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Thread: Audio quality?

  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
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    2
    Audio quality?
    Hi,
    I'll be getting a MacBook Pro sometime soon, but I need to make sure of one thing first. I find myself listening to music pretty much every day, so sound quality is a very important factor in any computer I buy.
    How is the sound quality on the MacBook Pro? I don't expect much from it's speakers, but what if you've got it plugged into some nice headphones or speakers? Would the sound quality be comparable to that of a PC with a non-integrated (PCI) sound card?
    Thanks in advance. I can't wait to get my Mac.

  2. #2

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Feb 02, 2007
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    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    It would sound the same as an integrated card seeing the card is integrated.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
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    Sorry, I was a bit unclear in my first post.
    What I meant was is the MacBook Pro's sound quality any good in comparison to the sound card upgrades you can buy for PCs? I'm using a Soundblaster Audigy 4 Pro right now, and I wouldn't want to feel like I downgraded with the MacBook Pro's sound card.
    Would anyone happen to know the sound-to-noise ratio for the MacBook Pro's sound card?

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Dec 29, 2007
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    135
    Specs:
    MBP 2.53Ghz, 4GB ram, 500gb hd -- Apple TV 160gb -- MacMini 1.83ghz
    I get some minor noise through when headphones are hooked up to my MBP, intermittent problem. It doesn't bother me that much, but it might bother some audiophiles!

    Other than that, the MBP and MB both come with an optical output, which is great for a notebook!

  5. #5

    Michael415's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    The MBP audio out is fairly dirty in comparison to what you might expect. If your serious about the sound consider a usb dac/amp setup. I use the Travagan’s Green and it does a good job with a clean output.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2013
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    MBP Sound Quality Fix
    Found this on another forum where many were complaining about noise on MBP sound;

    Problem solved for me. Just changed out my Fujitsu hard drive with a Seagate and the noises are COMPLETELY GONE. As I suspected, the Fujitsu hard drives have long been known for bleeding noise on laptops.

  7. #7

    JUKE179r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 01, 2009
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    Specs:
    MacBookPro 11,2 <--DAW!!!
    For true music clarity, go with an external audio interface for your Mac.
    I use M-Audio's FireWire Audiophile for live recording/playing, DJing and MIDI connected to my MBP. Very low latency and at 24bit/96kHz.
    MBP 11,3 | Logic Pro X | Ableton Live 9 | Traktor Pro 2 | AKAI MPC2000XL, X7000, MPK-49 | Roland MV-8000, SP-808, TR-707, TR-808 & TR-909 | Ensoniq ASR-10 | x0xb0x #911 & Willzyx | Denon DN-MC6000 | (3) Technics SL-1200MK1 | 4000+ vinyl records

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2013
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    Specs:
    2011/2012 27" iMacs, 2010/2012 Pro's, 2012/2013 Retina 15" MB Pro's
    Quote Originally Posted by mary2al View Post
    Found this on another forum where many were complaining about noise on MBP sound;

    Problem solved for me. Just changed out my Fujitsu hard drive with a Seagate and the noises are COMPLETELY GONE. As I suspected, the Fujitsu hard drives have long been known for bleeding noise on laptops.
    Maybe the more overt noises are gone or your headphones aren't very sensitive - but I've found with pretty much any Macbook Pro (including the current Retinas) that the analog out is pretty much akin to older Windows notebooks where you could regularly hear artifacts on the analog out. It occured to me about a year ago that I just don't hear fzzts, plops and skeeeks on Windows notebooks anymore (unless you buy complete junk of course - but even then, maybe not), whereas it's still a fixture on some machines on the Apple side.

    Bottom line is that if you want acceptably clean analog audio on a Mac, you're more often than not better off going via digital or USB.

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