Apple's new MacBook Pros boast 58% louder built-in speakers thanks to new design

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited October 2016
One of Apple's less emphasized upgrades in the 2016 MacBook Pro is better internal speakers, which should -- in theory, anyway -- be good enough that you might choose them over headphones or external speakers, if just for the sake of convenience.




Apple says that it has redesigned the speakers to ensure "maximize air displacement," as well as connect them directly to system power, allowing up to three times more peak power.

The net effect is claimed to be up to 58 percent more volume, and bass that's as much as 2.5 times louder. Bass is often one of the weakest aspects of laptop audio, since there's no room for a dedicated subwoofer.

Apple is also promising twice the dynamic range, though it hasn't provided any firm numbers in that area. It should, however, expand the highs and lows the speakers can hit without distortion or other issues -- another common obstacle with laptops.

Apple announced the new MacBook Pro last week at an event at its Cupertino headquarters. Its main feature is the Touch Bar, a multitouch display strip at the top of the keyboard that replaces function keys and adapts automatically to the app being used.

While the computer is already on sale, in 13- and 15-inch sizes, U.S. online orders are currently taking 4 to 5 weeks to ship. One exception is the 2016 13" MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, which is now in stock at $1,499.00 with no tax outside NY in both Space Gray and Silver from Apple authorized reseller B&H Photo.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Wait, I thought they were just charging exorbitant prices for basically the same computer... you mean they're actually innovating and putting real improvements in this machine and expect to recoup their r&d spending?! Preposterous... such a greedy company, they could just eat that cost and keep the computers the same price and lose money... they can afford it. /s
    repressthiswatto_cobrastevehjony0
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Wait, I thought they were just charging exorbitant prices for basically the same computer... you mean they're actually innovating and putting real improvements

    Fixing something that is broken is not innovating... My wife's MacBook Air speakers are so quiet she finally started carrying around a Bluetooth speaker. My Surface Pro 3 is barely loud enough for normal use, but it is much louder than any MacBook I have seen.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 3 of 18
    bill42bill42 Posts: 129member
    Great. Louder speakers, but no SD card slot so I can't even use it on the road with my camera without a stupid dongle. You'll need 3 or 4 dongles to make this a true "Pro" machine actually.
    appneck
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Really!? Wow. Big news. I thought they removed the speakers :{
  • Reply 5 of 18
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,262member
    I do appreciate the improvement in audio quality. My 12" MacBook is the best sounding MB/MBP I've ever heard.

    Still, they're all pricey notebooks. I'll skip this round and wait for the next. And buy a bigger dongle box. Waiting for manufacturers to sell fast, high-capacity USB-C sticks. With multiple USB-C ports, I really don't need much in the way of dongles.

    Not that I need one (cuz I don't), MacBook Pros while fairly stout machines, have been becoming commodity/consumer machines, and not high-end pro machines they once were.

    Except that Apple wouldn't want to minimize the 'Pro' part of the name, I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    macgui said:
    I do appreciate the improvement in audio quality. My 12" MacBook is the best sounding MB/MBP I've ever heard.

    Still, they're all pricey notebooks. I'll skip this round and wait for the next. And buy a bigger dongle box. Waiting for manufacturers to sell fast, high-capacity USB-C sticks. With multiple USB-C ports, I really don't need much in the way of dongles.

    Not that I need one (cuz I don't), MacBook Pros while fairly stout machines, have been becoming commodity/consumer machines, and not high-end pro machines they once were.

    Except that Apple wouldn't want to minimize the 'Pro' part of the name, I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.

    Good luck with all of that. 
    repressthiswatto_cobranolamacguyappneckjony0
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Rayz2016 said:
    macgui said:
    I do appreciate the improvement in audio quality. My 12" MacBook is the best sounding MB/MBP I've ever heard.

    Still, they're all pricey notebooks. I'll skip this round and wait for the next. And buy a bigger dongle box. Waiting for manufacturers to sell fast, high-capacity USB-C sticks. With multiple USB-C ports, I really don't need much in the way of dongles.

    Not that I need one (cuz I don't), MacBook Pros while fairly stout machines, have been becoming commodity/consumer machines, and not high-end pro machines they once were.

    Except that Apple wouldn't want to minimize the 'Pro' part of the name, I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.

    Good luck with all of that. 

    Unfortunately the Ray is correct.

    We are lucky we got an update at the rate Apple is going towards the Mac.
    elijahg
  • Reply 8 of 18
    appneck said:
    Really!? Wow. Big news. I thought they removed the speakers :{
    They didn't have enough courage to remove them ^^ /s
    elijahgappneck
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Just have to point out the stillness of saying they increased the volume AND the dynamic range. The definition of dynamic range Is simply the difference between the lowest volume of sound it can make(and not be drowned out by amp hum, fans, etc) and the loudest sound it can make before distortion starts. So maybe if it is much quiter than the previous one this is relevant but really it's mostly the same thing
  • Reply 10 of 18
    flawless_badgerflawless_badger Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Did anyone notice that the speakers are different on the non touchbar and touchbar macs, just compare this picture to the OWC teardown, the non touchbar has 4 upward facing speakers and the touchbar has them probably as shown in the picture, 2 down and 2 up
  • Reply 11 of 18
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    macgui said:

    I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.
    Your looking at the company wrong. 
    mike1nolamacguyRayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 18
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    jorgie said:
    Wait, I thought they were just charging exorbitant prices for basically the same computer... you mean they're actually innovating and putting real improvements

    Fixing something that is broken is not innovating... My wife's MacBook Air speakers are so quiet she finally started carrying around a Bluetooth speaker. My Surface Pro 3 is barely loud enough for normal use, but it is much louder than any MacBook I have seen.
    bummer your wife's notebook is broken. mine isn't. 

    oh wait...you don't mean broken. you mean working normally the way its supposed to, but are changing the meaning of the words in order to claim it's not an improvement to the status quo in order to bag on apple. got it. 
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 13 of 18
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member

    bill42 said:
    Great. Louder speakers, but no SD card slot so I can't even use it on the road with my camera without a stupid dongle. You'll need 3 or 4 dongles to make this a true "Pro" machine actually.
    i don't need those dongles. i don't own a single dongle for my MBP, yet it continues to be my finest work machine for software development. what the hell? is mine somehow broken? how could my use case be different than yours!?
  • Reply 14 of 18
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member

    macgui said:
    I do appreciate the improvement in audio quality. My 12" MacBook is the best sounding MB/MBP I've ever heard.

    Still, they're all pricey notebooks. I'll skip this round and wait for the next. And buy a bigger dongle box. Waiting for manufacturers to sell fast, high-capacity USB-C sticks. With multiple USB-C ports, I really don't need much in the way of dongles.

    Not that I need one (cuz I don't), MacBook Pros while fairly stout machines, have been becoming commodity/consumer machines, and not high-end pro machines they once were.

    Except that Apple wouldn't want to minimize the 'Pro' part of the name, I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.
    you'd better get used to disappointment. forever. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,756member
    bill42 said:
    Great. Louder speakers, but no SD card slot so I can't even use it on the road with my camera without a stupid dongle. You'll need 3 or 4 dongles to make this a true "Pro" machine actually.
    This really amuses me. Back in 2009 all the pros were up in arms because SD was the consumer-toy-camera standard. Pro cameras used CompactFlash. And that couldn't be used because Apple removed the PCMCIA expansion slot in favor of the toy slot.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    paxman said:
    macgui said:

    I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.
    Your looking at the company wrong. 
    Indeed he is... in thinking "Pro" or "Power" user means developers/digital creatives... in the new Apple world Pro/Power users are Kanye, Kardashians and Chinese fashionistas... SD card slots and ports are for grunt assistants who need to deal with the real world.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,756member
    luvappl said:
    paxman said:
    macgui said:

    I'd like to see them manufacture a more capable notebook for pro use- more than 16G RAM, user replaceable and user replaceable storage. Don't know how there current video chipsets compare to the competition, but I'd like to see star-of-the-art video. And keep at least one USB3 port. Maybe an ethernet port, too.

    Basically, have one heavy-duty, high end MBP that isn't designed with thinness being the first priority. Or even the fifth. Sure the market would be small. Apple would adjust the price accordingly.
    Your looking at the company wrong. 
    Indeed he is... in thinking "Pro" or "Power" user means developers/digital creatives... in the new Apple world Pro/Power users are Kanye, Kardashians and Chinese fashionistas... SD card slots and ports are for grunt assistants who need to deal with the real world.
    Think twice before you blanket-insult everybody who still deems Apple the least frustrating choice in hardware. Also, last I checked, Kanye IS a "digital creative" regardless of what you personally think of his productions.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,260member
    jorgie said:
    Wait, I thought they were just charging exorbitant prices for basically the same computer... you mean they're actually innovating and putting real improvements

    Fixing something that is broken is not innovating... My wife's MacBook Air speakers are so quiet she finally started carrying around a Bluetooth speaker. My Surface Pro 3 is barely loud enough for normal use, but it is much louder than any MacBook I have seen.
    I came back to this ... now May 21st 2018.  Just popped for a 2017 model MBP with touch bar for my recording studio.  The speakers are so freakin' awesome in the MBPro I have been able to ditch my monitor amp, speakers and headphones for 90% of my studio work when working alone, either for electric guitar or keyboard buy just having the MBPro on top of my Korg synth where I sit.  The audio is stunning, crystal clear, free of distortion (unless intentional) and freaking loud.
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