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Apple looking at surround sound for laptops

According to a new patent from Apple discussed by PatentlyApple on Thursday, Apple is now looking into a method of combining the audio transducers with multiple laptop speakers aiming to improve audio quality and even enable several variations of surround sound in the future Macbooks and other portable device from Apple.

The MacBook Pro speakers have never yet been ranked as the absolute best in the laptop audio quality while the laptop does always make it to the top of the best available laptops today.  The MacBook speakers aren’t definitely as bad as they sound for they have definitely beaten any speakers on PC laptops of similar thickness. As the overall sound quality does gradually decrease with the size of the speaker, the small speakers that are able to fit in the slim enclosures of the various MacBook laptops often don’t have a fair fight with the high-end speakers in PC laptops that are twice as thick as compared to the MacBook.

Another factor that affects the mid and low frequencies like the one produced with the help of a sub-woofer is the Space Constraints. Apple’s solution to this problem is also covered in their patent application which is to connect audio transducers which will transmit their audio output by vibrating other objects and syncing it up with the output of other speakers.

The Apple patent reads that in operation, the audio transducer generally received electrical signals from the processor and translates those electrical signals into vibrations, which perceive them as audible sound. Following this, the transducer will handle the low and mid frequencies while the remaining “tweeter” speakers handle high frequencies. The Apple patent envisions 3.1 and 4.1 surround configurations applying to this method.

In an early approach, Apple worked deep on how this technology could be integrated into the home theater chairs, but this approach wasn’t good enough to impress the folks at ButtKicker.

While the Apple fans wait to see how this trick works out for the MacBook users who are desperately waiting for some better sound from their laptops. One of the products they could checkout are Twelve South’s BaseJump, which adds on a separate plug-in of low frequency to round out the Mac’s audio making it a lot better for the customers.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2012 04 > Apple looking at surround sound for laptops
Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2012-04- 8 (Update: 2012-05-26)