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I have a Mac mini and the speakers -- Cyber Acoustics -- are dreadful. They have a very fuzzy and distorted sound, and cable management is horrible.

I am thinking of getting Bluetooth speakers for my Mac mini to help with sound quality and cable management. I am willing to buy $70 Bluetooth speakers. Sound quality isn't a HUGE factor, but it does play a role. What do you think? Is it worth it? Am I making a mistake? What do you recommend? I do not think I will want wired speakers because of the cable management issues -- although I may, if you guys think I a making a big mistake.

asked Feb 21 '13 at 09:29

JakeF's gravatar image

JakeF
1111

edited Feb 21 '13 at 17:34

Fogarty's gravatar image

Fogarty ♦♦
11.7k132839


I recommend avoiding bluetooth audio.

Many companies marketing them will list a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz but in reality while it can do it, it can only do that if there is very little stress on the bandwidth available to it. for example, a simple song (eg some classical music) will sound pretty good, but if you use a song that stresses the lows, mids, and highs at the same time, then you get weird distortions on the treble that really makes the music undesirable to listen to.

(if you have a bluetooth headset, try listening to music by a groups such as two steps from hell, you will notice 2 common issues (I have used many in the past, generally through product testing) and the 2 common ways companies deal with the distortion is to dynamically limit the frequency response range, eg on some headsets you will lose a good portion of the treble and some of the bass when you listen to two steps from hell, but get a ton of bass on music by a group such as nightmares on wax, even though on a wired headphone, the two steps from hell song has more bass.

another issue is some headsets will not filter out any of the frequencies and instead the lossy compression will cause artifacts which will make the audio sound even worst.

Overall if movie watching is your only goal then bluetooth is fine (I have not run into bluetooth issues with movies, but if you need to listen to music, then avoid bluetooth.

I will try to find or record some examples of these issues in the way bluetooth tries to deal with it's limited bandwidth.

edit: just recorded an audio sample of what happens when audio that makes use of bass mid tones and a lot of treble. (those treble distortions that you are hearing are not due to to the microphone.

the sounds of the cymbals really sound that distorted

here is the original audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTdBZG6KEtA

and here is what my mic recorded from the bluetooth headphones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eemgj0ctWwo&feature=youtu.be

(if you listen closely you will heat that the treble is a little distorted/ static sounding and also slightly warped. that is due to the over compression sacrificing the upper frequency range

(don't mind the lack of bass as the mic exaggerates that lack due to the headphones not giving much bass unless they have a good seal on your ears)

answered Feb 21 '13 at 11:58

Razor512's gravatar image

Razor512
16.5k3683259

edited Feb 21 '13 at 13:12

Thank you very much, but I don not really listen to music that much on my mac. I would use the sound for watching videos and performing simple tasks. Also, if I would listen to music it would be on my phone.

(Feb 21 '13 at 12:36) JakeF JakeF's gravatar image

added some audio samples of what bluetooth compression does.

(Feb 21 '13 at 13:08) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

I think you're trading one con for another. While you do get rid of the wires you are now presented with other problems. Now you have to deal with quality distortion, connection issues and battery life. The speakers will have to be connected and disconnected if they, or the computer, is turned off. They will need batteries to be replaced, or charged. It just seems like more work than doing a little cable management that makes you happy.

If you just need basic speakers and those things I mentioned above don't bother you, then go for it. I love having less wires and a clean work space.

answered Feb 21 '13 at 12:23

IamTechCrazy's gravatar image

IamTechCrazy
4.6k79100145

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Asked: Feb 21 '13 at 09:29

Seen: 600 times

Last updated: Feb 21 '13 at 17:34