Hear, here: Apple's so-so sound

The Audiophiliac ponders the priorities disparity at Apple's Fifth Avenue emporium. Why can't they sell quality sound?

What's so good about good sound? Who gives a crap? Strolling around Apple's oh-so-cool Fifth Avenue emporium in Manhattan, taking in the screechy din of countless cute-as-a-button iPod speakers, you'd have to conclude no one. Apple's temple is flush with style, but the sound is, in my opinion, flat out dreadful. OK, it's a showroom and hardly the sort of environment conducive to a quality listening experience, but even so, the priorities disparity is jarring. With most iPod speakers hovering around $100 to $200, you'd have to conclude that's what sells: a tinny sound from a speaker system that doesn't take up a lot of space. Yes, Apple's iPod Hi-Fi speaker is a big step up from the little critters, but is that all there is?

Apple's glass house looms large Steve Guttenberg

Maybe it's just me; the place is jammed with giddy Apple worshippers, oohing and aahing over every expensive Mac gadget. Steve Jobs knows where the action is, and sound quality ain't it. That's too bad.

By the way, I'm no Apple basher, I just bought a new 24 inch iMac and love it.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.



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