Apple sued by THX for allegedly misusing patented speaker tech in iPhone, iPad and iMac

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 57
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    THX claims Apple's violation caused monetary damages and irreparable harm


    How?

  • Reply 42 of 57
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member


    Given that Tomlinson Holman (of THX fame) has joined Apple to run audio, Apple has first hand information on the subject

  • Reply 43 of 57
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post


    How?



    Good question.  Presumably that's just lawyer talk for "it would have been better for us if they had paid us royalties."  It would have neither helped nor irreparably harmed THX if Apple had, for example, had forward facing speakers.

  • Reply 44 of 57
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    From what I've heard from every review, the new iMac's speaker suck.


     


    Nah, you're just making things up.  The old iMac was often praised for it's sound, the new one is by all accounts much better than that even.  


     


    They sound richer, way more base-y, and generally fuller to my ears than the old ones.    

  • Reply 45 of 57
    stelligent wrote: »
    Apple sues someone for patent infringement and there is widespread crucification of the accused. Someone else sues Apple and there is suddenly a display of open-mindedness: Oh maybe there is prior art. Maybe this. Maybe that. Objectivity and credibility be damned.

    Try not to take people's opinions too seriously. These forums aren't a jury..
  • Reply 46 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

    Nah, you're just making things up.  The old iMac was often praised for it's sound, the new one is by all accounts much better than that even.  


     


    They sound richer, way more base-y, and generally fuller to my ears than the old ones.    



     


    Interesting. I've heard only bad things about the sound of this model. "Tinny and metallic", I think.


     


    I've always thought Macs should have the—or at least, some of the—best sound in the computing world. I'd like a rich, deep, slight rumble during the start-up chime on a Mac Pro. image


     


    Anyway, regardless of how they are now, Apple should build better sound into the Haswell model. I don't know how often they change speaker quality, but improvements should be possible once this testbed has been out.

  • Reply 47 of 57
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    Seems like an awfully generic patent to me.  Any kind of audio wave guide technology would apparently violate it, but there have been radios that used similar tech all the way back to the 1970's.  


     


    My guess is prior art will invalidate the patent, Apple knew this, and therefore didn't offer to pay royalties.  

  • Reply 48 of 57
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Interesting. I've heard only bad things about the sound of this model. "Tinny and metallic", I think.


     


    I've always thought Macs should have the—or at least, some of the—best sound in the computing world. I'd like a rich, deep, slight rumble during the start-up chime on a Mac Pro. image


     


    Anyway, regardless of how they are now, Apple should build better sound into the Haswell model. I don't know how often they change speaker quality, but improvements should be possible once this testbed has been out.



     


    Well this is a highly subjective area of course, but the first thing I noticed when I turned on the few that I have is that the sound was noticeably better.  


     


    I mean when you take it out of the box everyone is oohing and awing over the thin profile, then you turn it on and everyone notices how the "bong" sounds obviously richer and deeper.  YMMV and any "audiophiles" would probably attach extra speakers anyway, but for the original poster to more or less say they were shit when they are (to me) pretty clearly better than last year, and better year by year overall, was more than I could stand.  


     


    They are definitely not shit.  They are maybe not "the shit," but they are not shit.  They sound better than the old ones to me. 

  • Reply 49 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    …for the original poster to more or less say they were shit when they are (to me) pretty clearly better than last year, and better year by year overall, was more than I could stand.  


     


    They are definitely not shit.  They are maybe not "the shit," but they are not shit.  They sound better than the old ones to me. 



     


    Ooh, I like that retort. 

  • Reply 50 of 57
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member


    Quality sound today is rare. The choices of materials upon which to pass sound waves off and through is the single biggest differentiator to quality sound fields.


     


    THX had a golden opportunity to make it big but Dolby took it from them.


     


    Hoping to cash in on that patent is not a good sign for the independently run THX. It's a sign that its days of glory are long behind them. It reminds me of SGI being the darling of Mountain View and now just a relic.

     

  • Reply 51 of 57
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post



    Wave guides and this method of speaker alignment has been around for quite a while. They should be looking for prior art on this.


     


    Which is why, as the articles suggests, patent validity could be a huge factor in this. 


     


    Not to mention what are these methods and is Apple using what is specifically outlined. It could come down to one or two seemingly minor details which create a different 'method' and thus Apple is not violating anything. As it should be given how much overlap there is in tech these days. 

  • Reply 52 of 57
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post


    Given that Tomlinson Holman (of THX fame) has joined Apple to run audio, Apple has first hand information on the subject



     


    But that doesn't equal that they must be violating the patents, knowingly or otherwise. I'm sure the guy  had lots of thoughts about dealing with sound, some of which LucasArts or whomever didn't patent. 


     


    And who on knows, if they patented this as a method in movie theaters the courts could decide it isn't valid for smaller items. Patent specificity can bite folks in the butt.

  • Reply 53 of 57
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 396member


    The speakers on my new 27" iMac sound considerably better than those on my old one. Still not good enough to retire my externals, but getting closer.

  • Reply 54 of 57
    woochiferwoochifer Posts: 385member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


     


    But that doesn't equal that they must be violating the patents, knowingly or otherwise. I'm sure the guy  had lots of thoughts about dealing with sound, some of which LucasArts or whomever didn't patent. 


     


    And who on knows, if they patented this as a method in movie theaters the courts could decide it isn't valid for smaller items. Patent specificity can bite folks in the butt.





    If you read the filing, the patent pertains to a speaker driver mounted in at a perpendicular angle inside of an enclosure with a slot opening.  It has nothing to do with movie theaters, as THX certified theaters simply use off-the-shelf components from an approved list and only need to meet certain performance and room acoustics standards.  The only proprietary component in a THX certified movie theater is the crossover network. 


     


    This type of design is a relatively crude implementation of a wave guide enclosure that aims to create a large sound from a low SPL source.  Given that Creative now owns THX, the patent in question is probably something that came out of one of their computer speakers.  The slot opening and the perpendicular angle of the drivers are the distinguishing features in THX's patent, and I'd wouldn't be surprised if Apple's legal team goes hunting through thrift store and vintage audio store shelves, and finds a bunch of similarly designed speakers. 

  • Reply 55 of 57


    The unique thing about the slot is it allows for unique form factor to make it thinner. the first Apple product to have a true slot was the iPad 1. The cool thing about it, if done properly, it can have an omnidirectional response to much higher frequencies than a directional speaker. I know of a few cases of prior art that might be able to throw this thing out the window. I do not think anyone should be able to hold a patent on this. 

  • Reply 56 of 57
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,652member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Interesting. I've heard only bad things about the sound of this model. "Tinny and metallic", I think.


     


    I've always thought Macs should have the—or at least, some of the—best sound in the computing world. I'd like a rich, deep, slight rumble during the start-up chime on a Mac Pro. image


     


    Anyway, regardless of how they are now, Apple should build better sound into the Haswell model. I don't know how often they change speaker quality, but improvements should be possible once this testbed has been out.



     


    You can't get beyond the physics:  sound has to push air and the more air it pushes, the better it's going to sound.   Low frequencies have long wavelengths and a tiny speaker can't produce long wavelengths.  With the tiny speakers and no cabinets that most computers have, the sound is always going to be a compromise at best.   That's not to say they shouldn't seek to develop new technologies to improve it, but just as flat screen TVs, with their tiny speakers, have inferior sound to TVs produced in the 1950s, computer sound without external speakers sucks and always will.   

  • Reply 57 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member


    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

    …just as flat screen TVs, with their tiny speakers, have inferior sound to TVs produced in the 1950s, computer sound without external speakers sucks and always will.   


     


    I don't buy that, but hey.

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