatically improved the sound via AppleTV to my HiFi. It is in stereo again and good separation of the instrumentation.

    I am also liking iTunes 12. Seems to have gone some way to making organising my collections easier and more intuitive. I used the visualiser again for the first time in a while and it was nice to see the new additions (I like that they usually add a new element to the main visualiser with every major upgrade).

    All in all I am very happy with this new machine. Even though it is my second machine, I find it is so good I am using it nearly every day and turning to it rather than my iPad, except for iBooks.

    Finally, the force touch trackpad is great! Being able to move and resize windows with one finger is so good. I think it seems so normal because the click is available anywhere on the pad.

    Anyway, that is what I have found after three weeks use. Hope it is of interest.
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    It is by far the best speakers on a mac to date. In the past I nearly had to crank it all the way up. As I type this listening to music my sound is half-way and it is plenty loud with clear crisp audio.
  3. tbirdparis, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    I seriously doubt that the Beats acquisition had anything to do with the sound quality of the rMB...Beats cans are pretty much about everything except sound quality.

    However they did it though, it's true the speakers on the rMB are remarkably good especially given the tiny space they had to work with. The last time I remember having fairly passable sound on a Mac laptop was on my long retired MacBook Pro 17" from 2007, the core 2 duo model before the unibody design came out. The one with the older style silver keyboard. When I got an i7 unibody MacBook Pro after that, I was so disappointed with the sound that I actually thought it was defective - took it back to the store. The older one had decent depth to the bass, a nice stereo field and some oomph, whereas the i7 sounded thin and flat, with some unpleasant vibration and groaning if there was too much low end. Ended up just assuming this was due to the thinner chassis of the unibody model and that was that. All the unibodies since then have had the same pretty average sound.

    Having listened to a few rMBs though, (still waiting for mine to arrive) it feels like a small miracle that they got back to the fatter sound they used to have on much chunkier bodied machines while at the same time making their slimmest design to date. It's either just some good old fashioned engineering, or they may have licenced some psycho-acoustic bass enhancement technology (such as the maxx bass algorithm from Waves audio) to give the impression of better rendered low end. Either way, whatever they did, it works!
  4. Rusty33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    This honestly blows me away every time I read this...the notion of decent laptop speakers is completely foreign to me. Can't wait to hear it in the flesh.

    Did Apple make mention of the no doubt 'incredible' technologies that went into the speakers during the keynote? If not, it would seem to be a missed opportunity given the positive reviews!
  5. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The sound from this little thing is truly remarkable. That said, it can't work miracles. If you want to rediscover your music, try spending $100 on headphones! :)
  6. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2015
    Yeah but let's not get carried away either. We're still talking laptop speakers after all, it's still a far cry from what anyone could call a high-end listening experience. What's really nice about it is just simply that the sound is surprisingly loud and surprisingly full-bodied for such a small machine - when in reality it quite easily could have been tinny and soft and people would have dealt with it saying well, what do you expect, the thing is minuscule.

    I guess for me it says that they thought carefully about the priorities of this machine. It's clearly intended as a faithful companion personal machine that a lot of people will love (let's be honest) lying in bed watching a movie on. So if they were going to bring a lovely retina screen to the party, I guess the next thing that would make this kind of use a pleasure would be not having to strain to hear a movie, to be forced to use headphones, or to connect (wirelessly or otherwise) to a speaker system, which would defeat the purpose of having a sweet little all-in-one box. Of course you can do all of those things but it's nice to have decent built-in sound appearing to be a priority once again.
  7. Rusty33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    Absolutely - important to keep it all in perspective. It is, after all, just a tiny little machine that can't do everything. Glad to see, however, that this was one area that wasn't compromised!

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6 July 13, 2015