Why no stereo speakers for iPhone?

Risco

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 22, 2010
1,765
153
United Kingdom
This is one that has always bugged me, lack of stereo speakers! Have Apple ever said a reason for this?
 

munkydust

macrumors member
May 2, 2010
99
1
That extra dollar they'd have to spend on it would cut into their profits too much.
 
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iososx

macrumors 6502a
Aug 23, 2014
859
6
USA
Apple eeks out more profit by cutting corners, this is one of the ones you notice, most you don't. To be the big fat cats, saving every penny counts. Apple is a pro.
 
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leesweet

macrumors demi-god
Feb 1, 2009
1,046
239
Northern Virginia, USA
If they did have 'stereo' speakers, do you think we'd hear stereo with the separation at about an inch? And that's on the iPhone 6!

I've always thought if you wanted stereo, use headphones of some sort. (Or perhaps Bluetooth speakers.)
 
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munkydust

macrumors member
May 2, 2010
99
1
If they did have 'stereo' speakers, do you think we'd hear stereo with the separation at about an inch? And that's on the iPhone 6!

I've always thought if you wanted stereo, use headphones of some sort. (Or perhaps Bluetooth speakers.)
When you are on the go and are playing music for multiple people, external Bluetooth speakers and headphones are not an option.

Anyways, I'm satisfied with the speaker sound despite not being stereo.
 
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Taco1933

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2014
485
166
Space and nobody really cares. Phone speakers will never provide a great listening experience. Why make the phone bigger so you can have marginally better sound when you'll just use headphones most of the time anyway?
 
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SnowLeopard2008

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2008
6,772
8
Silicon Valley
Apple eeks out more profit by cutting corners, this is one of the ones you notice, most you don't. To be the big fat cats, saving every penny counts. Apple is a pro.
Yup, they sure cut corners when they opted to use aluminum which costs more and is harder to mass-produce/machine than cheap plastic. And then they also cut corners on the SoC, which seems to blow every single other SoC out of the water and into oblivion. And then they decided to cut some other corners on the camera, which is better than any other smartphone camera. And then they decided to just say what the hell and cut some more corners on the ISP and algorithms that beat everything else.

This can go on for a very long time. Apple doesn't cut corners. That's why so many people still buy Apple products, myself included.

Also, replying to the OP. You wouldn't really notice the stereo effect anyway. Have you seen stereo speakers? The space between L and R speaker is huge compared to the overall size of an iPhone. Most of the time, you'll be using headphones or connecting to some speakers. That said, the speakers they use aren't some cheap crap that they stuck there for show. It's not something you'll find in a music studio, but it's better than many other smartphone speakers out there.
 
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Mercenary

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,152
544
Because it wouldn't actually produce stereo sound.

To produce stereo you need to create separation between the left and the right, this is not possible if both speakers were on the bottom. Thats why we have 2 ears on either side of our heads and not near the middle.

The only way to even attempt this on a phone is to have a speaker on the top and bottom and turn the phone sideways.

Also, Apple doesn't want to help the ***** who play their *****e music out loud on their tinny phone speakers for all to hear. So what that you love that song. Do you really think that if we hear it we will too? /rantover :D
 
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geoff5093

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2014
2,221
2,539
Dover, NH
The speakers on the HTC One are amazing for a phone. The reason most people don't care about phone speakers is because they are always crap, until you've actually listened to the HTC One, you can't appreciate having dual speakers, especially front facing.
 
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Cryates

macrumors 68020
Nov 19, 2013
2,495
2,937
Chattanooga, TN
99.9999% of the world uses earbuds/headphones and could care less about the external speakers. HTC has had those boom sound speakers for two years on the One but haven't sold them so it's obviously not a big desire of customers.
 
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thisdj78

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2014
349
0
Columbus, OH
This is one that has always bugged me, lack of stereo speakers! Have Apple ever said a reason for this?
That's why there is huge market for external speakers. You aren't meant to have a great listening experience from your phones built-in speakers.
 
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SnowLeopard2008

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2008
6,772
8
Silicon Valley
Because it wouldn't actually produce stereo sound.

To produce stereo you need to create separation between the left and the right, this is not possible if both speakers were on the bottom. Thats why we have 2 ears on either side of our heads and not near the middle.

The only way to even attempt this on a phone is to have a speaker on the top and bottom and turn the phone sideways.

Also, Apple doesn't want to help the ***** who play their *****e music out loud on their tinny phone speakers for all to hear. So what that you love that song. Do you really think that if we hear it we will too? /rantover :D
That. You need separation between left and right. If you put two speakers fairly close to each other (like the width of an iPhone), you won't notice any difference.

The speakers on the HTC One are amazing for a phone. The reason most people don't care about phone speakers is because they are always crap, until you've actually listened to the HTC One, you can't appreciate having dual speakers, especially front facing.
That's because they opted to put the speakers on top and bottom (height), which is maybe 2-3 times longer distance than left and right (width) of a smartphone. Also, they dedicated an enormous amount of space to the actual speaker components. They sound just incredible, but most people tend to use headphones or external speakers
 
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12vElectronics

macrumors 68040
Jul 19, 2013
3,927
1,222
California
I've always despised Apple for not putting more energy and resources in the speakers. Oh well, maybe that'll change with the 6S considering they now own BEATS.
 
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Wayfarer

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,182
388
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the iPad Mini is the only Apple mobile device with stereo. They sound totes amaze balls, awesomesauce.com.
 
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lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,902
3,475
Boston, MA
I have had phones that had stereo speakers, and why they may be better, it's incredibly marginal.

The space needed to add an additional speaker doesn't justify increasing the size of the phone. If Apple can;t increase the size of the phone to add a beefier battery, they certainly can't do it just for stereo speakers.
 
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Blue4D2

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2014
21
0
Why does it need stereo speakers? It's a phone/pocket computer, not a boombox. :rolleyes:
 
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geoff5093

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2014
2,221
2,539
Dover, NH
That's because they opted to put the speakers on top and bottom (height), which is maybe 2-3 times longer distance than left and right (width) of a smartphone. Also, they dedicated an enormous amount of space to the actual speaker components. They sound just incredible, but most people tend to use headphones or external speakers
I agree, but since Apple seems obsessed with huge top and bottom bezels, they should have plenty of front space to put them, granted the components underneath would be more challenging.
 
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kmj2318

macrumors 68000
Aug 22, 2007
1,611
581
Naples, FL
They have to choose what they focus on. If they do improve the speakers in the future, fine. But I wouldn't want it to come before more important things.
 
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AverageBob

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2014
92
0
Yup, they sure cut corners when they opted to use aluminum which costs more and is harder to mass-produce/machine than cheap plastic. And then they also cut corners on the SoC, which seems to blow every single other SoC out of the water and into oblivion. And then they decided to cut some other corners on the camera, which is better than any other smartphone camera. And then they decided to just say what the hell and cut some more corners on the ISP and algorithms that beat everything else.

This can go on for a very long time. Apple doesn't cut corners. That's why so many people still buy Apple products, myself included.

Also, replying to the OP. You wouldn't really notice the stereo effect anyway. Have you seen stereo speakers? The space between L and R speaker is huge compared to the overall size of an iPhone. Most of the time, you'll be using headphones or connecting to some speakers. That said, the speakers they use aren't some cheap crap that they stuck there for show. It's not something you'll find in a music studio, but it's better than many other smartphone speakers out there.
1GB RAM. Only 1.2 megapixel front cam. Base model at 16GB which means you have to delete pretty much everything just to update. Etc etc.
 
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