2018 iPad Pro WORSE Speakers!!! (data to prove it)

in iPad

Hey Guys!

When I got my new 2018 iPad Pro, I noticed the speakers sounded worse than my last one. I ran some tests and I think apple downgraded their speakers! 

Has anybody seen (or heard) this yet?!?

Experiment and Data Below:

https://github.com/pupster90/2018_ipad_pro_worse_speakers/blob/master/Python Sound Test.ipynb


  • Reply 1 of 5
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Okay. Kudos for going through the effort and attempting to go about this in a reproducible way, but I'm seeing a ton of problems with your setup that call your results into question.
    I'm not saying that there isn’t a difference in bass response between the two devices, but what you’re doing here is close to utterly useless, I'm afraid.

    For one, we have zero idea of the frequency spectrum of the original song, so it might be the new iPad that's actually doing a better job at reproducing it, while the old one might be overemphasising the bass - or not. We just don’t know. 

    For another, the iPads are in different locations. Why? This could have any number of effects upon the result: We have no idea of the setup: desk? Floor? Glass surface? Wood surface? Is there a wall nearby? Might there be cavities under the surface that emphasise or absorb certain frequencies? Are the iPads in cases? 
    We might be just seeing the difference in off-axis response in the microphone (which can vary considerably).
    How far are the iPads from the mic? Close enough that you might be blasting the mic with the output of a single channel on one device, while both channels sort of blow past it from the other?

    Also, the iPads have four speakers. How are you allowing for that fact in your setup?

    Finally, some details of interest are missing:

    What is the microphone used? You don’t say. 

    Also, you mention that the old one is a 12.9” iPad Pro. What size is the new one? You don't say.
    If you’re going from a bigger case to a substantially smaller one, there's less cavity for bass resonance, resulting in lighter bass, because physics, man. 

    But again, since you make no comparison to the actual frequencies contained in the song, for all we know, the old one may be more accurate. 

    Suggestion: repeat the whole experiment, but with a wav file of white noise. That has a known frequency spectrum and gives a much more even distribution,telling us a lot more about what’s really going on. 
    Put iPads on flat surface, one at a time. Mic them from above to allow for all four speakers. 
    Switch iPads in the identical location. Measure distance from the mic. Place mic at about the distance a normal user would hold iPad during use. 

    It’s quite possible that Apple has in fact "downgraded" the speakers in the new iPad. But your methodology is not the way to prove it.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 2 of 5
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Full disclosure:
    I studied musicology at university. Acoustics, psychoacoustics, and experimental setup and analysis were required courses.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Thanks! I will actually repeat the experiment as per ur advice!

    Yes, I agree that ur write that the iPad should be put in the same location and white noise should be used.

    There's a link to the mic, it's a just a crappy iPhone headphone type mic. Gonna test with better mic tomorrow. Any more suggestions on making this rigorous?

  • Reply 4 of 5
    Btw, ur choice of mic, cheap crappy condensor mic (iphone heaphones) or slightly better cardoid mic. Which is better? Links in description.

    Cheap mic:

  • Reply 5 of 5
    Oh, also, uniform white noise or gaussian. My guess is that it doesn't matter, but...
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