iPad Pro Speakers worse on new Pro vs last year

Discussion in 'iPad' started by WAM2, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. WAM2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2011
    United States
    anyone else think so? Last years model had more bass and was clearer. Almost sounded like a good Bluetooth speaker. That’s gone.
  2. cornerexit macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2014
    Sorry, don’t agree. These are great for what they are. Actually has some bass.
  3. Lobwedgephil macrumors 601


    Apr 7, 2012
  4. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
    Way better with ‘almost’ proper bass. Play Angel by massive attack on both devices, clear difference between the 2.
  5. Ryan P macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    2018 12.9” much improved over 2017 12.9”. I was worried the smaller size would make it worse, but it is significantly better.
  6. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    People said the 6S+ had a better speaker than the 6+ just because it went louder. The 6+ was richer, less bright and had more bass. To me the speaker was the one thing they got right on the 6+ and they had to go and spoil it. All subjective innit.
  7. Lobwedgephil macrumors 601


    Apr 7, 2012
    I understand that, but it is more than just louder. It is louder, fuller, more bass, just overall better, to me.
  8. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    I'm not disputing your findings, merely saying that it's subjective (along with the OP's viewpoint).
  9. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    At least one Macrumors member smoking something good!
  10. Skrip, Nov 9, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

    Skrip macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2007
    Have both devices side by side (2017 and 2018 12.9” iPad Pro) and there’s no question that the mid’s and highs are better on the 2018 model but the 2017 model has much better bass.

    Other than you, I’ve only found one other person mentioning the 2017 having better bass so maybe we have defective units? I’m not a bass head by any means but it was incredibly noticeable right out of the box. I have a dead pixel so I have to exchange anyway but interested what other 2017 and 2018 12.9” owners have to say.
  11. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    I would agree with this. The previous Pro has better bass.
  12. solmaker, Nov 11, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018

    solmaker macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    My first reaction playing music on my iPad Pro 11" was less warmly pleasing and more tinny than on first-gen 12.9" and 10.5". But playing several ABBA tracks head-to-head on 11" versus 10.5", I wasn't so sure. There's this warm, slightly-muddy bass in the 10.5" that I like, but "Dancing Queen" and especially "Super Trouper" were brighter and richer on the 11", bringing out sonic aspects that were unnoticeable on the 10.5". But then playing more bassy numbers like Fleetwood Mac's "Sister of the Moon" and Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" and "Kashmir", the difference was obvious! "Kashmir" sounded great on the 10.5", but was very hollow and didn't even sound like itself on the 11". On the other hand, the opening of Greta Van Fleet's "Highway Tune" had noticeably better stereo separation and was more exciting on the 11". I wondered about spoken word recordings, so compared a quiet forest scene of Frodo and Sam talking in the BBC adaption of Tolkien's "Lord of the Ring, where the 11" had crisper sound and better seperation and more detail of birds chirping in the background, while the 10.5" had richer timbre in voices and more detail in the lower range.

    So, yes, I agree with you "there’s no question that the mid’s and highs are better on the 2018 model but the 2017 model has much better bass." I'm not a bass head either, but on balance the 10.5" sounds better to me. (It's hard to get around how flat "Kashmir" sounded on the 11".)

    There are several things I really like about the 11" (such as its new Smart Folio), so I'd hate to return it over this sound drawback... but if it is defective, I'd love to get one with decent bass. Can anyone say that their 2018 model is as good in the lower range as earlier models? Can anyone play the opening 18 seconds of "Kashmir" and say that it sounds right?
  13. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    Yours isn't defective. That's just how the new ones are.
  14. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    Maybe not the best answer, but you can adjust EQ profiles in iTunes on iDevices. Might help to get the exact sound that pleases you the most. (Settings, Music, scroll down to EQ)

    Edit: it’s only presets though. Can’t do custom EQ like on desktop.
  15. solmaker macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Thanks!! I'd already tried quick EQ adjustments without any improvement (though it's worth trying again more carefully). But if the problem is missing bass capability, I don't know how EQ can create something out of nothing. Also, does this EQ setting only apply to iTunes? If so, that's not going to help music on iHeartRadio, YouTube, TV, etc.
  16. solmaker macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Sadly I returned my iPad Pro 11” due to its Echo-Dot bass and happily went back to my trusty old 10.5” with its great sound. Also factoring into my decision was belatedly realization that “Liquid Retina” is just a marketing term for removing pixels around the corners, so screen quality is no better (in fact slightly worse considering letterboxing on older apps) between 2nd and 3rd gen. I also realized that I wasn’t a fan of the persistent swipe up bar on the bottom of the screen, which overlays the screen on new apps and robs 1/8”+ screen real estate on older apps. I initially loved the new Smart Keyboard Folio for laptop usage, but was later disappointed by how poorly it works folded over for single-handed tablet usage; it also seems bulkier and heavier than the 10.5” Smart Keyboard (even coupled with a light gel back case). The missing headphone jack is also a loss, and I’m a bit concerned after the iFixit teardown and “bendgate” videos that the new design doesn’t have enough internal support structure (like a pouch of mashed potatoes covered with tin foil). The 3rd gen iPad Pros are beautiful machines, but with all their tradeoffs, I couldn’t justify the $1,700 total upgrade price compared to my 2nd gen setup. I hope when the 4th gen appears in a year or two, it will improve some of these issues (most critically the speakers), else I may be staying with the 2nd gen for the duration.
  17. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Mannn I thought you had to be crazy until I got my new 11inch pro today. An upgrade from a 10.5 and yep. The audio coming out of the speakers definitely sounds worse than the last. Everything sounds so tinny. Like its coming out of a VERY small and weak speaker. I almost figured maybe I had a defective unity until some of you confirmed its just how the new ones sound.

    “Just how the new ones sound” well they sound bad. Worse. And it was immediately noticeable. Good thing whenever I watch something on it I always use headphones so the speakers don’t really bother me
  18. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    The last model had more bass? I thought that my new 12.9 had too much, it's vibrating in my hands from the bass output.
  19. mdjasrie macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2009
    I love the bass! Though I didn’t own any of the previous iPad Pros until now, I was astounded by the sound quality coming out from these speakers! The bass really gives the sound proper depth for once on a mobile device. Sounds way less tinny now.
  20. Jedimindtrick macrumors member


    Jun 28, 2017
    having owned all of them, I think the newest ones sound the best.
  21. Absrnd macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    "Worse" implies that the previous pro speakers were also bad o_O
    No, they just sound different, and I don't agree with you, they sound awesome for a 5mm device :D
  22. Shark5150 macrumors 65816


    Sep 24, 2014
    Dallas, Texas
    No way. My 11" speakers are much much better than my 10.5". Better bass and more crisp. Everyone's ears are different though.
  23. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I have had all the iPads and there is little doubt to my ears that the 11 is the best so far. Just my opinion.
  24. Jakefudge macrumors newbie


    Nov 20, 2018
    Completely agree. I started the same thread 2 days ago. The max volume is the same for both but the new iPad is lacking warmth and bass definitely. I spent an hour last night comparing music videos on YouTube and my gen 2 100% sounds better. It’s like the 2nd gen dampens the sound somewhat as when you hold it you can feel the bass but nothing like the 3rd gen, it vibrates all over the place! I think it’s just too thin to produce a decent low end sound. I’m almost certain I’ll be sending it back. I love the form factor but enjoy watching Netflix in bed with my wife, the sound is important in my use case.

    I also think they cut a few corners with the screen. Close up photos of small text appear smoother on my 2nd gen, I can see the jaggies in the 3rd gen from normal viewing distance. Disappointed.
  25. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015

    I almost wonder if what we’re dealing with is a software bug in the way the speakers balance themselves out. I remember in the first iPad Pro keynote them talking about how as you rotate the device, your iPad senses the orientation You’re in and adjusts the way it sounds between all of the speakers

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