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Does your Macbook speakers sound too soft?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi folks

I got my Macbook recently and have been happy with it so far. However, I noticed that mine has a problem that I would like to check with new Macbook owners to see how common it is.

Basically, the speakers are too soft. At system volume setting of half and itunes volume setting of about 3/4, the volume is just too low. Only when both system volume setting and itunes volume are set at max does the sound volume seem decent for an average sound output.

I am not deaf, and I am not a rocker fan. I have also tried different songs just in case it was the encoding process that screwed up the volume. In any case, I'm a bit disappointed because the quality of the sound output is pretty decent as laptop speakers go.

So do any of you face this problem, and what could be a likely cause? Should this be a real problem, will a firmware release by Apple solve this problem or will I have to send it for repair?
post #2 of 24
I don't have one yet, but I saw this in a review and was wondering about it.

Are the speakers just too quiet or is the sound truly of low quality?
post #3 of 24
The sound QUALITY is quite good, the sound VOLUME is really, really, really low.
post #4 of 24
I'm wondering if it wasn't the recent QT7.1 upgrade that did this... on my PowerBook G4, I've noticed recently that I seem to have to crank it up way past what I used to to get the same sound out of the headphone jack.

iTunes at full, system volume at 4 pips, and it was perfect in the office. Now? 8 pips. It seems exactly halved. I didn't go deaf over night, so...
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post #5 of 24
I think a lot of Macs have really poor sound quality. My powerbook sounds better than the quad G5. It's ridiculous that a £3000 machine sounds that bad.

The Mini is the worst. I can't even hear some movies when everything is at full and VLC is doubling the volume.

But I buy a £20 set of speakers with a subwoofer and it sounds absolutely amazing. So why can't they build some better sound technology into the machines?

It's clearly not the expense and in the case of the quad G5, it's certainly not space.

Is there such a thing as a software amp? I'd like to be able to amplify all the sound on my machine.
post #6 of 24
I actually think the sound volume is fine

im on my macbook right now and its pretty chill
post #7 of 24
Sounds the same as my PB 12"....that is: silent until the volume is raised above the half way mark and then OK
post #8 of 24
Mine sounds fine to me, although I do have to crank it full tilt but for the price it's decent. I have actuall heard cell phones with about the same amount of balls but not the quality of sound of course. Now my PB on the other hand is a screamer!




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post #9 of 24
I commented on this on my friends MB - quite quiet on max vol

No way near as loud or as good quality as my 17" MBP !!
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by drnat
I commented on this on my friends MB - quite quiet on max vol

No way near as loud or as good quality as my 17" MBP !!

Are they really good? I want to get a 17" MBP later this year..
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by aog
Are they really good? I want to get a 17" MBP later this year..

I was pleasantly surprised to hear how good the sound is with the 17" MBP - treble is the weakest bit & similar to the 15" PB, but the midrange & bass is much better. Pretty listenable to & the best I have heard on a laptop - although I confess to not having listened to the sound on may pro-type PC laptops!
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Marvin
I think a lot of Macs have really poor sound quality. My powerbook sounds better than the quad G5. It's ridiculous that a �3000 machine sounds that bad.

The Mini is the worst. I can't even hear some movies when everything is at full and VLC is doubling the volume.

But I buy a �20 set of speakers with a subwoofer and it sounds absolutely amazing. So why can't they build some better sound technology into the machines?

It's clearly not the expense and in the case of the quad G5, it's certainly not space.

Is there such a thing as a software amp? I'd like to be able to amplify all the sound on my machine.

The internal sound on most desktop computers, or really, built into any computer, is usually pretty bad. I don't think anyone designs them for better sound than just to handle the error beeps.

I don't think it makes sense to use them as a primary sound source. I do have almost acceptable sound on my workstations though, the drivers were better than usual, but there are limits to enclosure not designed for audio quality, separate enclosures are necessary for that. There's no reasonable way to get stereo out on most desktops, so it is a single mono driver, vs. an external stereo two or three-way.

A software amp doesn't fix the problems of a hardware amp. Unless your files are encoded at a low volume, you are more likely to peak and clip the sound.

The sound output jack for the MBP is incredibly soft, I am disapointed in that, I hook it up to a TV and most normal devices only need a "10" volume setting on the TV to sound good, with the MBP, it needs to be set to "60", and I think the scale is exponential. From the descriptions here, maybe the MB has a similar issue.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by drnat
I was pleasantly surprised to hear how good the sound is with the 17" MBP - treble is the weakest bit & similar to the 15" PB, but the midrange & bass is much better. Pretty listenable to & the best I have heard on a laptop - although I confess to not having listened to the sound on may pro-type PC laptops!

Thanks for the info. I have a 15" PB, the sound is fine but I wish it were louder.
post #14 of 24
The Original Poster has a very valid point that I very much so concur with - I have had my MacBook for roughly 1 day and I own another iMac and the speaker on this thing is definately weak - even the guide suggests you use headphones! ( lucky I got a pair of Shure E5Cs therefore I have the best headphone experience money can buy! )
post #15 of 24
Are the speakers loud enough to chat with someone on ichat?
post #16 of 24
Try opening iTunes and selecting View->Show Equalizer. Then raise the preamp level on the left side. This raises the level in iTunes but you will probably soon find the limits of your speakers in terms of clarity.

Why can't Apple partner with Bose or someone skilled at fitting accurate performance into small enclosures? They are, after all, in the music business now and marketing lifestyle systems. Carrying around separate speakers isn't reasonable for a laptop customer. I like to use my machine as a sound system in my hotel rooms while traveling, for example.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgs33

Try opening iTunes and selecting View->Show Equalizer. Then raise the preamp level on the left side. This raises the level in iTunes but you will probably soon find the limits of your speakers in terms of clarity.

Why can't Apple partner with Bose or someone skilled at fitting accurate performance into small enclosures? They are, after all, in the music business now and marketing lifestyle systems. Carrying around separate speakers isn't reasonable for a laptop customer. I like to use my machine as a sound system in my hotel rooms while traveling, for example.

Yeah, why can't Apple partner with someone like say, Apple, who makes the venerable iPod Hifi?
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat

Yeah, why can't Apple partner with someone like say, Apple, who makes the venerable iPod Hifi?

HiFi is about 3x heavier and a lot larger than a MacBook. You aren't going to get anywhere near that level of quality or volume out of a standard notebook.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

HiFi is about 3x heavier and a lot larger than a MacBook. You aren't going to get anywhere near that level of quality or volume out of a standard notebook.

Well, yeah.

But they should be able to include a decent set of laptop speakers. They honestly sound fine but it's absurd that even at max volume it's only barely tolerable. VLC can increase volume up to five or six hundred percent, which is handy.
post #20 of 24
Yes the MacBook has terrible speakers, but I found an easy solution..... EXTERNAL SPEAKERS. Or if you want something more portable, a good pair of headphones.
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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwalk

Yes the MacBook has terrible speakers, but I found an easy solution..... EXTERNAL SPEAKERS. Or if you want something more portable, a good pair of headphones.

There you have it.
post #22 of 24
I wish some people would stop being so bloody fussy and knit-pick at every goddamn little thing that Apple does. For heavens sake they are little laptop speakers quit expecting so much from them!

Jeez
Switched permenantly! 12/08/2006
Unibody MacBook Pro ▪ 2.66Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo ▪ 4Gb Ram ▪ 500Gb 7200rpm HD ▪ Geforce 9600M GT ▪ Wireless Mighty Mouse ▪ Silver iPod Classic 160GB ▪ Black iPhone 3GS...
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Switched permenantly! 12/08/2006
Unibody MacBook Pro ▪ 2.66Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo ▪ 4Gb Ram ▪ 500Gb 7200rpm HD ▪ Geforce 9600M GT ▪ Wireless Mighty Mouse ▪ Silver iPod Classic 160GB ▪ Black iPhone 3GS...
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post #23 of 24
The MacBook speakers are surprisingly weak for me as well. After owning a TiBook and PowerBook the MacBook speakers seem incredibly underpowered.
post #24 of 24
I found that my new MacBook is definitely quieter than my iBook was. Can't wait until 10.5 and finally getting A2DP on the BlueTooth stack. Then, at least wireless headphones could be used. (Not the greatest but I trade on that a bit for no wires...)
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