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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Main Question Before I Switch...


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Big Andy

 
Member Since: Jun 18, 2007
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Hey Everybody,

I am planning on picking up either a Macbook or a Macbook Pro within a month, but my biggest deciding factor right now is the built in speakers in each model.

I will be doing a lot of traveling, and I love to listen to music while I do work. Both machines seem pretty portable and suitable for my purposes, so my last major thing is the speakers.

How are they in each model? Is there a big difference, or would I really not notice much?

Thanks

Andy
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MaDDoG

 
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Member Since: Jan 01, 2007
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Hi Big Andy....mine sound fine. If I was travelling I would use my Senhieser headphones or similar. At home though the Altec Lansing speakers are plugged in.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
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XMARLTONX

 
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Headphones are great for travel, and like MadDog, I also have speakers plugged in at home. 2 GE's and a subwoofer =)
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xander.jobe

 
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When it comes to laptops in my experience, the sound is NEVER up to par... ever (Be it Mac, or Dell, or IBM, or HP). I actually have a really nice pair of Senhieser headphones, they work really well on the road, and in the air.

-Xander
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Kash

 
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I agree, if you're serious about listening to music or watching some videos, bring along a pair of headphones.

I have a set of Shure E2Cs that I carry around with my Macbook and it's much easier than trying to listen to the built-in speakers without getting a headache


June 2007
July 2009
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ryanwarsaw

 
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Well the suggestions of using headphones are very good. If you will not be using headphones than the speakers on the MBP are way better. Though as with any notebook I have ever encountered I just couldn't function without a USB set of phones.
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cramar

 
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For traveling and listening to music headphone use is the best, as everyone pointed out. Actually I was listening to podcasts through the MacBook speakers late last night and find them perfectly adequate for this. Plugging in my Bose speakers would be overkill and disturb my wife ayway.
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Big Andy

 
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

Are the Shure headphones about top of the line? And can anybody recommend a small but decent pair of speakers?

I would like to be able to just use the built in speakers when I am in my room, but I don't want to lose any portability. Is there a big difference between the two systems?
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martinmartin

 
Member Since: May 29, 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Andy View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.

Are the Shure headphones about top of the line? And can anybody recommend a small but decent pair of speakers?

I would like to be able to just use the built in speakers when I am in my room, but I don't want to lose any portability. Is there a big difference between the two systems?
Depends what kind of headphones you want. Do you want 'In Ear' headphones - they actually go in your ear canal creating a seal that blocks out most outside noise (but is uncomfortable or irritating for some people)? Or do you want the big and bulky around ear headphones?

I had a pair of Shure E4cs (which I managed to lose somehow coming home from China) and they were quite nice. In my opinion, there are 2 major benefits to in ear headphones. 1) They're tiny and therefore extremely portable. 2) You can get great clarity out of them with very little volume bc of the seal they create. There downside for me was that the bass was somewhat lacking in my opinion.

I also have a pair of the big Bose Noise Cancelling headphones. Despite my general dislike for Bose products, these headphones sound quite nice. They are very bulky, though, and they make a terrible noise when resting against a pillow (somehow related to the 'noise sensors' on the outsides of the phones that help cancel the noise, or so I hear). This, along with their massive size, makes them very uncomfortable to nap in when on a plane. At $300, they are pricey.

Don't expect to work out (run) in either of these types of head phones. They both make kind of a 'booming' sound when your foot hits the floor (not sure why). (Edit - this 'microphonic' effect (think of a stethoscope) is more pronounced with the In Ear phones. When you move around, or when the cord hits your clothes, etc., the noise really comes through the headphones.)

My recommendation would be to get a good pair of in ear headphones (Shure, Etymotic, etc) and spend some time playing with the attachments to find one that fits your ear the best. My Shure's, for example, came with a bunch of different attachments of various sizes, shapes and materials. Also, don't expect too much bass when you put them in.

Hope this helps.
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Big Andy

 
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Are the Shure headphones better than the iPod ones? Because I could not stand those.
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xander.jobe

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Andy View Post
Are the Shure headphones better than the iPod ones? Because I could not stand those.
I think any headphones (besides Koss) would be better than standard issue iPod headphones.
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Big Andy

 
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Thanks for all the advice.

I am planning on getting a Macbook in a few weeks, and a good pair of headphones shortly thereafter.

I can't wait!!!

Any book recommendations I should pick up to start preparing for the switch?
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Big Andy

 
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Another quick question...

These are the specs for the Diablo Battle Chest.

# Single Player MAC System Requirements:
# G3 processor:OS 8.1 or higher
# 64 MB of physical RAM plus Virtual Memory
# 1.5 GB available hard drive space
# 4X CD-ROM drive
# Video support for 256 color display at 800 X 600 resolution
# (Optional 800 X 6000 resolution mode not recommended for systems near minimum specifications for RAM or processor speed.

Would I be able to run it on the mid-range Macbook?
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xander.jobe

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Andy View Post
Another quick question...

These are the specs for the Diablo Battle Chest.

# Single Player MAC System Requirements:
# G3 processor:OS 8.1 or higher
# 64 MB of physical RAM plus Virtual Memory
# 1.5 GB available hard drive space
# 4X CD-ROM drive
# Video support for 256 color display at 800 X 600 resolution
# (Optional 800 X 6000 resolution mode not recommended for systems near minimum specifications for RAM or processor speed.

Would I be able to run it on the mid-range Macbook?
I am not sure if Diablo has been ported to mac, but if World Of Warcraft can run... then I am most certain that D2 can do it as well. I get around 40-50 frames in Ironforge, so I do not see why it would not run.
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CackalackyMac

 
Member Since: Jun 21, 2007
Location: Richmond, VA, a native of Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Andy-

Congrats on getting a Mac. I switched about a month ago, and it really feels like I'm fresh out of the Matrix or something. Except without living in a cave in the center of the earth thing.

I'm a photographer and a musician, so the switch was important to me. As a musician, I can tell you this- the only speakers / headphones that sound good are ones that you buy. The ones that come for free are usually pretty lame, such as the iPod ones, and the ones installed in laptops. Some laptop speakers sound much better than others- but they're all pretty puny. They're designed to take up little space and be durable.

You mentioned traveling- have fun, and may Ganesha bless your travels! I personally love my in-ear headphones, and couldn't travel without them. They're the Etymotics ER-6i, and can be had for about a hundred smacks. They're triple-flanged earplugs with drivers in them, basically. When you're traveling, they're great, because the seal in your ear blocks out 30+ decibels of exterior noise. You can also hear your music better at lower volumes, saving your hearing. Shure makes great products, too, and I'm not a fan of Bose's headphones (I have, and love, a pair of their monitors, though). The in-ear headphones (canalphones) do make a booming sound like martinmartin said, for working out, i recommend sony's behind-the-head ones. If you want the canalphones, but don't want to shell out for the etymotics or shures (both in the $100-ish range), the Sony MDR series uses the same idea and are much cheaper.

For external speakers, I'd suggest the Harman Kardon SoundSticks II if you're into great sound and aesthetics, but if you're really into music while you're at your desktop, pick up the Logitech Z-2300's. They look great, sound great, they're well priced, and the woofer is also a bread maker. There's nothing like the scent of sourdough pumped out by Balkan Beat Box.

As for book recommendations, I'd suggest the Dalai Llama's "The Universe In A Single Atom", and "The Mind's Eye: Collected Works of Henri Cartier-Bresson". You could pick up a few books on switching to a Mac- but with these forums, you should be able to save some trees.

spice.
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